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September 12, 2013

THS football opens new stadium against Lackawanna

Tonawanda News —

It's the dawn of a new era for Tonawanda football today; the new Clinton H. Small Stadium is ready and will be the site of the Warriors' home opener tonight at 7:30 p.m.

The excitement is coursing through the city, as many members of the community and "The Tribe" have waited anxiously for this day for months — some even years. Considering how dominant the Warriors were last week against JFK in a 27-0 shutout, the home team and its fans have plenty to be excited about.

"We are very excited. We had a great week of practice and one of the things we've learned is, that in football, you need to have a short memory," said Warriors coach Rob Gross. "Whether that's week to week, or play to play, we can build off last Saturday's effort, but we have to focus now on (today). We still need to execute (today) like it's the first game of the season."

It's got that first game sort of feel, even if Tonawanda comes in sporting a perfect 1-0 record. From the pre-game ceremony to the post-game handshake, every moment Friday night will be remembered.

The importance of this game is not lost on the Lackawanna Steelers, who also won big in Week One, knocking off Newfane, 38-18. 

Steelers coach Adam Tardif said his team is amped up to play on the beautiful new field at Tonawanda.

"The kids are excited to play in a brand new stadium," he said. "I know one of our assistant coaches, his wife was the architect that worked on it, so she told us how nice it's going to be. They're excited to play Tonawanda (tonight)."

Gross said the Steelers are a very athletic team that is able to do a little bit of everything. They have a good mix of size and speed and they're dangerous because of their aggressive style of play. 

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