For a long time, the Marcellus football program followed a familiar pattern -- win a few games each year, but never quite get to the level foes like Solvay or Westhill could reach. And it never got too exciting, either.
Well, all that has changed.
Going into 2008, the Mustangs are dreaming big -- this after a season where an explosive passing attack came of age and Marcellus went 6-3, venturing to the Section III Class B semifinals before falling to Westhill.
"The opportunity is there (to move up)," said head coach Joe Goss. "But we've got to work really hard and be focused."
It helps, in no small way, that the man directed at running the Mustangs' high-octane offense has got two more years to go.
In his first full season as Marcellus' starting quarterback, Will Fiacchi lived up to the hype, throwing for 2,176 yards and 25 touchdowns -- impressive numbers for anyone, let alone a sophomore.
Now, for his junior campaign, Fiacchi must try and repeat the magic without two of his primary receiving targets -- Jeff Watson and Mark Rudy, who combined for 113 catches a season ago. Still, Goss said Fiacchi has grown plenty and is as good as any passer in the area.
"He has worked really hard to improve his decision-making and discipline, and fitting the ball in there (to his receivers)," said Goss. "he could play for any team around here."
Preparing for the departure of Watson and Rudy, Fiacchi has worked since last December with his new group of receivers on passing routes, right through the team's annual June visit to the seven-on-seven football tournament at St. John Fisher College near Rochester.
In a strategic move, Scott Cotter moves from tight end to receiver, giving Fiacchi a tall (6-3) target to complement fellow returnee Derek Belvito. A.J. Mitchell and Joe Cornish also return, while Mike Quercia, a top-flight track and field sprinter, serves as a tempting deep threat.