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November 7, 2013

Unatego coach's beard a sign of success

It seemed like an obvious question.

Having not seen Unatego football coach Frank Microni in a few weeks and then noticing the thick beard that covered his face Saturday, I asked, “Are you a Red Sox fan?”

Microni quickly answered no to that query.

“This is what happens when I say, ‘Don’t lose again and I won’t shave,’” Microni said following his team’s 20-12 Section Four Class D semifinal victory over Elmira Notre Dame at Binghamton Alumni Stadium. “Then you get lucky and win some games and I start looking like a Duck Dynasty old man. I’ll grow it down to here (as he pointed to his chest). That’s fine, as long as we keep winning.”

The second-seeded Spartans (8-1) will take an eight-game winning streak into this Saturday’s Class D final against top-seeded Tioga (9-0) back at Binghamton Alumni. The game starts at noon.

The Tigers are coming off of a 54-0 victory over Spencer-Van Etten in Saturday’s other semifinal.

Unatego graduated 14 seniors off of last season’s team that went 6-3. Asked if he was satisfied with his team getting to the sectional final this year, Microni said:

“No. We want to win it. There was some uncertainty at the beginning of the year because we had younger kids filling in important roles. I think they saw what they can accomplish. We’ve had a better year this year and we’re younger. This year, they’ve accomplished some things people didn’t think they could do. Are they proud of that? Yes. Are they satisfied? No.

“They think they can win next week,” he continued. “I think they can win next week. We wouldn’t come if we didn’t think we could win. Tioga is a great team. We saw them last year. These guys know what they’re about. We’ll try to do what we do and score some points. It’s exciting for those guys and I’m proud of them.”

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