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York Tech seniors left 'crying' with joy after halting 35-game football losing streak

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
York Tech junior defensive back Ronald Lake defends a teammate during practice. Lake made the game-winning interception to give the Spartans their first win since 2016.
  • The York Tech football program ended a 35-game losing streak on Saturday.
  • The skid was stopped when the Spartans held off Hanover, 14-13.
  • York Tech will play host to a winless Littlestown team this coming Saturday.

When York Tech junior Ronald Lake gave himself a nickname last season, coach Matt Glennon wasn't exactly in love with it.

The junior defensive back nicknamed himself "GOAT" — an acronym for "Greatest of All Time."

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While Glennon may not have been a big fan of the name at first, after Saturday's performance, it's now a little easier for Glennon to accept it.

Lake intercepted two passes from Hanover quarterback Chase Roberts, including a late interception that sealed a 14-13 triumph — the Spartans' first victory since 2016. It ended a 35-game losing streak and came after three consecutive winless campaigns. York Tech's previous win was a 28-12 win over Fairfield on Oct. 14, 2016. 

“He wasn’t used to it, but after last game, it’s stuck with me now,” Lake said.

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Especially meaningful for seniors: Glennon said the Spartans never discussed "The Streak" while it was happening, but once it finally ended, the players and coaches were able to exhale and enjoy the moment they had waited years for.

“What felt good to me was seeing the kids’ faces,” Glennon said. “Especially the senior class that had not won a game in four years, and the look on their faces made me feel good. They didn’t talk about it, but you could tell after the game was over there was a big sigh of relief that they could focus on football now.”

Senior running back Hunter Sommer scored the go-ahead touchdown that gave the Spartans the big win.

As a member of the senior class that continued to practice and play week after week without a win, Sommer said the moment the clock hit zero was an amazing feeling.

“We were excited,” Sommer said. “We all huddled up; most of the seniors started crying. We were just having fun.”

York Tech senior running back Hunter Sommer, center, runs the ball during practice. Sommer scored the go-ahead touchdown that gave the Spartans their first win since 2016.

Although Lake hasn't been with the team as long as the seniors have, he dealt with the emotional strain of working hard each week, only to see the losing streak continue.

“It’s hard. Sometimes you feel like you want to stop and shut down, but I got a mental thing that I can’t quit,” Lake said. “Once I start something I can’t quit.”

Hard work pays off: Glennon added that the Spartans' first practice after their win was the best session the team had so far this year. York Tech's coaches have continued to tell the players to focus on doing the right thing, but nothing could get their attention like a victory.

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“I think they realize now effort and hard work will pay off,” Glennon said. “It’s hard to keep preaching that without the actual tangible benefit. Now that they have won a ball game, they realize effort, commitment and dedication really do matter and we saw a much more focused team in practice than we have all year.”

Littlestown next: For the first time in years, York Tech heads into a game as the team with the better record.

York Tech junior Ronald Lake, right, and senior Hunter Sommer, center, chase after a teammate during practice. Lake and Sommer. each made big plays in the Spartans' first win since 2016.

The Spartans play host to an 0-2 Littlestown team that beat them 46-0 last season on Saturday. After last week's big win, "The Goat" and the Spartans want to keep their winning ways going after they finally ended "The Streak."

“We got a one next to our name, they got a zero, they got a doughnut,” Lake said. “They’re going to walk out with another doughnut, they ain't walking out with a (win).”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.