Reflecting on his team in the midst of its inspiring run through the 2013 sectional playoffs, veteran Medina boys soccer coach Steve Luksch had nothing but positive things to say about last year's decision to combine forces with Lyndonville to field a handful of school sports teams.
"It's been completely a success," Luksch said. "At first, I had a few concerns, but now not at all. I feel like it's a win-win all around."
Effective starting in the 2012 fall season, the Medina and Lyndonville school districts decided to merge for boys soccer and football. Starting this academic year, the merger extended to include cross-country running (fall) and track and field (spring).
Based on this year's fall outcomes, most notably in boys soccer, the merger has proven to be a rousing success. Luksch said he was rather nervous at first to see how players from the two schools would bond, but was happy to see players take a liking to each other almost immediately. He said that Medina and Lyndonville players hang out with each other outside of practice, share rides together, play together in summer leagues and in some cases even work together.
The soccer team's on-field success doesn't hurt, either. The Mustangs earned the No. 2 seed in Section VI Class B-1 sectional play and proceeded to make a run through the playoffs, defeating Eden and Lafayette to reach the Halloween night B-1 final at Hamburg High School.
After nearly 110 minutes of back-and-forth play between Medina/Lyndonville and Newfane on a windy and rainy Halloween, it was a Lyndonville player who came up with the heroics, as Lyndonville senior Brennen O'Connor played the wind perfectly on a sudden-death corner kick that found the upper right corner of the net. With the goal, Medina/Lyndonville was Class B-1 champion.