East Aurora, NY -- Friday night, Holland Central High School celebrated a big first. The school launched its football program by joining the team from East Aurora.
"My school's been waiting 80 years. Eighty years. My whole life, I've been waiting for this moment," said Holland Central High School Senior Jake Rickettson.
"They are out of their minds, right now. They are so excited," said East Aurora-Holland Head Football Coach Tim Wade.
As the Blue Devils got ready for their first game of the season, five players from Holland were about to play in the first high school game of their lives.
"I got this feeling. Pre-game moment, right now. I don't know what to think. It's just unbelievable that I actually get to be here. The first person to do this in Holland, you know?" said Rickettson.
Rickettson's entire family made the short trip to East Aurora to watch him play. This included his uncle who spent several years on the Holland school board trying to bring football to his hometown.
"We've always been rivals. Now we'll be together in not just football, but they're talking about wrestling, track and other sports, too," said Glenn Kline.
"The energy that the Holland kids bring is just amazing. Every day they're out here, they're giving everything they have and it just adds to the whole atmosphere of our team," added Wade.
East Aurora is a team that, in the past, has had to forfeit games because with injuries they did not have enough players.
This year's varsity squad has 31 members, including the guys from Holland, who are new to high school football.
"It's definitely been different for me as a person to try and get used to new defense and offense. I'm actually really new to this sport, but I'm about ready to rip somebody's head off. East Aurora was awesome to us. I mean, I wouldn't think of them anything less than brothers, right now," said Rickettson.
"There was a period when we were all separate groups and during two a days just really slowly getting to know them and talking to them throughout break and all that finally got to learn who they were and why they wanted to be here," said Joe Gugino, a senior from East Aurora High School.
Rickettson, and his teammates, played for the generations of Holland Central High School boys who could not put on a uniform and play on Friday nights, until now.
"We all want to play football. That's what it's about," said Gugino.
"There's nobody else I'd rather take the field with tonight," said Rickettson.
Kenmore East won 16-8.
The Blue Devils are away at Depew next Friday at 7:30.