HARTSDALE, N.Y. – Jeffrey Wilson played on the 1985 Woodlands High School section championship football team.
On Saturday, he was in the stands as a fan watching the 2012 team start its playoff run.
The Falcons hosted their first playoff game since that 1985 season Saturday. Woodlands went undefeated this season and earned the top seed in Class C.
Wilson coached many of the current Falcons in Pop Warner, and enjoyed watching his former players take on Bronxville on the historic day.
“It’s exciting. It’s been 25 years since the last bowl championship at Woodlands,” Wilson said. “It’s my coming-back year for them. To see them being out here and have an opportunity next week to be bowl champions.”
Hundreds of parents, fans, alumni and former players gathered to watch the top-seeded Falcons play the fourth-seeded Broncos. Booster club board member Charles Sanders had two children who went to Woodlands.
Sanders moved to Woodlands in 1993, several years after the famous 1985 season, but he has gotten to know some of the Falcons from that era.
“I do know people from back in that time,” Sanders said. “I’ve seen alumni come back to other games and today, and let’s just say everybody is really happy.”
Woodlands athletic director Mike Smith, now in his fifth year at the school, said many of the people associated with the 1985 team were “glowing with excitement” because they have not seen a home playoff game in decades.
He also said the day extended to the surrounding area.
“It’s a great event for the Greenburgh community,” Smith said. “It’s a great event for the entire community to come out. The community has been out for homecoming. I think we had well over I would say 1,500 people here. And now today, it’s just a great day. No rain, so hopefully we win and move on.”
Woodlands head coach Mike Meade said he appreciated the support from the former players.
“I love it,” Meade said. “Just to have that and to talk to some of them. They were here last week for the alumni game and the homecoming and just to talk to some of them, it’s great to have that kind of enthusiasm. And a lot of them came from different areas of the country, which is awesome.”
Wilson, who played offensive and defensive tackle for the Falcons in 1985, sees a lot of similarities between the 1985 and 2012 teams and has lofty expectations for this squad.
“Actually, this team, they may make it up to Syracuse,” Wilson said. “This is almost like a mirror of our team…They have an opportunity of making it to the states, hopefully.”