It's probably never happened in Batavia HS history -- three players participating in three different sports across the course of a single school year winning Section V title patches.
This year, Andrew Mruczek, Jake Schrider and Adonis Davis did it in football, basketball and track.
At a school that won six sectional titles this year, a few of other athletes came close, but the trifecta is a singular accomplishment.
"It means a lot to us," Schrider said. "It means we worked hard."
"It means hard work paid off," Davis said. "Going to summer camps and workouts to try and reach our goal to be sectional champions. It showed more this year."
It's also an accomplishment that hasn't drawn a lot of attention at school, Davis said. Everybody knows they're champions, but the never-before trifecta hasn't sunk in with the student body.
"They know we've won," Davis said. "They're proud of us, I guess, but they probably just haven't put it all together."
Athletic Director Michael Bromley said it's a great accomplishment that is rarely achieved by athletes in the region. In boys sports this year, Andrew Mruczek, Trevor Sherwood (football and basketball) and Noah Dobbertin (football and wrestling) came the closest when the baseball team lost a title game to Aquinas 2-1, and though several girls got two titles this year, none got quite as close to a third title.
Batavia was blessed with a great group of seniors this year, Bromley said, but also, a great homegrown coaching staff that is also very focused on success and the hard work it takes to achieve it.
The senior athletes, Bromley said, really came together this year and supported each other and their teammates as they competed throughout the year. Athletes not in competition jumped the stands as part of the Blue Zoo, the school's cheering section. They also rallied the school throughout each school day.
"They’re really going to be missed around here," Bromley said. "They were good leaders. They were positive leaders. They were role models. Sometimes you get classes come through who are not those things and this class really was and the school is going to miss them."
The support of classmates and teachers was really a motivating factor all year long, Davis said.
"Everyone tells us they will come out the games and stuff and you don’t want to disappoint when you have a bunch of teachers and a bunch of students saying they’re coming," Davis said. "That motivates us when people are watching to do it for them.”
It's especially helpful, he said, with road games against bigger Monroe County schools.
"When we travel to other places against bigger schools, our fan base goes with us, and just having people behind us to cheer us on to at the other schools, the bigger schools, it’s more fun," he said.
Brennen Briggs, football, Buddy Brasky, basketball, and Nick Burke, track, are all Batavia HS graduates and lifelong residents. Bromley thinks that further fuels their dedication to the school and the athletic program.
"The time commitment they put into ti and the love they have for Batavia High School is evident," Bromley said. "Those guys are 12-month-a-year coaches. If you go by the track, come by the football field, go by a weight room, come by a gym, one of those guys is probably doing something.
"The real special part about it," he added, "is it seems over recent years is they’ve really come together. They support each other, they share kids, so that’s why we’re seeing a lot of success."
All three share a high level of commitment to hard work and motivating their kids to work hard and stick through the tough things, but given the nature of team sports, Briggs and Brasky also model hard work by watching hours and hours of game film week after week.
"They spend days each week on just looking at film and trying to figure out what we can do to be successful," Bromley said. "The kids have bought into that. They know the coaches are going to work hard for them, so that’s why they work hard."
Asked which coach is the toughest on them, Mruczek, Schrider and Davis said Brasky is, hands down.
"He takes you to a whole new level," Mruczek said. "You've got to be tough. He drives you hard."
Schrider said there's no slacking off during a Brasky-led practice.
"You've got to give 120 percent the whole time," Schrider said.
Davis said that drive made Brasky kind of an "old-fashioned coach," but in a good way.
"When we do stuff, he wants us to be perfect and I think that’s what helps us in games," Davis said. "When we’re practicing, we're doing reps over and over and over again and then we’re more prepared than the other team."
Of the three athletes, only Mruczek has another upcoming season with Brasky, and rather than fearing the intensity, he's looking forward to it.
"It makes me want to be successful," said Mruczek, whose goal for 2016-17 is to repeat the trifecta.
The hard work, the focus on success, has helped each of the young men grow, they said, carrying over to school work and the rest of life.
"I think success on the field is helping me to be successful in school, because being on a sports team, it takes hard work and then in the classroom you’ve got to work hard there, too," Mruczek said.
Davis said he thinks he was still pretty young when he first joined the football team and got exposed to the dedication demanded by Briggs, but he learned quickly that dedication and hard work pays off and that has helped him beyond just athletics and even beyond academics.
"At first, I wasn’t really into putting into much time into sports," said Davis, who now intends to attend SUNY Brockport, compete in track and pursue a degree in athletic training. "Once I did, then everything else, plus the sports, I put more time into it, school, helping out in the community. I volunteered for a camp, a football camp for little kids and I never thought I would do that. I just put time into stuff. It transfers over to everything else and I think it helped me."
There is a clear connection between athletic success and academic and life success, Bromley said. In athletics, you learn about the value of practice and repetition, how to deal with setbacks and how to work on a common goal with others -- all lessons that carry onto all aspects of adult life.
"Sports are life lessons," Bromley said. "That’s pretty much what it is. That’s probably the area in the academic world where you learn it the most. I would say, after school from 3 to 5, those kids are learning life lessons that they’re going to use forever. Hopefully, they leave after this year and they go on and they’re successful in college and they’re successful parents and some of them come back and coach. That would be great."