SANBORN, N.Y. (WKBW) — Ask a football coach the key to running an offense, and they'll tell you "keep moving the chains." For Niagara Wheatfield's varsity team, the same trio has been moving the chains for decades.
"I thought it was going to be a part time thing, and then I stuck with it," Steve Miller said. "I've been working with Herb and Brian ever since."
Miller describes himself as the rookie of the group. But it's his 21st season working the sticks for the Falcons. Miller, Herb Lewis, and Brian Hapeman have spent a combined 86 years on the sidelines.
"I'm the class of 1990," Hapeman said. "I've been doing this since my sophomore year in 1987."
"They were short of a person," Lewis said. "That was 30 years ago. I'm still doing it."
That type of consistency along the sidelines is hard to find. But the three of them move as one as Wheatfield moves the football. Along the way, they've watched some of Western New York's best up close, including Titans punter Brett Kern (Grand Island) and Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (Williamsville North).
"It's the best seat in the house," Lewis said. "It's quite exciting. You get a different aspect of the game doing the chains as opposed to sitting in the stands."
Win or lose, rain or shine, the Falcons can count on Hapeman, Lewis, and Miller. They already have for decades, and they'll keep doing so for seasons to come.