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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Bermudian Springs Eagles

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
505-5403/@yaiaascores
  • Bermudian is coming off a 5-5 season, including 5-2 in York-Adams Division III.
  • The Eagles had won four straight Division III crowns before last season.
  • Bermudian is hoping to get off to a better start in 2016. In 2015, the Eagles started 0-4.

This is the sixth installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Friday, Sept. 2.  

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Who: Bermudian Springs Eagles.

2015 record: 5-5 overall, 5-2 York-Adams Division III.

Coach: Jon DeFoe, 18th season.

Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold):Ashton West, senior, fullback/linebacker; Devon Hodgen, kicker/punter; Ryan Forsythe, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Trevor Grim, senior, tight-end/linebacker; Quinton Nace, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Addison Wheeler, senior, running back/linebacker; Devon Hodgen, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Dorian Steele, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Ben Egenrieder, senior, running back/linebacker; Darren Beall, junior, running back/linebacker; Chase Dull, sophomore, quarterback/defensive back.

Notable losses (Division III All-Stars in bold):Quinton King, running back/linebacker; Logan Luckenbaugh, offensive line/defensive line; Tristan Hoke, quarterback/defensive back.

2016 schedule (Division III games in bold): Sept. 2 vs. New Oxford (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 vs. Boiling Springs (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 at Shippensburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 23 at Hanover (7 p.m.); Sept. 30 vs. Fairfield (7 p.m.); Oct. 8 at York Tech (1 p.m.); Oct. 14 vs. Delone Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 21 at York Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 28 vs. Littlestown (7 p.m.); Nov. 4 at Biglerville (7 p.m.)

Outlook: After years of dominating Division III, the Eagles took a step backward a season ago when they finished at 5-5. Such mediocrity is not really acceptable for a Bermudian program that won four division titles in a row heading into last season.

Don’t expect the rare down year in York Springs to last very long, however. Bermudian started last year 0-4, only to win five straight before falling to rival Biglerville by a field goal in the season finale. The hunger and motivation to avoid another non-winning season is fresh and apparent. It also helps DeFoe that many of his key performers from a season ago return to try to finish the job. Chase Dull, just a sophomore, returns to lead a team that has plenty of size, speed and skill to make another run at the division title. The biggest area of concern at this point is finding guys to fill key spots on the offensive and defensive lines to give Dull and his weapons time to showcase their talents.

COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Delone Catholic Squires

The key to this year’s success will come down to getting off a better start. The four teams that defeated Bermudian to begin last year’s schedule (New Oxford, Boiling Springs, Shippensburg, Hanover) are all back in the same order again this season.

Coach speak: “We have to find a couple of lineman, especially on the offensive line. We have to stay healthy and we have to get off to a much better start to the season. The way we started was tough last year.” — DeFoe.