COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Dover Eagles
- Dover won its first three York-Adams Division II games before suspensions derailed its season.
- The Eagles lost their remaining games and finished fourth in the division at 3-3.
- All-star lineman Chase Heath and Shad Murphy return to anchor the lines for Dover.
This is the 12th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Friday, Sept. 2.
Team: Dover Eagles.
Coach: Wayne Snelbaker, second year.
2015 record: 4-6 overall, 3-3 York-Adams League Division II.
Key loses (2015 All-Stars in bold): Tyler Blazosky, quarterback and safety; Matthew Farr, center and defensive tackle; Najah Fink, wide receiver and defensive end; Durran Ledbetter, running back and linebacker; Bret Mohn, running back and center; Caden Snyder, linebacker; Tad Pequignot, wide receiver and center; Austin Richcreek, offensive guard and defensive tackle; Brandon Rodriguez, safety.
Key returners (2015 All-Stars in bold): Chase Heath, junior, offensive guard and defensive end; Andrew Hoffman, junior, wide receiver; Cole Jesmer, senior, running back and linebacker; Shad Murphy, junior, offensive tackle and defensive end; Amari Peterson, senior, wide receiver and defensive back.
2016 schedule (Division II games in bold): Sept. 2, at Shippensburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 9, at Steelton-Highspire (7 p.m.); Sept. 16, vs. Red Land (7 p.m.); Sept. 23, vs. Gettysburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 30, at Eastern York (7 p.m.); Oct. 7, vs. Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 14, at Conrad Weiser (7 p.m.); Oct. 21, vs. York Suburban (7 p.m.); Oct. 28, at West York (7 p.m.); Nov. 4, vs. Susquehannock (7 p.m.).
Outlook: A number of discipline-related suspensions derailed what could have been a competitive season for the Eagles.
Dover was sitting at 3-0 in Division II play when it saw a number of players suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of team rules.
The Eagles went on to drop their remaining games and finish fourth in the division with a 3-3 mark.
Graduation took a large toll in terms of talent on the roster. However, the Eagles will benefit from a fair amount of experienced depth returning. They also are in a division that doesn’t appear to have a clear-cut favorite heading into the season.
Chase Heath and Shad Murphy look to anchor the offensive and defensive lines. Both were all-stars a season ago.
Andrew Hoffman is a returning all-star receiver and will pair with Amari Peterson to create a receiving unit that figures to be the Eagles’ offensive strength.
Quotable: “We’re going to be successful one game at a time. We’ll evaluate that game and get better from that game. It’s going to depend on how fast we get our young kids coming along. We’ll take the first half of (last) season and how successful we were with some things there. We sat and watched film and we did some things well, we weren’t perfect, but we were good and we build off that and say 'here’s where we want to be going forward.'” — Snelbaker.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.