COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: A preview look at the 2017 Dover Eagles football team
- The Dover Eagles finished at 4-6 overall last season and 3-3 in York-Adams Division II.
- The Eagles return nine starters on both offense and defense.
- Derek Arevalo and Brandon Lawyer rushed for 579 and 554 yards, respectively, last season.
This is the 12th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season.
Team: Dover Eagles.
Coach: Wayne Snelbaker (third season at Dover).
2016 record: 4-6 overall and 3-3 in York-Adams Division II.
Key losses (Division II All-Stars in bold): Cole Jesmer, tight end/inside linebacker; Amari Peterson, defensive back; Drew Shaffer, offensive guard; Will Tomes, inside linebacker; Tanner Oliver, defensive back.
Key returners (Division II All-Stars in bold): Shad Murphy, offensive tackle/defensive end; Jake Snelbaker, center/defensive tackle; Chase Heath, guard/defensive tackle; Nathan Farr, offensive tackle/defensive tackle; Brandon Lawyer, middle linebacker/running back; Derek Arevalo, running back; Brayton West; quarterback; Andrew Hoffman, wide receiver/cornerback; Brady Bowman, wide receiver/cornerback.
2017 schedule (Division II games in bold): Sept. 1, vs. Shippensburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 8, vs. Steel-High (7 p.m.); Sept. 15, At Red Land, (7 p.m.); Sept. 22, at Gettysburg, (7 p.m.); Sept. 29, vs. Eastern (7 p.m.); Oct. 6, at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 13, vs. Conrad Weiser (7 p.m.); Oct. 20, at York Suburban (7 p.m.); Oct. 27, vs. West York (7 p.m.); Nov. 3, at Susquehannock (7 p.m.).
Outlook: The 2017 Eagles are loaded with experience, with nine starters returning on both offense and defense.
"Our O (offensive) line and defense are coming back," head coach Wayne Snelbaker said. ."We're excited about the season."
The offensive line will be opening holes for Derek Arevalo and Brandon Lawyer, who rushed for 579 yards and 554 yards, respectively, last season. Arevalo and Lawyer and their teammates are determined to fix a problem which prevented the team from having an even better mark in 2016 — the inability to finish games.
"We went into a bunch of games up at halftime and lost them," lineman Shad Murphy said. "That's been haunting us."
Dover is planning to be in the mix in a division title race that Snelbaker thinks is wide open.
"It's anybody's ballgame," he said.
Murphy and his teammates are aiming to make it their ballgame.
Quotable: "When I was a freshman, I thought 'I have next year.' Same thing when I was a sophomore and a junior. But this year is going to be it, and we got to get that title." — Dover lineman Shad Murphy.
Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.