COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Dover hopes increased workout intensity leads to more wins on field
- Dover is coming off a 5-5 record in 2018.
- The Eagles went 4-2 in Division II last season.
- Division II honorable mention quarterback Justin Johnson returns in 2019 for Dover.
Editor's note: This is one in a continuing series of team previews for the 2019 York-Adams League football season:
For Dover High, replacing several 2018 York-Adams Division II All-Stars was no easy task heading into the offseason.
One bright spot in working in a number of new starters is rising senior starting quarterback Justin Johnson, who returns for the Eagles. Johnson said the senior leaders have made it their mission to ensure that the younger players are giving their max effort in every practice and weight-room session.
“Every single person on our team is working hard and making sure (the offseason is) going well,” Johnson said. “Everyone is doing everything they can, because everyone wants to work for a spot.”
One of the ways Dover coach Wayne Snelbaker prepared the Eagles for the upcoming season was to change up his offseason workout program. This summer, Snelbaker and his staff demanded that the players meet certain rep counts in specific time limits as part of Snelbaker’s overall plan.
“We’re putting them in situations where their bodies and minds are saying, ‘We can’t.’ Well we can (and) we’re going to push them through that,” Snelbaker said.
In addition to preparing the Eagles to be able to dig deep late in games and perform in the clutch, Snelbaker hopes the lessons learned by the players when they surpassed exercise goals they originally thought were impossible gives them the confidence to overcome obstacles on the field.
“OK, well we’ve been in this situation, let’s stay calm and let’s go get it,” Snelbaker said.
After a 5-5 season, Dover is looking to improve in 2019 and the hope is that increased intensity in offseason workouts will lead to more wins on the field. Johnson said that based on the offseason progress, the Eagles can hit their mark of winning the division this season.
“I feel we’re ready,” Johnson said. “Some of us need to still get there, but I feel like we’re at that point where we can make it to our goal.”
Following is a capsule preview of the 2019 Dover season.
►Team: Dover Eagles.
►Coach: Wayne Snelbaker, fifth season.
►2018 record: 5-5 overall, 4-2 York-Adams Division II.
►Key losses (Division II All-Stars in bold): Jacob Snelbaker, lineman; Derek Arevalo, running back/wide receiver; Dallas Evans, wide receiver/defensive back; Jack Helsel, lineman; Brandon Lawyer, running back/linebacker; Nathan Calaman, linebacker; Shane Hinkel, safety.
►Key returners (Division II All-Stars in bold): Justin Johnson, senior, quarterback/linebacker; Shane Klinedinst, junior, wide receiver/linebacker; Brandon Cesky, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Teziah Howard, junior, wide receiver/defensive back, Cameron Fetrow, junior, running back/linebacker.
►2019 schedule (Division II games in bold): Aug. 23 vs. Shippensburg (7 p.m.); Aug. 30 vs. Elizabethtown (7 p.m.); Sept. 6 at Red Land (7 p.m.); Sept. 13 at Susquehannock (7 p.m.); Sept. 20 vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.); Sept. 27 at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 4 vs. York Suburban (7 p.m.); Oct. 11 at Mifflin County (7 p.m.); Oct. 18 at Gettysburg (7 p.m.); Oct. 25 vs. West York (7 p.m.); Nov. 8 at Caesar Rodney (7 p.m.)
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.