Dover Eagles think they're physically, mentally ready for second football season in D-I

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
Dover Eagles head coach Wayne Snelbaker.
  • The Dover Eagles are coming off a 1-5 football season in 2020.
  • In 2020, Dover moved up into York-Adams Division I.
  • Dover coach Wayne Snelbaker thinks his Eagles are better prepared for D-I competition in 2021.

Editor's note: This is one in a series of previews for York-Adams League football teams.

Moving into York-Adams League Division I would have been a challenge in any year, but doing it during the COVID-19 pandemic made success on the football field unlikely for the Dover Eagles in 2020.

York-Adams team pauses football activities, loses season opener, because of COVID issue

Dover managed one win and head coach Wayne Snelbaker and the players admitted that going up against bigger schools, with bigger players, was a battle for them. It was really difficult for Dover to match the size and physicality of Y-A League D-I teams because their weight-room access was limited.

With their own facility to train in this summer, the Eagles believe they are physically and mentally prepared to play against anyone this year.

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“I think that was kind of the fear in it, if you will, the Centrals (and) the Dallastowns, those big-boy schools, and here we are just moving up to it and now you throw in all this other stuff that we're trying to compete against as well, it was tough,” Snelbaker said. “I feel bad for that senior class. That class was very athletic, but they just never got to mature into that, if you will, or work into that area. Now, coming back to campus where we basically have our own separate weight room … I think that is drawing these kids a lot closer. Knowing that's their area, they own it and they put a little bit of pride into that.”

Following is a capsule look at the Eagles:

►Team: Dover Eagles.

►Coach: Wayne Snelbaker, seventh season.

►2020 record: 1-5 in York-Adams League Division I.

►Key losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): RB/DB Cam Fetrow; TE/DE Owen Kennell; DE/TE Carson Snelbaker; RB/LB Jonathan Firestone; WR/LB Shane Klinedinst.

►Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): OL/DL Andrew Snelbaker; OL/DL Andrew Pifer; RB/LB Gavin Mullins.

►2021 schedule (Division I games in bold): Aug. 27 vs. West York; Sept. 3 vs. Northern York; Sept. 10 at Shippensburg; Sept. 17 vs. York High; Sept. 24 at Central York; Oct. 1 at Spring Grove; Oct. 8 vs. Dallastown; Oct. 15 at Red Lion; Oct. 22 vs. South Western; Oct. 29 at Northeastern.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.