Football

Juniata and Upper Dauphin to battle for the 2020 Mid Penn Liberty crown, but there is a dark horse.

 

Written by: Billy Splain on Thursday, August 18th, 2022

 

Halifax:

Last year the Wildcat season didn’t go as planned. Coach Earl Mosely’s team finished with a 1-7 record, their lone win coming against a not so strong Renaissance Academy team out of Phoenixville.
This year Mosely is hoping his biggest class in the last couple of years will lead to improvement. Teegan Carroll get’s the quarterback duties after the Cats lost All-State QB Carter Enders for the season due to injury.
The key to success for Halifax will be breaking in a very young offensive line with a freshman quarterback starting.
Returning Players:
JR RB/LB Isaac Miller 5-11/ 175
JR WR/DB Peter Ranck 5-7/ 150
JR WR/DB Eric Stoneroad 5-9/ 160
JR LB Landan Klinger 6-1/ 200
SO OL/DL Blake Hoover 6-1/ 265
SO C/DE Zach Witmer 6-1/ 250
Newcomers:
FR QB Teegan Carroll 6-1/ 170
FR RB/LB Cohen Bechtel 5-10/ 165

James Buchanan

Cliff Pine has a tough job ahead of him as well. The Rockets finished 1-8 and haven’t had a winning season since 1995 when they went 6-4. Senior quarterback John Stoner will lead the offense, though he only threw 16 passes last season. The Rockets will once again pound the rock with backs Jacob Frey and Nathan Brake.

Returning Players:
SR QB/OLB John Stoner
SR FB Nathan Brake
SR OL/DT Camron Pine
SR OL/DT Dalton Ebersole
JR HB Jacob Frey

Juniata

LB Waylon Ehrenzeller

Always a contender, the Indians look to keep the top spot in the division. Coach Kurt Condo will have to break in a new quarterback with his son Jacob graduating. Lining up under center will be senior Aaron Kanagy who threw for 414 yards and 5 td’s last year. Juniata has experience returning in Seth Laub and Waylon Ehrenzeller who combined for over 1000 yards in 2021.
The Indians will also be strong with Ehrenzeller and Jon Kaufman returning. The two combined for 150 tackles last year.

“We have a lot of key guys returning with valuable playing time experience. They have put in a lot of work and this group of Seniors have won back to back district and conference championships. They know what it takes to continue the success and have put forth the effort. We expect the first several games to be very challenging and look forward to a competitive conference every week” said Condo.

Returning players:
Offense — Aaron Kanagy QB, Casey Smith SE, Caleb Smith RB, Seth Laub FB, Waylon Ehrenzeller RB, Jon Kauffman OL, Lane Peiper OL, Makih Hunt TE
Defense — Casey Smith CB, Caleb Smith CB, Seth Laub LB, Jordan Dickinson LB, Makih Hunt LB, Waylon Ehrenzeller LB, Jon Kauffman LB

Line Mountain

Chandon Maurer

Brandon Carson has a team that could make some noise in the division after a disappointing 2-8 season last year with a young squad. Eleven of those players return this year including quarterback Blake Readinger and running back Nolan Baumert. Tight end Brayden Boyer brings his talents back and the Eagles return three of five on the line.
Defensively Line Mountain lost three of their top four tacklers but return top guy Chandon Maurer at linebacker.

“We were very young last year. Will still be young this year. We have the talent to have a nice season. We just need to play up to ability and player older than our roster indicates. But the capability is there” said Carson.

Returning starters:
SR Brayden Boyer, TE/DE, 6-1, 200
SR Connor Finlan, SS/WR, 6-1, 175
SR Josh Scott, OT/DT, 6-2, 255
SR Nolan Baumert, RB/CB, 5-8, 145
JR Quinn Dunkelberger, OLB, 5-8, 155
JR Jaroslav Johnson, OT/DE, 6-2, 275
JR Chandon Maurer, ILB, 6-0, 195
JR Colby Rebuck, OG/DT, 5-10, 260
JR Ian Bates, RB/CB, 5-8, 160
SO Blake Readinger, QB, 5-9, 165
SO Kohen Shingara, OG/DT, 5-9, 165

Newcomers:
Travis Feese, WR/DB, 5-9, 165, SR Chase Zerbe, WR/DB, 5-8, 150, SO Maxim Johnson, TE/DE, 6-3, 200, FR Jackson Kauwell, OG/DT, 6-1, 250, FR Ethan Lenker, RB/OLB, 6-0, 170, FR Kaiden Maurer, QB/FS, 6-2, 175, FR Dalton Schadel, WR/LB, 5-10, 165, FR

Newport:

Buffalo head coach Todd Rothermel is hoping this is the year they turn things around. After going 7-4 in 2019, Newport struggled through the covid years with injuries. Returning are 10 seniors and juniors with playing experience.

Offensively they should be solid this year with Mason Messick at QB and running Back Aidan Dishman returning. But it’s the defense that needs to improve. The Buffalos gave up over 40 points a game.

Returning Players:
Sr RB/OLB Aidan Dishman 5-10/ 170 Sr WR/DB Lawrence Tsuseb 6-3/ 175 Sr K Gage Wirth 6-2, 170 Sr Sr G/DL Caleb Lesher 6-0/ 265 Sr T/LB Tyler Geer 5-11/ 215 Jr C/LB Zach Bellis 6-0/ 195 Jr WR/DB Travis Lilly 5-8/ 155 Jr WR/DB Darian Cohick 5-9/ 155 Jr WR/FS Ruban Moreno 5-8/ 125 Jr QB Mason Messick 5-10/ 165 So T/DE Noah Weller 6-1/ 180 So G/LB Cainan Benner 5-7/ 155 So WR/OLB Ethan Grove 6-2/ 180

Susquenita

Susquenita could be the darkhorse of the division this year. Their 2-7 record last year is deceiving because 5 of those losses came to teams that all made deep playoff runs. Head Coach Auggie Glass returns 10 players from a year ago including the Gibneys, quarterback Derek and wide receiver Drew, both juniors. The Blackhawks only return a couple offensive linemen but with veteran backs Louis Frisenda and Bryce McKee bringing their talents back the offense should be ok.
Defensively, ‘Nita gave up WAY too many points and will need to show improvement for the Blackhawks to be challengers. A “lighter” schedule without York Catholic, Big Spring and Boiling Springs should make the task of a turnaround easier.

Returning players:
SR RB/LB Laiken Miller 5-11/ 215
SR RB/LB Louis Frisenda 5-7/ 175
SR C/DT Zach Keefe 6-1/ 230 RB/CB
SR T/DT Chris Noble 6-2/ 215
SR TE/LB Mason Figard 5-11/ 190
JR ATH Kamar Lewis 6-0/ 210
JR QB Derek Gibney 6-4/ 230
JR Bryce McKee 5-6/ 165
JR WR Drew Gibney 6-0/ 165
SO WR/CB Blaise Swancer 5-11/ 160

Upper Dauphin

Brady Morgan

Coach Kent Smeltz is hoping to build on last year’s 9-2 record, but he’s got some work to do. Gone are QB Will Laskowski, OL/DL Collin Dreibelbis, OL/DL Dillon Johns, OL/LB Chase Lentz, OL/DL Colton Reed, RB/LB Christian Snyder, & CB Aiden Wiest but the Trojans return a nice core of players.
Ten seniors with starting experience return including running backs Brady Morgan and Alex Hepler. They’ll need to carry the load until the Trojans break in a new quarterback. Defensively the Trojans are in good shape with several key pieces returning, including DE Chase Grassmyer, Hepler at LB and Morgan roaming the DB territory. They’ll get tested early with Williams Valley coming to town.

Returning Players:

SR Isaiah Dyer K 5’9″ 150
SR Eli Farence DB/RB 5’11” 155
SR Chase Grassmyer DE/TE 6′ 195
SR Alex Hepler LB/RB 5’11” 175
SR Landon Mace DB/WR 6’2″ 170
SR Brady Morgan DB/RB 5’7″ 160
SR Aidan Ritter LB/OL 5′ 10″ 170
SR Konner Walker DB/RB 5’9″ 150
SR Sean Wenrick DE/OL 6′ 200
SR Peyton Wentzel DL/OL 6’2″ 250

Newcomers:

Brandon Snyder QB/LB 6′ 225, Sr Keatin Dieffenbach LB/OL 5’10” 185 Jr, Tegan Engle DB/RB 6′ 195 Jr, Darian Jury DL/OL 5’10” 250 Jr, Isaac Hepler DB/WR 6′ 155 Sr

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