When the Hanover High School football team took to the Sheppard-Myers practice field for new head coach Mike Ketterman Monday, they did so with 20 players.
With numbers that few, there will be a lot of players that will find themselves playing all three phases of the game.
So when Hanover's coaches were shouting to their players that they needed to be the best-conditioned team in the country, they weren't kidding. "We need to be well conditioned," Ketterman said. "We stressed to our players at the beginning of practice that conditioning will be a big part of our practices. We have to be prepared for four quarters, so conditioning will be huge."
Despite the low numbers, the players the Nighthawks do have are eager to change the program around.
"The depth that we have isn't that good," Ketterman said. "But with the kids that we do have, we will be all right."
Quarterback Brady Goodfellow looked sharp in passing drills, with steady footwork and passes that had some zip on them and were hitting his receivers in stride.
Hanover visits New Oxford in Saturday's 10 a.m. scrimmage.
South Western: Day 1 of the Damian Poalucci era at South Western High School began Monday.
He became the fifth Mustang head football coach in 52 years after former coach Don Seidenstricker decided to retire last year. Poalucci will continue to run the offense.
The Mustangs face at least two challenges: replacing graduated quarterback Zach Gross and finding a way to fill the gap created by Mike Felton, who kicked and played running back and defensive back before moving on to Temple University.
Senior Mike Duffy and junior Tyler Starner appear to be the leading candidates at quarterback, and Poalucci figures they'll split time at the position.
"They looked good," he said. "They're both good leaders, so I'm not worried about that."
As for replacing Felton, Poalucci said it'll come from players improving and filling the gap.
"Mike's one kid," he said. "Last year's team wasn't just Mike. Mike was a great running back, but the line had to do their job. It might take two, three guys to do the job, but that's what a football team is."
Delone Catholic: When 53 players took the field for head coach Steven Wiles at McSherrystown, he saw some fresh faces.
The first day of presason practices are always a test of conditioning. Players are pushed to their physical limits and beyond. For the majority of players Monday, the conditioning wasn't a problem.
"Our guys were pretty much ready for what we dished out," Coach Wiles said. "We brought up our freshmen this year and the younger guys struggled a little bit with the conditioning."
Fortunately for Delone, it has a strong group of returning upperclassmen to speed up the adjustment process for the younger players.
"We had three practices today," Wiles said. "The first one we implemented our defense, and the second and third practices, we implemented our offense. Most of these guys have been in the system since seventh grade, so they tend to pick things up pretty quickly."
Saturday will be a good test as to how quickly they have picked it up when Delone hosts Manchester Valley (Md.) in a 10 a.m. scrimmage.
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