Zach Miller and Teddy Feinberg talk about the upcoming season of YAIAA Division I football.
New Oxford starts fresh with new coach Greg Bowman, making it three coaches in three years for the Colonials. Bowman comes to New Oxford after leading Northern York to a district playoff victory last season.
The Colonials break out brand new uniforms, and Bowman hopes to create a game day atmosphere that unites the entire community on Friday nights. Part of building that atmosphere will require winning, and he's demanded a lot of work from his players during the summer.
“We’ve been putting offensive and defensive plays in since late June," running back/linebacker Brock Crawford said. "Last year, we came into the regular season and then started installing plays. We’re really learning how to be prepared both physically and mentally for Friday nights.”
The Colonials took a step in the right direction last year, winning two games after a winless 2014 campaign, but they have a lot of holes to fill after losing most of their starters to graduation. Ferrious Ashford, who emerged as the team’s go-to running back late in the season, will also need to be replaced after he transferred to Gettysburg last winter.
YAIAA Division I football players discuss a variety of topics.
Quarterback: Senior Tanner Miller takes over for Corban Czap as the starting quarterback. Miller said he feels confident both in his abilities and in the coaches who are helping him prepare.
Running backs: The Colonials' new offense will feature different packages that could showcase multiple running backs. Crawford, Issac Siegman and Brennan Scott will likely be the ones to see most of the carries.
Receivers: New Oxford coaches and players are excited about senior Eric Alt, who rejoins the team after taking a year away from the sport.
"He's also stepped up as a leader," Miller said of Alt. “I’ve never seen somebody come in for one season and do what he’s done so far."
Kyle Lovisone should start on the other side, and Derrick Rudisill will likely start at tight end.
Offensive line: Despite losing first-team all-star Brock Hartman, this will be the Colonials' most seasoned offensive unit. Evan Guth brings experience, along with Cody Smith, Alex Hetrick and Nick Duncan, who moves from guard to center.
Defensive line: Rudisill and Terry Sager will provide the Colonials pass rush on the outside, with Smith on the inside.
Linebackers: Duncan and Brandon Scott should start in the middle of the 4-4 defense, while Miller and Crawford should start on the outside.
Secondary: This will be the Colonials least-experienced group. Alt has impressed coaches on this side of the ball as well, and should start along with Lovisone. Sophomore Brennan Romanoff is one underclassman that Bowman said could see a lot of playing time.
In the season opener at Bermudian Springs last year, New Oxford got a game-winning field goal from Luis Partida, a soccer player borrowed for kicking duties. Partida has graduated, but the Colonials could look to the soccer team again for kicking help. Miller also has experience kicking.
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Save the date
No game on the schedule has more intrigue than the Colonials' home opener on Sept. 16. Not only will it be Bowman's first game on New Oxford's home field, but it'll also be the revival of a rivalry with Delone Catholic. The two teams, separated by less than seven miles, haven't played in several years.
Bowman has stirred a lot of excitement in a community that has been hungry for football success. The Colonials hope to give people a reason to continue to be excited as they try to build from last year's improvement.
In the huddle
Head coach: Greg Bowman (first season) (DC)
Assistant coaches: Tim Daniel (OC), Jarrod Linn, Gene Kraus, Chris Bowman, Ken Burt, Mark Lookenbill
Class: 5A, YAIAA Division I
Enrollment: 947 (481)
Sept. 2 — New Oxford at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — New Oxford at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — Delone Catholic at New Oxford, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — New Oxford at South Western, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Spring Grove at New Oxford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7* — Central York at New Oxford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — New Oxford at Red Lion, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 — Dallastown at New Oxford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — New Oxford at William Penn, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — Northeastern at New Oxford, 7 p.m.
W // @ Bermudian Springs // 24-21
L// Gettysburg // 14-21
L // Biglerville // 13-27
L // South Western // 6-21
L // @ Spring Grove // 7-37
L // @ Central York // 19-38
L // Red Lion // 21-61
L // @ Dallastown // 13-43
W // William Penn // 26-14
L // @ Northeastern // 7-45