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Donegal achieved a lot in their 2012 campaign but just missed out on even greater success. The Indians finished second in Section 3 with their only regular season blemish being a 34-23 loss to eventual champion Garden Spot.

After being named the no. 9 seed in the District 3 playoffs, the Indians suffered a highly-contested, 25-21 loss to Conrad Weiser in the first round. Head coach Jeff Polites sees the 2012 season as a springboard to more success, however.

“It’s always nice to take that experience that the young guys had last year and use that as motivation for them to have the same experience this year,” Polites said earlier this month at L-L Media Day. “They’ve been working towards that in the weight room and talking about it often with each other. It’s nice for them to have that goal every year to try to get back to that point and make the playoffs.”

The Indians are returning senior running back Kris Trimby who rushed for over 1300 yards last year with 18 touchdowns but will be without the graduated Dylan Maxwell who rushed for over 1200 yard with 16 touchdowns in 2012. Maxwell also led the team in receiving with 27 receptions for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Even with Maxwell gone, Polites addressed the loss of his graduated lineman as the one of the more pressing issues in 2013.

“We lost a lot of seniors up front, offensively and defensively,” he said. “Our backfield is going to be strong. Our linebackers are going to be strong. We’re just going to have to fight through those early games to get those linemen some quality experience.”

Though the lines won’t have a lot of game experience, Polites said his team he has seen some pleasant surprises in the offseason.

“We went to team camp in Lebanon Valley and had a couple guys step in at those lineman spots that we’re pretty comfortable with moving forward,” he said. “The nice thing is, those kids are seniors and they’ve waited their turn and it’s their time to play.”

Donegal kicks off the 2013 season on August 30 when it travels to Elizabethtown.

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