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The 2014 fall sports season is underway and is about to go into overdrive when football kicks off next Friday. Coming with the start of football season is an array of burning questions that fans have been asking since spring ended.

Well, have no fear. I’m here to address some of the most popular football questions that were presented to me this summer.

1. Who is going to win Section Two?

This is like trying to predict the winner of a demolition derby. With Lancaster Catholic and Garden Spot joining the party, the section could come down to who has the healthiest squad down the stretch.

That being said, I’m rolling with the incumbent, Manheim Central.

The Barons are a team that notoriously reloads, not rebuilds and the team should have a little more pep is their step seeing that this is legendary coach Mike Williams’ final season.

Despite losing quarterback Colin Fry to graduation, Williams could not be more excited for Fry’s replacement, senior Tony Staffieri. At L-L Media Day, Williams said that Staffieri’s skillset and knowledge could make him one of the best Barons quarterbacks of all time.

“His transformation from last year to this year is unbelievable. I honestly believe, and I say this without any reservations, I think he can be one of our best over,” Williams said. “His whole demeanor, attitude, knowledge and skills are quite impressive. He’s done some things in 7-on-7s that you just sit back and say ‘that’s unbelievable.’”

High praise from a guy with thirty-four years of head coaching experience, huh?

 2. Will Pequea Valley finally get to five wins in 2014?

I was one of the ones who believed that the Braves could go .500 in 2013 but I am completely sold that they will get there this year under first-year coach Mike Choi.

Choi was formerly the coach at Class AAAA Great Valley but came to Pequea Valley to build a new culture.

“I came here because it was an opportunity to do something special. We get to build this thing from the ground up and create a culture that is not only exciting but lasting,” Choi said. “Everyone in the school and the community has been great and it will be great to see these stands packed on Friday nights.”

Choi also gushed about his quarterback, junior Gabe Allgyer who hasn’t played the position in years but knows the system well and has the leadership abilities to lead an offense. Last year’s quarterback Hunter Smith has been moved to the backfield to better utilize his running abilities.

“This is the year we have to do it. I don’t think being 3-7 is what we want to be. I know I don’t want to be that. A winning season is what everyone is striving for,” Allgyer said.

I’m pushing my chips to the middle of the table because I’m all in on Pequea Valley eclipsing .500 this year.

 3. Is this the year Wilson’s section winning streak ends?

To put it bluntly…no.  It’s crazy to think that if the Bulldogs run the table in Section One again, their streak will be at fifty games. However, there were doubters that Wilson couldn’t pull it off last year and they prevailed with flying colors. With returning horses on defense like Ike Schannauer and Austin Rosa and quarterback Jake Templin coming into the season with some experience under center, it’s so hard to find a game on the schedule where Wilson isn’t the favorite.

I simply won’t pick against the Bulldogs until after I see them lose.

 4. How will Solanco fare under new coach Anthony Cox?

I visited Quarreyville in July and was pretty impressed with what I saw. Aside from the intense crossfit-style workouts, what was really notable was the number of kids there. Cox comes into Solanco with an impressive resume that includes a 2009 state championship while being a coach at Berkely High School in South Carolina.

It appears that Cox has gotten his players to buy into his system and while the Mules won’t make too much noise in a loaded Section Two this year, he is building a solid foundation for the future.

 5. As of right now, what is the “game of the year” to watch?

Every game in Section Two should be well worth the ticket price and the Wilson/Penn Manor showdown in Week 9 should close down Millersville for three hours.

If I have to pick one though, I’m going with old reliable; Cocalico at Manheim Central for a number of reasons.

For one, it’s the last time coaches Mike Williams and Dave Gingrich will square off against each other in the regular season. The two coaches have developed a good relationship after starting off rocky about a decade ago.

Despite losing over twenty seniors, the Eagles are not lowering expectations for 2014 and their game against Central could be for serious leverage in Section Two.

Finally, it’s easy to get excited about a game when the players are so into it. When talking to the three Cocalico players at L-L Media Day about what game they had highlighted, all three of them lit up immediately and proclaimed “Manheim Central” with certainty and passion.

Next Friday can’t come soon enough.

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