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Cocalico coach Dave Gingrich is the first to tell people that his team isn't always the biggest or strongest.

So what's the secret for the program that made it all the way for the District 3 Class AAA championship game last year?

The secret is that there is no secret at all.

It's all about execution.

"We're not always the most naturally gifted," Gingrich said. "Last year, I didn't think we had a lot of size but we executed well. This year, with the linemen we lost, we're going to have to execute well again on offense, defense and special teams. Execution has always been a staple."

In an age where new wrinkles are constantly being thrown into football to make it look more like video game, Gingrich and his staff believes in a more tried-and-tested method.

"We don't overload our kids schematically. We don't have a lot of plays but what we have, we try to execute to perfection," Gingrich said. "It's not always perfect and doesn't look perfect but we strive to coach it that way. We'll keep going at it over and over again until we get it right."

Orchestrating Cocalico's veer option offense will be senior quarterback Dante Haines, who scored 17 total touchdowns last year before suffering a torn ACL in Week 8.

In Haines' absence, junior Brady Sawyer stepped in and was an integral part of the Eagles' playoff run.

"It was very long and tough but I feel good right now," Haines said of the rehab process. "A lot of hard work was put in so I feel confident in my knee. I feel like I'm 100% and ready to go."

Coming into the 2015 season, Haines says he learned just as much from the bench as he did on the field in 2014.

"I learned a lot in the eight games that I started but I also learned a lot just watching things I wouldn't see if I was playing. I was able to see both views and I think that helped a lot too. I feel confident in what I have to do to help the team get better."

On the personal side, Haines will have plenty of motivation as well.

"Personally, I just want to make sure people didn't forget about me and I can make my name in the league and do what I need to do to make this team better."

Helping out Haines will be tailback DJ Fabiani who rushed for over 800 yards in 2014 and accounted for 13 total touchdowns.

Once again, execution was stressed while talking about success.

"We all have to be on the same page," Fabiani said. "As soon as we get out of the huddle, we have to start communicating on who we need to block along with other stuff. Execution is very important."

Playing in a loaded Section Two in the L-L League, the general tone in the Cocalico locker room is to take nothing for granted.

"There are no easy games," Fabiani said. "You have to prepare Monday through Thursday every week to be ready on Friday.

"I think we have great assistant coaches that the kids believe in. They believe in our systems offensively, defensively and special teams and they play with a chip on their shoulders," Gingrich said. "They know they aren't the biggest and they aren't the strongest but they know that when they play hard, good things happens."

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