Bermudian Springs eyes bounceback year
Bermudian Springs didn't enjoy its usual success a year ago, but the Eagles enter 2016 determined to return to the top of YAIAA Division III.
After going 39-1 in the regular season the previous four seasons, Bermudian started off slow in 2015 and finished at .500. A 5-1 finish was encouraging, but it didn't prevent the Eagles from entering the offseason with a sour taste in their mouths.
"We definitely want to get back to winning," senior lineman Dorian Steele said. "We're not used to losing. We don't like to lose, nobody wants to lose and we definitely want it this year. The motivation is a lot higher."
The difference between last year's crop of Eagles and the current batch is the experience level. Last year, head coach Jon DeFoe had just one returning starter. This fall, he brings back 15 letterwinners.
DeFoe is banking on the added experience leading to more wins this season.
"I think you go as far as your senior leadership takes you," DeFoe said. "I really think we struggled with that the first half of last season. When I look at this senior class, I see a lot of distributed leadership, not just one guy. Because of that, I see a close-knit group that will hold each other accountable."
Quarterback: After tearing his ACL in Bermudian's eighth game last season as a freshman, sophomore Chase Dull is cleared and will be the man under center. While the Eagles operate out of a wing-T offense, Dull's maturation in his second season will be something to watch.
Running back: Senior Ashton West will be the bell cow in the backfield after rushing for 965 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Addison Wheeler and Devon Hodgen are two of the backs who will compete for time behind West.
Receiver: The Eagles bring back both of last season's top targets in seniors receiver Quinton Nace and tight end Trevor Grim.
Offensive line: DeFoe said the line's play on both sides of the ball may determine this season's success. Steele and Ryan Forsythe are the only two returning starters on offense, and the Eagles will need to replace star Logan Luckenbaugh, who has graduated.
Defensive line: Steele is also slated to start at defensive end, with the other spots open for competition.
Linebacker: The Eagles bring back plenty of players with experience, including West, Grim, Wheeler and Darren Beale.
Secondary: Dull is expected to be back at safety, with Nace and Hodgen holding down the corner spots right now.
Noah Aeppli and Hodgen are back at kicker and punter, respectively.
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Save the date
The Eagles will visit York Catholic on Oct. 21, and the game could have big implications in the Division III race.
If the Eagles solidify both lines, they should be one of the top teams in Division III once again.
In the huddle
Head coach: Jon DeFoe (122-62 in 17 seasons) (OC)
Assistant coaches: Chris King (DC), John Livelsberger, Dave McCollum, Andrew Reinecker
Class: 3A, YAIAA Division III
Enrollment: 488 (250 male)
Sept. 2 — New Oxford at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — Boiling Springs at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Sep. 16 — Bermudian Springs at Shippensburg, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — Bermudian Springs at Hanover, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Fairfield at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Oct. 8 — Bermudian Springs at York County Tech, 1 p.m.
Oct. 14* — Delone Catholic at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 — Bermudian Springs at York Catholic, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — Littlestown at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — Bermudian Springs at Biglerville, 7 p.m.
L // New Oxford // 21-24
L // @ Boiling Springs // 0-21
L // @ Shippensburg // 16-26
L // Hanover //14-22
W // @ Fairfield // 42-12
W // York County Tech // 34-8
W // @ Delone Catholic // 20-17
W // York Catholic // 20-17
W // @ Littlestown // 35-0
L // Biglerville // 14-17