Bermudian Springs back to .500 after four straight wins
After the first three weeks of the high school football season, Bermudian Springs coach Jon DeFoe was reminded of his first year as head coach of the Eagles.
Four weeks into a new season without a win, however? That was something he had never experienced.
"My first season as head coach started 0-3 and won three in a row. I've never been part of 0-4," DeFoe said. "The reality is we returned one starter on each side of the ball and it's the same kid."
What do you know? The tide has changed in York Springs.
"We kept hammering and staying positive....One possession could've made a difference in three of those four games," said DeFoe. "I certainly like what we've been doing lately."
The Eagles, in the midst of a four-game winning streak, enter this week's game at Littlestown with a 4-1 YAIAA Division III record, only one game behind unbeaten Hanover.
Knocking off Delone Catholic in overtime, followed by another comeback victory against York Catholic last week showed promise that Bermudian is back to being Bermudian.
"When you are 0-4 you don't take anything for granted. You've just got to win a game," DeFoe said. "The week of practice before the Delone game it started to get a different feel, a different vibe.
"Then we went down 14-zip, and I was like 'this isn't what I was anticipating.' Somehow we found a way to win, and last week was a huge win. After 0-4, the best you can be is 4-4. We are excited about it and are going to make the most of the last two weeks."
Not surprisingly the running game, led by Ashton West - who has 823 yards and 10 touchdowns - is spearheading the turnaround.
West also leads the steady defense with 78 tackles, 33 solo. DeFoe said the junior has gotten more comfortable as the season has progressed.
Although freshman quarterback Chase Dull tore his ACL against the Fighting Irish last week, senior Tristan Hoke, who started the season behind center, will return to the position.
Hoke played well when called upon against York Catholic and DeFoe is confident he will build on that 4-of-8, two touchdowns passing performance.
With so many underclassman playing key roles, the resurgence will likely continue next season at Bermudian.
"We are playing a lot of young kids this year and not only are we going to turn it around, but we are building for next year," said DeFoe.
Perhaps more than anything, starting 0-4 gave DeFoe and staff perspective, and the attitude from coaches and players never wavered - even for a team that has averaged 10 wins and has made playoff appearances in each of the past five seasons.
"I said to the coaches is you have to take a step back and appreciate what we have been a part of," he said. "We've always, week to week, stuck to a saying that you're never as good as you think (you are) or never as bad as you think you are.
"It's what you go through. It's not what you want. You've got to learn from those experiences, as frustrating as it is. We have taken some positives from that."
Amazingly, after a potentially disastrous start, the annual Week 10 battle with rival Biglerville, which is also 4-1 in the league, could have huge implications. That is something few would have predicted five weeks ago.