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- Kreider Farms opens silo observation tower
- ‘Hello, Dolly!’ opens Thursday at EPAC
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Barons ‘thrilled’ with two All-State selections Royer, Zunich receive honors
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com
, Staff Writer
Call it a couple of early Christmas presents for the Manheim Central football team.
Wrapped with a bow from the Barons’ 13-1 season this fall were well-deserved honors for senior running back Marc Royer and junior offensive guard Chad Zunich, who were selected to the 2013 Pennsylvania Football Writers’ All-State Triple-A team.
"It’s quite a thrill to get two," Manheim Central coach Mike Williams said. "With some of the players we had, we thought we’d get someone, but you just never know. One is great, two is really good. We’re very happy."
In senior tight end/linebacker Taylor Geib and junior fullback/linebacker Justin Moreno, the Barons had a couple of other candidates for All-State honors as well. Geib was named to the squad last year as a tight end.
"We thought we could get two and I was hoping Taylor and Justin would get something too," Williams said. "(With Taylor), sometimes they just look at the statistics – they don’t actually look at everything. And Justin had a great season. Two other kids were probably close to being selected. Put it this way, we’re happy with two and can’t complain."
There were certainly no complaints about what Royer brought to the offense this season. Blessed with supreme quickness and cutting ability, the 5-foot-9, 180-pound back ran for 2,264 yards (9.6 avg) and 24 TD’s. He ran for more than 100 yards in 11 of the Barons’ 14 games this fall, including a season-high 250 against Cocalico in the District Three Triple-A semi-finals.
"Marc has skills that you can’t really teach – it’s just a gift that he has," Williams remarked. "He’s very elusive. He has several levels of speed. When he gets into the open, he can pull away. I think he proved that against some of the speed that Bishop McDevitt had. It’s natural skills, things you don’t teach (like) elusiveness, he actually ran over people even though he was relatively small by comparison. He really was the real deal. It was easy to coach. We had a good line up front, and if he got a little bit of space, he was really hard to tackle. It was one of those things where other normal kids might get five yards, he could get 20."
Zunich, of course, was a big part of that line up front. In fact, Williams described him as one of the Barons’ top offensive linemen in program history.
The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder helped to pave the way for the Barons to rush for an average of 315 yards per game. As a team this year, Central won its first Section Two championship since 2009 and advanced to the District Three Triple-A finals while averaging more than 45 points a game.
"Chad’s a block of granite," Williams said. "He is just a solid, hard-working player and just the nicest kid you can imagine on top of that. But he’s very steady and we’re really looking forward to having him back next year to see what mountains he can climb. We feel he’s got potential to play some Division-One football with his size and strength. We’ll see what happens with that. And of course Dave Hahn, our line coach, he gets a lot of credit for bringing Chad along and developing him as one of our best offensive linemen of all time."
The hope for Royer is that he ends up at a Division-Two school to play at the next level.
"We’ve had some Division-Two schools look at him and nothing’s settled yet, but he is going to be a real treat for somebody to have," WIlliams said. "He’s just got that ability, so we’re hoping Division-Two and I think he’d like to play in the PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) someplace."
More BARONS, page B-6