Barons upbeat at L-L Media Day
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
The 2011 season was supposed to be a rebuilding time for the Manheim Central football team.
Yet the Barons still finished 8-3 and qualified for the District Three Triple-A playoffs.
Unfortunately, things ended on a disappointing note with a 34-31 triple OT loss to Palmyra in the opening round of Districts.
But the good news for Manheim Central is that it has 14 total returning letter-winners on the roster for the 2012 season.
"I think we have the potential to (make a deeper run)," senior tight end/defensive lineman Nate Henry said at L-L League Media Day last Friday. "We have to get together and really work hard and I think we can get a little further than last year. We definitely have the potential, though."
"A lot of our players from last year are back, so we have the experience factor," junior running back/linebacker Ian Hanselman said. "I just think that this year with the players we have and the experience, I think we’ll be able to go a lot further."
One position that they will need to replace, however, is quarterback. Caleb Walton, who accounted for 24 touchdowns last fall with team-highs of 882 rushing yards and 1,492 passing yards, has left big shoes to fill.
At this point, senior Cole Proffitt and junior Colin Fry are battling for the starting spot.
"They both definitely have their strengths, but I think all-around, they’re both great quarterbacks," Geib remarked.
The Barons should also have a solid running game. Senior Justin Greene (159 carries, 482 yards, 3 TD’s) and Hanselman (30-94, 1 TD) are both returning, and junior Marc Royer has transferred from Lancaster Catholic.
"I think our running game is huge," Geib said. "That’s where it’s going to be at. But I think we’re good everywhere right now. The passing game is pretty good. At 7-on-7’s, we’ve been doing pretty well."
The defensive could also be a strength. Henry and senior Chris Lynn, who led the team with 4 and 4 1/2 sacks, respectively, last year both return to help lead the way.
"We also have a bunch of tackles who got experience last year, so I think our defensive line is going to be pretty solid," Hanselman remarked. "It’s going to be fun to watch them."
The Barons kick off their non-league schedule on Friday, Aug. 31, when they renew their rivalry with Warwick at Elden Rettew Field in Manheim.
"We’re very excited because we usually don’t get to play them, and it’s nice to have them back on our schedule," Geib said.
They will also have Lampeter-Strasburg on their schedule, a team which has defeated the Barons three straight times since moving up to Section Two in 2010. Manheim Central travels to Lampeter to face the Pioneers on Oct. 12.
"It’s not as much of a revenge thing, but it’s definitely been our motivation, kind of our driving force," Hanselman said. "We have a quotation by the (Lampeter-Strasburg) coach after last year’s game and that’s kind of our driving force that we think of." More BARONS, page B-4