Back-yard rivals prepare to write another chapter

By on August 31, 2016
Warwick quarterback Tyler Trimarchi

Warwick quarterback Tyler Trimarchi

The lights will be back on this Friday night at Manheim Central’s Elden Rettew Field for the start of another high school football season.

And for the fifth straight season, back-yard rivals Warwick and Manheim Central will square off on opening night.

In the history of the series, dating back to 1948, the Barons own a 36-15-5 advantage and are currently riding a 20-game winning streak.

The Warriors will be looking to bounce back from a tough 48-16 loss at the hands of the Barons in the 2015 game and earn their first win over MC since 1983, when they posted a 14-0 shutout.

Recently, Lititz Record sports editor Bruce Morgan sat down with Barons’ coach Dave Hahn and Warriors’ boss Bob Locker to get their thoughts about the game.

Bruce Morgan: How excited are you to get going with the 2016 season?

Bob Locker: Absolutely, all football teams put a lot of work in during the off-season and this is what you do it for, to get a chance to play on Friday night. So I’m very excited.

Dave Hahn: We’re real excited about the season coming up. It’s that time. School has started for us and the kids are ready to light up the scoreboard and get it going. They’re tired of hitting each other. Even though you have the scrimmages, they’re ready for it to count. So we’re excited.

BM: From what you’ve heard or seen of Warwick, how much improved are they?

DH: I’m impressed with their size and they’ve got some athletic kids out there. And from the last couple of years, I’d say this is the first time in a while that I’ve seen them get the better of Cocalico in the scrimmage. That hasn’t always been the thing. So I think they’ve got some things going on over there and they have some talent. They’ve got some good skill kids and bigger linemen now.

BM: What are your impressions of Warwick’s quarterback Tyler Trimarchi?

DH: I think he’s good. I think he’s a good kid.

BM: How excited are you to see what your QB Kody Kegarise can do in this game against Warwick with last year’s experience under his belt?

DH: I’m excited to see what Kody can do throughout the year. I don’t want to put too much on him for this first game. I think the biggest mistake would be saying, ‘Here’s the key to the car, go, without continually reminding him, tutoring him, getting him where he needs to be and then just keep building on our offense. His production will improve, it will increase throughout the year. We want him to start off where he ended last year, but I don’t want to put too much pressure on him where he thinks he’s got to do everything because then I think that can be counter-effective. We could end up going backwards. So I want to be a little bit cautious of that too.

BM: Coach Locker, is Kegarise really Manheim Central’s engine on offense?

BL: Yes, he’s an excellent high school quarterback, he makes good decisions, he can run as well as throw and they put him in a position where he makes decisions on the fly and he makes very good decisions.

BM: Manheim Central always a good line. How does their line this year stack up with what you’ve seen other years?

BL: I would say they’re very good this year. Their kids move well, they run the Horn scheme exceptionally well, their linemen are well-coached and it shows in film.

BM: How do you feel like you match up with them this year with the linemen you have back?

BL: We have kids back that are experienced. You have scrimmages to get ready for this stuff. You can kinda surmise what you think is going to happen, but mostly I just want to get them out on the field and see. I think they’re ready to go, I think they’re ready to play and find out how they measure up against a real quality football team.

BM: Back to you coach Hahn, how excited are you to see what your defense can do with some of the guys you have on that side of the ball?

DH: I’m excited to see what we do. I’ll be more excited when I see us stop them on a continual basis. As excited as I am, I’m also a little bit nervous because we’ve been tested in some scrimmages and we’ve gone against two quality opponents and they’ve helped to identify some of our weaknesses. So we’ve been working hard at those and making adjustments and hopefully those adjustments pay off and help make us better. That’s what we need to find out in this week one game.

BM: Coach Locker, it seems like in years past, you’ve been right there at the half, within a possession or two maybe. Then in the second half, Manheim Central has been able to open it up. What will you have to do to get over the hump this year?

BL: Learn to play an entire football game in week one. There have been some years, and it’s been awhile, but we’ve had three, four kids out with cramps, and we need to find out if the off-season work we did is going to pay dividends in terms of being in shape and being able to go an entire football game. And then kinda anticipate what the halftime adjustments are going to be and be ready to make adjustments to (MC’s) adjustments.

BM: Beating a quality team like Manheim Central, what would that do to set the tone for your season?

BL: Obviously, it would give the kids reason to believe that the hard work they’ve put in is going to pay dividends, or has paid dividends, and that they’re capable of being a quality football team.

BM: How much does their running back Jay Barreto and their returning receivers concern you?

BL: The nature of their offense is they run right at you and they’ve got some nice-looking running backs. But I think the heat and soul of their team is their offensive line. And like I said, Kegarise is a real quality high school quarterback. So they have several running backs I’ve seen them use and they have a couple wideouts back, but I think, like I said, their team starts with their line.

BM: What can you tell me about your offensive game plan against them?

BL: We need to be balanced run-pass wise. We’re going to have to be able to run our base plays effectively, try to pick and choose what we do and when we do it. We’re just going to have to be consistent in our execution.

BM: Coach Hahn, your team has had the upper hand against Warwick, but it’s still a good rivalry that you have there. What are your expectations for Friday night?

DH: I think we expect to come into the game and compete. We want to win. That’s our expectation. Any time we take the field, we want to win. But I don’t take Warwick lightly at all. They’re a good team, they’ve been there, the coaching staff has been there for awhile, so they know what they want to do and I think they’ve got some of the tools to do it this year. I know they play it pretty close to the vest during camp. They don’t show a lot on offense necessarily and they don’t show a lot on defense. So you kinda wonder what they’re actually going to do during the game. But other than that, we expect to go into the game (and) compete. We want to win, so we’re going to play hard and we’re going to go for a victory.

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