Barons optimistic for another run

By on August 17, 2016
 Manheim Central seniors (left to right) Elliot Martin, Nick Brown, and Kody Kegarise, will be key leaders for the Barons this fall. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim Central seniors (left to right) Elliot Martin, Nick Brown, and Kody Kegarise, will be key leaders for the Barons this fall. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Pre-season football camp this summer for senior Kody Kegarise has been a whole lot different than it was a year ago.
Manheim Central’s second-year starting QB just feels more at home.
And that could be scary news for opposing defenses, considering the dual-threat signal-caller still passed for 1,402 yards and eight TD’s, while rushing for 833 yards and 11 scores in the 2015 season.
“This year, I’m a whole lot more comfortable than I was last year. Practice is a lot more fun. I’m not getting yelled at as much anymore,” Kegarise said smiling at the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s Media Day last Friday. “I’m able to communicate with the coaches a lot better, instead of having to learn everything. I’m just able to talk with them on a football level more and understand what they’re telling me. That makes it easier.”
Overall, Kegarise is one of 16 returning varsity letter-winners for the Barons (10-3 overall, 6-1 L-L), who earned a share of the Section Two crown and advanced to the District Three Triple-A playoff semi-finals in Dave Hahn’s first season as head coach a year ago.
Joined by seniors Elliot Martin (6-foot-1, 222), a lineman, and Nick Brown, who led MC in tackles from his middle linebacker spot last year, Kegarise talked about their roles as leaders this year.
“We’ve been really focusing on leadership and we’ve been saying that we’re going to go as as far as us seniors and leaders can take us,” he said. “We’re just going to keep working hard. We’re going to play every game just like the other.”
“Senior year,” Martin said, “we’re really going to go out there and go for it all.”
Martin is one of three returning linemen up front for Manheim Central this fall. The Barons graduated leading ground-gainer Damon Camacho (225 rushes, 1,322 yards, 21 TD’s), but Kegarise and senior Jay Barreto (38-305, 4 TD’s) are both back.
“I’m pretty excited just to have the main corps,” Martin said. “A couple spots might be a little new, but we’re going to keep working.”
Brown, meanwhile, is a key returning player on the defensive side of the ball, having played a huge role in helping the Barons limit opponents to 14.5 points per game last fall. He finished with a team-high five QB sacks in 2015.
“I think we’ve always had a history of hitting hard and just being mean and tough,” Brown said of the team’s defensive strengths. “Our front is pretty solid, we have some new guys in the backfield, but we have some returning guys, so I think we’re good.”
Manheim Central kicks off the non-league season on Sept. 2 hosting back-yard rival Warwick, then meets Donegal and West York the next two weeks. The Indians and Bulldogs replace Hempfield and Cedar Crest on MC’s non-league slate.
“We don’t know too much about those guys,” Kegarise said, “but we’re going to treat them like everybody else &tstr; prepare for them just as much.”
The Barons will get their Section Two schedule underway at Lampeter-Strasburg on Sept. 23.

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