Coach: Wayne Snelbaker (first season) // YAIAA Division II // District 3 // Class AAA
Matt Goul / GameTimePA.com
Even if it is just six miles away, Wayne Snelbaker is home. The former West York defensive line coach is the second straight person with a defensive background to take the lead job at Dover, where Snelbaker graduated in 1990. Eric Lam was the Eagles' defensive coordinator before taking over in 2013.
This time around, the Eagles are expected to switch offensive philosophies from a run-heavy wing-T to a spread -- which could still favor shifty 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior running back Durran Ledbetter.
"I like it," Ledbetter said. "You wouldn't think a running back would like the spread that much, but I really do like it."
As a junior, Ledbetter rushed for team highs of eight touchdowns and nearly 700 yards. Senior quarterback Tyler Blazosky is back from injury, and senior center Matt Farr earned honorable mention honors at center from league coaches.
Last season's Eagles' squad was ravaged by injuries during a 5-5 campaign. In addition to Blazosky, its other top two rushers did not finish the season.
Defensively, Ledbetter and senior Derek Breneman will anchor the linebacker corps. Breneman suffered gruesome leg injuries -- a broken fibula and ankle -- in October but is ready to go.
Quarterback >> Blazosky will be asked to do more with the change of offenses. He split time as a sophomore, serving as the relief man for a physical runner and converted running back in Logan Ambrose. A leg injury sidelined Blazosky for much of last season.
Running backs >> Ledbetter, a first-team coaches pick for Division II last year, is joined by fellow seniors John Sterner (5-9, 155), Joey Zutell and Waynesboro transfer Brett Mohn (5-10, 175).
Receivers >> Breneman (6-2, 200) played some tight end but also will be used in the slot and split end. Seniors Kire Watkins (5-11, 165) and Caden Snyder (5-9, 165) are experienced but should see more action in the spread.
Offensive line >> This group lost two sizeable longtime starters in tackle Levin Murphy and guard Tyler Jacobson. They were all-league performers, but so was Farr (6-3, 270). He will be surrounded by a younger -- but not small -- group that includes Murphy's sophomore brother, Shad, junior Andrew Shaffer (6-0, 230), sophomore Nathan Farr (6-1, 240).
Defensive line >> This group must replace two all-league pass rushers in Shawn Orchard and Malik Allen. Sophomore Chase Heath, a 6-2 linebacker last year, could move into the line.
Linebackers >> Ledbetter and Breneman return here. Zutell and Snyder also play here.
Secondary >> Sterner can play both corner and safety, while Snyder is experienced in this unit. Watkins also returns and can play corner or free safety.
Senior Josh Bradley returns to handle kicking duties, while Ledbetter can return kicks.
Save the date >> A week after homecoming against Reading, the Eagles visit York Suburban on Oct. 23 and West York the following week. Both handed Dover its only league losses last season.
Bottom line >> Two home games, followed by road matchups against Red Land and Gettysburg, two squads hurt by graduation, gives Dover the chance to build early momentum.
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
W // Shippensburg // 42-17
L// Big Spring // 35-36
L // @ Red Land // 21-38
W // @ Gettysburg // 25-14
W // Eastern York // 7-6
W // @ Kennard-Dale // 41-20
*L // Reading // 7-26
L // @ York Suburban // 27-55
L // West York // 39-14
L // @ Susquehannock // 13-44
Result // Opponent // Score
W // Shippensburg // 34-13
L // Big Spring // 9-10
L // Red Land // 7-27
W // Gettysburg // 22-16
W // Eastern York // 28-12
W // Kennard-Dale // 34-14
L // Reading // 20-27
L // York Suburban // 21-36
L // West York // 0-51
W // Susquehannock // 45-16