Coach: Jon DeFoe (117-57 in 16 seasons) // YAIAA Division III // District 3 // Class AA
Brandon Stoneburg / GameTimePA.com
No team in the league returns fewer starters than Bermudian Springs, but head coach Jon DeFoe won't let his Eagles temper their expectations.
"The expectations aren't any different," DeFoe said despite returning just one starter on either side of the ball. "Our goal is to defend our division title. Will we look a little different as a team? Yeah, we probably won't be as explosive, but for us, it comes back to playing good defense, first and foremost. We still have the same expectations, we just might get there in a different way."
A year removed from an 11-1 season, Eagles fans might have to check their programs to recognize some of the new faces in the starting lineup. Gone are all-state safety Ryan Markle and the all-league backfield duo of Colton Dull and Briton Shelton. In their place will be a myriad of new names, DeFoe said.
Quarterback >> Senior Tristan Hoke will take over for Markle under center. Hoke has earned his opportunity in the program, DeFoe said, and it will be his job to lose.
"He has paid his dues," DeFoe said of Hoke.
Running backs >> Even with Dull and Shelton's departure, DeFoe pointed at this position as a strength on offense. Look for Ashton West and Quinton King to get the majority of carries in Bermudian's wing-T system.
Receivers >> The Eagles don't bring back a single player who caught a pass last season, so there's a long list of guys who are going to be competing for the starting spots, DeFoe said.
Offensive line >> Logan Luckenbaugh returns as a starter on the offensive line, but after him, the other starting spots are a question mark.
"We're more concerned with putting a line together that can make production from the skill positions possible," DeFoe said. "The line is going to look a lot different physically than last year. It'll be anchored by Luckenbaugh, then some other guys who are going to be competing."
Defensive line >> Junior Dorian Steele received high praise from DeFoe and Luckenbaugh as someone to keep an eye on in the trenches.
"He's a guy who we think can really have a good year," Defoe said.
Linebackers >> King and Isaiah Fannin return and will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Michael Ogle and Brennan Waltermyer.
Secondary >> Markle led the league with nine interceptions last season.
The competition to fill that void is wide open in camp, DeFoe said.
The Eagles will have to replace Connor Zahm, who connected on 55 of 58 extra points last season.
Save the date >> How could it not be the season finale against Biglerville? The division title could come down to that Nov. 6 matchup on Bermudian's new home turf. The Canners will be looking to avenge last season's 42-7 blowout.
The Eagles haven't lost to Biglerville since 2008.
Bottom line >> The Eagles have almost always reloaded rather than rebuilt during DeFoe's time at the helm, so barring any major setbacks, Bermudian should be safely in the playoff hunt come November.
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
L // New Oxford // 21-24
L // @ Boiling Springs // 0-21
L // @ Shippensburg // 16-26
L // Hanover //14-22
W // @ Fairfield // 42-12
W // York County Tech // 34-8
W // @ Delone Catholic // 20-17
*W // York Catholic // 20-17
W // @ Littlestown // 35-0
L // Biglerville // 14-17
Result // Opponent // Score
W // New Oxford // 34-7
W // Boiling Springs // 36-6
W // Shippensburg // 21-0
W // Hanover // 50-14
W // Fairfield // 48-0
W // York County Tech // 46-0
W // Delone Catholic // 38-0
W // York Catholic // 42-21
W // Littlestown // 42-0
W // Biglerville // 42-7
District 3 Class AA
- Quarterfinals // W // Schuylkill // Valley // 42-0
- Semifinals // L // Wyomissing // 7-26