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2022 Mid Penn Conference Preview: Commonwealth Division

Written by: on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

 

It’s one of the toughtest leagues in the state. Of that there’s no doubt. For the past couple years It’s been either Harrisburg or Central Dauphin that have taken the crown. This year it looks like a wide open race. Harrisburg returns a lot of talent from last years title team, but State College, Central Dauphin and others also return a good amount of players from last year. It’s gonna be a great race to the finish, so let’s take a look at the teams!


Altoona

The Mountain Lions finished with a 4-7 record last year after upsetting State College in the playoffs the year before. Head Coach Vince Nedimyer is hoping “to have more depth and experience since a lot of young kids got playing time last season.”

The lost a few studs like Ethan Stroup and several others but have some talent returning. Look for the Mt. Lions to be more competitive this year.

Returning:

Manny Miller DL 6’2″ 220 Sr,
Tyson Reid DB/RB 5’10” 175 Sr,
Sean Bettwy DB/RB 5’9″ 175 Sr,
Alex Yost RB/LB 6′ 215 Sr,
Michael Riccio DL/OL 5’10” 210 Sr,
Chandler Brendel 5’10” TE/LB Sr,
Bron Mosley TE/RB/LB 6′ 220 Jr


 Carlisle

The Thundering herd have a nice record to build on from last year. Carlisle went 7-4 and fell to Harrisburg in the first round of the playoffs. This year the Herd is hoping to miss out on the injury bug that has already hit when Eli Hargrove was lost for the season this summer. They return an experienced offensive line such as Charlie Dib, as well as RB/WR Jeremiah Hargrove who will look to carry the load for Carlisle.

Central Dauphin

Usually a contender, the Rams will have to get up to speed in a hurry to continue that trend. They lost “all our passing, rushing, and receiving yardage from 2021 lost to graduation.  Our newcomers on offense will have to arrive ahead of schedule in order to compete against a brutal conference and non-conference schedule. Defensively, our 5 returning starters will need to learn to work with several new faces to match up with some great offenses” according to head coach Glen McNamee.

It’s a young team but expect McNamee to have the Rams playing good football quickly.

Returning:
David Chase senior RB/WR/Safety 6’0” 200 Sam Sauers senior LB 6’0” 215 Jett Franz junior DE/TE 6’3” 225 Evan Bushong junior OL/DL 6’5” 280 Anthony Robsock junior OL 6’6” 260 Xander Toland junior LB/FB 5’10” 190 Carson Cassell senior OL 6’0″ 220 Seth Bowman junior DB 5’11” 175

Newcomers:

Devin Shepherd senior RB/WR/LB (transfer from East Penn)
Kyle McCullough junior LB
I’Zhior Moon junior DL
Nick Kellogg senior TE
Ayden Smith junior WR/DB
Key’Ron Plummer junior QB
Stanley Saintill junior DL
Brayden Snyder senior K


Central Dauphin East

Head coach Lance Deane is entering his second year at the helm of the Panthers. He was a little disappointed in how his team finished last year however, he believes the culture is changing. “We did a lot of good things last year but we left some things on the field.”

This year Deane brought in a few new coaches to help improve at certain areas. East returns sixteen seniors to a team that finished a respectable 7-4 and lost to Hempfield in the District 3 playoffs.


Chambersburg

The Trojans are a team that have some yards to cover before they are a contender but with a large portion of last years 2-8 team returning, Coach Mark Luther is feeling confident.

“We were a very young team during the 2021 season, starting five sophomores at times on both sides of the ball. We gained some valuable experience but look to be a much stronger, mature football team for the 2022 season. We look for our OL and DL to lead the team with starters returning at each position and expect a more mature duo at QB with Jr’s Jermere Jones and Riley Harmon returning. As with any season playing in the Mid Penn Commonwealth division, it will be important that we get off to a good start before we begin conference play”.

The Trojans are off to a unique start to the season as the will host the inaugural Peach Bowl with 6 games on tap. They close the Peach Bowl on Saturday night with District 1 power CB East.

Returning:
CJ Bryant – WR/CB – 6′ 0″ – 155 – SR
Shonathan Desena – OT/DT – 6′ 3″ – 285 – SR
Brice Flenory – TB/FS – 5′ 11″ – 175 – SR
Carter Florey – G/DT – 6′ 2″ – 245 – SR
Bryce Folmar – WR/SS – 5′ 6″ – 150 – SR
Jermere Jones – QB – 6′ 4″ – 180 – JR
Shea Makosy – TE/LB – 6′ 0″ -225 – SR
Andy Jean – WR/CB – 5′ 8″ – 155 – JR
Rhaigeon Parker – 5′ 10″ – 165 – JR
Lucas Lohman – G/DT – 5′ 10″ – 235 – SR
Sedrick Vessah – T/DT – 6′ 3″ – 245 – SR
Chase Stenger – C/DT – 5′ 10″ – 245 – JR
Avery Kuhns – T/DT – 6′ 1″ – 275 – SR
Nick Swartz – OLB – 5′ 11″ – 170 – SR
Riley Harmon – QB – 5′ 10″ – 160 – JR
Elijah Owens – LB – 5′ 10″ – 195 – SR

Newcomers: Pierce Schoenhofen (G/DE), Stanley Lozius (LB), Trever Luther (WR/CB), Jai’tavius Kelly (WR), Brady Deneen (RB), Antonio Harrison (RB), Remyson Feneliace (LB)


Cumberland Valley

Another team with a unique season ahead, the Eagles will see their home field used as the site of the 2022 PIAA State Championships games. The Chapman field has been renovated and coach Josh Oswalt, in his third year at the helm, would like nothing more than to be playing for a title on his own field. “Every week in this conference you line up against another team that can knock you off. We should be ready for the post season” said Oswalt.

QB Isaac Sines and RB J.D. Hunter return to lead an experienced skill set. Sines has all four leading receivers returning. The offensive line will have to gel quickly

Returning:
Isaac Sines, Sr. QB/CB-K
J.D. Hunter, Sr. SB/LB
Griffin Huffman, Sr. WR/FS
Bryce Beutler, Sr. LB
Ridge Crispino, Sr. OL/DL
Jacob Wagenheim, Sr. LB/RB
Paddy Hernjak, Sr. WR/DB/P
Alex Sauve, Jr. LB/TE
Bryce Staretz, Jr RB/LB
Adam Somerville, Jr. WR/DB
Caiden Pines, Jr. WR/DB

Newcomers: Tzuriel Ogunnaik Jr. WR/DB, Anthony Bruscino jJr RB/LB, Kaden Schoenly So. FS/QB; Tyler Merrill Fr. OL-DL


Harrisburg

When you talk Commonwealth title, you always have to include the Cougars. Also playing on a newly renovated field, this year is no exception as coach Cal Everett has an abundance of speed returning from last years title team. Quarterback Shawn Lee and RB Kyle Williams can break the long one at any time. One weakness is at offense line where Cal says “Our key to having a successful offense in 2022 is to make sure our OL is in sync. We have some holes to fill to help protect our QB and open running lanes for our RBs.” Another player to look out for on offense this year is WR Elias Coke who made some noise this summer.

Defensively the Cougars are sound and will give opposing offenses fits. Defensive end Terrell Reynolds is a record breaker when it comes to getting to the QB. The defensive backfield looks like the proverbial “no fly zone” with Amir jones, Williams, NayQuan Prather and Raytel Bryant all returning. This Cougar team has the looks of a team that could get Harrisburg back to the title game.

Returning:
JR. OL Sir Kayne Venable 6-5, 320
SR. RB Kyle Williams 6-0, 185
SOPH. QB Shawn Lee Jr. 6-0, 170
SR. RB Mahkai Hopkins 6-1, 235
SR. OL Tymere Jennings 6-0, 285
Defensive Starters Returning: (9)
Sr. DB/LB Amir Jones 6-2, 190
Jr. DB Raytel Bryant 5-8, 185
Jr. DB NayQuan Prather 5-8, 180
SR. DB Kyle Williams Jr. 6-0, 185
SOPH. LB KyMir Williams 6-0 180
SR. LB Mahkai Hopkins 6-1, 235
JR. DE Micah Chambers 6-0 195
JR. DL Ryan Epps 6-1, 250
SR. DE Terrell Reynolds 6-2, 240

Newcomers: FR. WR Elias Coke, 6-3, 180 FR. OL/DL Kevin Brown 6-5, 230


State College

State College made it to the State Semi-Finals last season but ran into a buzz saw in Mt. Lebanon. Coach Matt Lintal is hoping to build on that sucess and believes the Little Lions are poised to take the next step.

“We are looking to build off of the success we had at the end of last season when we made it to the PIAA 6A State Semi-Finals. We have a team of outstanding young people who are working hard and trusting the process of continual improvement each day. This is a resilient group who will continue to battle, win, lose or draw.”

The Little Lions boast two offensive linemen with D1 offers in Thomas and Michael Dincher. They also have the pleasure of returning not one but two starting quarterbacks, Owen Yerka and Finn Furmanek. Much like last year, expect to see both line up on offense at the same time. Running back Brady Bendick wont be there to pound the line but Ty Salazer and Will Stone are a nice compliment to each other.

Defensively they’ll definitely miss Kyle Kurzinger and Owen Barr. Linebacker Michael Gaul should fill one of those gaps nicely as will Harvard committ Stephen Scourtis. Scourtis is also a big time threat at the tight end position.

Buckle up folks, the Commonwealth title is going to be hard earned this year!

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