With around a week until LL League Football Media Day and with heat acclimatization practices set to begin on August 8, here are some notables from the grill to pass on …
ROAD WARRIORS: I got some clarification on the Warwick stadium issues from new Warriors sporting director Earl Hazel, who is moving into his new gig this summer. Due to ongoing construction in and around Grosh Field on the Warwick campus in Lititz, the Warriors currently only have three home games on the schedule: August 20 in a scrimmage match against Carlisle; September 16 in the Division 2 opener against Conestoga Valley; and on October 28 in the regular season finale, a Section 2 scrimmage against Governor Mifflin. The problem is the number of seats, or lack thereof, as new bleachers need to be installed in the stadium complex. Carlisle’s scrum is on, because it’s a scrum, and Hazel doesn’t expect a big crowd for a 10 a.m. scrum in late August. Resume play is also a date; Hazel said the school district would bring in extra portable bleacher seats for the battle against the Buckskins, giving Warwick at least one regular-season home game on its roster. As for Governor Mifflin’s game… Hazel said one is still ongoing. Bringing in some extra portable seating might work, depending on how far along the construction is. He said playing the game on a neutral site could also be an option. For now, the game remains on the schedule as the host of Warwick. But stay tuned. Besides the Week 4 CV game, the Warriors’ other seven regular-season games will be on the road for now. Pack some snacks, guys. Lots of snacks.
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FINAL 4: Wilson versatile senior standout cam jones, who returned four punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns last fall when the Bulldogs captured the Division 1 flag and went to the D3-6A championship game, the final four colleges announced. on his recruiting checklist: Holy Cross, Richmond, Army and Navy. Jones also has an offer from Buffalo, and he has visited Penn State, Temple and Virginia Tech.
FINAL 6: Exeter O-line senior batsman Anthony Caccese has 22 scholarship offers and he has announced his latest six on his wish list, including Delaware, William & Mary, UMass, Army, Holy Cross and Kent State. The mighty 6-foot-6, 270-pound, who has already committed to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl, was an All-Berks player last season. This fall, he will be a key cog for reigning D3-5A champions Exeter, who will be thinking big in the Section 2 race.
DIFFICULT BREAKS: Octorara is coming off its best season in program history. In 2021, the Braves won the best eight games on the schedule, finished second in the Section 4 race and made it to the D3-4A playoffs for the first time since joining the LL League in 2018. But when Octorara meets for its first practice acc round on August 8, it will be at least two key contributors. Paulie Murray, hard-nosed defenseman and ball-peddling linebacker, will be on the sidelines, lost for the season to a knee injury. Skipper Jed King — the only coach Octorara football has ever known — had Murray listed as one of his quarterbacks in his preseason ratings, so he’s been tagged to take on an even bigger offensive role this fall. Second, sure Corey D’Antonio — who had four TD receptions in a Week 7 win over Elco last year — left the district. He is now in nearby Oxford. No Murray. Not D’Antonio. But Octorara still hopes to build on last year’s momentum and turn the train around.
A NICE PROBLEM TO HAVE: When Conestoga Valley opens camp under freshman coach Jon Scepanski, the Buckskins will have not one, not two, but three experienced quarterbacks on their roster. Senior Macoy Kneisley (70 of 142 for 1,215 yards, 11 TD, 9 INT in 2021), junior Liam plays (11 of 22 for 111 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT) and sophomore Garrett Daniels (7 of 16 for 71 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs) all took plenty of CV shots last fall. Kneisley is the titular starter; he resumed performing full-time in his second season. But now Cheek and Daniels also have college time under their belts. It will be interesting to see what Scepanski — unveiling his new Pistol Wing-T scheme at Witmer this offseason — does with his trio of callers.
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THIS AND THAT: The last time someone not named Wilson or Manheim Township didn’t win the championship or at least share the Division 1 championship was in 2003. That team? Reading, in their final season in the LL League before jumping ship for the Berks League. The Red Knights, who shared that crown with McCaskey, return to the LL League this fall. Their Section 1 opener is against… Wilson, in Week 4. The Bulldogs and Streaks have been involved in every Section 1 championship since 2004. … Vet Exeter coach Matt Bauer (93-52 at the dawn of his 14th season) needs seven wins for 100 in his career.
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