By Marissa Burd
At the end of fall 2016, the Red Lion varsity football team went undefeated for the season. Can the team repeat last year’s success?
With a forfeiture by Chambersburg in game 3, the Lions go into the homecoming game sharing a 3-0 record with opponent William Penn, setting up a battle for a No. 1 ranking.
As Coach Jesse Shay goes on his fifth year of coaching Red Lion varsity football, he reminds fans, “Last year is last year, and those kids are gone.”
For the 2017 season, the varsity captains are Denny Dennison, Jamel Foster, Jake Waldrup, and Zach Throne.
“The key football players understand what to do as a program,” Coach Shay said, “Do the right thing and lead [the team] to success.”
The team was said to “naturally bond” when football meets year round, whether they’re in the weight room, or at a preseason practice.
“I think routine is very important for preparing for competition,” Shay said.
Senior captain Denny Dennison plays wide receiver/cornerback for the varsity team.
“We’ve done a lot of things to bond with the team--the upperclassmen and the younger group--to get more of a team atmosphere,” said Dennison. “You can trust one another.”
“We are making sure the plays are as crisp as they can be,” said Dennison, “We are working on 20 plays nonstop to get them to perfection.”
“As soon as we get ‘em down we’ve got to keep pushing. No breaks. No stops,” said Dennison.
Though fan favorite games are against rivals Dallastown and Central, “The most important games are the next ones,” Coach Shay said.
Captain and senior Jake Waldrup who plays center and tackle, has been playing football since the fourth grade.
“We all know what we’re doing,” said Waldrup, “If we make a mistake we will adjust it and get it right the next play.”
The fans, Rowdies, band, and cheerleaders all help contribute to a win, according to Shay. “It’s their team versus our school,” he said. “We’ve been lucky to have them all.”
Friday, Sept. 1 kicked off the first game of the season. The Lions came home from Waynesboro with a 35-7 win.
A week after the season’s kickoff, the Lions were home, at Horn Field, and left with a 35-14 victory.
Kickoff for the homecoming game is Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.
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