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2017 Team Preview – Northern Polar Bears (3)

Written by: on Thursday, August 24th, 2017. Follow David Mika on Twitter.

 

Head Football Coach:          Bill Miller 16th year as a head coach                   (2nd at Northern) (14 at Dover) (27th overall)

Varsity Assistants:         Brad Livingston, Scott Link, Brian Robison, Pat Hicks, Marty Green, Robbie Bleiler, Jason Stacknick

Jr. High Head Coach:         Chuck Thomas

Jr. High Assistants:         AJ McKay, Craig Hertzog, Hank Sanders

Record in 2016: 7 – 4 District Qualifier (1st round)

2017 Schedule:

Offense: Multiple

Defense: 4-4, 4-3

Key Losses to Graduation:         

Curtis Robison 12th (QB/LB)

Kyle Goss 12th (OL/DL)

Austin Wenger 12th (OL/LB)

Joey Razzano 12th (WR/DB)

Dylan Baxter 12th (WR/DB)

John Kearney 12th (WR/DB)

Jared Sutch 12th (TE/LB)

Aiden Alves 12th (K)

 

Key Returners:

Nick Lerew 12th (OL/LB)

Kyle Swartz 10th (RB/LB)

Blake Sanchez 12th (OL/DL)

Jake Coover 12th (RB/LB)

Steve Yurchison 12th (WR/LB)

AJ Lodovici 12th (TE/LB)

Zarrick Jordan 12th (RB/DL)

Spencer Breski 11th (OL/DL)

Wyatt Lewis 12th (RB/DL)

Joe Samsel 11th (OL/LB)

 

 Strengths for 2017: Several returning offensive lineman, linebackers,and backfield personnel highlight a bright spot for a team that lost 20 seniors from 2016. Returning starters Nick Lerew, Blake Sanchez, Joe Samsel, AJ Lodovici, and Spencer Breski head an experienced offensive line. Kyle Swartz returns following an excellent freshman campaign as tailback and Jake Coover returns as another running back with experience. Lerew, Lodovici, Coover, and Steve Yurchison return as linebackers on the defensive side along with Wyatt Lewis and Zarrick Jordan as defensive linemen.

 

Weaknesses for 2017: Several questions need to be answered in the quarterback position as the team suffers the graduation of 3-year starter Curtis Robison. There is also a need for receiver and defensive backfield personnel to fill the gaps from graduation in those areas as well. Graduation of 20 seniors from last year’s very successful squad will create some large shoes to fill.

 

Coaches Outlook: There exist many question marks among the senior class. We are hoping that this class will develop the kind of leadership quality that they have enjoyed in their junior years. Coming off our second consecutive district appearance in a long time should be a source of motivation for this group to continue the winning tradition of the past and revisited the last 2 seasons.

We are trying to find ways to motivate players to put more dedication into the program. Continuing to develop a strong running game is always main concern. Through a change in our summer workouts and attending a team camp at Lebanon Valley, we hope to develop positive team unity. The emergence of several underclassmen is seen as a positive. We will continue to try to develop model citizens as well as good football players through the use of stricter team policies and practices. Overall, the coaches are excited about this group of returning players in addition to the younger players, and are looking forward to 2017.

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