Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – Manners, morals, traditions. How to have fun.

Family is how you learn the important things. From a utilitarian standpoint, it’s kind of what families are for, what they’re supposed to do.

And if you’re going to have families, then you’re also going to have relationships and generations and legacies. As the Elco football family prepares to embark on its collective 2021 journey, the Raiders are informally honoring those who have come before them while preparing for a way for those who will follow.

“One of the things we’ve seen in the program is an improvement in the team culture,” said Bob Miller, who’s in his tenth season as Elco’s taskmaster. “Just starting with the players and then up to parents and the community. What we’ve seen is the team develop beyond the locker room. Growing as a coaching staff, we moved ourselves from wins and losses to the culture allowing success. I think that’s something that’s been developed and supported throughout the years.

“Ten years ago, we wanted those things,” Miller continued. “But we didn’t put enough emphasis on them. Getting humbled by going 2-8 forced us to focus on what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. It opened our eyes to, ‘if that’s going to be our focus, it’s got to be an everyday focus’.”

That primary focus is centered around the idea that everything must be fun – work, relationships and learning, And if that focus is successful then things like commitment, respect, even wins and championship will follow.

“We’re here to have fun every day,” said Miller. “Early on in my career, I made the mistake of thinking we had to pick up things where we left off. Now, it’s starting from scratch and building from there. From Day One, I try to make sure these kids are enjoying the sport and having a great experience.

“I think it takes the whole group,” added Miller. “Sometimes you’ve got to remind everybody to have fun. These guys do a great job of including everybody. That’s their responsibility.”

So in that way, last year’s 7-1 overall record, the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Four championship and a District Three Class AAAA playoff victory matters, but it doesn’t. There are certainly some passed-on behaviors that can be applied to this – a totally and completely new – season.

“I don’t care about last year right now,” said Miller. “It’s a whole new group of kids, and a new development of team culture and personality. Each year, we’ve had a group of players step up, and then they do stuff on their own.

“What’s important is building that team culture and just living that fun football experience,” continued Miller. “I would say that some of the things that carry over are things that they learned from the year before. What they learned is important to continue.”

Charged with carrying on that budding Elco football tradition are five starters on offense and four on defense.

Offensively, the Raiders are solid in the backfield, in terms of experience and athleticism, with Cole Thomas at quarterback, Luke Williams at fullback, Jake Williams at tailback and Alden Stickler at receiver. Along the line, Nate Henson, Cody Sky and Colin Daub are guys to build around.

“I think one of our strengths is work ethic and effort level,” said Miller. “It’s brutal (weather-wise), but these guys are out there working hard and having fun. If they’re not having fun, they’re not going to come out and give that kind of effort.

“That’s what makes the goal so important,” Miller added. “We want to continue to improve up front, especially on the defensive side of the ball where we lost all four starters.”

Certainly, Daub, Sky and Henson will be asked to pick up some of that defensive slack up front. With Aidon Fritsch, L. Williams, J. Williams and Thomas, the linebacking corps is solid, while Dom Thornton is a more than capable safety.

“We want everybody to have fun,” said Miller. “We want to continue to build the team culture that’s led to success. We want these kids to have a great football experience. They’re (wins and championships) an outcome.

“Since the off season, we’ve had a good core group of guys,” continued Miller. “These guys are committed to bettering themselves and doing it together. Now we’re taking it into the season. They’re guys who are coming together.”

To purchase images in this article please email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

2021 Elco Football Schedule

DateOpponents
8/27
7:00 pm
Susquenita
at Elco

Nonleague
9/03
7:00 pm
Elco
at Schuylkill Valley

Nonleague
9/10
7:00 pm
Elco
at Conrad Weiser

Nonleague
9/17
7:00 pm
Ephrata
at Elco

Nonleague
9/24
7:00 pm
Donegal
at Elco

Nonleague
10/01
7:00 pm
Elco
at Pequea Valley

League
10/08
7:00 pm
Octorara
at Elco

League
10/15
7:00 pm
Northern Lebanon
at Elco

League
10/22
7:00 pm
Elco
at Columbia

League
10/29
7:00 pm
Elco
at Annville-Cleona

League

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


6 × = twenty four