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10 years ago
Believing in Themselves is Falcons’ First Step

 BY JEFF FALK

 There’s nothing quite so exhilirating as the outset of change for the better or the onset of a positive turnaround.

 The air is thick with excitement in South Lebanon, where things are looking up for the Cedar Crest football team. It’s really nothing one can place a finger on – a new attitude here, a more determined approach there and a recommitted work ethic everywhere.

 Exactly when the Falcon metamorphosis will be completed is unclear. A year? Two? Maybe three? What’s important is that the ball is rolling – and picking up momentum.

 “Probably my expectations and the way things have played out have gone hand-in-hand,” said Tom Waranavage, who’s in his third year as the producer of Cedar Crest’s version of ‘Extreme Home Makeover’. “It’s a school that needs a change in beliefs and philosophy. The kids, parents, administration and community have got to understand that if you want to be successful in football it takes committment. We’re starting to see kids who understand what it takes to be successful.

 Falcon spirit hangs high“It takes time to rebuild it,” Waranavage continued. “I think we’re on the right path. Our numbers are up this year. We have 23-24 more kids on the roster than we did at any time last year. Obviously you measure success by wins and losses, and that’s probably the way it should be. But you’ve got to keep things in perspective. This is high school sports.”

 Cedar Crest went 4-6 in Waranavage’s first season and a modest 1-9 a year ago. This season, the Falcons return six players on offense and seven on defense.

 “As frustrating as the season was, I thought our kids tried to continue to play hard,” said Waranavage. “That’s all you can ask of them. I expect us to play hard, physical football. First and foremost, we’ve got to be able to do that if we’re going to be successful. You’ve got to be physical no matter what you do.

“We want to play hard for our school,” continued Waranavage. “As long as you play as hard as you can, the outcome will take care of itself. I don’t think you try to set your kids up for failture.”

One of the things that Cedar Crest has going for it is experience at the most crucial position on the field.  Senior Garrett Levengood is a solid performer, as are tailbacks Rich Ellinger and Erickson Gonzalez and slotbacks Taylor Steinbauer and Nick Bechtold. Senior Daulton Ritter will handle the wide receiving and place kicking chores.

 Manning the trenches will be tight-ends Darin Kline and Brian Wawrzyniak, center Steven Galbraith, tackles Derrick Truax and Patrick Oest and guards Chris Bishop and Bret Sholly. In all, the Falcons count 20 seniors among their 56-man roster.

 “I’ve ever only had one goal,” said Waranavage, “and that is that the last game we play be the best game we play. And important thing in education and athletics is progress. If you progress, I think the scoreboard will take care of itself.

 “I try to stay away from saying we want to win six or seven games,” Waranavage added. “There’s a lot of things that can come into play. But it takes a special kid to go from a 98-perecenter to a 100-percenter. Fans don’t know the 98-percenters. We talk to our kids about giving 100 percent.”

  Homefield advantageThe Falcons’ 4-3 or 4-4 defense will feature Darin Kline and Tim Fierro at the ends, Chris Bishop, Sholly, Brian Kaley or Ryan Young at the tackles, and Wawryzniak, Bechtold, Ryan Smith, Dalton Kalbach, Adam Gilson, Gonzalez or Galbraith as the linebackers. Cedar Crest’s secondary is set with four seniors, Taylor Steinbauer, Ritter, Levengood and Peter Rodriguez.

 “I’m a huge believer, with the way the game is played today, that training, strength training and conditioning are very important,” said Waranavage. “We’re starting to see the results of our off-season work, but it takes time. We’re one of the few programs in our area whose numbers are up. I think that’s a positive, that’s progress. Our next step is having some progress on the scoreboard, on the field.

 “I think they (his players) want to win,” added Waranavage. “They just want to win. I like that. I like coaching them.”

 In addition, Waranavage is encouraging his athletes to become involved in other activities.

 “We want our kids to be multiple-sport athletes,” said Waranavage. “Sometimes we sacrifice some things in the off-season so our kids can do that. I can count on one hand the number of kids who just play football. That’s progress.”

 Waranavage, whose charges open the 2011 campaign on Friday, Sept. 2nd by hosting Lebanon, tabbed Wilson as the team to beat in rugged Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

 “I’d like to think we can play with any of those teams,” said Waranavage. “If I didn’t think that I shouldn’t be coaching. As bad as we were last year with our record, we were in a lot of those games. Not all of those games, but many of them.”

                                                  2011 Cedar Crest Football Schedule

9/2 7:00 PM Lebanon HS
9/9 7:00 PM @ Conrad Weiser HS
9/16 7:00 PM @ Hershey HS
9/23 7:00 PM Warwick HS
9/30 7:00 PM @ Wilson HS
10/7 7:00 PM Manheim Township HS
10/14 7:00 PM @ Hempfield HS
10/21 7:00 PM @ J P McCaskey HS
10/28 7:00 PM Ephrata HS
11/4 7:00 PM Penn Manor HS

                                                      2011 CEDAR CREST FALCON FOOTBALL

Jersey #

Player Name

Grade

Position

Height

Weight

1

Steven Miller

11

WR/DB

5’9

137

2

Dalton Kalbach

11

WR/LB

5’9

160

3

Taylor Steinbauer

12

RB/DB

5’6

170

4

Garrett Levengood

12

QB/DB

6’0

175

5

Gage Ocker

10

QB/DB

6’1

174

6

Brandon Bord

12

RB/DB

5’7

160

8

Daulton Ritter

12

WR/DB/K

5’10

160

9

Jack Wuori

11

RB/LB

5’7

140

10

Grant Boehler

10

RB/DB

5’10

181

11

Antonio Lambakis

10

WR/DB

5’8

140

12

Nick Cascarino

11

QB/DB

6’0

175

17

Rich Ellinger

12

RB/DE

5’11

163

18

Marquis Miller

12

RB/LB

5’10

185

20

Dajour Harrison

10

WR/DB

5’9

145

21

Adam Gilson

10

RB/LB

5’8

160

22

Jeremy Roman

11

RB/DB

5’6

140

23

Peter Rodriguez

12

WR/DB

5’8

143

24

Mike Wealand

11

RB/DB

5’7

160

25

Ryan Smith

12

TE/LB

6’3

175

26

Mark Eppley

12

WR/DB

5’7

165

27

Erickson Gonzalez

11

RB/LB

5’10

185

28

Ryan Muller

10

TE/LB

6’0

205

30

Nick Bechtold

12

RB/LB

5’10

186

32

Tim Fierro

12

RB/DE

5’9

205

36

Brian Wawrzyniak

12

TE/LB

6’2

195

39

Devon Edwards

11

TE/LB

5’10

180

40

Javier Bonilla

11

DL

5’10

200

42

Zack Kressler

11

RB/DB

5’7

140

44

Darin Kline

12

TE/DE

6’2

215

45

Talmon Kreiser

11

RB/LB

6’2

205

49

Mike Nelson

10

LB

5’9

192

50

Skylar Scherer

10

OL/DL

5’7

180

51

Hunter Wise

10

OL/DE

5’6

171

54

John Zug

11

OL/DE

5’10

220

56

Steven Galbraith

11

OL/LB

5’7

207

60

Patrick Donley

10

OL/DL

5’8

188

63

Ivan Young

11

OL/DL

6’1

238

64

Dean Houshower

11

OL/DL

5’10

277

65

Bret Sholly

12

OL/DL

6’2

240

66

Kevin Dechert

11

OL/DL

6’2

305

67

Lukas Gerdes

11

DL

5’9

195

68

Patrick Oest

12

OL/DE

6’0

214

69

Nick Donmoyer

12

OL/DL

5’7

178

71

Allen Kline

11

OL/DE

6’5

240

72

Austin Elliott

10

OL/DL

5’8

218

73

Devin Elder

10

OL/DL

5’8

207

75

Brian Kaley

11

OL/DL

6’3

285

76

Ryan Young

11

OL/DL

5’8

218

77

Chris Bishop

12

OL/DL

5’10

266

78

Derrick Truax

12

OL/DE

6’1

190

80

Nick Trainer

12

WR/DB

6’1

164

81

Josh Lebo

10

WR/DB

5’10

155

83

Brandon Henriquez

10

WR/DB

5’8

126

84

Denzel Pierre

10

WR/DB

6’1

170

85

Kyle Robins

12

TE/DE

6’1

185

86

Michael Pityk

11

TE/DE

5’9

165

 

 

 

 

 

 

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