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IMG_9903BY JEFF FALK

SOUTH LEBANON – Runners must crawl before they can walk. Falcons must sprout feathers before they can grow wings. And winners must become competitive before they can be put in a position to be successful.

The ultimate goal for the Cedar Crest football team this season is to put itself in positions to win. The way the Falcons have it figured, if they can get there, they’ll discover ways to pull out some victories.

“It’s a process,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Waranavage. “And sometimes it takes a little longer. But before you can win it, you’ve got to be in it. Once you do,it’s a pretty neat thing because you see maturity happening right before your eyes.

“Is winning important? Sure it is,” Waranavage continued. “We’re keeping score for a reason. We have de-emphasized competition so much in our society. A public performance is expected each week from these kids. What I want our kids to know is to keep plugging along, and if you fight the good fight, good things are going to happen.”

IMG_9883In going 2-8 in 2012, Cedar Crest simply wasn’t competitive in a handful of games, most notably in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. Not only were the Falcons shut out four times last season, they surrendered an average of 43 points per outing.

Over the last five years, the Falcons have gone a combined a 10-40. Waranavage has been around for four of those seasons.

“What I remember about last year was missed opportunities,” said Waranavage. “I think our kids played hard in every game. It was just some missed opportunities. When you look back on it, with should’ve, would’ve, could’ves, five wins was very realistic for us. You get a couple of wins and all of a sudden you’re better than you should be.

“Honestly, we very rarely refer to last year,” Waranavage continued. “Even this first game (with Lebanon High), we don’t even talk about what happened (last season). There’s two different teams on the field. We took some nice positive steps last year, but the kids left with the taste that it could’ve been better. The kids have been great. They’ve worked so hard. From start to finish, it’s been one of the best camps I’ve ever had. We got better every day, and we got to work with the kids every day. Summer went so fast for us.”

There is reason for optimism in Falcon land. Cedar Crest is more athletic, seems to be bigger and stronger up front and returns eight starters on offense and nine on defense.

IMG_9916Even the Falcons’ overall numbers are up, to around 64.

“We have a whole lot of stuff we’ve improved on,” said Waranavage. “One thing that’s helped us was our numbers. They’ve allowed us to do things. I think I’ve seen things just from that. Reps are important, but you can get too many reps. A lot of these kids have played with us last year. We had an idea of where these kids could play. Offensively we have to improve and we have to cut down on turnovers.

“I’d like us honestly to be competitive in every game, have a shot to win every game in the fourth quarter,” Waranavage added. “In Weeks Nine and Ten, we got beat up, but we showed something in every other game. You keep beating that door enough and it’s going to open.”

If Cedar Crest’s skill people can be afforded just an extra second of time, they will be able to make big plays.

Quarterbacks Gage Ocker and Josh Bucher are both talented in different ways, and tailback Grant Boehler has exhibited both speed and vision. Split-end Denzel Pierre is the fastest man in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, receiver Damon Edwards is only a step behind him and sophomore Evan Horn has the look of a future Division One player.

IMG_9755“I do think we have some decent skill people,” said Waranavage. “As a group, they can be pretty good. Other teams can take one kid away from us, but we have enough others to figure it out and use it as an advantage.

“Both kids (Ocker and Bucher) will get time at quarterback,” added Waranavage. “Both kids do some different things well. At the end of the day, if I only had one of them, I’d be happy. I don’t buy into it that if you have two quarterbacks you don’t have one.”

The guys up front who will pave the way are Hunter Wise, Austin Elliott, Devon Lutz, Tylique Liberte, Ryan Muller and tight-end Adam Gilson.

“Our offensive line, I’m excited about the whole crew,” said Waranavage. “Those guys could develop into a real nice unit, and we have some depth. That’s a group that practices together, hangs out together and does everything together. We have a nice number of kids back, and we’ve added depth.

“I think offensively, if our offensive line continues to jell, continues to improve, it’s going to help our offense,” Waranavage added. “And defensively, I think we run pretty well.”

Where the Falcons ran really run is at linebacker, where Gilson, Horn, Edwards and Chuck Yost roam. The defensive line of Elliott, Wise, Muller, Lutz, Liberte, Tony Fernandez and Caleb Albright will be charged with the task of keeping blockers off them.

The defensive secondary of Pierre, Josh  Lebo, Antonio Lambakis, Dominic Garloff and Kobe Bolanos is solid.

IMG_9793“I’ve enjoyed working with these kids,” said Waranavage. “I think we’re getting a lot out of them. I think they believe in what we are doing and I think they like what we are doing. Practice is not drudgery.

“Our focus during camp was to get ready for the season,” continued Waranavage. “If you think about it, if this was a district playoff game, you’d only get one week to prepare. Every week is the biggest game of our season. Week One it just happens to be them (the Cedars).  When we get ready for our Week Two opponent, that will be our most important game.”

For Cedar Crest to get where it wants to go, ultimately it will have to beat some Section One clubs.

“It’s tough rebuilding a Section One team,” said Waranavage. “As a coach, you always have a little bit of impatience. I’ve had good kids here. I’ve enjoyed the kids I’ve had here. Sometimes other teams were just better than us.

“We play some very good football teams in Section One,” Waranavage continued. “Lancaster Catholic and Wilson are (numbers) two and three in the state, in wins over the last five years. Our offense has to take care of our defense. When we did that last year, we were competitive, very competitive. Our offense has to take care of the football, and when we have an opportunity to score, we have to take it.”

 

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CEDAR CREST ROSTER

1 Damon Edwards RB/DB Jr.

2 Josh Bucher QB/DB Jr.

3 Josh Lebo WR/DB Sr.

4 Gaber Attalla RB/DB Sr.

5 Gage Ocker QB/LB Sr.

6 Kobe Bolanos RB/DB So.

8 Marq Kintzer RB/DB Jr.

9 Ted Wuori RB/DB Jr.

10 Grant Boehler TB/LB Sr.

11 Antonio Lambakis WR/DB Sr.

12 Steve Roda QB/DB So.

17 Denzel Pierre WR/DB Sr.

18 Austyn Brandt QB/DL So.IMG_9894

20 Matt Mitchell RB/LB So.

21 Dominic Garloff RB/DB Jr.

22 Matt Miller WR/DB So.

23 Landy Cruz WR/LB Jr.

24 Kyrie Gillette RB/DB Jr.

25 Bryson Miller QB/LB Jr.

26 Tyler Roth RB/LB So.

27 Mitch Harsh TB/LB So.

28 David Santos TB/LB So.

30 Chuck Yost TB/LB Jr.

31 Skylar Scherer TE/DE Sr.

32 Jake Kalbach TB/LB So.

33 Evan Horn RB/DB So.

36 Jon Simpson QB/LB So.

39 Zabby Sharifi K So.

40 Paul Marakowski TE/DE Jr.IMG_9905

42 Diego Pacheco-McEvoy K Jr.

44 Austin Garrison TE/DL So.

45 Adam Gilson TE/LB Sr.

49 Tyler Welch TB/LB Sr.

50 Tristin Uhler OL/LB Jr.

51 Hunter Wise OL/DE Sr.

54 Dylan Shellenhamer OL/DL So.

55 Shjon Daub OL/DL So.

56 Chase Ocker OL/LB Jr.

58 Granite Miller OL/DL So.

59 Ben Allen OL/DL Jr.

60 Brad Eisenhauer OL/DL So.

61 Alex Flocken OL/DE So.

62 Austin An OL/DE Jr.

63 David Maciel OL/DL So.

64 Caleb Albright OL/DE Sr.

65 Ryan Muller OL/DL Sr.

66 Tyler Whary OL/DL So.

67 Austin Eisenhour OL/DL So.

68 Devon Lutz OL/DL Sr.

70 Dean Ebersole OL/DL Jr.

71 Tyler Miller OL/DL So.

72 Austin Elliott OL/DL Sr.

73 Tylique Liberte OL/DL Sr.

75 Donovan Pfleiger OL/DE So.

76 Tommy Black P Sr.

77 Tony Fernandez OL/DL Jr.

78 Andrew Tarsa OL/DL So.

80 Luke Allwein WR/DB So.

81 Raymie Ferreira TE/LB So.

82 Jesse Riegel WR/DB So.

83 Logan Tiffany WR/DB So.

84 Dean Zoumas WR/DB So.

85 Andrew Zoumas WR/DB So.

86 Kris Urban WR/DB So.

87 Austin Ritchie TE/DE Sr.

88 Damien Palm TE/DE So.

99 Soren Frost K Jr.

 

FALCONS SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 LEBANON

Sept. 6 at Lower Dauphin

Sept. 13 at Hershey

Sept. 20 WARWICK

Sept. 27 at Wilson

Oct. 4 MANHEIM TOWNSHIP

Oct. 11 at Hempfield

Oct. 18 at McCaskey

Oct. 25 LANCASTER CATHOLIC

Nov. 1 PENN MANOR

Home games in CAPS

Games begin at 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

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