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 BY JEFF FALK

 PALMYRA – There’s a lot to be said for consistency. When it comes to Lebanon County football programs, you know what you’re getting out of the Palmyra Cougars, year-in, year-out, week-in, week-out.

 Palmyra has made a habit of beating the teams its better than, surprising the teams who are better than it and competing every time out. The key to the Cougars’ success has originated from three basic sources – stability, preparation and an uncanny ability to flip a switch when the lights come on.

 As Palmyra prepares for its 2019 campaign, the Cougars are simply looking for more of the same. Sometimes maintaining can be a difficult task, but it can also be a precursor to taking the next step.

 “I appreciate that,” said Palmyra head coach Chris Pope. “We work very hard to get everything out of what we have. Every school is going to have ebbs and flows, go up and down. We work really hard to maximize our ability.

 “I think we’re (the program) in a good place right now,” added Pope. “We’ve had to change the climate of the program and the culture of the program. I remember one year we went 6-4 and the players were upset because they thought we underachieved. I feel like what’s expected has changed. Wins are an expectation that we want to achieve at this level.”

 Last year’s campaign was merely an extension of that process.

 Palmyra went 8-2 during the regular season and again qualified for the District Three postseason. But there are some notable voids that remain to be filled.

 “We did a great job of getting that team to perform,” said Pope, who’s in his 13th seaon of heading the program. “I have a great coaching staff and they did a good job of getting people where they needed to be. But we’d all like to see the program get into the playoffs and advance past the first round.

 “We want to take that next step,” Pope added. “We’ve done a good job of getting the program pointed in the right direction. We’d like to push into the playoffs, not just get into the playoffs.”

 Evaluating talent and needs, moving players around and players taking advantage of their opportunities will once again be critical for the Cougars.

 The fact that Palmyra’s roster of 50 players is comprised of a large senior class bodes well for it. The Cougars return six starters on offense and seven on the defensive side of the ball.

 “It depends on how you look at it,” said Pope. “I think it’s both. This is a new season, but there is some carry-over from last year. We talk about it at the beginning and we talk about it at the end. There are people who are still here and I think they’re carrying over expectations that were molded last year. Everybody wants to do better than they did last year. But this is a new team and there’s different challenges.

 “You always want to get better,” continued Pope. “We spent so much time together in the off-season, we know what we have to do. There’s not a whole lot of juniors, so we’re asking some of the sophomores to contribute. We have our work cut out for us.”

 The guys who will make the Cougars go reside up front, along the offensive and defensive lines. It is a group spearheaded by senior Jake Miller, senior Justin Arndt, junior Tyler Shertzer and junior Justin Uhler.

 “I like the chemistry of this team,” said Pope. “We have some really good leaders. We have a lot of connection from top to bottom, because there’s not a lot in the middle. Somewhere at LVC (team camp), we found ourselves, and we’ve been building on it ever since. I like their character and their work ethic.

 “We’ve had to replace a couple linemen,” Pope continued. “We’re in a situation where we’re digging a little deeper. We’re going to have sophomores contributing on Friday nights.”

 Palmyra is talented at the skill positions as well. Senior quarterback Stephen Lyons is in line to take over the reigns of the offense, while senior receiver Kasey Shughart, senior receiver Nick Morder, junior athlete Seth Robertson, senior end Frank Errichetti, senior running back Brandon Luft, senior running back Mike Petrino and senior running back Ethan Burkholder all figure to get their hands on balls.

 “It’s always fun to win,” said Pope. “I don’t know if I have a certain number of wins in mind. We all want to go to the playoffs. We want to play our best and prepare our best.

 “I’m excited for what the year holds,” continued Pope. “As a staff, you always want to assess the coaching job you’re doing. Are we able to get them (the players) where we need to?’

 Palmyra will begin its 2019 season on Friday, August 23rd at rival Hershey.

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Palmyra Football Schedule

Date Opponent  
8/307:00p
Location: Mechanicsburg High School
 
9/67:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
9/137:00p
Location: East Pennsboro High School
 
9/207:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
9/277:00p
Location: Steelton-Highspire High School
 
10/47:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
10/117:00p
Location: Milton Hershey High School
 
10/187:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
 
10/257:00p
Location: Palmyra High School
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Palmyra Football Roster

           
Number Name Class Height Weight Position
3 Seth Robertson 11 5-7 150 QB/DB
4 Nick Morder 12 5-9 150 WR/DB
5 Brady Holwig 10 5-8 180 QB/LB
6 Kasey Shughart 12 5-8 160 WR/DB
7 Levi Toure 10 5-6 185 RB/LB
8 Jacob Deimling 10 5-9 150 WR/DB
10 Stephen Lyons 12 6-1 195 QB/LB
11 Jase Jones 10 5-9 155 WR/DB
13 Sam Landon 11 5-7 150 RB/DB
14 Frank Errichetti, III 12 6-0 185 WR/LB
15 Jack Stretch 11 6-0 180 WR/DE
17 Max Klipa 10 5-8 130 WR/DB
18 Garrett Kohr 12 5-9 150 P
19 Manny Rose 10 5-9 150 K
20 Anthony Mansfield 10 5-9 135 WR/DB
21 Justin Uhler 12 6-0 180 TE/LB
22 Zach Machinga 12 5-5 150 RB/LB
23 Emiliano Rodriguez 12 5-9 220 RB/LB
24 Nick Wallaesa 11 5-6 150 RB/DB
25 Derrick Witherson 10 5-10 155 WR/DB
26 Richie Kowalski 10 5-7 140 RB/DB
30 Brandon Luft 12 5-7 165 RB/DB
31 Matt Hines 12 6-0 170 K
32 Mike Petrino 12 5-7 210 RB/LB
33 DaShaun Nye 10 5-5 150 RB/LB
34 Drew Chapin 12 6-0 155 WR/DB
35 Brady Coburn 11 5-9 140 WR/DB
42 Maverick Lebo 11 6-4 185 TE/DL
43 Ethan Burkholder 12 5-10 170 RB/LB
50 Jake Miller 12 6-0 255 OL/DL
52 Skylar Sears 10 5-11 190 OL/DL
53 Derek Reyes-Leon 10 5-5 265 OL/DL
54 Jordan Blauch 10 6-1 220 OL/DL
55 Jake Durant 10 5-7 175 OL/DL
56 Jaden Kreiser 12 6-1 210 OL/DL
61 Gavin Trostle 10 5-9 195 OL/DL
63 Alex Fuhrman 10 5-8 175 OL/LB
64 John Balchunas 10 6-1 230 OL/DL
65 Daniel Steskal 10 5-7 170 OL/DL
67 Jonathan Eisenhooth 10 6-2 230 OL/DL
71 Conner Holzman 10 6-0 215 OL/DL
72 Wesley Reid 12 5-10 215 OL/DL
73 Luke Gaugler 10 6-2 170 OL/DL
74 Justin Arndt 12 6-0 260 OL/DL
75 Kyle Chapin 9 5-10 200 OL/DL
76 Christian Ruiz 12 5-7 200 OL/DL
82 Joseph Pallone 12 6-1 170 WR/LB
84 Tristan Murawski 11 6-1 160 WR/DB
85 Deacon James Turner 10 5-7 145 WR/DB
87 Tyler Shertzer 11 6-3 210 TE/DL

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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