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tyler hodgesBY JEFF FALK

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LVC

They’ve done some good things, but not great things.

They’ve made some strides, but not not gotten over the hump.

They’ve developed some pieces, but have not put everything together.

Is this the season that the Lebanon Valley College football program takes the next step under Joe Buehler?

This year is like every year for the Flying Dutchmen in that they have set realistic and unattainable goals for themselves. But it may be that there are some things Lebanon Valley would like to accomplish that aren’t being verbalized.

LVC has gone a combined 9-11 in Buehler’s first two seasons as the Flying Dutchmen’s head coach. Included in that is a 5-5 2017 in which Lebanon Valley went 5-4 and finished fifth in the Middle Atlantic Conference.

This season will mark the 122nd of Lebanon Valley College football.

“You’ve got to keep building,” said Buehler. “There’s some really good signs. The demeanor we’ve had in practice and off the field, can we stay that way on game day? I call that mental toughness. If we can, we have a great chance. I like to say that on game day you either get psyched up or psyched out.

kody kegarise“This school means a lot to me,” continued Buehler. “It’s where I became who I am today. I have a staff, and they’re good coaches, but they’re even better men. That’s the kind of thing that makes it a real honor for me to coach here.”

Last year was not without its positives for LVC. There were inspiring wins over Stevenson and Lycoming, but also disappointing losses to Delaware Valley and rival Albright.

This season, the Flying Dutchmen were picked to finish sixth in the MAC, through a preseason vote of its coaches.

“I thought we had a very competitive team,” said Buehler. “We won games we should win. We hit one of our goals – we wanted Week Ten to matter. But for the first time all season (in a 28-14 loss to Albright that concluded the campaign), we turned the ball over in key times. Our kids went into the off-season not wanting that to happen again. They wanted to work hard.

“I think there is carry-over from last year,” Buehler continued. “The bulk of the football team was there. But at the same time, 2018 is not 2017. They (his players) have established their own identity. It’s a chance for them to set their mark.”

Buehler is currently molding a roster that consists of 124 student-athletes, 27 of whom are seniors. The Flying Dutchmen return eight starters on defense and seven on offense.

“There are areas where we want to try to improve on,” said Buehler. “Everyone’s – coaches, players – trying to do better each day. That attitude can serve you in life well. We want to be the very best football team, very best football program, we can be. I don’t know if you ever reach that level, but it’s worth striving for.

“I like where we are right now,” added Buehler. “But we’re not ready to play F&M (in the season opener) yet. We’ve got some young guys in key positions. This team has done everything we’ve asked them to do. The toughest thing in Division Three is you get about eight-to-ten days with just you and your football team. Then there’s two weeks where there’s distractions. What I try to emphasize is that we need to block out those distractions. We have to make those sacred (practice) hours.”

zach adamsThere’s a lot to like about LVC’s new starting quarterback, Kody Kegarise. The sophomore out of Manheim Central brings plenty to the table, including accuracy, dependability and instincts.

He will be joined in the backfield by senior running back Ryan Fink, senior back Steve Salerno, rising junior Hunter Wilson and fullback Derrec Robinson.  When Kegarise drops back, he’ll be looking for senior receiver Gary Wise, athletic junior end Tyeair Diggs and junior tight-end Pat Clark.

“I’m really excited about what he can do with our offense,” said Buehler of Kegarise. “He makes people around him better. Starting as a sophomore, it takes a lot of learning. Kody is really smart, and he worked hard in the off-season. He has some intangibles you can’t teach. This offense will be a little more dynamic than it’s been in the last couple of years.

“I’m pleased that we can go out to practice everyday and I don’t have to tell them (his players) which color socks to wear,” Buehler added. “What I look about this group is that they’re a low-maintenance football team. I’m excited that this team realizes that the coaches can help them get better.”

The offensive line should be a strength for the Little Dutchmen. Junior Scott Dickmyer, senior Scott Werner, senior Cooper Fiadino, junior Jack Heft, senior Evan Shiley and sophomore Dakota Johnson-Ortiz have varying amounts of experience but similar levels of talent.

“We have a lot of good football players,” said Buehler. “I don’t know where we stack up with other teams in our conference. But we’re better today than we were a year ago. We’re better today than we were two years ago. And that can be attributed to character.”

Spearheaded by seniors Austin Maguire and Ryan Johnson, Lebanon Valley returns seven of the eight in its defensive-line rotation. Of that group, seven are seniors and the other two are juniors.

The Flying Dutchmen linebacker corp is led by Tyler Lutz and Alex Trujillo inside and Tyler Hodges on the outside.

“We’ve got to develop depth at a lot of positions,” said Buehler. “Some starters now might not be starters in Weeks Seven or Eight. There’s attrition in football. Guys aren’t going to stay healthy, They’re going to need a break. The corner position is absolutely a concern. They’re talented, but they’re going to make mistakes. They’re guys who haven’t done it on the college level yet.”

Lebanon Valley’s defensive backfield is anchored by Zachary Adams, a senior safety, and Anthony Jenkins, a junior safety. But LVC graduated its top seven corner backs.

“Our first goal is to beat F&M,” said Buehler of the September 1st date in Lancaster. “We didn’t play them very well the last two years. They’re really good. They’re a test right out of the chute. We want to compete for the MAC title. We want to be in the hunt. I also told our guys, ‘Let’s make Week Ten matter.’ After that, everything is icing on cakes.”

gary wise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 Lebanon Valley College Football Roster

 
# CAPTAIN NAME CLASS POSITION HEIGHT WEIGHT HOMETOWN/HIGH SCHOOL
1 Dallas Arner Sr. WR 6-0 187 Berwick, Pa. / Berwick
2 Manuel Ramos Jr. TB 5-9 179 Muncy, Pa. / Muncy
3 Tyeair Diggs Jr. WR 5-8 165 Hershey, Pa. / Milton Hershey
3 Wyett McLeod Jr. DE 6-1 232 Fairless Hills, Pa. / Conwell-Egan
4 * Tyler Hodges Sr. OLB 6-2 200 Lewisberry, Pa. / Red Land
4 Tyler Layton So. QB 5-8 190 Avenel, N.J. / Colonia
5 Damien Carter Fr. WR 5-9 150 Malvern, Pa. / Great Valley
5 Tyler Gerhart So. OLB 6-3 199 Lititz, Pa. / Warwick
6 Josh Gouch Fr. QB 5-11 170 Drexel Hill, Pa. / Upper Darby
6 Nick Sweitzer Sr. OLB 5-10 197 Leesport, Pa. / Schuylkill Valley
7 Preston Gehring So. CB 5-7 152 Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Schuylkill Haven
7 * Gary Wise Sr. WR 6-1 190 Pottstown, Pa. / Pottstown
8 Bryant Leschak Fr. OLB 5-11 185 Havertown, Pa. / Haverford
8 Tyler Melhorn Sr. TE 6-3 223 Lititz, Pa. / Warwick
9 Adam Domovich Sr. WR 6-1 185 Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin
9 Tyler Lutz So. ILB 5-10 197 Manheim, Pa. / Manheim Central
12 Jacob Hellman Fr. CB 5-11 170 Bel-Air, Md. / C. Milton Wright
12 Jared Kramp Sr. WR 6-0 185 Lancaster, Pa. / Lancaster Catholic
13 Jonah Edmondson So. CB 5-6 160 Downingtown, Pa. / Downingtown West
13 Josh Holobetz So. K 5-11 169 Pottsville, Pa. / Pottsville
14 Kody Kegarise So. QB 6-0 185 Manheim, Pa. / Manheim Central
14 Landon Segara Fr. ILB 6-0 215 Cooper City, Fla. / Cooper City
15 Brett Cohen Jr. QB 5-10 160 Milford, Pa. / Delaware Valley
16 Dre Burch So. CB 5-7 177 Yardley, Pa. / Pennsbury
16 Ryan Connolley Fr. QB 5-11 165 Warwick, Md. / Bohemia Manor
17 Jacob Bildstien Fr. RB 5-8 175 Pottstown, Pa. / Pope John Paul II
17 Ryan Seagrave Sr. WR 6-1 174 Williamsport, Pa. / South Williamsport
18 Shawn King Fr. OLB 6-1 190 Fulton, Md. / Wyoming Seminary
18 Chris Thompson So. TB 5-9 208 New Cumberland, Pa. / Cedar Cliff
19 Jake Cromer Jr. FS 5-10 170 Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York
19 Cameron Niemeyer Fr. WR 5-8 165 Willow Street, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg
20 Nick Bentz Jr. K 6-0 178 Reading, Pa. / Exeter
20 Cole Hartert So. FS 5-11 176 West Grove, Pa. / Oxford
22 David Brown Fr. TB 5-6 165 King of Prussia, Pa. / Ren. Acad./Upper Merion
22 Tyler Okomba Jr. CB 5-10 185 Wheatley Heights, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East
23 * Ryan Fink Sr. TB 5-9 209 Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Schuylkill Haven
23 Grant Gaumer Fr. CB 5-9 175 Elizabethtown, Pa. / Elizabethtown
24 Chris Cassidy So. OLB 6-0 176 West Chester, Pa. / West Chester East
24 Hunter Wilson Jr. TB 5-11 201 Marysville, Pa. / West Perry
25 Jack Branowski So. TB 5-8 160 Pittstown, N.J. / Delaware Valley
25 Alec Soltys Sr. ILB 5-11 198 Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Pine Grove
27 Logan Grauer Fr. CB 5-7 135 Mohrsville, Pa. / Schuylkill Valley
27 Zeke Wassell So. WR 6-1 172 Tamaqua, Pa. / Tamaqua
28 * Zachary Adams Sr. FS 6-0 195 Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove
28 Mason Seiler Fr. TB 5-7 185 Emerald, Pa. / Northern Lehigh
29 * Anthony Jenkins Jr. FS 5-10 184 Temple, Pa. / Muhlenberg
29 Evann Jones Fr. TB 5-10 198 Mountville, Pa. / Penn Manor
30 Pablo Aviles-Bernal Fr. ILB 5-10 210 Kennett Square, Pa. / Unionville
30 Keegan Corwell So. TB 6-0 218 Windsor, Pa. / Eastern York
31 Eamon Blythe Jr. FB 5-5 209 Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin
31 Nic Nugent Fr. 6-1 190 Enola, Pa. / East Pennsboro
32 David Butler Fr. TB 5-7 187 Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg
32 Brad Shear Fr. ILB 6-1 215 Creencastle, Pa. / Greencastle-Antrim
33 Bryan Mowery Fr. OLB 6-0 185 Hatboro, Pa. / Upper Moreland
33 Derrec Robinson Sr. FB 5-9 238 Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Blue Mountain
34 Teddy Denver Sr. FB 5-9 210 Allentown, Pa. / Salisbury
34 Logan Pursley Fr. ILB 5-11 185 Penns Creek, Pa. / Midd-West/East Juniata
35 Noah Allegreta So. FS 5-7 175 Shenandoah, Pa. / Shenandoah
35 Ian Murhon Fr. TB 6-0 195 New Philadelphia, Pa. / Pottsville
36 C.J. Steinhilber Jr. FB 5-10 209 Ashland, Pa. / North Schuylkill
37 Nolan Benke So. CB 5-10 172 Oxford, Pa. / Oxford
37 Hunter Nash Fr. FB 6-0 215 Denver, Pa. / Cocalico
38 Brandon Brubaker Fr. OLB 6-1 210 Reinholds, Pa. / Cocalico
38 Zion Titus Fr. FB 5-7 225 Clarksburg, Md. / Quince Orchard
39 Bret Hertzog Sr. FS 5-11 194 Glenville, Pa. / South Western
40 Ryan Bradley So. DE 6-2 218 Pippersville, Pa. / Central Bucks West
41 Sam Coibion Fr. SS 6-0 185 Taneytown, Md. / Francis Scott Key
42 Andrew Zeigler So. FS 6-0 192 Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg
43 Steve Salerno Sr. TB 5-9 222 Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. / Hasbrouck Heights
44 Dillon Estes Fr. ILB 6-0 210 West Grove, Pa. / Avon Grove
45 Travis Fischer So. OLB 5-9 185 East Earl, Pa. / Garden Spot
45 Ryan Kilgarriff Fr. CB 5-11 165 Richboro, Pa. / Council Rock
46 George Limberiou So. ILB 5-9 225 Reading, Pa. / Schuylkill Valley
47 Chris Torres So. ILB 5-8 204 Mechanicsburg, Pa. / Mechanicsburg
48 Alex Trujillo Gr. ILB 5-10 220 Naples, Fla. / Golden Gate
49 Alex Lawrence Fr. - New Braunfels, Texas / Warwick
50 Joe Kelly So. DT 6-0 240 Lancaster, Pa. / Manheim Twp
51 Adam Wagaman Sr. DE 6-3 245 Lititz, Pa. / Warwick
52 Cooper Fiadino Sr. OG 5-9 252 Egg Harbor Twp., N.J. / Egg Harbor Township
53 Jacob Harder Sr. TE 6-2 230 Fabius, N.Y. / Fabius-Pompey
53 Ben Siegfried Fr. DE 6-3 220 Wilmington, Del. / Conrad School of Science
56 Dylan Freschi So. DE 6-2 196 Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. / Hasbrouck Heights
57 Jordan Bishop Fr. DE 6-2 195 Snow Hill, Md. / Snow Hill
57 Scott Werner Sr. OG 6-1 265 Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove
58 Rodney Gowans Fr. DE 6-0 240 Willow Grove, Pa. / Upper Moreland
58 Collin Krakowski Fr. OG 6-2 235 Kulpmont, Pa. / Mount Carmel
59 Daymond Zweizig So. DE 6-1 235 Reading, Pa. / Oley Valley
60 Alex Gulitus Fr. OT 6-2 260 Plains, Pa. / James M. Coughlin
61 Harrison Rees Fr. OG 6-1 279 Sunbury, Pa. / Lourdes/Mt. Carmel
62 Dakota Johnson-Ortiz So. OG 5-10 255 Lititz, Pa. / Warwick
63 Salvatore Lombardino Fr. OG 5-11 230 Manville, N.J. / Manville
64 Jack Heft Jr. OT 6-2 317 Spring City, Pa. / Owen J. Roberts
65 Scotty Dickmyer Jr. OC 5-10 301 Glenville, Pa. / South Western
66 Nick Redmon Jr. OG 5-9 207 Nazareth, Pa. / Nazareth
67 Jared Tweed Fr. OG 5-10 260 Oxford, Pa. / Oxford Area
68 Nick Napadano Fr. OG 5-10 250 Levittown, Pa. / Neshaminy
69 Connor McMurrough Fr. OT 6-2 225 Oxford, Pa. / Oxford Area
70 Malyk Tucker Fr. DT 5-9 245 West Chester, Pa. / West Chester East
71 Lee Amarose Sr. OT 6-2 283 Atlas, Pa. / Mount Carmel
72 Blake Mills Fr. OG 5-11 230 Greencastle, Pa. / Greencastle-Antrim
73 Dominic Alunni Fr. OT 6-6 330 Forty Fort, Pa. / Wyoming Valley West
74 George Thompson So. OT 6-5 330 Jonestown, Pa. / Northern Lebanon
75 Brett Mars Sr. DT 5-11 270 Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove
76 Walker Klinger Fr. OG 6-1 235 Newport, Pa. / Newport
77 Josh Skotek Jr. DT 5-8 235 McAdoo, Pa. / Marion Catholic
78 Noah Barton Fr. OT 6-1 300 New Windsor, Md. / Francis Scott Key
79 Evan Shiley Sr. OT 6-3 303 Camp Hill, Pa. / Cedar Cliff
80 Dylan Baxter So. WR 6-1 163 Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York
81 Victor Morcelo Jr. TE 5-11 226 Reading, Pa. / Berks Catholic
82 Josh DeVance Fr. WR 6-3 180 Randallstown, Md. / Central Maryland Christian
83 Tyler Baez Fr. TE 6-1 195 Summit Hill, Pa. / Panther Valley
84 Andrew Olson So. WR 6-1 185 Lebanon, Pa. / Lebanon Christian Academy
85 Kam Green Fr. TE 6-1 220 Mount Holly, N.J. / Burlington County Institute of Technology
89 Patrick Clark Jr. TE 6-3 236 Kennett Square, Pa. / Unionville
90 Grant Stanton Fr. DE 6-4 225 New Windsor, Md. / Francis Scott Key
91 Tom Miller So. ILB 6-0 195 Carlisle, Pa. / Big Spring
92 Ryan Johnson Sr. DT 6-1 265 Bath, Pa. / Bethlehem Catholic
94 Trent Donlan Sr. DT 5-10 255 Elysburg, Pa. / Southern Columbia
95 Caleb Oestrike So. DE 5-10 203 Glen Rock, Pa. / Susquehannock
96 Harrison Guy Fr. DE 5-9 157 Boothwyn, Pa. / Chichester
97 Jacob Whitfield Sr. DT 6-0 291 York, Pa. / William Penn
98 Austin Maguire Sr. DE 6-2 255 Lititz, Pa. / Warwick
99 Hunter McGuire Jr. DE 6-1 227 Duncannon, Pa. / Susquenita

anthony jenkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018 MAC Football Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Delaware Valley – 98 (8)
2. Stevenson – 88 (2)
3. Widener – 79 (1)
4. Albright – 73
5. Lycoming – 64
6. Lebanon Valley – 59
7. King’s – 48
8. FDU-Florham – 30
9. Wilkes – 29
10. Misericordia – 25
11. Alvernia – 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

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