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Can Elco once again contend in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League? 

IMG_5655BY JEFF FALK

MYERSTOWN – It’s a tradition that dates back to the previous regime and the last century. But no other Lebanon County athletic program has employed the use of catchy phrases to enhance individual teams the way Elco has.

The Raiders understand that it is a way to bring more meaning to seasons, while at the same time creating cohesion within the ranks.

This season, the Elco football team has embraced the acronym T-R-I-B-E. It stands for Trust, Responsibility, Integrity, Belief and Effort.

The bottom line is whatever the Raiders are able to accomplish this year, it will have to be together. And their goals are as much intangible as they are related to wins and losses.

IMG_5725“We haven’t talked about goals as a team yet,” said Raider Chief Bob Miller. “But we want to come together as a tribe. We’re not putting a number on wins. We want to start stronger this year, and things will carry over from there.

“We’ve been working on it (unity) for three years,” continued Miller. “But now we put a word to it with Tribe. At a small school, there’s only so many athletes to go around and there’s a new sense of cooperation among the head coaches here. These guys are all multi-sport athletes, and success breeds success.”

The Raiders are fresh off a 2015 season which was hampered by an 0-3 start. The Raiders performed well after that, finished second in Section Three of the Lancaster-Lebanon League with a 5-1 mark and threatened to qualify for the District Three Class AAA playoffs.

Overall, it was a success.

IMG_5737“I remember a really good run through the section,” said Miller. “I remember a group that played hard no matter what the score. I remember a group that did everything to learn a lot, on and off the field.

“We played OK in those games (three-game losing streak),” Miller continued. “We were in them. But in the second half of the season, we played hard every game.”

Elco returns six starters on defense and four on offense from that 2015 club. Given the Raiders’ current personnel, there may be more of an emphasis placed on a running attack than the passing game – which means the Elco offensive line will be asked to come together quickly.

“At small schools, personnel changes so you’ve got to be adaptable and play to strengths,” said Miller, who’s also the Raiders’ head track and field coach in the spring. “Going from Jeff Martin to Kyle Knight, things are going to change.

IMG_5681“We’ve had a very, very, very thin – almost non-existent – junior class,” added Miller. “Kids just didn’t go out. We have a strong senior group who knows what they’re doing, and young guys who see opportunities. Obviously you never have enough players. We have 36 and we’d like to have 45 or 50.”

Knight is stepping in for graduated quarterback Jeff Martin, the most prolific passer in Lebanon County scholastic football history. And his story is an interesting one.

Knight missed almost his entire junior athletic year, after tearing an ACL early last football season. But he appears fully healed – quick, fast and decisive.

IMG_5653Elco also sports the return of senior running back Tyler Horst, the reigning L-L Section Three player-of-the-year. Horst, who aspires to play the game at the collegiate level, is just as much a force as an inside linebacker as he is an inside runner.

“Kyle is phenomenal,” said Miller. “He’s outstanding. He demonstrates on the field just how much he missed last year. He shows that you should never take a play off. His progress has been phenomenal.

“Our strength would be our skill guys,” Miller added. “And our weakness would be up front where we only have one guy back. But we have Tyler and a lot of skill guys back.”

Elco is certainly blessed with a number of complimentary pieces, a talented supporting cast, if you will. That group is headed by seniors Nate Beamer, Dane Miller and Ryan Eshleman and also features seniors Joe Rittle and Cory Kline.

The offensive and defensive lines will be anchored by senior stalwarts Dylan Hill and Billy Petruska-Rhoads.



“We have four captains,” said Miller. “We have so many stand-up, character seniors back. They talk. They speak. They lead. I don’t think it’s anyone’s team. It’s a collective group effort right now.”

IMG_5656Within the parameters of the PIAA’s new six-classification system, Elco has become one of the largest Class AAA programs in District Three. That might seem to bode well for the Raiders’ chances of making it to the postseason.

“The schools that made out were the six-A schools,” said Miller. “They still have half of their teams going to districts.

“But I don’t care how many you take, you’ve got to win,” added Miller. “Nothing’s really changed as far as that goes. We want to win. But there’s so much we’ve got to do first.”

 

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IMG_5635To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to www.http://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/gallery-11/.

 

 

 

 

 

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IMG_57112016 Elco Football Schedule

DATE OPPONENT TIME LOCATION
09/02
@Susquenita
7:00 PM Susquenita High School
09/09
Palmyra
7:00 PM Elco High School
09/16
@Fleetwood
7:00 PM Fleetwood Area High School
09/23 *
Annville-Cleona
7:00 PM Elco High School
09/30 *
@Donegal
7:00 PM Donegal High School
10/07 *
@Lancaster Catholic
7:00 PM Lancaster Catholic High School
10/14 *
Columbia
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/21 *
Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM Elco High School
10/28
@Muhlenberg
7:00 PM Muhlenberg High School
11/04 *
@Pequea Valley
7:00 PM Pequea Valley High School

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IMG_56522015 Elco Results

DATE OPPONENT TIME RESULT
09/04
@Hamburg
7:00 PM L 8-30
09/11
@Palmyra
7:00 PM L 22-30
09/18
Lebanon
7:00 PM L 19-20
09/25 *
Pequea Valley
7:00 PM W 28-14
10/01 *
@Annville-Cleona
6:30 PM W 40-39
10/09 *
Donegal
7:00 PM W 34-32
10/16 *
@Northern Lebanon
7:00 PM L 41-44
10/23 *
@Columbia
7:00 PM W 31-20
10/30 *
Ephrata
7:00 PM W 48-7
11/06
Twin Valley
7:00 PM L 13-27

 

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IMG_56632016 Elco Football Roster

Height Weight Position Number Year
Nate Beamer 6′ 4″ 190 WR/OLB 10 Sr
Josh Behney 5′-8″ 140 WR/DB 84 So
Jonathon Bopp 6′ – 0″ 265 OL/DL 77 So
Carson Bordner 5′ – 9″ 150 QB/LB 34 So
Liam Desrosiers 5′-8″ 130 WR/DB 82 Jr
Ryan Eshleman 6′ 5″ 220 TE/DE 89 Sr
Ben Ferrari 6′-4″ 195 TE/DE 54 So
Dylan Hill 5′ – 9″ 190 OL/DL 61 Sr
Tyler Horst 6′-1″ 215 RB/LB 7 Sr
Ethan Kissinger 5′-8″ 145 WR/DB 80 So
Cory Kline 6′ – 0″ 165 WR/DB 5 Sr
Kyle Knight 5′ – 11″ 195 QB/LB 3 Sr
Adam Koehler 5′ 10″ 225 OL/DL 50 So
Pavel Krasyukov 5′ 10″ 155 RB/DE 32 So
Tanner Krueger 5′-9″ 170 OL/DL 71 So
Tyler Landis 6′ -2″ 160 OL/DL 65 Jr
Dane Miller 6′ – 0″ 160 WR/FS 6 Sr
Cole Miller 6′ 200 FB/LB 2 Sr
Samuel Montijo 5′-8″ 195 OL/DL 63 So
Brenden Nauman 5′-9″ 140 WR/DB 86 So
Joe Nelson 6′-3″ 230 OL/DL 66 So
Patrick O’neil 5′ 10″ 150 RB/LB 21 So
Billy Petruska-Rhoads 6′ -2″ 310 OL/DL 78 Sr
CJ Rank 5’9″ 180 FB/LB 30 So
Damon Rankin 6′-3″ 190 TE/DE 87 Sr
Daulton Risser 5′ 10″ 210 OL/DL 57 Jr
Joseph Rittle 5′ 11″ 145 WR/DB 81 Sr
Andrew Stoner 5′ – 4″ 185 G/LB 68 Sr
Javion Stump 5′ 10″ 165 RB/LB 25 So
Darian Ulrich 5′-5″ 100 QB/DB 1 So
Jaron Ulrich` 5′-5″ 100 WR/DB 88 So
Caden Walters 5′ – 11″ 150 WR/DB 9 Jr
Travis Weaver 5′-11″ 240 OL/DL 75 Jr
Eric Williams 5′-8″ 135 QB/FS 17 Fr
Brandon Rinehimer 5′-9″ 160 RB/S 29 Jr
Hunter Keppley 5’10” 150 K So

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