Lebanon Sports Buzz
Breaking News

 BY JEFF FALK

 MYERSTOWN – Saying ‘putting all important things first, outcomes will take care of themselves’, that’s lip service. But tearing it all down, rebuilding it all and doing it all over again, that’s an early step in the process of commitment.

 Inherent in that message is that actions are always more powerful than words. And anything worth doing is worth doing right.

 Elco’s 2018 football campaign was a unique one for a couple of reasons. Not only did the Raiders recommit themselves to the program and redefine what they’re all about, their new-found success manifested itself into an 8-3 overall record and the school’s first home playoff game in the sport.

 It was, in many estimations, the most successful Elco football season in recent memory, or at least since Bob Miller took over as head coach.

 “When we were are at team camp I referenced Vince Lombardi,” said Miller, who’s in his eighth season of steering the Raiders. “I talked about how he would address his players at the beginning of camp, ‘Gentlemen, this is a football.’ We started with the most basic of things. Our team camp is just as important for team bonding as Xs and Os. We wanted to start from the very beginning.

  “At the start of camp this year, it didn’t feel the same,” Miller continued. “We were pressing for that team bond because we didn’t have it Day One. But they (his players) compete every day. They’re starting to love the game of football.”

 With a strong senior class, the Raiders are expecting to field a roster numbering in the mid 30s this season. What they’re stressing is quality over quantity.

 Elco returns eight starters on offense and six on defense.

 “There’s times we’ve had bigger rosters, but the kids weren’t as committed,” said Miller. “But I also don’t want to have 12 kids. I’ll take whatever number, as long as the kids are as committed as these are.

 “I think the mindset is that there is a carry over from last season,” continued Miller. “But I think it’s important to start over again and rebuild again. It’s the same guys in different roles. We’re starting to see the bond already. We’re in a great position right now, as far as building that bond goes. We have a strong work ethic.”

 Elco’s leadership responsibilities this season will fall squarely on the dynamic shoulders of senior tight-end/linebacker Erik Williams, athletic junior quarterback Braden Bohannon and mentally tough senior running back/outside linebacker Jordan Fernandez. Miller called E. Williams ‘the heart of the team’, Bohannon is a three-year starter who can beat you with his legs, arm or mind and Fernandez is a mature 12th-grader who has really come into his own.

 “The process and focus is the same as last year,” said Miller. “Other years, we kind of got off track. But no two teams are the same. The chemistry is different. This is a quiet group, but they’re fun.

 “There are two things we’ve been preaching,” added Miller. “We need to improve our turnover rate. We had a ton of turnovers last year. The other one is we need to do a better job with big plays. I think you can help with that by blocking down field, getting down field. But we just need to continue to build.”

 The Raiders are talented on both sides of the ball and feature a good mix of skill people and linemen. Senior receiver Evan Huey and sophomore running back Luke Williams will receive their fair share of offensive touches, while senior two-way starter Hunter Hockley, junior lineman Ben Wargo and junior lineman Logan Tice will pave the way.

 “We identified them at team camp,” said Miller of the Raiders’ seasonal goals. “The first is they (his players) want to enjoy each day. They want to make practice fun. They want to raise the standard, the expectations of the program. We set the bar high last year, but we want to do even better.

 “There’s outcomes, but if we don’t take care of those things, they won’t matter,” Miller added. “They’re measurable. But sometimes goals and outcomes don’t play well together. We’ll allow outcomes to dictate themselves.”

  Potentially, Elco could reach its goals, even self actualize, but not realize results on the scoreboard or in the win column. Part of the challenge the Raiders face is navigating a loaded Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three schedule.

 After opening its season with a non-league tilt at Susquenita on Friday, August 23rd, the Raiders will dive right into their Section Three slate the following week.

 “It starts with their actions,” said Miller. “They’re not a real vocal group, but their work ethic is outstanding. We’ve already seen instances of kids coaching kids, and kids listening. They’re helping each other out and they’re coaching each other up.

 “Only six teams end their season with wins,” continued Miller. “If we walk off this field and we reached our goals, they’re going to have a ton of memories that are going to carry over. At the end of the season, if we leave the field and think, ‘Thank goodness it’s over,’ we probably didn’t hit those goals.”

 Last year’s change in the approach and mindset of the Elco football program reflects well on Miller as a coach. Or it could be that the Raiders are simply relecting changes in the man at the top of the organization.

 “I think I’ve matured a lot,” said Miller. “I think the program has changed. We had number issues. We had toughness issues. Teams of the past have raised the toughness bar. I think just coaching a lot of sports has helped me, and being through a lot, you realize what’s really important. Being a dad has helped. There’s been a maturation in that process.”

  Because sometimes what’s inside matters more than what’s outside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Elco Football Schedule

Date Opponent  
8/237:00p
Location: Susquenita High School
 
8/307:00p
Location: Lebanon High School
 
9/67:00p
Location: Eastern Lebanon County High School
 
9/137:00p
Location: Eastern Lebanon County High School
 
9/207:00p
Location: Northern Lebanon High School
 
9/277:00p
Location: Eastern Lebanon County High School
 
10/47:00p
Location: Donegal High School
 
10/117:00p
Location: Pequea Valley High School
 
10/187:00p
Location: Eastern Lebanon County High School
 
10/257:00p
Location: Eastern Lebanon County High School
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elco Football History

YEAR COACH WINS LOSSES TIES SECTION DISTRICT

1969 Fred Poorman 4 4 0

1970 Fred Poorman 4 6 0

1971 Fred Poorman 2 8 0

1972 Fred Poorman 5 5 0

1973 Fred Poorman 7 2 1 Champions

1974 Fred Poorman 6 4 0

1975  Fred Poorman 8 3 0 Champions

1976 Fred Poorman 9 2 0 Champions

1977 Fred Poorman 5 6 0

1978 Fred Poorman 5 6 0

1979 Fred Poorman 10 1 0 Champions

1980 Fred Poorman 10 1 0

1981 Hal Donley 4 6 0

1982 Hal Donley 3 6 1

1983 Hal Donley 6 4 0

1984 Chuck Hill 1 9 0

1985 Chuck Hill 2 8 0

1986 Fred Poorman 1 9 0

1987 Fred Poorman 0 10 0

1988 Fred Poorman 0 10 0

1989 Jim Weaver 4 7 0

1990 Jim Weaver 7 3 0

1991 Jim Weaver 2 9 0

1992 Jim Weaver 6 5 0

1993 Jim Weaver 7 4 0

1994 Mark Kirk 1 9 0

1995 Steve Oliver 2 8 0

1996 Steve Oliver 3 7 0

1997 Steve Oliver 6 4 0

1998 Mark Evans 5 5 0

1999 Mark Evans 1 9 0

2000 Mark Evans 9 2 0 Champions Playoffs

2001 Mark Evans 9 3 0 Playoffs

2002 Mark Evans 4 6 0

2003 Mark Evans 7 3 0

2004 Mark Evans 6 4 0

2005 Mark Evans 5 5 0

2006 Mark Evans 4 6 0

2007 Mark Evans 4 6 0

2008 Mark Evans 6 5 0 Playoffs

2009 Mark Evans 8 3 0 Playoffs

2010 Mark Evans 3 7 0

2011 Mark Evans 3 7 0

2012 Robert Miller 6 4 0

2013 Robert Miller 4 6 0

2014 Robert Miller 4 6 0

2015 Robert Miller 5 5 0

2016 Robert Miller 5 5 0

2017 Robert Miller 2 8 0

 2018 Robert Miller 8 3 0 Playoffs

TOTAL 238 274 2 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


seven − = 5