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 BY JEFF FALK

 FREDERICKSBURG – There are numbers. There is football. And there are football numbers.

 In football, numbers have the power to paint a picture, to tell a story, to help predict a future trend. Numbers can be misleading, but they never lie.

 Last season, roster numbers in the mid 20s helped contribute to the Northern Lebanon football squad’s 1-9 campaign. The season before, the Vikings won the Lancaster-Lebanon Section Three championship, despite similar numbers.

 So with current numbers hovering around the same level, can we safely predict Northern Lebanon’s prospects for the 2019 campaign? It would seem a wait-and-see approach would be prudent at this point.

 “Our goal is to win a section championship,” said veteran Viking boss Roy Wall. “That’s our ultimate goal every year. As a school, we haven’t won in the district playoffs. Our 2017 team was one of my favorite teams that I ever coached. The current group of seniors were sophomores then and they know how to win. I told them, ‘This is your season. You can take coaching constructively or you can sulk about it.’ But it’s not going to be easy.

 “Last year, we basically had 11 new starters, and nine new starters on defense,” continued Wall “The year before we were dressing 23 guys for our section championship team. I knew it would come back to bite us in the butt.”

 “We have an even lower number of guys this year,” said Northern Lebanon senior Nick Winters. “Coach wants us to talk to our friends to see if we can get them to come out. We want to work on our defense, because last year we moved the ball, but teams ran it down our throat. They’re (some kids in school) probably scared because we didn’t do as good as we could’ve.”

 “We need kids who want to play,” said Viking senior Chase Bressler. “We have guys who show up just so they can wear their jerseys in school. You don’t see the desire. We need kids who want to play.”

 In 2018, Northern Lebanon’s only triumph came against Pequea Valley, and the Vikings were outscored by a combined margin of 146-430. On five different ocassions, the Vikings surrendered at least 50 points and in three of those they allowed more than 60.

 “It was a chance to take it out on Northern Lebanon,” said Wall. “I’m sure it motivated people. But we never complained. We took it and moved on.

 “Last year, we were 1-9 on Friday nights,” Wall continued. “But on Mondays (in JV games), minus the seniors, we went 6-0. We were like a JV team playing a varsity schedule.”

 “I don’t want it to be like last year,” said Northern Lebanon senior quarterback Ethan Borcky. “We were the laughing stock. It was pretty difficult. We had a lot of players on the field, playing for the first time. Other teams had more experience and they were stronger.”

  “When school starts, maybe we’ll add more kids,” said Viking senior lineman Josh Werni. “You have a lot more fun when you win. Last year on the line, there were a lot of people not knowing plays. A lot more people know them already. Everyone knows a whole lot more.”

 The Vikings’ offensive attack will revolve around the running and throwing of Borcky. Northern Lebanon also possesses competent skill people in senior Alex Folmer, Winters, Bressler, junior Nate Shirk, senior Nate Leedy-Reidel and Downingtown-West transfer Tyler Lewis.

 Werni, with the help of sophomore Kalani Adams and junior Arthur Shirk, will be leaned on for stability up front. Junior Dominic Varvel will be plugged in where and when the need arises.

 “We have to improve defensively,” said Wall. “We have to get better defensively. At the first sign of adversity, we can’t hang our heads. We have to man up and play football. Big plays took us out of games. We’re a much more mature team this year, a more seasoned team.

 “We had the best turnout, off-season wise, since I got here,” added Wall. “We’ll be competitive. We want to be competitive every game. I think we’re going to surprise some people. But we’ve got to find a couple of linemen.”

  “I’m hoping we win four games,” said Winters.

 “I’d like to go .500,” said Werni.

 With its challenging roster size, Northern Lebanon players will be forced to be versatile and flexible, to become interchangeable parts and to play multiple positions. And the Vikings absolutely, positively must avoid injuries.

 “Our depth is the lowest it’s ever been to start a camp,” said Wall. “Our numbers are way down. But it’s not just football, it’s also other sports. But it is what it is.

 “We’d like to have greater numbers,” Wall added. “But you can’t count on it. On our team, you can be the third running back, but you’re also the sixth lineman. When you have small numbers, you simplify. We want to be good at a few things.”

 “On offense, our receivers are pretty good and our running backs are pretty good,” said Winters. “All of us seniors are pretty tight. We’ve all been friends for a while. With the underclassmen, I’m not really close to them.”

 “We need more discipline,” said Lewis. “It takes an environment. I feel like there was a lot more hope at my old school. I don’t feel the same type of atmosphere here. Not everyone wants to play. But if the team does win, the seniors are the ones who are going to be the leaders.”

 The Vikings will begin their 2019 journey at 7 p.m. on Friday August 23rd, when they host neighboring Pine Grove.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Northern Lebanon Football Schedule

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NORTHERN LEBANON FOOTBALL

       COACHING HISTORY

Roy Wall (2010-2019)

Jack Beidler (1999-2009)

Carl Fischl (1981-1998)

Frank Wickenheiser (1980)

Ron Brewer (1976-79)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Northern Lebanon Vikings

Name # Grade O Pos Def Pos Ht Wt
Ethan Borcky 12 Sr QB DB 6’0” 180
Chase Bressler 23 Sr RB LB 5’11’’ 165
Alex Folmer 25 Sr SB DB 6’0” 165
Tyler Lewis 20 Sr RB DB 5’8’’ 181
Nate Leedy-Reidel 27 Sr SE DB 6’0” 170
Josh Werni 62 Sr OL DL 5’8’’ 175
Nickols Winters 21 Sr SB LB 5’11’’ 170
Tyler Boltz 18 Jr SE DB 5’11 155
Levi Ditzler 14 Jr SE DB 6’0’’ 170
Kris Frazier 55 Jr OL LB 5’9’’ 160
Evan Horst 19 Jr SE DB 5’9’’ 155
Quinn Kegler 50 Jr OL DL 5’9’’ 165
Shane Lutza 67 Jr OL DL 5’9’’ 185
Arthur Shirk 57 Jr OL DL 5’10’’ 195
Nate Shirk 10 Jr QB/SE DB 5’11’’ 150
Dominic Varvel 59 Jr OL LB 5’10’’ 180
Kalani Adams 52 So OL DL 6’0’’ 195
Evan Ditzler 76 So OL DL 6’1’’ 220
Ethan Ebersole 2 So QB DB 5’9’’ 160
Tyler George 56 So OL DL 6’0’’ 170
Spencer Taylor 77 So OL DL 6’3’’ 280
Tyler Wolfe 42 So SE DB 5’10’’ 130

 

 

 

 

 

 

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