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.