…And the bullets are flyin’!
By Maddie Brown, Contributing Writer
While the Gettysburg College football team lost an outstanding offensive line due to 2015 graduation, there is no worry on who will fill the spots. Both junior Justin Davidov and senior Danny Thompson now fight for a place on the line.
Thompson took the wide receiver role last season, but since the spring, he’s challenged Davidov on the field. With both making equal amounts of plays in similar styles, it is difficult to differentiate between the two. In the Bullets’ scrimmage against Shenandoah University Saturday, Davidov and Thompson were given equal playing time. Another week of practice will be needed to determine who will be starting their home opener this Saturday, Sept. 3rd.
Just over 100 bullets arrived back to campus Sunday, Aug. 14th to begin training for the fall season. When asked if the boys entered preseason in good physical shape, long-time coach Barry Streeter said, “the boys came in as well as we could have expected.”
A hot, but dry, two weeks kept the strenuous training schedule running smoothly. With several days of double sessions, the innumerable meetings and rest periods only helped the ailing athletes.
Coming off a record of 7-3 in the 2015 season and leading the Centennial Conference in rushing yards, the Bullets are looking to continue the success. With a loss of offensive players such as Peirce Frauenheim, Fran Notarianni, Paul Lowry, Sam McDermott, Kyle Wigley, and Robby Fay, many substitutions will have to be made. In addition to the quarterback position, the team also looks to replace 4 offensive linemen, 3 tailbacks, and the kicker/punter.
So where will this depth come from? It is the hope that the large first-year class will step up to the line. There are six first-year players vying for three tailback openings, and there are four evenly matched kickers fighting for Fay’s open kicker position. There are also a slew of young wingbacks, notably Kevin Benevente of San Diego, California, looking to impress the coaching staff for playing time this season.
The team “makes it a point to help the freshmen,” said Coach Streeter.
It is important that each upperclassman makes the first-years feel included throughout the season, and especially at the start of preseason. Under the leadership of senior captains Chris Miller and Cordell Boggs, the boys seem to be meshing well as a unit. These two seniors, who have both started since their first years, were voted into their leadership roles by their teammates at the end of the spring season. Miller, an outside linebacker, is an aspiring physical therapist in the Health Sciences program. Boggs, the “unassuming,” quiet leader and the only returning offensive lineman, studies Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The other 13 seniors certainly do not falter, however, as they step up to round out the squad and the team camaraderie.
After a remarkable 2015 stint, the Bullets are looking to continue what they started last year. As Coach Streeter states, however, “there are no easy games in this conference.”
Johns Hopkins University, the Centennial Conference champion of the past six seasons, is predicted to continue to be the toughest competitor. Yet Gettysburg’s two biggest rivals, Dickinson College and Franklin & Marshall College, will be seeking revenge against the Bullets after each suffered losses last November. These are sure to be exciting back-to-back games, with the Bullets travelling to Dickinson Nov. 3rd and then hosting the Diplomats the following weekend.
The Gettysburg football team will take on Bridgewater University this Saturday, Sept. 3rd at 1:30pm on Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium for its first non-conference game of the season.
Based on the preseason poll, the Gettysburg College football team was selected to finish fifth in the Centennial Conference for the 2016 season.