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Size, speed, experience should spell many wins

8-22-14 harrisongroupBy Ben Murphy

It’s safe to say it’s been awhile since the Harrison football team had a season with as much potential as the one they’re about to embark on. The Hornets, who went 2-7 overall, 2-5 Jack Pine Conference last year could have the planets align just right for their first winning season since 2000.

“The team has size, speed and experience,” seventh year head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “It will be fun to watch the team develop.”

Returning to the team are seniors Jason Brewer (running back, defensive back), Thomas Nunnally (quarterback, defensive back), Bret Coughlin (offensive end, linebacker), Dennis Cross (offensive, defensive tackle), Gavin Rhodes (running back, defensive back), Clay Dennis (center, defensive end), Trent Searight (offensive end, defensive back), Cody Forster (offensive end, nose guard), Jacob Solosky (offensive, defensive tackle), Michael Taylor (offensive guard, defensive tackle), Kain Hodgson (running back, defensive line), Justice Walraven (running back, defensive back), Zach Nowland (running back, defensive back), Josh Wilson (running back, defensive back). Juniors returning are Noah Reyes (offensive, defensive tackle) and Jarod Given (guard, linebacker).

New to the team are seniors Ray Brubaker (offensive, defensive tackle) Devon Barron (offensive guard, defensive line), Brody Lewis (running back, defensive back) and Matt Skornicka (offensive, defensive line).

The Hornets also welcome in a host of new juniors, most of which were part of last year’s undefeated junior varsity team. Shawn Anderson (offensive end, defensive line), Zach Anderson (offensive end, defensive line), Reese Avery (offensive tackle, defensive line), Charles Cassidy (offensive tackle, defensive line), Tyler Clark (offensive, defensive line), Hunter Dollen (guard, linebacker), Blayne Fowler (running back, defensive back), Kenny Haskell (quarterback, defensive back), Bob Lang (offensive,defensive line), Randy Mullin (offensive end, defensive line), Adam Scheerer (offensive end, defensive back), Steven Scheerer (offensive, defensive line), Cameron Sherrick (running back, linebacker), Colton Shimmer (running back, defensive back), Brandon Solosky (offensive, defensive line), Brent Veite (running back, linebacker) and Jeremy Yager (running back, linebacker).

“The seniors have been taking charge and leading the way,” Petrongelli said. “We have good size and speed but we’re not consistent on execution yet. Team goals are to have a winning season and be competitive against all opponents.”

1999 was the last time the Hornets made the post-season, which was also the last time the squad won the Jack Pine Conference. Speculation is swirling that this could change this year.

“I believe that this is well within our reach, the team has a lot of potential,” Petrongelli said. “(We need to) continue to improve on execution, reduce mistakes and stay away from injuries. Every week is a tough week, we can not have a let down, every game will be a battle.”

The Hornets host Lake City on Thursday, Aug. 28 in a non-conference contest. The Trojans beat Harrison 45-0 last year en route to a 10-2 record and regional final apperance.

“A very good team over the past several years, tough first game,” Petrongelli said. “We’re looking for a better start this season.”

 

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