Central Columbia Football Preview 2014
Just two years removed from a Heartland Conference Division 2 championship, Central Columbia will try to rebound from last season’s 3-7 record. Head coach Jason Hippensteel thinks there are two major improvements needed for the Blue Jays to be better this season. They need to cut down on mistakes particularly turnovers, and they need to play much better on special teams.
This should be a strong unit because eight starters return. Three talented starters graduated from the 2013 offensive line, but because of injuries, Central Columbia has three players with starting experience. Returning is Tom Yerkes who was an all conference pick last season. Justin Scatena returns. He broke his leg at midseason which enabled Matt Chamberlain to start. So three return with starting experience. Others who should be able to step in are Colton Young, Nick Spicher, and Eric Zalewski. Hippenstell expects this group to be solid.
At 6-2 and 220 pounds, junior Peter D’Ambrosio gives the Jays good size at tight end. Colton Maurer is another candidate. Steve Shannon and Austin Farver both saw action at quarterback last season. Shannon will be the starter this season with Farver moving to wide receiver. Sophomore Aaron Farver will be the backup quarterback. Shannon has the experience to have a good senior season. He will have some talented receivers to throw to. In fact Hippensteel considers the wide receiving group to be the strength of the team. Lewis Williams returns and Austin Farver and Eli Petersheim should contribute. Brady Crawford could also figure in the mix. Running back should also be a strength of the team with Danny Koch returning and Frankie Tewell stepping in for Cody Bowman at fullback. Zach Boyd and Lewis Williams may also see time.
Only four starters return on this side of the football, and Hippensteel doesn’t expect anyone to have the impact that lineman Jake Klinger, now at
Bloomsburg University, had last season. Four players who figure to be in the mix on the defensive line include Tom Yerkes, Eric Zaleski, Pete D’Ambrosio, and Colton Young. At linebacker Frank Tewell should have a good season in the middle. Austin Kessler could be a starter. Cameron Farr is back and Lewis Williams could also see action at linebacker. There is not a lot of experience. Danny Koch returns at corner. There is good competition at safety. Eli Petersheim could be the other corner candidate. The good news is there are lots of candidates.
The Bluejays have a number of talented candidates as kick and purt returners. The kicking game could be much better with two soccer players contributing- Nick Gaydon and Zach Diehl.
Central Columbia may have to try to win by scoring alot until the inexperienced defense comes around. The Jays start the season with two tough games- Selinsgrove followed by Loyalsock. Two very winnable games follow so if Central Columbia can manage a split in their first two, they could be 3-1 going into the heart of the Heartland Conference Division 2 which adds Danville and Southern Columbia this season.