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Monday, March 4, 2024

2021 Preview: Boiling Springs Bubblers

Coach: Brad Zell

Classification: 3A

League/division: Mid-Penn Conference – Capital

2020 record: 4-2, 3-1 in Division

Postseason: No post season


Passing: Comp-Att., Yards, TD

Not available

Rushing: Att-Yards., Avg., TD

Not available

Receiving: Rec.-Yards, Avg., TD

Not available

KEY PLAYERS: Joey Menke, sr., RB-LB; Colin Lunde,Sr., QB-CB; Hunter Coyle, sr., OT; Dalton Ackley, jr., OL-DL; Aidan Metzger, sr., FB-DE; Carson Garvey, sr, SE-SS; Jayden Barrick, sr., DL; Trey McCardell, jr., FB-LB.

OUTLOOK: Even Zell is realistic about the challenges the Capital poses, saying that he has a sneaking suspicion that the division will “beat each other up.” Whether or not that’s the case, look for the Bubblers to be one of the last teams standing in the division. Anchored by an offensive line that has the size and depth to wear opponents down, with an experienced backfield to match, Boiling Springs should not only be able to take a punch, but deliver a few haymakers of its own. You never want to look too far ahead on the schedule, but if the Bubblers hit the ground running against their non-conference schedule, they could very well be 5-0 heading into a crucial second-half stretch against the heavy hitters of the Capital. A division title may or may not be in the works for the Bubblers, but if they shoot for the moon and miss, they still might land among the stars in the district playoffs.


1. Continuity the Key

When the current Boiling Springs seniors were seventh-graders, the program’s head coach was Nate Freier, and when they moved up to eighth, Zack Stroh was the coach. Now, from freshman to seniors, the players have been unified under one football program and message, and that head coach Brad Zell says, has made all the difference in the world. Zell was 3-17 in his first two seasons before last year’s 4-2 campaign, which saw the Bubblers qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2015. “Prior to our staff here, there were a lot of coaches and a lot of changes,” Zell said. “Last year guys were buying into the program that had been in place for two years.” Zell said this year’s camp has an even stronger energy than last year. There are close to 50 kids out for the team, including a large contingent of those who have kept the weight room full all summer. Hopes and expectations, Zell says, are high for all in Bubbletown.

2. Bruisers up Front
There aren’t many teams in the Capital that are built to keep up in the trenches with the sheer manpower possessed by Boiling Springs. The leader of the offensive line is Hunter Coyle, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound bruiser who recently picked up his first collegiate interest from the University of Shenandoah. He’s joined up front by junior Dalton Ackley (5-11, 228), and a large stable of athletes that are eager to get into the thick of things. “Our offensive line could definitely be a strength, this year and also moving forward,” Zell said. “We finally have some depth up front where we can rotate guys and get guys off the field. This could really be a plus for us. We’ve got some new guys up front, but Coyle and Ackley are our go-to guys that have played a lot of football for us.”

3. The “Swiss Army Knife”
The Bubblers are solid on the line, return a third-year QB in Colin Lunde, and have some play-making talents in Albright and Misericordia recruit Aidan Metzger and Carson Garvey, but perhaps the cog that makes the Boiling Springs machine go is 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior Joey Menke, who plays halfback and linebacker. He averaged more than 8.5 yards per carry last season in the Bubblers’ Wing-T offense and on the other side of the ball, he registered 35 tackles and two sacks. With the line another year older, wiser, and stronger, Menke just might see even more daylight this season. “Joey is kind of our Swiss Army Knife. He catches the ball well, sees the ball well, and has been around the Wing-T for a very long time,” Zell said. “He’s already able to do a lot on his own, but with this offensive line, I think it’s just going to make him even better and more explosive. I think our other halfback, Jack Laing, will surprise some people as well.”

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