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Saturday, December 31, 2022

2021 Preview: Chambersburg Trojans

Coach: Mark Luther

Classification: 6A

League/division: Mid-Penn Conference/Commonwealth

2020 record: 2-4, 2-4

Postseason: Did not qualify


Passing: Comp-Att., Yards, TD


Rushing: Att-Yards, Avg., TD

Not available

Receiving: Rec.-Yards, Avg., TD

Not available

KEY PLAYERS: Grant Hopple, sr., HB-LB; James Lilley, sr., TE-DE; Malachi Scott, sr., WR-CB; Lucas Lohman, jr., G-LB; Shea Makosy, jr., LB; Carter Flory, jr., G-DE.

OUTLOOK: Could we say check back after the Trojans face off against Greencastle-Antrim on Friday? That game, along with the following matchup against Red Lion, will tell us what to expect from a Chambersburg squad that has virtually no varsity experience at any of the skill positions. The potential for a .500 season exists if the young bucks can acclimate quickly to play under the Friday night lights, but potential — which there is plenty of — won’t automatically transfer to “dubs” in Mark Luther’s sixth season at the helm in Chambersburg.

1. Strength in the trenches

The Trojans possess plenty of experiences in the trenches, and that will be an area that this club leans on as a number of greenhorns break in at the skill positions. That’s not a bad places to stake a foundation with brutes like Brandon Vaughn (6-foot-1, 210 pounds), Carter Flory (6-2, 230), Patrick Demory (6-4, 230) and Lucas Lohman (5-10, 225) all returning and gents including Nathaniel Stroman (5-10, 185), Avery Kuhns (6-1, 260) and Sedrick Vessa battling for a starting role. “We have to lean on those guys,” Luther said. “In high school football, you have to be able to run the football. We don’t have enough time to work at the passing game enough to be efficient at it. We’re not trying to put pressure on them, but we need them to understand that they are the most experienced. Those first few games, the nonconference games will really dictate how things go this year. … We’re going to pound the football up in there and see if they are strong enough and physical enough to move guys and help us move the football.”

2. Anchors at linebacker

By now, we’ve already established that seasoned veterans are a rare commodity in the Chambersburg landscape. But lying right in the middle of the Trojans defense sits that gold nugget, Grant Hopple. The 6-1, 215-pound senior is more than ready to be the anchor of this defense with plenty of size and enough speed to make an impact. “We’re really just looking for him to be a menace,” Luther said. “Play physical, fly around and wreak havoc on our opponent’s offense. For his size, he is an athletic kid.  He can run. Flip his hips, do all the things that you want, especially for someone his size. He has a lot of interest from different schools. And he should be able to play at the next level.” The Trojans also received an infusion of talent alongside Hopple with the addition of 6-2, 215-pound Linganore High School transfer Shea Makosy who Luther touted as an immediate difference maker. Take a quick look at the junior’s 2020 highlights, and it is easy to see why Luther is excited about what he brings to the team.

3. One to circle

Mark your calendars for Oct. 22 when the Trojans battle Cumberland Valley. Chambersburg young guns will look to make it four straight victories over the red machine dating back to 2017. There’s plenty of motivation to take down their rival after the Eagles held serve for 25 years prior to the current Trojans streak.

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