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Friday, December 30, 2022

2021 Preview: Cumberland Valley Eagles

Coach: Josh Oswalt

Classification: 6A

League/division: Mid-Penn Conference/ Commonwealth Division

2020 record: 3-6, 2-3 in Division

Postseason: Did not qualify


Passing: Comp-Att., Yards, TD

Isaac Sines: 56-126.,760, 7

Rushing: Att-Yards., Avg., TD

J.D. Hunter: 59-187., 3.2., 1

Isaac Sines: 82-125., 1.5,  1

Receiving: Rec.-Yards, Avg., TD

Griffin Huffman: 11-287, 26.1., 2

Troy Collard: 6-142, 23.7, 2


Braylon Stair, sr., OL-DL; Troy Collard, sr., TE-DE; Ridge Crispino, jr., OL-DL; Anthony Joppy, jr., OL-DL; Isaac Sines, jr., QB-DB; JD Hunter, jr., RB-DB; Griff Huffman, jr., WR-DB; Alex Sauve, so., TE-LB

OUTLOOK: The Eagles began to turn the corner during the second half of an abbreviated 2020 season, winning their final two match-ups against Carlisle and Cedar Cliff. It’s been four seasons since Cumberland Valley experienced a winning season and while the chatter might be that this young team is still a year away from truly contending, this is a group that all signs point to arriving early to the party.

1. New year, new expectations:

Cumberland Valley coach Josh Oswalt knew what the Eagles needed to do last year as he implemented his brand of football. However, COVID-19 and the protocols implemented to keep everyone safe created a new a dynamic that proved challenging to overcome.

“We didn’t have an offseason,” Oswalt said. “Programs I’ve run, we spend a lot of time teaching football in the offseason. We did it virtually, but if you look at our deficiencies last year, it had a lot to do with technique and physicality of the game. Those are things we were not able to work on when we did get back together, we weren’t able to contact one another without a shield that we had to spray down between drills.”

This offseason has been different—and the results on the field should be as well after a full offseason prep in which the Eagles sharpened their mettle against some of the best teams in the state including Manheim Township, Coatesville and Erie Prep.

2. Finding comfort under center:

Starting at quarterback as a sophomore in Class 6A competition comes with a bevy of challenges. Now try starting in a year where practices are limited, there is no team camp or 7-on-7 competitions and limited contact when teams do get together—oh and you have a brand new head coach whose spread offensive scheme is about as far away on the continuum to the Wing-T as is possible.

That’s the challenge that faced Isaac Sines last year. So give the young man who compiled 760 yards through the air for seven touchdowns some props for guiding the Eagles to a productive second half of the season.

“Isaac is a super athlete,” Oswalt said. “He brings a lot to the table. How our offense works is predicated on getting the ball out quicker. So we understand that he had played in a Wing-T offense, waggling and showing the defense his back and setting up different boot options.  That’s not so much in my offense.  It is a lot different. And he has really been able to grasp the concepts all summer. He is more comfortable in the system… I’m excited about what we are going to see out of this young man this year and it has a lot to do with growth and maturation.”

3. One to watch:

Cumberland Valley coach Josh Oswalt knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a good linebacker. So when Oswalt, a standout at the position as a former Eagles and Shippensburg Red Raider, can favorably compare his 15-year-old sophomore MIKE linebacker Alex Sauve to others Oswalt has played with in his career, you can bet that is high praise.

The 6-1, 180-pound sophomore is already starting to become a leader of a defense that also includes Sines as a shutdown corner, 6-3, 230-pound Division 1 recruit Troy Collard who will play defensive end and.. yep… safety and cornerback Caiden Pines.

Playing linebacker, you have to be able to read and react,” Oswalt said of Sauve. “Alex reads the triangle better than any linebacker I’ve played with or coached to be honest. He knows which near back or far back we’re reading. He sees the pulling or cross key action. He communicates well. And one thing he worked on this offseason is getting in the pass lane. It is amazing the stuff that he has  picked up on this early in life. I can’t help but get excited about him.”

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