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Thursday, October 6, 2022
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2021 Preview: Halifax Wildcats

Coach: Earl Mosley, 4th season (12-18), 15th season overall (67-79-2)

Classification: 1A

League/division: Mid-Penn Conference/Liberty

2020 record: 1-6, 0-5

Postseason: Did not qualify

RETURNING LEADERS

Passing: Comp-Att, Yards, TDs 

Carter Enders: 6-21, 99, 2

Rushing: Att-Yards, Avg, TDs

N/A

Receiving: Rec.-Yards, Avg, TDs

Carter Enders: 10-80, 8.0, 0

KEY PLAYERS: Owen Klinger, sr., OL-DL; Carter Enders, so., QB-DB-K; Isaac Miller, so., RB-DB; Landon Klinger, so., RB-MLB; Peter Ranck, so., WR-CB.

OUTLOOK: Even though Halifax’s Wildcats aren’t all that far removed from their run to a District 3 Class 1A championship and a berth in states, gold medals and trophies aren’t on Earl Mosley’s mind right now. Finding 11 capable players to send into the fray is his primary concern, especially since the Wildcats’ veteran skipper has just 15 or 16 bodies to choose from. Although low numbers are one thing, Halifax has just one senior and one junior populating its incredibly thin roster while several youngsters have never played the game before. Small wonder that Mosley and his coaching staff are hoping the lines in the training room don’t become too long since maintaining his team’s collective health is critical if the Wildcats hope to have enough players to line up on Friday nights. So, right now, winning the small battles is the primary objective.

3 THINGS TO KNOW 

1. Scrambling for answers with small numbers

Beset by a low turnout for the third straight season, veteran head coach Earl Mosley and the rest of his coaching staff is trying to figure out how to keep a roster numbering just 15 or 16 healthy and viable so the Wildcats can line up and play on Friday nights. And all of this comes just three seasons since Halifax claimed a District 3 Class 1A championship. Actually, Mosley is hoping more youngsters will come out once Halifax swings open its doors Aug. 24th for the first day of school. “With the numbers we have, it’s kind of disheartening,” said Mosley, who earlier in his head coaching career fronted the programs at Central Dauphin East and Harrisburg, the latter his alma mater. “We had about 30 kids toward the end of the school year that said they would play, but that didn’t materialize.” Adding to Halifax’s number woes is four youngsters that started and/or logged plenty of playing time earlier in their careers opted not to play. Running back/linebacker Bryce Enders, an all-state selection as a junior, transferred to Bishop McDevitt near the end of the 2020-21 school year. Juniors Anthony Adams, Judah Miller and Eli Tyrrell also left the program — Mosley said Miller is playing fall baseball — after starting a season ago. “Those four guys were extremely key to us,” Mosley said. Especially since they would have brought experience to a roster that features just one senior and one junior. “We have one senior on our offensive line,” Mosley said. “The rest of our offensive line will be all freshmen, coming right up from midgets. … You can’t practice as hard because you worry about their legs. You can’t tackle because we can’t lose anybody.”

2. Another Enders will be critical

Although his older brother is no longer part of the Wildcats’ program, sophomore Carter Enders will play a lead role for Halifax after spending the 2020 season as a starting defensive back and filling in on the flanks offensively. Though he saw some playing time at quarterback last year, this time aroundEnders will have the ball in his hands on every play. “He’s gonna be a good one. I really like him,” Mosley said. “He’s our only quarterback. I’ve never been in a situation with just one quarterback, so if he goes down we’ll just have to pull somebody who can take the snap and run.” Mosley also likes Enders’ approach to the game, whether at practice or logging 48 minutes on Friday nights against one of the Wildcats’ Mid-Penn Liberty adversaries. “He’s an excellent leader, an outstanding leader.” Easily Halifax’s most versatile player, Enders likely would be the Wildcats’ regular punter and kicker. However, Mosley may need to employ him as the club’s long snapper on punts, placements and field goal attempts.

3. Mosley & Co. trying to keep chins upright

While Mosley has added former Steel-High skipper Tom Hailey and former CD East defensive coordinator Warren Ritter to his Halifax staff, all of them have been busy trying to keep spirits running high and chins up — despite the Wildcats’ obvious disadvantages. “It’s a great group of kids, so we’ll go to battle with these guys,” said Mosley, who is hoping his program will get a numbers boost from a midget program anticipating a strong 2021 campaign. “That’s what I like about this coaching staff is they’re always positive. We’re gonna have some fun this year. Play fast, keep it simple and whatever happens, happens.”

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