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Blue Devils make pitch for big season

September 01, 1998|By MARK KELLER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Chuck Tinninis makes it sound like he has the easiest job around.

The Greencastle-Antrim football coach, now entering his 11th year, speaks with very little of the intensity that many coaches do when discussing their team's possible fortunes for the upcoming season.

That's not to say there's nothing for Tinninis to be fired up about. After all, he returns nine starters on each side of the ball from last year's 8-2 squad.

"We've got 16 seniors in all, and any time you have that many back, you'll be senior-oriented," Tinninis said. "But one of the nicest things about these guys is they just want to play football.

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"I've enjoyed it. These guys work hard every day," Tinninis added. "I don't have to worry about them getting into trouble. They just want to play ball."

Greencastle has garnered some attention, what with last year's record and the number of players returning. But Tinninis isn't buying into any preseason hype. He knows that football games are played on grass, not paper.

"I don't care what everyone else says. What I care about is how we play week in and week out," said Tinninis. "We haven't won a game yet. We've got to work on things one game at a time. We're not changing a whole lot or adding much."

The Blue Devils shouldn't have to add much, because they appeared to have found the ingredients for success last season - large helpings of running back Walt Medina and fullback Mike Jemison.

Medina, a 5-foot-4 senior, rushed for 835 yards last season and tied for the area lead in touchdowns (18). Jemison gained over 500 yards and scored 11 touchdowns in a part-time role as a freshman.

Medina and Jemison both return. Throw in senior quarterback Billy Windle and a handful of speedy receivers, and the Greencastle wing-T becomes a potent weapon.

"We're going to have different people carrying the ball and we'll pass some," Tinninis said. "In the wing-T, everyone is a threat. We've got a lot of them. They (the opposition) are gonna have to cover them all."

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