August 31, 2007

Q&A with coach Dave Lopez

Q: How would you describe the state of your program?

A: "We are optimistic about being good this year. We have a core group, mostly among the 19 seniors. Eight of them played major minutes last year. We feel the program is on the right track. We sent off eight to college from last year."

Q: How would you sum up the 2006 season?

A: "Last year we had some games that if we got some breaks, we could have easily been 6-4 or 7-3, instead of 4-6. We were right there in most of the games we lost. We just needed a break, or two, to go our way."

Q: Who are your top returning skill position players?

A: "Taylor Hockman is back at quarterback and in the secondary, Jordan Reed returns at running back and in the secondary, and Zac Clopper is our tight end/linebacker. And we have J.R. Mayles coming back and we're moving him to tight end."


Q: Who are the returning players at thses positions?

Offensive line:

A: "Three players come back - Tony Yates, Jeff Hunley and Joe Schildt. They're seniors that should give us leadership up front."

Defensive line:

A: "Maurice Adams and Schildt. Two big tackles, Adams goes about 285 and Schildt about 255 and they are tough kids."


A: "Andrew Shaffer and Tyler McCain. I think they'll be big for us and they'll go after the football."


A: "Reed is the main guy back and we'll have Mayles back there too. Two good athletes."

Q: Who is the one departed plaer who will be most difficult to replace?

A: "On offense we'll miss Rocky Lane. It will be hard to replace someone that gained over 1,000 yards. On defense we'll miss Dan Kershner. He missed three games and still had over 80 tackles."

Q: Who are the "unknown" or new players who could make an impact in 2007?

A: "Clopper. I say him as a new player because he is moving to linebacker and he has had a great camp."

Q: What is the biggest challenge your team will face this season?

A: "I think we have to get off to a fast start. We don't have to start with Martinsburg. I think it's an important part of the season and I think for us we want to win at least two of our first three games. That will help us gain confidence."

Q: What things must this team do to improve over the 2006 season?

A: "We must have a better start than last year. We're always jacked up to play Martinsburg first. We need to take advantage of breaks we get and eliminate mistakes on our part."

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