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North Hagerstown

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August 31, 2007

Q&A with coach Dan Cunningham

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

A: "Athletic, young, energetic and eager to compete, growing, very unselfish. We have 18 seniors, 29 juniors and 2 sophomores on the varsity roster. We face a very difficult schedule this season but the team is looking forward to the challenge. They have worked hard. We have some injury concerns right now, but hopefully we'll get healthy in time for the season. One of our better athletes, Mike McMillan, has a separated shoulder and may not return until the third game."

Q: How would you sum up the 2006 season?

A: "We struggled at the beginning of the year but regrouped and made a solid run in the postseason."

Q: Who are your top returning skill position players?

A: "McMillan at receiver is a Reggie Bush-type athlete. Both of our tailbacks from last season are back, Diez Johnson and Justin Donaldson. They're both capable of putting up some big numbers."

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Q: Who are the top returning players at these positions?

Offensive line:

A: "Kyle Malcolm and Josh Lyle. With the backs we have and those guys blocking, we'll be more of a power football team again. Back to three yards and a cloud of dust."

Linebacker:

A: "Alan Walker. We lost a lot in Cadyn Robinson at linebacker. But we're looking to Walker to step in and take charge."

Secondary:

A: "McMillan and Anthony Lee. We want to put pressure on the offense this season. We have athletes but we don't have a lot of size. We want to use the speed these guys have to our advantage."

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

A: "Actually, there were two. Logan Kelso showed great leadership and was a tremendous high school quarterback. Defensively, Robinson was a solid run stopper and holds the school record for number of tackles. They will both be missed."

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

A: "James Brunson at quarterback. He's very athletic. Also, Demetrius Myers. He'll play defensive line and the fullback position."

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

A: "Inexperience. We lost a lot to graduation but we do have four offensive starters returning and three on defense."

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

A: "We must get out of the gate strong. Our schedule is loaded with great football teams. We open against a school (Heritage from Leesburg, Va.) that has 2,000 kids. Then we play Allegany and Musselman. This is probably the toughest schedule we have ever had to play. We must finish what we started. We do have high expectations, though. Big goals for the upcoming season."

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