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Leopards try to live up to tradition

September 02, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
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SMITHSBURG -- Tradition is like a circle.

There seems to be no beginning and no end. Somehow, everything has a connection and stays that way.

In Smithsburg, football lives through its tradition, and from it, other traditions are created.

That is the world Cullan Ganley and Ben Daniels live in as Leopards entering their senior seasons.

Both were born and raised in the Smithsburg football tradition. That's because Smithsburg football is a family tradition.

"You grow up here and you hear all the stories about The Hill, the locker room and Coach (Carroll) Reid," said Ganley, a senior receiver. "It's great to come here and be able to live it."

Smithsburg weekends have been major parts of life for Ganley and Daniels.

Ganley's father, Steve, played on Smithsburg's 1979 state championship team while his brother Shane played for the Leopards in 2009. Daniels' brother Josh was Smithsburg's quarterback in '05 and his other brother Jared played defensive back on the 2008 team.

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"My brothers' teams each only lost one game," said Daniels, a senior tailback. "It's about going out and making the playoffs. My brothers keep pushing me. They tell me that this is my year and to go out and make it happen. It's pressure, but good pressure."

The idea that Ganley and Daniels are carrying on two traditions is part of what defines the Smithsburg football experience.

"It's cool when it happens," said Smithsburg coach Buddy Orndorff. "It was like that for me when I played at Fort Hill. It brings the family closer together because they all have been there before."

The Leopards have many challenges to face in order for Ganley and Daniels to carry on both winning traditions.

The Leopards have limited experience returning and need to find consistent front lines to make it all work.

"We have to work together, but we have to grow up fast," Orndorff said. "There isn't going to be any learning curve. We have to be ready to rock and roll."

The offense has five returning starters, three of whom play in the backfield where Daniels and Derek Smith are tailbacks and Tyler Alexander is the fullback. Ganley returns as a receiver, while Aaron Dinterman will anchor the line at center.

The quarterback battle, though, is an example of what Smithsburg is working through.

"We have four players vying to be the quarterback," Orndorff said. "Justin Scott is the one with the most experience."

Smithsburg is equipped to deal with varying resources, but the offense runs more efficient by when it has more certainties than variables.

"We have a lot in our system to be multiple," Orndorff said. "Last year we had to run a lot of our base offense because of the group we had, but we can do a lot of different things."

The key to make it all work will be up front.

"One of our wide-open battles is at offensive and defensive linemen," Orndorff said. "That is going to be the headache. You know how it is this time of year. We have a lot of guys who have playing experience, but don't have starting experience."

Smithsburg has four returning starters on defense to build around. The special teams are headed by Daniels, Ganley and Tommy Smith sharing kicking duties.

"We have a tough schedule and play in a tough conference," Orndorff said. "The MVAL is tough when you are a small school and we are the small school. We are hoping to show up and play Smithsburg football."

That's what it is all about for the Leopards, playing Smithsburg football.

"It's always worth it," said Daniels. "This is the sport I love to do and the sport I want to play at the next level after I leave here."

And yet, playing for the Leopards is competitive on so many levels.

"It's all exciting. It makes you want to get up and come to school every day," Ganley said. "It's great to know that all these people are coming out to see us play football. It's pressure, but it is fun pressure.

"My dad's and brother's teams were undefeated and they always joke with me about whether I will be able to lay my jersey down next to theirs. I don't want to let them down. I don't think they will disown me, but I don't want to be the black sheep."

Smithsburg Leopards



Head Coach: Buddy Orndorff

No. Name Yr. Pos. Ht. Wt.

1 Tyler McKenzie Sr. HB-CB 5-5 152

2 Cullan Ganley Sr. QB-CB 6-2 170

5 Justin Scott Sr. QB-SS 5-9 141

7 Chandler Greene-McCullough

Jr. WR-DB 5-9 160

8 Kameron Morral Sr. WR-CB 5-11 146

9 Taylor Lampasona Jr. WR-CB 5-8 135

10 Luke Slick Sr. TE-DE 5-9 176

11 Jordan Gibson Sr. TE-DT 6-0 179

12 Brad Spickler Jr. QB-FS 6-1 170

14 Corey Dunkin Jr. QB-CB 5-10 150

15 Derek Smith Sr. TB-SS 5-8 160

20 Ben Daniels Sr. TB-FB 5-10 170

22 Robby Hogue Jr. FB-LB 6-0 175

23 Ryan Delauter Sr. FB-LB 5-8 167

24 Darius Jackson Jr. WR-CB 5-9 155

25 Cody Betson Sr. WR-FS 5-9 160

30 Kevin Needy Jr. TB-CB 5-9 150

31 Thomas Smith Jr. HB-SS 5-9 150

32 Tyler Alexander Sr. FB-DT 5-9 229

33 Brock Heiston Jr. WB-WR-LB 5-11 160

34 Devin Baker Jr. FB-LB 5-10 161

41 Ryan Eichelberger Sr. WR-CB 5-10 150

42 Jared Haines Jr. FB-LB 5-9 150

44 Dylan Ianaro Sr. TE-DE 6-1 183

50 Chase Scott Jr. C-LB 5-8 158

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