SMITHSBURG — If the Smithsburg football team wanted to, it could be a hit on American Bandstand.
“We are dancing around and having fun,” said coach Buddy Orndorff.
According to Orndorff, the Leopards have a good beat and harmony among the ranks. They have been easy to dance with.
Does that mean they will be given a 8-2 record this season?
“I don’t know,” Orndorff said. “It’s going to be one of those years where I don’t know how we are going to be until we get out there and play.
“They are young kids and they are getting better every day. We have some seniors, but not a lot of experience. It’s a matter of how they will react when they hear the whistle sound.”
The Leopards have a lot of positives, but some negatives to temper enthusiasm some.
“We have (nine) seniors and they are good leaders,” Orndorff said of the positives. “We are quick and have good team speed — some of the best speed we had in years — so we could be competitive.”
But on the flip side.
“Our numbers are down,” Orndorff said. “We lost our freshman program because of numbers. This will be one of our youngest teams on the field in years. We have good depth, but we are inexperienced.
“The truth is everyone is battling for positions. Everything is up in the air.”
Smithsburg has 32 players, but the group doesn’t include a returning tight end, few tested receivers or any experienced linemen.
So, let the dancing begin.
“It’s a decent number and they are very energetic,” Orndorff said. “They like each other and it’s one of the closest knit groups we have had in a while. They are very competitive in practice and work really well with each other.”
If Orndorff has starters, he’s keeping them close to the vest.
“Everyone will know what we are doing once we get out there after a game or two.”
For now, the roster is dotted with interchangeable parts, with a couple of positions written in ink.
Dylan Curtis, a 5-foot-9 junior, is scheduled to be Smithsburg’s quarterback and will be working with Bryce Scott at fullback and Dalton Condo at tailback in the backfield.
Condo and Scott return from last year’s team.
On defense, Scott, Condo and Ben Busch return as linebackers along with Colby Messersmith in the defensive backfield. Senior Matthew Sprecher is listed as quarterback, wide receiver and defensive end, but will spend time in the Leopards’ secondary.
“Our defense hasn’t looked bad,” Orndorff said. “We will just have to figure out who will be going where after scrimmaging and working in the next few days.”
It’s been a different scene for Smithsburg this season.
The Leopards are coping with the loss of coach Terry Verdier, who died tragically last month. Verdier spent 18 years as Smithsburg’s defensive coordinator.
It goes hand in hand with the fact that Smithsburg has gone from one of the biggest rosters in the county during its heyday down to being the smallest team from Washington County in the MVAL Antietam.
Despite it all, the objectives remain the same.
“We look to be competitive,” Orndorff said. “Every game we play, we want to win.
“It doesn’t matter if we have 15, 50 or 500 players. It’s the coaches’ responsibility to get the team in a position to win. Go out and be competitive. That goal never changes.”
The Leopards will be forced to dance as fast as they can.
Date, Opponent, Time
Sept. 6, at Northern Garrett, 7
Last season: Smithsburg, 30-0
Sept. 12, vs. Manchester Valley, 7
Last season: Manchester Valley, 37-13
Sept. 20, vs. North Carroll, 7
Last season: Smithsburg, 29-17
Sept. 27, at Brunswick, 7
Last season: Brunswick, 27-20
Oct. 4, at South Hagerstown, 7
Last season: South Hagerstown, 38-6
Oct. 11, vs. Clear Spring, 7
Last season: Smithsburg, 7-6
Oct. 18, vs. Williamsport, 7
Last season: Smithsburg, 20-14
Oct. 25, at North Hagerstown, 7
Last season: North Hagerstown, 48-7
Nov. 1, vs. Catoctin, 7
Last season: Catoctin, 28-21
Nov. 8, at Boonsboro, 7
Last season: Boonsboro, 28-0
No., Name, Class, Pos., Ht., Wt.
1, Joseph Schwartz, Soph., QB-DB, 5-11, 160
2, Alex Nee, Jr., WR-DB, 5-5, 125
5, Garrett Spinks, Jr., WR-RB-DB, 5-10, 160
7, Dylan Curtis, Jr., QB-DB, 5-9, 165
8, Cole Huntzberry, Soph., WR-RB-DB, 5-9, 150
9, Justin Leveque, Soph., WR-DB, 6-1, 160
10, Benjamin Busch, Jr., RB-LB, 5-11, 170
11, Marco Messina, Jr., TE-LB, 5-11, 160
14, Matthew Sprecher, Sr., QB-WR--DE, 6-2, 160
20, Chayce Bland Tisher, Sr., WR-TE-LB, 6-0, 190
23, Steven Rishell, Sr., RB-OLB, 5-10, 170
24, Ali Robinson, Jr., WR-LB-DE, 6-3, 185
25, Chantzalore Bland Tisher, Jr., WR-RB-LB, 5-8, 160
31, Taylor Scott, Jr., TE-LB, 5-10, 160
32, Devon Robinson, Soph., RB-WR-LB, 5-9, 155
33, Dalton Condo, Sr., RB-LB, 5-10, 170
34, Marco Ortega, Sr., TE-LB, 5-9, 165
40, Colby Messersmith, Sr., WR-DB, 5-8, 150
44, Bryce Scott, Soph., RB-DT, 5-11, 185
50, Preston Miller, Sr., OL-DL, 5-8, 170
51, Benjamin Lapole, Jr., G-DT, 5-8, 200
52, Patrick Coleman, Jr., OL-DE, 6-3, 205
54, Kevin Ford, Soph., OL-DE, 5-9, 180
58, Jacob Dove, Soph., OL-DL, 5-11, 200
63, Austin Vaughn, Sr., C-DL, 5-8, 170
64, Arthur Hopkins, Sr., G-LB-DE, 5-10, 140
66, Heath Hott, Jr., G-DL, 6-0, 175
70, Charles Kokoski, Sr., T-DL, 6-1, 220
72, Robert Mulkern, Jr., OL-DE, 5-10, 170
73, Curtiss Johnson, Jr., T-DL, 6-0, 200
75, Juan Lomeli, Sr., T-DL, 6-1, 210
76, Gunnar Harper, Soph., OL-DT, 6-2, 255
87, Michael Hunter, Soph., WR-DB, 6-1, 165