Eagles look ahead to coming season

By on August 15, 2019
Representing Cocalico at the L-L Football Media Day were (left to right): Noah Palm, head coach Dave Gingrich, Brock Gingrich and Cody Shay. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Representing Cocalico at the L-L Football Media Day were (left to right): Noah Palm, head coach Dave Gingrich, Brock Gingrich and Cody Shay. Photo by Missi Mortimer

The Lancaster-Lebanon League held its annual Football Media Day Friday, Aug. 9 at Enck’s Catering in Manheim.

Staff writer Todd Ruth caught up with the contingent from Cocalico, which included senior quarterback Noah Palm, senior two-way lineman Brock Gingrich and senior fullback/linebacker Cody Shay.

Cocalico enters the season coming off a highly successful 10-3 campaign a year ago, one which took them all the way to the District Three finals. If the Eagles are to duplicate that campaign, they’ll need to carry over a little of that magic they felt from 2018 into 2019.

Below is a transcript of the conversation with the Cocalico players:

Todd Ruth: After such a great year in 2018, what are the feelings coming into this year?

Brock Gingrich: I feel like a lot of the reasons why we did so well last year was we put a lot of hard work in over the summer. And I feel like this summer, all the guys knew what it took to get to where we were last year so they just tried to put as much work, or even more, in this summer.

Cody Shay: Last year we had a lot of chemistry, so if we can bring the team closer together and work as one unit I think we can have similar success as last year.

TR: Last year you guys had to replace 18 seniors from the year before but really didn’t skip a beat. What was the key to having that successful season?

BG: I feel like the biggest thing we had last year was chemistry within every class. I feel like even when a big senior would go down we had a junior or a sophomore to step right in and fill that guy’s spot. I feel like last year we just had so many players who could just go out there and play and make things happen.

TR: As seniors now, what kind of responsibilities do you guys feel to carry on that Cocalico tradition that you have been part of building?

BG: Yesterday after practice we had a big Cocalico Alumni Night. I’d probably say about 45 guys showed up from probably 45 years ago to last year. They were telling us all these stories about Coach Kauffman, my dad…they just told us the tradition just means more to their lives than they ever would have thought. And I feel like we need to carry that on and keep building on to that Cocalico tradition.

TR: Two of your three losses last year came against your rival, Manheim Central. Going into this year is that something that will motivate you when you guys square off September 27?

Noah Palm: We just got to take it one step at a time. Each game as we go we got to get better and better. When that week comes, we’ll see what happens. That’s a team that we will always try to beat.

CS: I guess the priority is to keep winning, no matter who is in front of you. We got to give it our best and just try to do whatever it takes to come out with a win.

TR: Offensively you always seem to find guys to step in and replace starters from the previous year. Defensively, sometimes it’s a work in progress in the early going. Where does that stand as you are a little more than a week out from your first game?

BG: Personally I think our defense is ahead of our offense right now. Every year we graduate like six or seven guys on our defense but I feel we plug in the holes better on the defensive side of the ball, moreso than offense. Offensively I feel we are still trying to figure some things out, but we’ll get there.

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