By Frank Vajcner
It’s a new era for Summerfield, as Alex Lipka takes over as head coach. The Bulldogs are looking to make the leap in the Tri-County Conference after finishing last season at 5-4 and missing the playoffs. Five starters return on both sides of the ball.
Head Coach: Alex Lipka (first season)
Assistants: Gino Darin, Darrel Polter, Al Gilson, and Dustin Whaley
Offense: The Bulldogs will have a new face at QB, as Devin Albain takes over for the graduated Brendan Zeipeikis. When the Dawgs run the ball, Jake LaRocca will be the primary option. Albain will have plenty of targets to throw the ball to, led by WRs Brendan Dafoe, Brayden Jewell, and Andrew Bucher, as well as TE Ethan Eyler. Levi Couch also figures to see action at receiver. Evan Bolster, Ian Mallory, and Noah Dusseau will be the names to watch on the offensive line.
Defense: The secondary looks to be the strength of the Dawgs’ defense, as Jewell (CB) and Dafoe (Safety) return. Bucher will occupy the other CB slot. LaRocca, Couch, and Eyler will make up the linebacking corps, while Bolster, Mallory and Dusseau will anchor the defensive line. Fun fact: Albain, Dafoe, Eyler, and Jewell were all members of the Dawgs’ baseball team that won a state championship.
Coach’s Outlook: We have a lot of talent and potential. If the boys buy into what we are trying to do here, we could be a good squad. I feel like we will compete for the top spot in the league if the boys do buy in.
FNV Outlook: Can the Bulldogs ride the wave of success from baseball? We should have a clear indication after their non-conference slate, which features a trip to an improved Erie Mason and a visit from perennial playoff qualifier Pittsford. TCC favorite Clinton comes to town in Week 5, and a trip to arch-rival Whiteford awaits in Week 9. Look for a return to the postseason.
Frank’s Pick: 6-3
Gary’s Pick: 5-4
Chris’s Pick: 4-5