Summerfield Bulldogs 2021 Preview

By Frank Vajcner

After going 1-5 in the regular season, the proverbial pilot light turned on for Summerfield, as they reeled off three straight wins in the playoffs en route to a District Championship. Can the “Road Dawgs” continue to ride that wave?

Head Coach: Alex Lipka (8-11, third season)

Assistants: Gino Darin, Leroy Wood, Zach Philipp, Steve Bolster

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Offense: The Bulldogs will continue to run the air raid with a mix of returning skill players and new faces. At QB, Bryce Kalb will take over for record-setting Devin Albain. The receiving corps is headlined by veterans in senior WR Roman Iott, junior WR Brandon Thompson, and senior TE Drew Dafoe. When the Dawgs look to run the ball, Lipka will have two options in Jake Wadsworth and Dakota Kohn. Both will be replacing the graduated Jake LaRocca.

The offensive line is anchored by three seniors who started last season in Jacob Prati, Deshaun Martin, and Tyler Shelden.

Defense: There was no bigger loss for the Dawgs on defense than Ethan Eyler, who was all-FNV last season at linebacker after recording over 140 tackles last season. Dafoe will likely be counted on to fill those shoes from a production and leadership standpoint. Kohn and Wadsworth will also be a part of the linebacking corps. Upfront, both Prati and Martin will lead the way on the defensive line, while Iott and Thompson both return in the secondary.

Special teams should be a strength for the Dawgs, as Dafoe returns at punter, where he was all-FNV last season.

Coach’s Outlook: We are looking to build off of the late-season success we have. We are taking it week by week with goals to achieve each opponent. I feel positive about the culture in our program and where our athletes are focused.

FNV Outlook: There’s no question that Summerfield can win games. All three non-conference opponents are beatable, and there isn’t anyone in the TCC that we would consider a monolith, despite the three toughest games (Sand Creek, Erie Mason, and Whiteford) all being on the road. The Dawgs will need their opposition to get some wins in order to receive bonus points for playoffs. If this team gets in the field, they could be a sleeper in Division 8.

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