Between 2003-2005 the Cavaliers amassed only six wins but when head coach Dick Roll grabbed the program’s reigns prior to the start of last season, he got the Cavaliers headed in the right direction. Robb Hemmelgarn has more on the 2007 Lehman Catholic Cavaliers.
RB Dan Jacob, QB Spencer Peltier (6-0, 160, Sr.), RB Max Cartwright (6-0, 160, Jr.), RB Zac Schmitz (5-10, 160, Jr.), OL Treg Sherman (6-2, 175, Jr.), OL Nick Pulfer (6-0, 190, Jr.), OLB Corbin Peltier (6-0, 165, Jr.), OLB Robbie Baker (5-11, 170, Jr.), DE Colton Hemm (6-0, 160, Jr.), DB Dayon Pearson (6-0, 185, Sr.).
2006 Record: 6-5
It wasn’t long ago that Sidney Lehman football was in poor condition. Between 2003-2005 the Cavaliers amassed only six wins, leaving followers fit to be tied about a program which made it to the state semi-finals in 2001. When new head coach Dick Roll grabbed the program’s reigns prior to the start of last season, he was very aware of the program’s proud roots.
“The first thing I tried to express to everyone was that we wanted to bring back the tradition to the program, but at the same time it was very important that the kids have fun,” explained Roll, who spent 21 seasons at head coach of Plymouth High School before taking control at Lehman.
The Cavaliers began Roll’s first season on the receiving end of a devastating 42-0 pasting at the hands of Anna. Then they took one on the chin at Milton-Union, 45-15, and things were starting to look dismal. Their third loss in a row was in overtime to Carey, but from there things began to look up.
“Those first three games really had me thinking what it was that I had gotten myself into,” recalled Roll. “Despite those defeats though, I saw improvement in their performance every week we practiced and every time we took the field.”
A victory at home against Frontier was followed up with a win the next week – then another, and another, and another. The Cavaliers ran off six straight including a pair of head-turners.
First there was the victory over Fort Loramie – a convincing 34-13 triumph which helped push the Cavaliers to 5-3 on the year. Then came the 20-17 overtime win against Patrick Henry, the defending Division V state champion. Suddenly skeptics were believers.
“On paper, we figured we had a shot of winning games three through seven, but we never dreamed of beating Patrick Henry,” Roll said. “We beat them and then we felt we were a pretty good team.”
The Cavaliers ended the season with a close lose to playoff-qualifier Lafayette Allen East, but a post-season berth was still earned. A three-point loss to Springfield Catholic Central ended Lehman’s season in the first round, but a strong group of underclassmen learned some valuable lessons.
“We are approaching this season knowing we need to take things one game at a time,” Roll said. “Whether we are favorites or the underdogs, or if it is a playoff or regular season game, we need to come in with the same approach.”
Returning in 2007 for the Cavaliers’ Wing-T offense, which average over 25 points per game, is all-everything fullback Dan Jacob. Last year, Jacob led the team in rushing with close to 1,700 yards. He piled up a team-best 330 yards receiving, as well as scoring 25 touchdowns. Quarterback Spencer Peltier (6-0, 160, senior) started the first five games as signal-caller a season ago before an injury pushed him to the sidelines. He will return at full heath and will be joined in the backfield by Kameron Barton, a 150-pound junior who plays running back, but doubles as a backup quarterback.
Also returning to the Lehman backfield are juniors Max Cartwright (6-0, 160) and Zac Schmitz (5-10, 160). Juniors Treg Sherman (6-2, 175) and Nick Pulfer (6-0, 190) will look to lead an offensive line depleted by graduation.
“Offensively we lose three interior linemen and a tight end, but I feel we have solid individuals stepping up to fill those spots,” Roll said. “We return almost all of our skill positions, so it will be very important for us to get off to a strong start this year and carry it over through the rest of the season.”
Defensively, Cartwright will be joined by junior Corbin Peltier (6-0, 165) at the outside linebacker spot, while classmate Robbie Baker (5-11, 170) will control the 4-4 defense from the inside linebacker position. Colton Hemm (6-0, 160, junior) will return to his defensive end position, while defensive back Dayon Pearson (6-0, 185) returns to hold down one of the safety spots.
“We still have a lot of work to do in the off-season” Roll said. “However, I am excited for the players we have coming back. We need to continue to strive to make improvements each and every day, and hopefully good things will happen as the season progresses.”
Lehman Catholic 2007 Schedule
|8/31/2007||West Milton Milton-Union||4|
|9/7/2007||Lewistown Indian Lake||3|
|9/14/2007||@ Dayton Jefferson Township||6|
|9/21/2007||@ Fort Loramie||6|
|10/13/2007||Franklin Middletown Christian||6|
|10/19/2007||@ Hamler Patrick Henry||5|
|10/26/2007||@ Lafayette Allen East||6|