2014 Dover Tigers Football Preview

 

Dover has a long,long history of dominating at Friday night football. One that goes WAY back, and it shows. Fans pour into the Tigers stadium: townspeople, students, alum, parents, friends, and teachers. Former players, current athletes from other programs. The last time I attended a Dover game, the school custodian was in the stands, wearing orange. Dover believes in itself. This team plays with grit and guts, they’re aggressive, don’t-take-any-crap kind of guys–even when the outcome no longer matters, they play for their town and their pride. And that makes us believe in them too.

Best Attribute
The offensive line may be the most uncelebrated yet critical component in high school football, and this team returns four starters: Justin Ortiz (6’0” 250 lbs), Diego Cardona (5’9” 190 lbs), Jose Portillo (5’10” 205 lbs), and Ryan Bixler (6’0”, 250). George Scalley’s shoes will need to be filled this year, and RB/LB Jesse Maka may be the man for the job. Maka rushed for over 300 yards last year, averaging 6.8 yards per carry, with 7 touchdowns.

Other Key Contributors
WR/LB #26 Daniel Castro (Jr.)
WR/DB #28 Luis Macias (Sr.)
WR/DB #3 Jordan Galicia (Jr.)
WR/RB/DB #1 Dwayne Brown (Jr.)

Chink in the Armor
Dover will be playing for a new head coach this year, Nick Gregorio, from Wall, who replaces Roger Kotlarz, now at Wayne Valley. Also, the Tigers lose their fab four: Young, Scalley, Quiles, and Rodriguez. Maka, Castro, Galicia, and Mendez will need to step up as this year’s playmakers.

A Look Back at 2013
The Tigers went 6-4, with losses to Madison (31-26), which gave Madison its 38th straight win; to Lincoln (38-6) that had a 9-2 season record; to Hanover Park (34-12), with a season record of 7-2; and to eventual state champs Mountain Lakes, in the the first round of the playoffs (53-12). Mountain Lakes is a fast, physical team and Dover struggled to stop RB’s Cuccinello and Reuben. With Dover returning defensive linemen getting bigger and stronger this year and Dover’s continued ability to make big plays, this could be a break-out year for the Tigers.

Chances to Win States
If Dover beats Madison (loss 31-26), and they get a higher seed, they could win first round of the post-season.

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