Chestnut Ridge Football | ‘Brave and Courageous’ Lions Eager to Maintain Strong Tradition | Sports


NEW PARISPa. – The graduation eliminated more impact players from the Class of 2022 who were key in helping the Lions on their five-straight District 5 crown streak from 2016-2020.

Chestnut Ridge returns just three starters on offense and four on defense as of 2021, but an increased level of competition has permeated the entire camp. Players are well aware of the vacancies in the roster, and veteran coach Max Shoemaker may have noticed a hungrier Lions squad so far in practices.

“We’re really young and we have a lot of vacancies,” Shoemaker said. “I like the competitiveness I see for positions.

“It’s always a good thing because competition is going to make you better on both sides of the ball.

“The competition was a big plus. This is going to be a brave and gritty bunch.

“They showed tenacity and a good work ethic. What they lack is the experience of the game. I was satisfied with their ability to grasp our offensive and defensive concepts and put them into action.

In 2021, Chestnut Ridge went 6-5 and advanced to the District Class 2A Semifinals 5-8. The team defeated eventual PIAA Class 1A champion Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic.

The Lions have a roster of 51 players this fall. Gone are Jonah Hillegass, Trevor Weyandt and two-time All-State wide receiver Matt Whysong. The trio totaled 2,974 all-purpose yards and 29 touchdowns in 2021.

Junior quarterback Nate Whysong returns after completing 127 of 196 passes for 1,679 yards and 16 touchdowns against five interceptions.

He added 429 rushing yards and seven scores.

“Nate is an exceptional athlete,” Shoemaker said. “He will certainly be the key to our offensive and defensive success. He will be in the security position, doing a lot of the checking that we ask our secondary to adapt to.

“Having his experience playing on both sides of the ball is huge with his leadership that he displays every day in training and games. What he brings to the table with his arm and his running ability will be central to this. what we are trying to do.

Senior Nick Presnell has rushed for 495 yards and eight touchdowns on 77 carries. He figures to be the battering ram in the Lions’ all-out attack.

“He looks really good running the ball,” Shoemaker said. “He’s a prototype fullback at 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds. It is just as likely to try to crush you as it is around you. Nick will be inside linebacker. We are counting on him to do a lot of banging inside both in attack and in defence. He really reinforced his leadership role within the team. This is huge for our development.

Seven of Chestnut Ridge’s top eight tacklers in 2021 have graduated.

“Our ability to rally on the ball, attack as a group and play our responsibility to the fullest,” Shoemaker said, listing the many strengths in his defense.

“We have to be very disciplined. It’s something we tried to focus on defensively. Everyone has a role. You need to play this role first, then fly to the ball.

Senior two-way lineman Brennen Shroyer will be a key cog in the trenches.

“Brennen Shroyer just hurt his knee,” Shoemaker said. “He looks really solid on both sides of the ball. He put on about 40 pounds in good weight. He is at 265 and plays for us as a tackler in attack and an inside tackle in defense. We are happy to find him. He would have been a full-time starter last year. He injured his knee at the start of the year, so we will be happy to see him again.

Jake Oswalt is an editor for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TheWizOfOz11.

Jake Oswalt is an editor for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TheWizOfOz11.

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