Season Preview: Football Ready to Make Title Run

Thursday, September 4, 2014

football preview click to play Below is the transcript from a video preview of the 2014 Muhlenberg football season. To watch the video, click on the thumbnail at right or here.

Coming off back-to-back eight-win seasons and with a host of star players returning, the Muhlenberg football team is thinking big in 2014. But the Mules will start by thinking small.

“It goes without saying [that] we want to win the conference championship, and I think that hopefully we’ve prepared ourselves well enough to get in there and do that,” said senior H-back Aaron Bossard. “At the same time, we’re just taking it week by week, day by day and practice by practice, and that’s kind of been Coach Donnelly’s mentality throughout preseason.”

Kevin Cellary Muhlenberg won its final six regular-season games last year, fueled by an offense that averaged almost 35 points per game.

“I think Nick Palladino getting comfortable in the offense really kind of electrified us,” said Bossard. “I know guys playing around him kind of got jacked up from him being in there, launching balls to Cody Geyer and spreading it to Mike Long as well.”

Palladino, the Centennial Conference rookie of the year; Geyer, a 1,000-yard receiver; and Long, an All-America tight end, are the biggest names on an offense that also returns four starting linemen.

While the offense was exploding, the defense put up its usual solid numbers, holding opponents under 300 yards and 20 points per game in the regular season for the 13th year in a row. Most of that unit is back as well.

“Communication is key for our defense,” said senior linebacker Jeremey Thomas. “And the more knowledge there is, the less we have to communicate – we just know. We’re comfortable playing with each other, so it’s easier to communicate and know our schemes and execute our calls that we get from Coach Donnelly.”

Thomas and fellow senior Ian Gimbar give the Mules a pair of All-CC outside linebackers, while Greg DeLade and Kevin Cellary headline the defensive line. Interceptions leader John Feaster and safety Tyler Cerbo were All-CC picks in the secondary.

Add in Connor Winter, who earned All-CC honors both as a kicker and as a punter, and the Mules have a talented, experienced and well-rounded team. Now they just have to prove it.

“It’s definitely a comfort feeling, but at the same time we’re not complacent,” said Thomas. “We don’t have a sense of entitlement, and I really like that about our team. We’re very enthusiastic, and we know we have to go out there and earn every win.”

Muhlenberg hopes to earn the first one this Saturday at Wilkes. Next Saturday, the Mules play their home opener against Franklin & Marshall.

pictured: Cellary had a breakout season in 2013, making 33 tackles (five for loss), forcing one fumble, recovering another and blocking a field goal from his nose tackle position.