Two games worth watching tonight

Well its finally here. The 2021 football season for the Lancaster-Lebanon League is about to kick off.

Video highlights are the L-S pioneers defeating Elco for the District 3 Class 4A title.

Below is a review of two teams with a storied hoister in the L-L League with a lot of people curious how they will fare this year after last season’s play.

Cumberland Valley at Manheim Central
Two of the most storied and successful programs in District 3 open the season with a non-league clash in Manheim. Both are coming off surprisingly disappointing seasons last year.
The Barons suffered through their losing season since 1971 after going 3-5. The sub-.500 record also broke their streak of 29 straight District 3 playoff appearances, so you know they’ll be itching to erase the remnants of 2020 right off the bat. With a veteran line back in the fold to protect the tandem of QB Judd Novak and WR Owen Sensenig, Central appears poised for a return to prominence.
Cumberland Valley also went 3-5 last season, which is something of an anomaly for the perennial Mid-Penn Commonwealth contenders. But they bring back their starting quarterback (Isaac Sines), a veteran line anchored by Braylon Stair, and one of the state’s most versatile players in tight end/safety/defensive end Troy Collard, who will play college football at the Air Force Academy while studying to become a fighter pilot.

Lampeter-Strasburg at Warwick
The Pioneers captured their second straight District 3 Class 4A title last year, but their season came to an abrupt end when a COVID-19 outbreak forced them to forfeit their PIAA semifinal game against Jersey Shore. And L-S will have a completely new look this season; longtime coach John Manion stepped down after 23 years at the helm. Most of the Pioneers’ top players from last year are gone as well, leaving new coach Victor Ridenour with a lot of holes to fill. It will be interesting to see how the new guys react to a stiff test with Warwick right out the gate.
The Warriors’ 2020 season was also upended by COVID-19; after an 8-1 campaign in the regular season, they had to forfeit the District 3 Class 5A title game to Governor Mifflin due to an outbreak. Veteran coach Bob Locker will have to replace several key cogs from last year, including QB Joey McCracken, all-star lineman Nolan Rucci, and 15 other full-time starters. But there’s a good nucleus returning, and this is far from Locker’s first rodeo.