Football team finishes season with disappointing loss at Solanco in playoffs

Finishing the season 9-3, the Pioneers took another step in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoffs, but will have to move on from several key seniors next year. L-S lost in the second round of the playoffs 54-20 to Solanco.

The Pioneers' biggest strength this year was the passing game -- star quarterback Bear Shank joined the 7000-yard club -- and their ability to create turnovers, helping them blow out many opponents in the regular season. However, the defensive secondary made a few key errors that allowed big plays, but this weakness ultimately had little bearing on the outcome of games. Injuries also hurt the Pioneers, losing players such as Darren Metz, Merek Hilliker and a hobbled Shane Lawler for the playoffs, and even losing Garrett Groshong during the last game.

There are many seniors on the team this year, but as noted at the beginning of the season, many more sophomores. This sets the Pioneers up for success the next two years; that's not to say key losses including Bear Shank, Darren Metz, Kyle Metz, Garrett Groshong, George Grau, Jordan Boyton, Chase Pirozzi, Andrew Hay, Merek Hilliker, Isaiah Carr, Chase Nelle, Pete Tollinger, Brendan Webb, Zach Graham, Adam Lee, Jesse Jennings, and Dan Reidenbaugh (aka every senior on the team) won't make a difference.

On the bright side, players like Joey Dreer, Justin Edwards, Chad Gaudino, Josh Beiler and Shane Lawler are all juniors who saw good playing time this year and built a solid foundation for next season. But, with such a small number of rising seniors the Pioneers will need a solid contribution from next year's juniors. Congratulations to this years team and good luck next year. Go Pioneers!

--Kevin Reed, Football Reporter

Edited: BP

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