Ori­oles’ Mancini ex­pe­ri­ences ‘sur­real’ de­but

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ By JOR­DAN SCHATZ

jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

Ris­ing Sun en­tered the reg­u­lar sea­son hop­ing last year’s 5-1 record to end the year would re­sult in a strong start to the en­su­ing 2016 cam­paign.

But af­ter three-straight losses to kick off the sched­ule, the Tigers find them­selves hav­ing to con­duct full-blown dam­age con­trol. They will take the field tonight against vis­it­ing Bo­hemia Manor des­per­ately look­ing to avoid a 0-4 start.

They will get no sym­pa­thy from the Ea­gles.

“Last year, Ris­ing Sun had a great sea­son and it started when they came into Bo and beat us up pretty bad,” Bo Manor coach Joe Graf said. “They had a good team and they ex­e­cuted well of­fen­sively and de­fen­sively against us last year. Go­ing into this year, one of the things we talked about was mak­ing up for our mis­takes last year and the way we played in some ball games.”

Ris­ing Sun will likely use last year’s 38-14 win over the Ea­gles as mo­ti­va­tion to jump­start its sea­son, al­though it will no longer have the el­e­ment of sur­prise. The Tigers en­tered last year’s Week 4 matchup against Bo Manor hav­ing lost 16-straight reg­u­lar sea­son games.

“Be­ing in Ce­cil County and in the UCBAC, every­body is so close, [es­pe­cially] with so­cial me­dia and the in­ter­net, now every­body knows every­body,” Graf said. “It’s a lit­tle bit easier to game plan each week know­ing what you’re go­ing to get from each school year in and year out and know­ing what to ex­pect from each other’s coach­ing staffs.”

Tonight’s show­down also marks the start of Susque­hanna Divi­sion play af­ter both squads played three con­tests against non-divi­sion and non-con­fer­ence foes.

For the Ea­gles, their game against Ris­ing Sun is a chance to be­gin the year 3-1 for the first time since 2012.

“We’re tak­ing it one step at a time. It’s the next op­po­nent on our sched­ule, and go­ing 3-1 is the goal this week. The reg­u­lar sea­son is a 10-step process and we go step by step,” Graf said. “Be­ing where we are now, we’re ahead of the ball game to where we were last year, which is big.”

The Tigers still have reign­ing All-County quar­ter­back Nate McCul­lough un­der cen­ter and a tal­ented group of play­mak­ers around him. They will counter a Bo Manor of­fense that prides it­self on es­tab­lish­ing the run.

Through the early sea­son, Ea­gles ju­nior run­ning back Bobby McLen­nan has six rushing touch­downs.

“You know what you’re go­ing to get with Bo Manor, of­fen­sively,” Graf said. “Bobby is hav­ing a huge sea­son so far and the of­fen­sive line is mov­ing the pile, get­ting men out of the way and cre­at­ing holes. They’re do­ing an awe­some job of­fen­sively. We just do what we do on of­fense and make ad­just­ments when nec­es­sary.”

To beat a Ris­ing Sun team in­tent on break­ing through in the win col­umn, the Ch­e­sa­peake City squad will need to ex­e­cute on both sides of the ball.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of ev­ery­thing,” Graf said. “Our of­fense has to play mis­take free foot­ball, which we did this past week. We can’t have the men­tal er­rors and get be­hind the sticks. De­fen­sively, we have to play with ef­fort and have peo­ple fly­ing around to the ball on ev­ery play.” Fol­low the 2016 foot­ball sea­son

on Twit­ter: @UCBACFoot­ball jschatz@ce­cil­whig.com

— Trey Mancini re­mem­bered round­ing the bases af­ter his first Ma­jor League home run. He just couldn’t re­call what was go­ing through his mind dur­ing that mo­ment.

The Bal­ti­more Ori­oles’ top hit­ting prospect made his MLB de­but Tues­day night and joined an ex­clu­sive group when he be­came just the third player in or­ga­ni­za­tion his­tory to homer in his first game in the big leagues. The round-trip­per also hap­pened to be his first-ca­reer hit—a rocket that mea­sured 434 feet and sailed far over the head of cen­ter fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., dur­ing the fifth in­ning of the Ori­oles’ 5-2 loss to the Bos­ton Red Sox.

“I don’t even re­mem­ber to be hon­est,” Mancini said of jog­ging around the bases fol­low­ing the solo blast. “I was just in dis­be­lief. I ran the bases pretty hard there

BAL­TI­MORE

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Se­nior quar­ter­back Nate McCul­lough, pic­tured, and the Ris­ing Sun foot­ball team will take on vis­it­ing Bo­hemia Manor tonight in Susque­hanna Divi­sion foot­ball.

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