Are you ready for some football?
By most measures, the Bears’ first season under coach TJ Miller was a step forward — a 5-6 overall record, 3-2 mark in the Pioneer Athletic Conference Liberty Division with an Eastern Football Conference championship and tie for 2nd place in the PAC’s Liberty Division.
But perhaps the most encouraging sign for Miller was the team falling one win shy of a District 1 Class 6A playoff berth — close enough to make it hurt and make a playoff berth an attainable goal in 2018.
“We won’t be complacent,” Miller confirmed. “We want to become stronger, faster — we want to win in every phase of our lives. If you’re not playing to win the league, then why are we even here?”
Leading the Bears’ prowl towards that next step will be senior QB Ayden Mathias, who emerged in 2017. Mathias, a dualthreat at the position, says the key to his own development and continued progression has been coaching and consistency. “I feel like now I step in, I know what’s going on, and I can help bring the younger guys along,” he said.
To that end, Miller has already noticed the advantages of being a coach in his second year with the program as opposed to his initial foray last year. “First year, you’re trying to instill everything,” he explained. “Guys are getting used to you and vice versa. This year? We’re able to just get going.”
The Bears’ offense will get going this season behind the backfield tandem of senior Dylan Robertson and junior Jamie Moccia. “Versatile, strong, tough,” Coach Miller said in describing Robertson. “He’ll run through a wall for you.”
In last year’s triple-option Bears’ offense, there were plenty of carries to go around, and this year sophomore Joey Dulin will figure into the mix at tailback as well.
On the outside, the Bears hope to replace graduated seniors with senior Blaise Caroselli, and junior Aaron Tidd. Senior guard Carter Watts anchors an experienced offensive line.
On the other side of the ball, Caroselli returns after an all-league performance at linebacker and is as good a bet as any for a potential PAC Defensive Player of the Year. Watts and Jake Eddinger will lead the way up front.
“They’ve got good reaches, they’re strong—and they’re hungry for the ball,” summarized Miller.
Robertson will anchor the defensive secondary.
Every high school team takes a toll each year due to graduations, and the Bears are no different, losing state interceptions leader Jerry Kapp and workhorse RB Marcus Thomas, among others. But Mathias is one of only two returning starting QBs in the division, and an improved defense anchored by Caroselli could be the determining factor as Boyertown vies for a return to the District playoffs.
Boyertown’s Ayden Mathias (11) returns at QB for the Bears in 2018.
From left, Boyertown’s Dylan Robertson, Carter Watts, Blaise Caroselli, Ayden Mathias.