Last season the first set of players cycled through the Dallas Mountaineers football program under head coach Rich Mannello and netted them plenty of publicity, an (11-2) record and a berth in the 4A final.
As the head coach for Division III King's for 19 years Mannello had that tough as nails personality with his players and won a MAC title in 2002. Dallas hasn't won a District title in 20 years. This could be the season to end that drought.
"The off-season really consists of about 5 to 8 days now and that's all you give the kids, and that's all they want. They start banging on the doors in the weight room, and we continued on and we started on this course right after the whooping we took at Valley View in the playoffs. So we set the tone there and what we really needed to do to get to the next level," said Rich.
Quarterback Michael Starbuck in healthy and returns with his 20 touchdowns. He leads a talented group of receivers and running backs. Four year starters Lenny Kelley, Matt Maransky, and Dylan Schuster will be relied upon to put up the points and Dan Meuser #4 could be the #1 guy for Mannello on offense, defense and special teams.
"He got us to buy in freshman year and we have just been grinding throughout the past three years. And coming into camp we just want to stay true to the process and keep it rolling throughout the season," said Matt.
"We are all coming back. It should be a solid year. The chemistry is there and hopefully make it back to the district championship game and win it," said Dylan.
"Definitely makes it easy when you have a lot of talent around me and it's easy to work through it, and we have the team to do and we will be alright," said Michael.
Coach Mannello loved what he saw from his team in the scrimmage against Dunmore as they prepare for the opening night game in Tunkhannock with a schedule that includes a few new coaches, a new team in the Wilkes-Barre Wolfpack and the returning district champs..Yes! They will play Valley View.
"When that wizard gets on your shoulder in the middle of camp how are we going to react to it? And then how we come out of the scrimmage with Dunmore and we are excited about the scrimmage with Dunmore that's a tremendous workday for us,and then break that film down and get better and get ready for week one," again said Rich.
Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Dallas.