Following up a highly successful season in high school football is one of the hardest things a team can do each year. With player turnover, and different skillsets entering and exiting the roster each season, duplicating success is quite the chore.
For the Dover High School football team in 2012, though, it's not only looking for an encore of its 2011 playoff showing. The Senators wants to build upon that. And with most of last year's squad back in the mix, Dover could be poised to do just that.
Last year's Senators beat William Penn High School, 28-20, in the first round of the DIAA state tournament, a shocker since the young Senators weren't even expected to make the playoffs. And with the majority of that team back on the gridiron this year, head coach Carlton Brown said the desire to reach that level and beyond is at an all-time high.
"The hunger is definitely there," Brown said.
After a disappointing 2010 season that saw a highly touted Dover team fall short of the tournament, the coach said changes were made last year that altered the climate of the football program. Those changes bred success.
This year, Brown added, the approach is no different and he hopes the success level won't be either.
"A lot of things have been put in place early as far as the discipline we need, the in-season rules are already in place," he said. "We want the standard to be set early so the kids understand our expectations."
While the experience is a huge asset for the Dover team, Brown said success would start this year – as it did in 2011 – with attitude.
"It's all about gelling, all about understanding the difference between being selfish and selfless. And that's one thing we've really been preaching our whole camp, is to be a selfless person, to do what we need," he said.
Week 1 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 @ Delcastle High School (W, 42-0)
Week 2 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 vs. Salesianum School
Week 3 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 vs. St. Mark's High School
Week 4 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28 @ Smyrna High School
Week 5 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5 @ Sussex Central High School
Week 6 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 vs. Cape Henlopen High School
Week 7 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 @ Milford High School
Week 8 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 vs. Sussex Tech High School
Week 9 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2 vs. St. Peter's Prep School
Week 10 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 vs. Caesar Rodney High School