Last season, the Dover Senators football program began a new era when Dante Jones took over the helm as head coach. This season, the changes continue as the Senators will play on a brand new field to go along with the new Dover High School.

The Senators went 8-2 in 2013, advancing the state semifinals where they took eventual champion Salesianum to overtime on their home field. After an opening loss to Maryland school Urbana, the Senators rallied off eight straight wins before falling to rival CR in the season-finale.

The Senators high-powered offense will take quite a hit in 2014 after losing graduates Nick Spadafino (QB), Raekwon Bouges (RB), Marcellus Pack (RB), Tavarus Sample (WR), and Michael Hurd (OL). Dover hopes to counter those losses with returnees who are ready to fill the big shoes left vacant.

Junior signal caller Tristan Harris will likely take over the reins at quarterback for the Senators joined by senior wide-outs Aaron Jenkins and Ziare White. Harris will have the benefit of playing behind a solid returning offensive line headed by junior Tyler Rosello and senior Nick Glover.

The real strength of the Senators this season may be their athletic play-making defense which enters the season loaded with returning talent. Two-way players Rosello and Glover along with senior defensive end Jondel Dyer will cause havoc on the line backed by returning linebackers senior Josh Sudler and junior Darius Taylor. The Senators secondary is filled with skill, including senior defensive backs Laquawn Moody, Devlin Locklin, and Kyle Boone.

Once again, the Senators hope to compete among the elite in the state, and plan to have a say in the outcome of crowning a state champion.

“This group has torn this negative label that many have pinned on this program and used to discredit it for years,” said Dover Head Coach Dante Jones. “We expect to build upon the success of our semi-final run.”

For the rest of our local previews, just click the school: Caesar Rodney, Polytech, Lake Forest.

And for a look across the state: Salesianum, St. Mark's, A.I. duPont, Sussex Central, Sussex Tech.