The Fort Cherry football team will look quite a bit different this year.
Three-year starting quarterback Tanner Garry, who accounted for 36 touchdowns last season, graduated, meaning the Rangers likely will abandon the shotgun system they used.
“We're going to have to go back to our roots — old-time, Fort Cherry smashmouth football,” coach Jim Shiel said.
Shiel represents another change with the program as the first Rangers coach without the last name of Garry. Jim Garry coached Fort Cherry from the program's founding in 1959 through 2002, and his son Tim succeeded him through the end of last season.
But while Shiel isn't a member of the Garry family, he does belong to the Fort Cherry family.
He played for the Rangers in the 1980s and coached the junior varsity for the past 13 seasons.
Shiel's team returns just three starters on offense and five on defense. While the coach acknowledged experience could become a factor, he still remembers the team that went undefeated in junior high after Tanner Garry moved on to high school.
“There wasn't as much raw talent, but they bought into the system,” he said. “They were athletic and weren't big, but (they) were scrappy. They played very well as a team, very selfless. I think that's why they did so well back then, and I'm seeing that again.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.