Defense will present a test as Smyrna defends 3A Title

Glenn Frazer Headlines, Sports

Smyrna football huddles during a scrimmage, photo courtesy of Glenn Frazer


The Smyrna Eagles dominated in the playoffs last year en route to the program’s fourth state championship since 2015, all four coming under head coach Mike Judy. This year’s team has plenty of young talent that will be called upon to replace the 15 starters gone from that title squad. Coach Judy told me “We are really looking forward to the season, with a bright-young group of guys that have been a pleasure to coach thus far”.

The Eagles scrimmaged Elkton from the Bayside Conference on Friday, Aug. 25 when I caught up with Coach Judy. Typically, the defense is ahead of the offense in preseason, but that’s not the case with Smyrna. The Eagles scored three touchdowns in their first four series against the Golden Elks, a team that went deep in the Maryland playoffs a year ago. 

Senior Jesse Dixon completed two passes over the middle to Kahmaj Kearney and Phoenix Henriquez, before connecting with Dior Mackey on a screen pass for the first score. Linebacker Cole Moyer ran in the two-point conversion from the Eagle’s trademark “earthquake” formation and the offense never slowed down the remainder of the scrimmage.

The Eagles return the entire starting offensive line except for “all-state” center Evan Blaeuer while Dixon and transfer Jake Tiberi will share time at quarterback. Smyrna is very young at the running back and wide receiver positions, however Mackey and Tim Yancey looked very good against Elkton. Kearney is the only returning starter at wide-out since Josh Gueh moved to Florida. 

On the defensive side of the ball, Brandon West, Caleb Blane, C-J Kearney, Cole Moyer, and Corey Williams all return. Young talent will be expected to fill the three linebackers and three secondary positions from the championship unit that was most impressive from “front-to-back”. In my opinion one of the best all-around defenses I’ve seen in over 40 years of broadcasting. 

The Eagles open the season Friday, September 1 at Abessinio Stadium against Manheim Central (PA) with kickoff scheduled for 3:30. This game is part of the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Pigskin Classic featuring 8 games over three days in Wilmington, sponsored by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.  

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