Rhino Charge Monthly 2018-19 Debut

With the start of another Hanover Rhinos year, it’s also time for the debut of our monthly preview covers. This year marks the fourth year of the Rhino Charge preview covers.

The covers show you, the fans, what coverage and stories to expect on the official blog of your favorite semi-pro football team in the upcoming month.

For November 2018, we will be running a Wordy Wednesdays feature interview with Rhinos’ offensive lineman Mike Lowery, to discuss his meteoric rise that led to him winning the Hanover Rhinos Offensive Player of the Month award for May 2018.

We will also be highlighting the upcoming Santa Bowl VII matchup with the rival Franklin County Tigers.

Enjoy!

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Rhino Bites

We’re now a month into Hanover Rhinos fall training camp 2018.

It’s time to meet some new members of the Hanover Rhinos!

First up is a long-time Hanover Rhinos fan and friend of the program here at Rhino Charge who decided to come out for the team this year. His teammates call him Daniel-san…

DANIEL SO

Age: 26. Hometown: Hanover. Class: South Western ’11. Positions: DB/safety.

#1. Why did you decide to come out for the Hanover Rhinos this year?

DS: A lot of my friends are veteran players, like Charles Smith, Matt Hilker, and Cody Klinefelter. I worked the chain gain last year and everyone told me to go out this year, so I did.

#2. Your last organized tackle-football playing experience was 7 years ago in high school. What does it feel like to get back out here?

DS: I definitely have work to do to regain my speed so I don’t get beat on deep balls. I have a lot of running to do to get back in shape.

#3. How special is it to play for your hometown team and wear the Rhino on your helmet?

DS: I love it, it’s awesome. I’m proud to represent.

#4. Favorite NFL player?

DS: Ed Reed. Growing up as a Baltimore Ravens fan, I watched a lot of his film in high school.

#5. What was it like playing for legendary South Western high school coach Don Sidenstricker?

DS: As long as you didn’t get on his bad side, it was alright. If you messed up, he let you know.

#6. South Western’s football team is winless going into the last game of the season this Friday against rival Spring Grove. Do the Mustangs get win #1?

DS: I haven’t been able to follow much this year. Hopefully they can pull out the win. I’d like to see at least one win.

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HARRY CARABALLO

Age: 28. Hometown: Dover, Pa. Class: Dover ’09. Positions: RB/LB

#1. What made you decide to come out for the Rhinos nearly a decade after your high school football career ended?

HC: I love football and I wanted to get back into it. I’ve been contemplating doing this for awhile, and this time, I decided to take the jump.

#2. What’s it like being back out here?

HC: Great! It feels nice to be able to hit and run and condition.

#3. What is your greatest football memory?

HC: My senior night was the greatest. I led the team in tackles. I had 10 tackles, a sack, and took New Oxford’s best wide receiver out of the gameplan.

#4. Describe the feeling of walking out onto the field one last time with your parents that night?

HC: I was real emotional, knowing that it was the last home game. It was definetly something else.

#5. How did you hear about the Hanover Rhinos?

HC: On Facebook. I saw people commenting and liking posts on the Facebook page. Other people, some friends, were liking posts, too, so, I figured I’d reach out.

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Remember, fans, you can catch new editions of Rhino Bites throughout the offseason here on Rhino Charge. These segments feature interviews with new members of the Hanover Rhinos. Also, don’t forget to support your local Toys for Tots by attending Santa Bowl VII on Saturday, December 1st at 1 PM at Manheim Adventure Park. Admission is free for those who bring one new unwrapped toy for donation. The Santa Bowl will also be your first chance to see your 2019 Hanover Rhinos in action.

Rhino Bites

With training camp for Santa Bowl VII in full swing, it’s time for Rhino Charge to help you, the fans, get to know the newest batch of Hanover Rhinos.

That means the return of Rhino Bites, the fan-favorite segment that features short interviews with only those players that have never played with the Rhinos before.

Our first look at this new crop of Rhinos features a two-year veteran of semi-pro football who was part of the building of a decade of football excellence at West York High School.

MATT FRITZ

Age: 26. Hometown: West York, Pa. Class: West York ’10. Positions: WR/DB.

#1. Favorite NFL team?
MF: Vikings.

#2. Why Minnesota?
MF: Family heritage. We have a Norse background. Also, Randy Moss. I idolized how he could make something out of nothing. He could take a 5-yard play and turn it into 80. The athletic catches- toe-tapping just over a defender. That’s why I chose wide receiver. Luckily, growing up, our bodies filled out the same way, but I don’t think I’m quite as tall.

#3. Which smurf are you?
MF: I don’t know about that, but I know which Ninja Turtle I’d be.

#4. Who’s that?
MF: Donatello. He’s got some style, swag, and he never backs down.

#5. Favorite music?
MF: Anything with atmosphere. Dave East.

#6. Goal for the season?
MF: In the most humble way, I want to bring explosiveness to the offense right away and be a big play factor, anything I can to contribute to the team.

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That’s a wrap for the season’s first edition of Rhino Bites. You can catch more editions of this fan-favorite feature throughout the offseason, leading up to and following Santa Bowl VII. That game will be played December 1st at Manheim Adventure Park at 1:00 PM. If you bring one new, unwrapped toy, you get into the game for free!

New Rhinos, New Local Flavor

Hanover Rhinos’ wide receiver Raydel Ragland (10) runs the ball vs. the Lancaster Outlaws in this April 7, 2018 file photo. Photo Credit- Chris Bunty.

HANOVER, Pa.- In his three years as a Hanover Rhinos coach, Noah Sneeringer has been doing everything he can to get the word out in the community about his team.

“There’s so many schools, that the talent is unreal,” said Sneeringer of the York/Adams area he grew up in. “We could make an all-star team and be championship competitive.”

It seems like Sneeringer’s local pull is starting to pay off. Many new faces were at the Rhinos’ tryouts for the 2019 season, which were held the morning of Saturday, September 29th at the North Hanover YMCA.

A couple of Gettysburg-born players that finished their high school careers elsewhere have been on hand for the first two Saturday sessions of the season, as well as some players from the York and Westminster areas, and a whole host of familiar native Hanovarians.

Getting players from Gettysburg has been an especially hard task for the Rhinos the last few years, despite the presence of three Gettysburg high school graduates, Adrian Acevedo, Cody Klinefelter, and Lakeith Parker on the roster.

Last year’s quarterback Corbin Bailey would appear to be the unquestioned starter at quarterback heading into the spring AFA season, but one can never have too many signal-callers, especially in the fall. Among those auditioning for spots on the QB depth chart is 18-year-old Gettysburg native Samuel Shea.

Shea, a left-hander who played semi-pro baseball this summer for the Gettysburg Grays of the South Penn League, played his high school ball at New Oxford, seeing time mainly on special teams with the Colonials.

“I missed playing football,” Shea said, “and my older brother played in the league previous and recommend playing for (Hanover).

The highlight of the opening tryout session came from the left arm of Shea during 7-on-7 drills at the end of the day. Taking a snap less than 10 yards from the goal line, the southpaw took a quick drop and rifled a pass into a tight window along the back line of the end zone. On the other end of the pass was new wide reciever Chris Conley, who anchored both sets of toes to the ground long enough to extend for the ball and pull it in before tumbling out of bounds.

“We ran a fade on the outside and a corner from the slot,” Shea said. “The wideout was pretty open, so I tried putting it up high so the corner wouldn’t be able to jump it.”

“Excellent placement, solid form…(Shea)’s a natural talent,” said Sneeringer said. “We’ll see if he’s coachable.”

Conley, a former Carroll County Cannon who has proven to be quite the character on the Rhinos’ private Facebook page, had a major hand in the success of that particular play as well.

“It was an IQ play,” said Conley. According to Conley, he was called to run a fade route in the huddle, but adjusted the route based on the defense and the fact that they were facing the short field on the goal line.

The 29th marked Conley’s first time on a football field since he completely tore his ACL and MCL two years ago.

“Honestly, I was pretty embarrassed,” Conley said. “Coming back from such a big injury and not playing for two years, I’m not back yet physically to where I usually am. It’s really frustrating. I was running through drills thinking to myself ‘I can’t be moving this slow’. But it feels great to be back in the sport I love. I’m just looking forward to getting all of our guys on the same page so we can function efficiently as a unit.”

One player who has never accused himself of being slow is second-year wide receiver Raydel Ragland. “The Human Joystick” was back to destroying the ladder drill and all other agility drills put before him. During an early drill, he expressed his desire to surpass his team-leading 12 receptions from last season.

With 17 catches in the coming season, he will pass current Rhinos’ record-holder DeAnte Weldon for the team’s career reception record.

But above all, Ragland has one aching desire.

“I love football, it’s all I can say,” Ragland states. “I just love the game, but what I really want to do is win a championship.”

It likely won’t be long before the diminutive Ragland is back to his self-proclaimed favorite pastime- “collecting ankles” at practice.

Very few feats were as impressive as Zach Deneen’s team-record-tying 3 sacks vs. the Maryland Phantoms on 5/6/17.

The versatile two-way player was named an AFA all-star in 2017, but last season, he took the year off from football.

“My schedule is a little more free,” Deneen says. “I still wanted to play last year.”

Having an all star-caliber player back in the mix is always a good thing, but it remains to be seen exactly what positions Deneen will see the most time at in 2019.

“I’d like to get more involved on offense,” said Deneen, who had the longest rushing play of the year for Hanover in 2017.

Part of the York contingent that’s been working out with the Rhinos is wide receiver Matt Fritz.

A 2010 graduate of West York high school, Fritz was there for the beginning of a 7-year streak of winning seasons for the Bulldogs’ football program.

The wide receiver is also a two-year veteran of semi-pro ball, having played for the York Generals and Central Penn Piranhas.

Fritz was impressed with the atmosphere at his first Hanover Rhinos’ session.

“It’s organized and professional,” he said. “We got here and started stretching right away and got to the point. A lot of times with these things, with other teams, there’s a lot of messing around for 30-40 minutes. It’s nice to get to the point.”

After drills were over, Fritz added, “It kinda feels like family already with how everyone interacts with eachother. You feel the small-town atmosphere, fans were even out here watching.”

Indeed, several groups of fans were seated in lawn chairs or standing around the outskirts of the lower field at the YMCA on tryout Saturday, catching their first glimpse of the 2019 Rhinos.

It was a mix of old and new faces alike that they saw suiting up for their hometown team. Back for another year is 64-year-old center Greg Day, who has been a member of the Rhinos from the very beginning of the franchise reboot in 2012. Day is a perfect example of the semi-pro mindset. He worked 13-hour days most of the summer at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, which kept him from getting any offseason workouts in, but he loves the team so much that he still came out this year.

Veteran cornerback Charles Smith and linebacker Dorell Blue, who have become the faces of the franchise, are back for another year, as is quarterback Jake Orner.

Among the new faces is Gettysburg native Brandon Andrews, who finished his high school career in 2010 as a running back/linebacker for Chambersburg.

“The fact that there are a lot of new faces (has me excited),” said Ragland. “I love the old faces, but new faces is what gets practice excited.”

The Rhinos’ first exhibition game is the annual Santa Bowl, which will be held at Manheim Adventure Park in Glenville, Pa, at 1 PM on Saturday, December 1st, 2018. Admission to the game is free for those that bring one new unwrapped toy, which will go to local area Toys for Tots.

The season will start sometime between late February and the end of March. The AFA’s schedule usually comes out a month or two before the season. Be on the lookout for the release of the schedule here on Rhino Charge!

2018 Rhino Charge Team Set, Part 9

Hanover Rhinos tryout weekend 2018 is almost here! That means we are almost done with the 2018 Rhino Charge team set!

Tryout weekend marks the official start of the season for the Hanover Rhinos every year. For the next two months, we will be preparing for our annual charity game, the Santa Bowl. This is the first exhibition game of the 2019 season and will be held Saturday, December 1st at 1 PM, at the home of the Rhinos, Manheim Adventure Park. It will be your first chance to see your 2019 Hanover Rhinos on the field in game action!

As for the 2018 team set, this is the second-to-last post for the set. Only three players and a handful of coaches and staff remain to be released after today.

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