Rhinos to Face Giants in Preseason

The build-up to any organized football season is gradual, whether it’s Pop Warner, High School, semi-pro, or the top level of the pro ranks.

For the 2019 Hanover Rhinos, the next chapter of their story is here- their second preseason game.

The Rhinos, who haven’t played since the Santa Bowl on December 8th, will travel to the Baltimore Giants for a tune-up game on Saturday, February 2nd at 11 AM.

The game will be held at the YMCA on Caton Avenue, and is free for the public to attend.

“The Santa Bowl is like the first chapter of the book,” Rhinos head coach Noah Sneeringer said. “You don’t really find out much about the plot or all the characters involved, but it gets you excited for the rest of the book.”

The Rhinos will get some much needed work in during chapter two of this book. There is still much to be figured out about the depth chart and how this edition of the Rhinos will operate on game days.

“First preseason (game) tells a lot about the players you got,” Sneeringer said. “You find out who’s been studying the playbook. You’re hoping to get some clarification on position battles.”

Sneeringer, who is entering his 4th season as Hanover’s head coach, has been through two previous preseasons with the team, so he tends to know how things work this time of year. But, he still gets a little nervous for these tune-up games and all the challenges they bring to coaches at the semi-pro level.

“It’s a little bit of both,” Sneeringer says about the excitement that combines with nerves. “You don’t know much about our team or the team you’re playing. Gameplans are not really about the opposing team but more of an evaluation on (your own) players. It’s more a self-evaluation game in all areas.”

The game against the Giants is what the Rhinos hope will be the first of two winter preseason contests, the other one coming later on at home against an opponent to be determined.

This is the first time the Rhinos will play a preseason game on the road since 2/11/17, when they travelled to face the Pennsylvania Pharoahs in Harrisburg.

“I want to get one home, one away scrimmage,” Sneeringer said. “Always nice to have home events, but we need to know how we travel.”

Many of the players are just excited for the same old reason they get hyped up this time of year- the opportunity to hit somebody wearing a different-colored jersey for once after lining up against their teammates in practice for months.

“Honestly, (I’m) hyped!,” said Rhinos’ newcomer Tristan Simpkins. “I’ve been waiting for another chance to play someone new. I’m very excited to see what I can produce and what the team can do as a whole!”

For others, the game is an opportunity to try out new wardrobe combinations.

“(I was thinking) how lucky (my teammates) are that I’m playing with them and not against them,” said another newcomer, John Curtis, Jr., a defensive back out of New Jersey.

“Actually, that was a PC answer,” Curtis continued. “What I really thought was what colors I was going to match my gloves and cleats with.”

“All red or all white, I haven’t decided yet.”

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Chris Conley Rhino Bites Interview

You don’t want to miss this interview with the Hanover Rhinos’ new player/defensive coach Chris Conley! Apart from being one of the smartest football minds on the team, he is also one of the most interesting on social media!

After years with the Carroll County Cannons, and a few years recovering from a catastrophic knee injury, Conley is returning to the field in 2019

Hear what he has to say!

2019 Rhinos’ Schedule Released

Every year, the Atlantic Football Association begins in the fall when many of the member teams hold tryouts and begin practices for their respective holiday charity games.

The season becomes a reality in the players’ minds when the regular season schedule is released early every January.

That time has come for the 2019 Hanover Rhinos.

Hanover’s schedule was made official on January 9th.

With the AFA downsizing to eight teams, each club will play eight games instead of ten for the first time since the 2014 season.

The teams are split into two four-team conferences, the Northern and the Southern. The Rhinos will compete for the Northern Division title with the Franklin County Tigers, Maryland Phantoms, and York Silver Bullets. The four Northern Division teams are the four oldest existing members the AFA. The Southern Division is made up entirely of teams new to the AFA.

The Rhinos are hosting the opener, and for the third time in the last four years, the Rhinos will kickoff their season lining up against the Franklin County Tigers. The teams split the previous two opening matchups, with Hanover winning 24-14 in 2016, and Franklin County taking a 14-6 decision last year.

The following week, the Rhinos travel to Baltimore to face the bullies of the AFA, the Maryland Phantoms. Last year, the Phantoms racked up 24 penalties for 266 yards in a less-than-sportsmanlike display vs. the Rhinos in Baltimore.

“The Big One” takes center stage for the only time during the 2019 regular season in week 3, as the York Silver Bullets, now under the leadership of new head coach Blair Powell, travel to Hanover for the most storied rivalry in the AFA.

The Rhinos make the 1-hour and 45-minute trip to Elkton, Maryland in week 4 to face one of the four new AFA members, the Cecil County Chaos. The Chaos are a startup football team that raised some money through a GoFundMe page for their 2018 ECFA season. The team was organized by and is owned by Kevin Coy.

The entire league takes a break to observe the Easter holiday the week of April 20th.

After the holiday, the Rhinos return home to face Calvert County’s Southern Maryland Regulators, another new entry into the AFA.

That’s followed by a road fixture at the District Eagles in week 6.

Your final chance to see the Rhinos at home in the 2019 regular season comes on 5/11 vs. the Delmarva Herons. Owned and operated by Gino Coiro, the Herons were in the prestigious World Football Federation for their inaugural season last summer. They went 1-7. The 2019 season will be the Herons’ spring debut.

The season wraps up with a trip to Franklin County to play the Tigers in a game that may have heavy playoff implications.

Speaking of playoffs, the top 6 teams make it to the postseason in the AFA this year. The top two seeds earn a first round bye, while the number 3 and 4 seeds host first round playoff games.

All Hanover Rhinos’ home games are slated for 1 PM kickoffs, though the venue has yet to be determined. You can buy tickets by contacting Chris Bunty through facebook or phone (717-465-0782) or the Hanover Rhinos website, or via email: @hanoverrhinosfootball@gmail.com.

Tickets for the Hanover Rhinos shrimp and smoked wings feed at Little Everett’s Social Hall in Bonneauville can be obtained through contacting Chris Bunty or any other Hanover Rhinos’ player or staff member. Ask about tickets to this great event today! It will be held on February 16th. The proceeds from the ticket sale will go toward funding a stadium for the Hanover Rhinos to play in during the 2019 season! This benefits you, the fans, too! If you are tired of sitting in lawn chairs viewing the game from poor sightlines, your purchase of a ticket could lead to you viewing the Rhinos’ home games from bleacher seating!