Rhino Bites

Rhino Bites charges on with another look into the football life of another new member of the Hanover Rhinos.



Age: 19                                       Hometown: Baltimore, Md           Class: Hereford ’16                               Positions: Safety

#1. Tell our readers about your football playing experience.

ND: I’ve been playing since age 5-6. Rec at Hereford, 2 years of high school football at Kennard-Dale, and senior year at Hereford high school. I’ve played quarterback and safety my whole life, with punter and kick-off thrown in the mix as well. My dad has coached me since I started playing, and I had a former Baltimore Bulls semi-pro player and Hereford quarterback teach me the rest of my skills at the end of my rec career, for quarterback as well.

#2. What are the major differences between playing high school football in Pennsylvania and playing high school football in Maryland?

ND: Well, I’m not gonna bash PA sports, because a lot of them are very good, but coming from Maryland into Pennsylvania, the sports mindset wasn’t what I was expecting. I remember being told because I came from (Maryland), I probably wouldn’t get a lot of playing time, and sure enough, I didn’t see the field a lot. The players were big, very big, which most high schools are, so it didn’t come by surprise, but the want to play just didn’t seem like it was there in Pennsylvania sports, at least for my school. Going back into Hereford, it was definitely what I was expecting, the players had the want to win. We weren’t the doormats of the state like we were in my past school, we won games, our practices were conducted fairly. Everyone was given a chance to show what they had no matter what, so overall there was some big differences, which is why I was slightly nervous about playing another sport in Pennsylvania, but from the first practice with this family of Rhinos, I realized it’s not at all like I thought it was and I’m happy to be able to call myself a Rhino.

#3. What’s your favorite memory on a football field?

ND: I would have to say my last year in rec football going 7-2 is the best memory. We beat everyone we had to play against except lost to North Harford our first game against them by 1 point, then beat them by 1 and then lost again, but it just showed who the best teams were in our division, and that will be a year I’ll never forget. Every time I step on the football field, I think about that year and I just hope I can make new memories with my new family.

#4. What is the Rhino family all about?

ND: To me, being new, from what I’ve seen is working hard, working as a team, when someone’s falling behind, you turn around and you drive them to finish. We’re all each other’s motivators. When someone does something wrong, they hear it from everyone not because they’re bad, but because everyone knows what we’re capable of. We just have to have the drive to achieve success and we can’t do that without everyone single one of us pushing each other, we’re one big family. We’re all in this for the same reason.

#5. How can you best describe the goals for the 2018 Hanover Rhinos team?

ND: I think we are pushing for one, getting everyone to be one family and playing for each other, not ourselves, and more importantly, getting that championship.


Remember, fans, you can catch brand-new interview segments with brand-new members of the Hanover Rhinos every week, here on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos football team.




Rhino Bites

We give you one more edition of Rhino Bites to get you ready for the big game today. Just hours before the Rhinos take the field against the Pennsylvania Pharaohs in Santa Bowl VI, we sit down with former Pharaoh and current Rhino Shawn Simmons, Jr. to discuss Saturday’s matchup.



Age: 23                                        Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa                        Class: Harrisburg ’12                              Positions: RB/FB

#1. What’s it going to be like facing your old team on Saturday?

SS: I’m actually looking forward to it, we have a great line that opens some holes up for our backs. I think we will have a field day on offense. Plus, I have bit of a chip on my shoulder due to missing the entire season with a hamstring injury. In this offense, I kinda get to show what I can do with the ball and my hands, I’m excited about that.

#2. When’s the last time you took the field for a game?

SS: Last time I took the field for a game was last spring.

#3. Can you describe in detail how it’s going to feel to be back out there come Saturday?

SS: It’s going to be an amazing feeling after I got hurt again and missed the season. I thought about giving up playing football. It’s just hard to fight that itch of playing a game that you played since you were a kid, so I came back out. I just wanna come out and have fun with my teammates, pads popping, bodies flying, that’s what football is all about.

#4. Have you ever taken part in a special holiday bowl game before?

SS: No, this is my first one, so I’m gonna rock some Christmas socks. (chuckles).

#5. What’s the ugliest Christmas sweater you’ve ever worn?

SS: (Laughing). Bro, I never wore a Christmas sweater that I know of.


Fans, don’t forget to show your support for the Hanover Rhinos today by making your way to Manheim Adventure Park, (4565 Camp Woods Rd, Glenville, PA 17329) to cheer on your local warriors. Admission is $5 or one new unwrapped toy. Kickoff is at 1 PM. Gates open at 11.


Rhino Bites

Santa Bowl week is one of the most exciting weeks of the year on the Hanover Rhinos’ calendar. It hearkens back to the first week of high school, when anticipation is high for the members of the football team as the first game is on the horizon.
The first game of the new season for the semi-pro Hanover Rhinos is always the Santa Bowl, an exhibition game that benefits the local Toys For Tots.

On this Monday, Hanover Rhinos football is so close, you can almost taste it.

The players have been strapping on the pads every Sunday for the last two months to prepare for their opponent, which is the ECFA’s Harrisburg Pharaohs this year.

We kick off our Santa Bowl VI coverage week with a very special edition of Rhino Bites, featuring a new member of the Rhinos who once played in one of the more memorable recent football seasons for local South Western High School. He played defensive end and offensive tackle for the 1999 South Western Mustangs,  a team that went 8-2. However, the team missed the four-team PIAA District III class AAAA playoff field by a few rankings points. What really stung for the Mustangs was that Cedar Crest, who had the same record as South Western, made the playoffs despite losing to the Mustangs 40-7 during the regular season. Cedar Crest started two future NCAA Division-I scholarship players in the backfield.

          MATT HILKER                           


Age: 35                       Hometown: Glenville, Pa             Class: South Western ’00         Positions: OL/DL

#1. What made you decide to come out and play for the Rhinos this season after 17 years away from the game?

MH: When you have the pads taken off for the last time, it’s the hardest thing to do. Playing in high school was a special feeling. When you have the chance to put ’em back on, you don’t question it. You just do it.

#2. What’s your favorite memory from your playing days at South Western?

MH: The Cedar Crest game senior year. We played against the best running back in the state (Michigan State recruit Jaren Hayes), and shut him down for just 44 yards.

#3. How much did it sting to miss out on the playoffs, while Cedar Crest went to the playoffs with an identical record to yours?

MH: The most disappointing thing was when we lost the YAIAA division championship by losing to Central York. We were up at the half, but we had no senior leadership. We were in the locker room celebrating at halftime, and we came out and got our (butts) kicked. It still haunts me to this day. If we win that game, then (ranking) wouldn’t have been an issue.

#4. How did it feel watching all of the underclassmen from your ’99 team beat Reading in the playoffs and reach the district championship game the year after you graduated?

MH: It was awesome, we were family, and watching them achieve what they did was an amazing thing.

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

MH: I saw it on Facebook 3 or 4 years ago. At that time, I didn’t have enough money, so I’m doing it now.
Remember, fans, you can catch brand-new interview segments with brand-new members of the Hanover Rhinos every week, here on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos football team. Stay tuned throughout the rest of this week as we get you prepared to cheer on the Rhinos in Santa Bowl VI.