In each of the last two seasons, the Division Blue Dragons have snacked on success. Playoff berths have wet their whistle, but early exits left them hungry for more. And now, with two experienced seniors leading them on both sides of the ball, they finally may be ready for the main course.
George Hafner is a three-year starter who runs the show on defense A safety who led the team in tackles last season, Hafner had a good showing in summer 7-on-7s, something that is becoming more and more important, 13-year coach Ray Weidlein said.
“He is the guy we put on our best receiver,” Weidlein said. “He’s our best cover guy. He can run well and is strong. He’s one of the better kids in our conference. He’s a kid that should be looked at.”
Hafner knows the recent playoff appearances mean that both he and his team will get closer looks throughout the season. This adds a sense of purpose to summer practice, specifically when it comes to stopping the run, which both Hafner and Weidlein acknowledged must improve.
“You want to maintain the edge on the outside,” Hafner said. “We play pass first, so anything I can do to help out the linebackers and just be a better tackler will definitely help.”
Hafner also plays wide receiver and expects to be catching passes from fellow senior Vinny Inciarrano when the season begins. Inciarrano had bone spurs removed from his throwing elbow in late June, started throwing in early August, and said that he expects to be under center for the second consecutive season.
“It was an injury I could deal with, but I’d obviously rather not have it,” Inciarrano said. “It’s a lot better. I have more motion and better accuracy.”
Inciarrano added: “I feel great. I’ve started throwing. It feels fine, as if I never had surgery. I’m back and better than ever.”
Inciarrano hopes to become more of a leader in the huddle, barking out signals with decisiveness. A leader who could guide a more experienced unit back to the playoffs.
And this year, they want seconds.
“We got a good taste last year of what it’s like to be a playoff team,” Inciarrano said. “This year we feel better, stronger, and smarter. I think we’ll be better off.”