ALEXANDRIA, Pa (WTAJ) — The setting is Mansion Park in Altoona. It’s December and the snow fell like a Lifetime Christmas movie as Juniata Valley played Bishop Guilfoyle in the District 6 championship. That night the Marauders mounted a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Green Hornets 24-21, propelling BG to the state semifinals. The Marauders would go on to win the Class 1A Championship. JV would be left wondering ‘what it.’
But that’s last year, and the past is the past says head coach Bill Musser.
“We talk about it all the time, last season as last season. These kids want to have their own legacy. They want to build their success. They want to build their story,” he said. “The experience is where it’s going to carry over. And we go from there and and let the kids work on their own essays.”
JV will not look the same when the Green Hornets lines up in their opener against Glendale. Death, taxes and senior graduation is the game of football, and JV loses more than 20 seniors including quarterback Lambert Palmer who tallied more than 1,500 yards of offense last year. JV also loses leading rusher Jayce Rand.
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Just a handful of starters return to this 1A squad. Musser said while a lot of players didn’t serve as starters, they saw a lot of playing time in 2021. Senior slotback Jacob Rodkey is hopeful young players blossom.
“We do have a couple of big shoes to fill,” Rodkey said. “But I think in competition, I foresee a handful of younger kids that didn’t really get much varsity experience at all last year, showing the coaches who they who they can be as a player, as a leader, and stepping up to the plate.”
Juniata Valley has recorded a winning season in six-straight, dating back to 2016. In that tim the Green Hornets have compiled a 52-20 combined record.