Post 1,129 – Team Preview 2023: Cherokee Chiefs

Cherokee Chiefs 

August 16, 2023 

2022: 

  • 5-6 
  • Lost to Kingsway in the South Jersey Group 5 semifinals after beating Williamstown in the quarterfinals 
  • Wins included St. Augustine, Shawnee, Seneca, and Williamstown 
  • Losses were to Holy Spirit, Lenape, Hammonton, Kingsway, and Millville 
  • Scored 262 points for a 23.81 average 
  • Allowed 239 points for a 21.72 average 

Graduation: 

  • RB Brandon Boria – Stony Brook 
  • OL/DL Roman Dougherty – Kutztown 
  • WR/DB Cam Burti – East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 
  • DB Brian Mitchell – East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 
  • OL/DL Dom DeChurch – Widener 
  • LB Brandon Petrick – Shepherd for baseball
  • DB Sean Cole – lacrosse  

Offense: 

  • Formation: Multiple Spread 
  • Returning Starters: 5  

Quarterback: 

  • Ryan Bender, Senior, 6-3, 1909 – 3-year starter 

Running Back: 

  • Murad Campfield, Junior, 5-10, 195 – projected starter and started some games 
  • Luke Brown, Senior, 5-10, 190 – will spell Campfield and also play h-back and quarterback 

H-Back: 

  • Kevin Pacan, Senior, 5-8, 170 – projected starter; started some games at running back 

Wide Receiver: 

  • Trent Osborn, Senior, 6-3, 190 – returning starter 
  • Tom Pajic, Senior, 6-3, 185 – 3-year starter 

Tight End: 

  • Jake Wood, Senior, 6-5, 215 – projected starter 

Offensive Line: 

  • Chris Therien, Junior, 6-5, 275 – projected starter at left tackle 
  • Zach Ott, Senior, 5-11, 250 – 3-year starter at left guard 
  • Drew Geisenheimer, Senior, 5-11, 255 – projected starter at center 
  • Cole Shanze, Junior, 5-10, 245 – projected starter at right guard 
  • Dylan Grau, Junior, 6-5, 330 – returning starter at right tackle 

Defense: 

  • Formation: Even fronts
  • Returning Starters: 5 

Defensive Line: 

  • Leo Bluestein, Senior, 6-1, 215 – 3-year starter at end 
  • Brodyn Wolfert, Senior, 6-5, 210 – returning starter at end 
  • Jake Wood, Senior, 6-5, 215 part of the rotation at end 
  • Zach Ott, Senior, 5-11, 250 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • Chris Therien, Junior, 6-5, 275 – part of rotation at tackle 
  • Others will be in the tackle rotation 

Linebacker: 

  • Austin Lenart, Senior, 6-3, 220 – 3-year starter in the middle 
  • Dante Harrison, Junior, 5-101, 190 – projected starter on the weak side 
  • Louis Rhodes, Senior, 5-10, 185 – projected starter on the strong side 
  • Luke Brown, Senior, 5-10, 190 – part of the rotation 

Secondary: 

  • Robbie Shultz, Senior, 6-1, 190 – returning starter at strong safety 
  • Evan Bryfogle, Junior, 5-7, 155 – returning starter at free safety, moving from cornerback 
  • Tom Pajic, Senior, 6-3, 185 – projected starter at cornerback 
  • Darwin Walker, Junior, 6-4, 200 – projected starter at cornerback 

Special Teams: 

  • Senior Tom Pajic is a 3-year starter at kicker and punter 
  • Pacan, Campfield, and others will be the return men 

Schedule: 

  • Friday, 8/25, Winslow at home 
  • Thursday, 8/31, Hammonton at home 
  • Friday, 9/8, at St,. Augustine 
  • Thursday, 9/14, Shawnee at home 
  • Friday, 9/29, Williamstown at home 
  • Friday, 10/6, at Lenape 
  • Friday, 10/13, at Kingsway 
  • Friday, 10/20, Millville at home 
  • Thursday, 11/23, at Seneca 

Concerns: 

  • Depth – continuing to develop it 
  • Staying healthy 
  • Tough schedule and the first two are because of the schedule 

Recruiting: 

  • Lenart has offers from Patriot League teams and others 
  • Bluestein has interest from 1-AA and D2 schools 
  • Bender is a 1-AA prospect who runs a sub-4.5 40-yard dash 
  • Pajic and Osborn are 1-AA candidates 
  • Others are D3 
  • Underclassmen: 
  • Grau, Therien, and Campfield are the top juniors 

Coach’s Comments: 

“We have a good core group that has stuck together. The schedule is a grind and requires more than the front eleven: we need younger guys to step up. We can compete with anybody and if we can stay healthy, we can make a nice run.” – Head Coach Brian Glatz

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