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Inter-Academic League

Inter-Academic League 2019 Preview and Team-by-Team Breakdowns

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Germantown Academy Patriots

Trae Vance will be the engine of the Germantown Academy offense this season. (MNG file)

Skilled Patriots look to ride Vance

WHITEMARSH >> Last year, Germantown Academy’s offense was built around its massive offensive line.

This year, it’s about the skill positions.

“I’d rather be great in the skill positions,” GA head coach Matt Dence said. “I think we were good in the skill positions last year and great in the offensive line. I’d rather have the other. We’ll see. My hope is that’s what it is and it will lead to success. Time will tell.”

At the center of the skill positions and the Patriots offensive gameplan is running back Trae Vance. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder rushed for over 1,110 yards and nine touchdowns in 2018.

“Trae is an All-Inter-Ac back,” Dence said. “He’s an All-Area back. He’s got a full scholarship to Howard University, which he’s committed to. He’s a good football player. We want to run the ball with Trae, there’s no doubt about it.

“On offense it’s all going to begin and end with how effective we are running the ball with Trae.”

Vance takes the challenge of being the center of the offense in stride.

“Since I’ve started last year I feel like I’ve known what I can bring to this team,” he said. “I really want to give it my all for this team since it’s my last year, especially. I want to do right by my team, try to get that (championship).”

Vance spent his offseason working hard and is setting high goals for 2019.

“I worked on almost everything,” he said. “My speed, my strength. This year I want to get at least 2,000 yards. Try to up it up a little bit and do as best I can.”

The Patriots finished 1-4 in Inter-Ac play last year and 6-4 overall.

“Stay healthy,” Dence said of how they can have more league success. “We lost Jordan (Longino), our starting quarterback. Matty Brittingham did a great job as a backup, but you know in high school football when you go to the backup it changes everything you do. Matty was a totally different quarterback than Jordan. He was effective in a lot of ways. We didn’t play well as a team once Jordan went down. I don’t know if mentally we went into the tank a little bit — I don’t think we did.

“The Inter-Ac is no joke. A lot of people want to scoff at us, this league is as good as it gets. You look at our out-of-league schedule and who we’re playing and our out-of-league record as a whole is unbelievable. I don’t know exactly what it was, but I remember talking about it at the league meeting. It’s a good league.”

Offensive player to watch

Hans Lillis, TE >> The 6-foot-5 225-pound tight end is heading to Boston College next year. Lillis can run, block, catch everything and play about five different positions on offense. His size and skillset should give QB Jordan Longino a reliable target all season long.

Defensive player to watch

Shane Harkins, DB >> The 6-foot 180-pound safety brings a hard-hitting mentality to the GA defense. Harkins is a four-year starter who has played every game since ninth grade. He’s a smart leader on campus and on the field. He’ll miss some tackles going for a big hit, but he’ll make opponents think twice about coming into his area.

By Ed Morlock, emorlock@21st-centurymedia.com

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Germantown Academy Patriots

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