TWO-A-DAYS: No longer a Ches-Mont doormat, Oxford is ready to take another step toward the top

EAST NOTTINGHAM >> Oxford High School head football coach Mike Means came to pilot the Hornets football program five years ago, and Means had the task of turning around a program that had lost its way.

Oxford linebacker Kelvin Figueroa. (BILL RUDICK)

For far too long, Oxford was known as an easy win in the Ches-Mont League’s American Division, and was on the wrong side of some lopsided games.

Not anymore.

In his four years at the helm, Means has made Oxford a very respectable football program, and not at all an easy mark for the rest of the Ches-Mont.

Now, the hornets are ready to take the next step in 2020.

When the COVID-19 virus put the 2020 scholastic football season on hold, all Means and his kids did was go to work preparing for whatever type of season may come. Now, with the season on the horizon, all the Hornets’ hard work was well worth it.

“The kids have really worked their butts off getting ready for the season,” Means said. “We only have 14 seniors on the squad but this is my toughest bunch of seniors and I really like this team. I really like how our interior defense is shaping up and we have our most physical team since I have been here. This is a really tough group of kids we have this season, and we are really looking forward to getting the season started.”

Some of those interior people Means was talking about are senior nose tackle Kevin Figueroa, Jake Highfield, Aidan Miley, and the 6-foot-4, 295-pound Nick Richardson. This front wall is expected to control opposing running games and put pressure on the opposition’s quarterback.

Means said his secondary is a little bit of a concern and admits it is a work in progress. The Hornets’ head coach says his staff is breaking in some young kids in the secondary and he hopes they mature fast through game action.

Oxford running back Dom Pantalone. (BILL RUDICK)

For the third straight season, Oxford is starting a first-year senior at quarterback. Seth Yoder will assume the rains after University of Delaware product Tom Repetz graduated last season. Yoder is 6-foot-1, 230 pounds, and according to Means, is a bruiser with a very accurate arm. While Means admits Yoder’s arm is not as strong as Repetz’s was, he is a very good thrower and a very good leader. The senior signal-caller is tough, versatile and makes good decisions and he has mobility and toughness and can run and throw the football.

“Like I said, we only have 14 seniors on this team but this is the biggest and toughest team we have had in my five years here,” Means said. “It is a young group but we have talent and we are excited to get going this season.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply