From winter’s polar grip the first sign of spring walks silently on the crust of the slowly melting snow. Always careful to have the sun at his back and the wind in his face, the great shaman approaches unnoticed. The orator brings word of the return of the sun and with it the first glimpse of a new season. It is a season that has been beefed up and front loaded for the return of quality Beaver roster.
DuBois ended its 2013 season with a loss to a strong Mifflin County squad. In 2014 the Beavers have come full circle, starting exactly where last season ended, in a dog fight with Mifflin County. The Huskies reload for week 1 as the Beavers travel to Lewistown for the AAAA showdown. DuBois continues to work through the winter and they have the Huskies in their crosshairs. After two straight losses to Mifflin County the Beavers are looking for an upset in week 1 that will announce their presence as a playoff contender.
In Week 2 DuBois returns to Meadville to face a high powered running game. The Bulldogs return 37 underclassmen in 2014, a fact that should prove to be more than a challenge for DuBois who had difficulty stopping the squad a year ago.
Week 3 provides an upgrade to the schedule. Conneaut Area Senior High comes to Mansell for a showdown with DuBois. CASH is a new district created from a merger of three schools, Conneaut Lake, Conneaut Valley, and Linesville. The merger created a formidable opponent as General McLane found when they landed on the short end of a 41-40 shootout. The Eagles finished 7-4 a year ago and are looking to go Beaver hunting.
Early Polls have Erie Cathedral Prep ranked in the state’s top 10 once more. The school’s ability to attract the best athletes the region has to offer means they will be reloading not rebuilding. Erie is a perennial state semifinalists and one year removed from a PIAA state championship. Week 4 will be the opportunity of a lifetime for the Beaver Express as it heads north for its shot at the Champ. Ding Ding!
No season would be complete without one of the oldest rivalries in the state. The Beavers hit the road for the fourth time in just five weeks as they travel to Punxsutawney. The grudge match should be a good one as Punxy returns a host of starters in 2014 making the showdown one that will be unpredictable this season.
Oil City has traded blows with DuBois over the last 4 seasons. The latest knockdown came last year when they defeated DuBois at Mansell, holding off a late drive by the Beavers. The squad has payback in mind as the Oilers return to Mansell in Week 6.
Weeks 7 and 8 offer two opponents the Beavers have owned over the past three seasons. Bradford and Franklin are both teams that return a strong group of skilled players. Both squads hope to add to their quality through the growth of underclassmen talent. Undoubtedly they will be much improved but it is doubtful they will be able to affect the Beaver Express.
The final two games of the season are both upgrades to the schedule and offer formidable opponents for DuBois. In Week 9 the Beavers will face General McLane a team who defeated a strong Slippery Rock Squad 35-15, Erie Strong Vincent 30-14 and Oil City 31-21. GM is a solid playoff caliber opponent that should help the Beavers get ready for the post season.
The final opponent of the year replaces Brookville on the schedule. Karns City finished 12-2 on the season with their two loses being to State Semifinalist Clarion and PIAA State Champion South Fayette. KC destroyed all other opponents on the season including Oil City who defeated DuBois. Karns City should be a strong opponent to end the Regular Season.
The Swami likes 2014 and looks forward to a group that is One Team, Unstoppable, Immovable, and Unbeatable. Time to go to work boys!