Three years ago, Eli Aldrich was a bright-eyed freshman looking to fit in on the Sabers football team. This fall he’s looking to return the favor.
Aldrich and fellow senior Ryan Armitage will help lead a young line after graduation hit the Sabers hard.
“We look to help them out with their footwork and where they need to be on plays,” said Aldrich. “It’s coming along slowly but guys are starting to step up.”
During the offseason, the team would workout a couple times a week; Aldrich said often the lineman would be found in their own corner working on stances and technique.
“We’re keeping it simple this year,” said Aldrich. “Last year with the older guys we did some more complex stuff, and right now it’s more basic ground up stuff.”
Susquehanna Coach Kyle Cook credits his senior lineman with helping to lead the underclassmen and notes each has a different style.
“Eli is very personable with the younger kids,” said Cook. “He’s not going to get in their face on a mistake, but will find a way to joke about it while emphasizing what needs to be done.”
Aldrich attributes his yearly improvement to the coaching staffs at Susquehanna.
“They’ve always pushed us in the offseason,” said Aldrich. “We get in the weight room during offseason and during the season they’re always working with us on technique.”
Cook noted that Aldrich’s progress is not only due to his tenacity but also his inquisitive nature.
“He’s an aggressive kid who doesn’t want to be pushed around,” said Cook. “But he always is asking questions if he doesn’t understand something or wants to know what he can do better.”
Another thing Aldrich feels helps him is his participation in wrestling at Blue Ridge – another co-sponsored athletic program between the two schools. “It really helps with my strength and agility,” added Aldrich.
The idea of it being his final year of high school football hasn’t completely hit yet for Aldrich.
“I don’t think it will really hit until that final game,” he noted. “But I’m going to try and enjoy this year and have some fun.”
When off the field or the mats, Aldrich is an avid sportsman who enjoys fishing and hunting whether its turkey, deer or small game. This season he hopes to have the young Sabers in the hunt come playoff time.
“My goal is to enjoy myself and help lead this young team into the playoffs and see what we can do,” smiled Aldrich.