Being stuck in a Lancaster-Lebanon League section with a trio of gridiron monsters at the top makes for a laborious mountain to scale. 

Cedar Crest head coach Rob Wildasin won’t pretend otherwise.

Wilson, Manheim Township, and defending section champ Hempfield compose the mountain. One, or even two, may inexplicably have down years, but the chances all three slip up at the same time are remote. 

“You don’t bust through that bubble, you just don’t,” Wildasin, starting his 10th year at the helm, said. “Those schools are just much bigger than us. What you try to do is play spoiler, quite frankly. We concede nothing to any of them.

“And we’ve done that in years past. We’ve been in the mix. We finished second in the section two years ago. So our approach is, ‘If you take us lightly, that’ll be to your own detriment.’”

Cedar Crest head coach Rob Wildasin gathers his troops for a word of instruction. Wildasin’s Falcons open their season on Friday at home against Northeastern. (Will Trostel)

But while Falcons won’t head into the 2023 campaign as anyone’s choice to win L-L Section 1 coming off a 5-5 (2-4) season a year ago, Wildasin’s goal is for his squad to make enough noise on a weekly basis and, with some solid play and good fortune, grab a spot in the District 3 6A playoffs.

“I like how team-oriented we are, to date,” Wildasin said. “We have a good group of senior leaders that are team-first guys and I really enjoy that. They kind of pull people together and they’re not ‘me’ guys. They wanna win. … And on good teams, that’s what happens.

Cedar Crest assistant coach Bob Peebles makes his point. (Will Trostel)

“We have to focus on us, and that’s what I repeat to them. If we do that, we’re going to be in the mix. We try to take a realistic approach. Are we gonna win every game? No. Almost nobody does. But to be competitive, be right there every game and to win games, those things are realistic. We wanna take the field and say, ‘We’ve got a real shot at winning this thing.’ And if we do that, we’re going to find ourselves in some football games that people might otherwise not think that we’d be in.”  

The offense, still a Spread RPO, has a new full-time signal caller in junior quarterback Jackson Custer. Custer doesn’t take the keys a greenhorn, however. He was forced into service during the second half of last season after senior starter Jay Huber suffered a season-ending injury in week 5 at Wilson. So the staff has a fairly good idea of what he can do.

Alex Abreu and Fernando Marquez return as the feature backs. Owen Chernich is a top returning receiver, alongside Jack Waranavage and Leo Tirado. Malachi Victor may see some time. Aiden Schomp, an absolute beast at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, returns at tight end while drawing NCAA Division I offers.

Senior end Aidan Schomp leads his Falcon teammates on to the practice field. The talented Schomp is being recruited to play football at the next level. (Will Trostel)

Custer and backs will benefit from a senior-laden offensive line spearheaded by center Nick Lambros, and Cam Simone and Christian Weaber at guard and tackle, respectively.

“Everything starts up front with our offensive line,” Wildasin said. “Those guys have played a lot of football together and they’re kind of the heart and soul of our team.”

Defensively, the Falcons are a seasoned bunch. The base 4-3 look will feature Simone and Schomp at defensive end, with Weaber and Tristan Long manning the tackle spots.

Caleb Dorshimer and Victor return at outside linebacker, with Richie Hernandez in the middle.

Waranavage, Abreu, and Tirado hold down the secondary.

Cedar Crest Falcons

Read all our coverage of the Falcons here.


Head Coach: Rob Wildasin

Assistant Coaches: Nick Lambros, Brandon Kirsch, Brian Powers, Tom Gerhart, Shawn Rambler, Tom Waranavage, Logan Horn, Jona Padilla, Nevin Pagan, Bob Peebles, Bob Griffiths, Gary Wildasin

Jersey NumberNameGradePosition(s)
0Alex Abreu12RB/DB
1Leo Tirado Jr.12WR/DB
2Owen Chernich12WR/DB
3Asher Ford12WR/DB
4Jack Waranavage11WR/DB
5Cristhian Viveros11WR/DB
6Cameron Tirado10WR/DB
7Kayden Tirado11RB/LB
8Jackson Custer11QB/DB
9Seth Warren11TE/DL
10Fernando Marquez12RB/LB
11Logan Oriel12WR/LB
12Lucas Nolan11WR/DB
13Diego Yanez10WR/LB
14Connor McCracken10TE/DE
15Cameron Hansell10QB/DB
16Malachi Victor11WR/LB
17Kaeleb Fees11WR/DB
18Travis Kemberling10WR/DB
19Dillon Hoffman11WR/DB
20Yadi Rosario10WR/DB
21Caleb Dorshimer12TE/LB
22Kenyon Figueroa12WR/DB
23Josh Tricoche11RB/DB
24Preston Barton12WR/DB
25Noah Miller10RB/LB
26Richie Hernandez12FB/LB
27Landen Weaber10WR/LB
28Landyn Kline10RB/LB
29Liam Setcavage10WR/DB
30Justin Moreno10WR/DB
31Alex Thies11WR/DB
32Samantha Fink10K
33Kai Speaks9WR/LB
34Antonio Tirado9WR/DB
35Eli Beard9RB/DB
36Ethan Bowman11K
37Dominic Roth12RB/LB
38Isaiah Zimmerman9RB/LB
39Tre Wamsher11WR/DB
40Joe Arnt11RB/LB
41Jordan Eisenhauer12WR/DB
42Anthony Lantz11WR/DB
43Garrett Starry9TE/LB
44Skyler Sherman9WR/DB
45Conner Rowe11WR/DB
46Jackson Chernich9TE/DE
47Terrance Wilson9WR/DB
48Calvin Dash9WR/DB
49Gavin Berkheimer9OL/DL
50Aidan Arnold11OL/DE
51Keenon Hopple9OL/DL
52Caden Wolfe9OL/DL
53Nicholas Lambros12OL/DT
54Paxton Thomas10OL/DL
55Cameron Simone12OL/DE
56Christian Weaber12OL/DL
57Tyler Toscano10OL/DL
58Alex Kissinger11OL/DL
59Christian Simpson10OL/DL
60Wyatt Fox10OL/DL
61Jordan Cullen11OL/DL
62Brady Shobe10OL/DT
63Austin Brubaker11OL/DL
64Jayden Storm10OL/DL
65Evan Pierce11OL/DL
66Landen Gross10OL/DE
67Damarius Galarza10OL/DE
68Carter Eisenhauer11OL/DL
69Jimmy Trump10OL/DL
70Tristan Long11OL/DL
71Pal Bhavsar12OL/DL
72Carter Ober10OL/DL
73Ahmed Mohamed11OL/DL
74Isaiah Sepulveda12OL/DL
75Connor Shanaman10OL/DL
76Michael Rivera12OL/DL
77Nathanael Harbaugh11OL/DL
78Bruce Gonzalez10OL/DL
79Alex Contreras11OL/DL
80Ben Custer9TE/DE
81Jayden Marley10WR/DB
82Chase Warren9TE/DE
83Luke Oriel10QB/DB
84Cole Shanaman9OL/DL
85Cole Stevenson11OL/DL
86Nolan Brubaker9TE/LB
87Aiden Schomp12TE/DE
88Grayson Frankenstein11TE/DE
91Bryan Duffy10RB/LB
99Dylan Fuhrman11TE/DE
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Jeff Dewees has written about sports for more than 30 years, with local stops including the Patriot-News, York Daily Record, Hummelstown Sun and Carlisle Sentinel. He resides in North Lebanon Township.


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