Youth Movement for Red Dragons

By Justin Horowitz

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 29, 2009 at 12:04 AM EDT

CORTLAND - Their campus has been taken over the past month by the Jets, but now that the NFL is gone, Cortland State is getting ready for its season.

The Red Dragons had a history-making 2008, advancing all the way to the national quarterfinals.

If you're looking for a repeat, it's going to come with almost all new faces.

The Red Dragons return only eight starters and have to replace their entire offensive line, quarterback, running back and linebacking corps.

The good news is that 13th-year head coach Dan MacNeill has been able to bring in higher-caliber recruits thanks to the program's success and says the names might be different this year, but the system is still the same.

"There's a lot of good maturity," says head coach Dan MacNeill. "There are a lot of young faces, a lot of new faces stepping forward, but you know it was the same equation last year. Two years ago, we lost probably more starters than ever and we came back and we had the best season we ever had."

"The talent's there," says quarterback Dan Pitcher. "There's no question about it. The talent's there and it's the role of the guys who have been around to try and bring that together and gel as quickly as possible."

The Cortland High grad and Colgate-transfer Pitcher will start under center.

He could be joined in the backfield by Chenango Forks grad Joe Aston.

The Red Dragons open the season at home September 12th against Morrisville.

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