Experienced Carlisle Herd eyeing 2021 playoff run

Friday Night Football

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Carlisle Thundering Herd lived up to its nickname in 2020. The team surpassed its 2019 win total, despite playing half as many games. With over 40 upperclassmen returning this fall, the team has high hopes.

The latest installment of the Herd has 12 seniors and boasts a junior class of about 30 experienced players.

“Either this is the year or [it will be] the years to come,” said senior receiver Matthew Trolinger. “We’re definitely right there.”

Head coach Brett Ickes returns for his fifth season back at Carlisle, after previously coaching the Herd from 2006 to 2009. He’s finished with a .500 record twice in this second stint, but hasn’t gotten over that hump. He thinks this could be his strongest group yet.

“They like to compete every play and every game,” Ickes said. “We have a lot of size and depth, which is really going to be a key for us this year.”

In a division that features some of the toughest competition in the state, the Mid-Penn Commonwealth, he knows how important his large roster is.

“We have to have people up front, because that’s what wins our league,” he said.

Carlisle sees itself as a playoff team this year.

“If they’re not looking out, they should be,” senior Elisha Carothers said about the competition. “That’s all I can say on that.”

The Herd begin the season on August 27 on the road against Mechanicsburg.

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