Oxford aims for a return trip to the district playoffs

OXFORD >> Over the past few seasons, the Oxford football squad has been a tough, scrappy team, with a big-play run-pass-option offense capable of piling up the yards. This season, the Hornets will look to its defense to lead them to a return trip to the district playoffs.

Oxford Head Coach Mike Means (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

“I am expecting our defense to carry our team as we work three new offensive linemen into the mix as well as some new skill position players,” said head coach Mike Means, entering his seventh year at the helm.

(LR) Corey DiAntonio, Luke Piksum, Dillon Williams, Nate Vance, Dustin Long (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

The Hornets bring back seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, led by returning All-Ches-Mont selections Luke Piksum (Sr., LB) and Maven Brannon, a big, 6-foot-4, 245-pound senior linebacker. Also returning on defense are seniors Dillon Williams (DE), Landen Turk (DE) and Nate Vance (LB), along with juniors Zach Richardson (NT) and CJ Boyer (CB).
“Returning seven starters, and some other guys who got varsity playing time, one of our biggest strengths should be our experience on the defensive side of the ball,” said Means.
Offensively, the Hornets have five returning starters, led by senior quarterback Dustin Long, a second-team All-Ches-Mont selection a year ago.

Hornets’ QB Dustin Long (BILL RUDICK for MediaNews Group)

“Having our starting QB back is a huge plus,” said Means. “Dustin is the unquestioned leader of the offense and one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached.”
Joining Long as returning starters on the offense are seniors Ryan Evans (WR), Danny Rodriguez (OT) and Nate Jobe (OT), along with junior CJ Boyer (WR).
Oxford welcomes a talented group of athletes to the starting line-up this season, including senior Cole Craft, a 6-2, 230-pound defensive end who started the last five games last year. Others taking a bigger role this season are seniors Shane Cassidy (OLB), Corey DiAntonio (WR), Gavin Elville (FS), Makhi Ferguson (OL/DL), and Ethan Campion (LT), as well as junior Connor Mallon (LB ).
“I’m excited about the talent that we have on this team and the work ethic that these guys have shown all off-season, “said Means. “This is the fastest team I’ve coached and one of the strongest that we have had.”
The Hornets’ 2022 campaign gets underway with a first week Ches-Mont crossover game, on the road at Avon Grove. Oxford’s kicks off its Ches-Mont slate in week two when they travel to Kennett.

Oxford Schedule
Fri., Aug. 26 — at Avon Grove, 7 pm
Fri., Sept. 2 — at Kennett, 7 pm
Fri., Sept. 9 — at Unionville, 7 pm
Fri., Sept. 16 — vs. Great Valley, 7 pm
Fri., Sept. 23 — vs. Interboro, 7 pm
Fri., Sept. 30 — vs. Downingtown East, 7 pm
Fri., Oct. 7 — at West Chester Rustin, 7 pm
Fri., Oct. 14 — vs. West Chester Henderson, 7 pm
Fri., Oct. 21 — vs. West Chester East, 7 pm
Fri., Oct. 28 — at Sun Valley, 7 pm

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