HS Football: Bryce Beutler, LB of Cumberland Valley, and Alex Sauve reflect the style and study of HC Josh Oswalt | Soccer

Josh Oswalt would spend hours watching and rewinding the movie on the VHS player tucked away in his bedroom as a senior linebacker for the Cumberland Valley football team in 2003.

Nineteen years later, current CV linebackers Bryce Beutler and Alex Sauve study cinema with the same intensity, except for a few phone calls or clicks on the computer as they examine the digital tape. on Hudl.

Oswalt, entering his third season as Eagles head coach, sees himself a lot in the linebacking duo.

“It’s that extra room that when they leave the facility, what do they do?” Oswalt said, “And that’s where they’re different. That’s where I was a freak, because I’d pick up a Coach (Tim) Rimpfel movie and bring it home…and sit on the edge of my bed and watch it over and over and over.

Beutler and Sauve have become mainstays of the CV defense and have grown side by side since Oswalt returned to his alma mater.

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“It means a lot because I know I trust him and he trusts me,” Sauve said of his coach. “And just all of that is enough confidence that I need to go play.”

Despite the difference in grade level — Beutler, who moved to central Pennsylvania his freshman year, is a senior and Sauve is a junior — the pair have grown together and formed an unbreakable connection on the court. Beutler burst onto the scene last year as a junior while Sauve has played consistent time since his debut campaign. The combined one-two punch resume for 125 tackles a season ago, with Sauve’s 74 saves leading the team and Beutler’s 51 ranked third.

Off the grill, they are close friends and consider each other “movie freaks”.

“I think together we bring a lot of intensity,” Beutler said.

“You can count on the two of us to have several hours, just countless hours of film each week,” Sauve said. “We know what’s going to happen and we’re just going to fly.”

Beutler and Sauve have also moved into leadership roles. Beutler was named one of CV’s five senior captains for the season, and Sauve was named the “quarterback” of the Eagle defense.

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Cumberland Valley has seen progress every year under Oswalt, starting with a 3-5 record in 2020 and improving to 5-5 last season. Beutler and Sauve will take on the task of guiding the Eagles to another step forward this fall. The two said they expected to challenge each other and set goals for the 2022 campaign, including containing opposing offenses to 14 points or less in every game.

“We just have to make sure everyone is straight and aligned,” Beutler said of the pair’s defensive duties, “and that we do what we need to do to improve every day.”

From Oswalt’s perspective, the transitions from Beutler and Sauve to team leaders were natural, stemming from working in the weight room, leading the scout team’s defense during offensive practice windows and the vocal leadership.

The CV skipper also treats his linebackers as family — Beutler and Sauve spent time with Oswalt’s sons during CV youth camps — which makes it easier to break down tough conversations. Oswalt said there are few constant mental and physical drivers like those of Beutler and Sauve.

“I think it’s just competitiveness in that position group,” Oswalt said. “Pressure makes diamonds, iron sharpens iron and all these sayings we use, these guys know we’re better because every rep we take is going to be challenged by the guy who’s right there with me. C It’s a bit like the old Bash Brothers from the Mighty Ducks.


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Entering their final season together, Beutler and Sauve have their sights set on District 3 and PIAA championship material. But more than anything, together they aim to launch CV defense into another level of elite play.

There are no cakewalks on the Eagles schedule this fall. CV hosts the perennial Lancaster-Lebanon powerhouse of Manheim Township for its season opener before digging in against Central York and Spring-Ford on the road. Week 4 opens up a long and laborious Mid-Penn Commonwealth list.

Expectations and the collective mindset of Beutler and Sauve will be challenged.

“I’m just trying to work as hard as I can,” Beutler said of his last year in red and white, “harder than I’ve ever done (before). This is my last year, so I just want to give it my all and have no regrets.

“And as a junior,” Sauve said, “I want to give back to those seniors and give them the best possible senior year they could think of, so I’m working as hard as I can to give them this year.” ”

For Oswalt, watching Beutler and Sauve jump off the pads for one final lap is a full-circle moment from 19 years ago.

“That’s what I like about these guys,” Oswalt said, “they’ll be the ones staying on Saturday mornings after practice after watching a movie with everyone else, spending an extra 20 to 30 minutes with the coach (Andy) Casale at linebacker, talking about their linebacking adjustments, what they can do better, just a lot of things.

“That’s what makes them special.”