Central York football standout Marquis Fells knows a lot of the players on West York's football team.
He's even related to one of them.
"Off the field, we're friends, on the field, it's a different story," Fells said at practice on Wednesday evening.
The friendships will be put on hold for three hours on Friday night.
It's Central York-West York week. The opening kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Central.
"Every year, this is the biggest thing in town," said Fells, who rushed for 741 yards and caught passes for 249 yards in 2011. "My freshman and sophomore years, they beat us. Last year, we won, and I just want to go out with a bang this year."
The Panthers prevailed, 13-7, last season,
"Central just outplayed us last year," West York head coach Ron Miller said. "We obviously have been reminding our guys about being pushed around. That was one of the few times I left here thinking we got pushed around."
The Bulldogs are looking to do the shoving this year with an all-senior offensive line that dominated South Western in a scrimmage last week.
"I'm wearing this shirt for them," Miller said, pointing to his Dog Uglies T-shirt. "We're pleased with their development."
Offensive linemen are generally anonymous, but that's not the case with West York's center. Brody Kern earned an NCAA Division I scholarship to the University of Delaware.
Miller is excited about the potential of Brody and his buddies, guards Janssen Nelson and Devon Senft and tackles Adam Resh and Jake Gemmill. Kern and Senft are the biggest of the Brody bunch at 6-2, 275 and 6-3, 270, respectively.
"These guys can establish themselves as one of the better groups we've had," Miller said.
The line will block for the running backs, Brock Snellbaker, Steve Wilson and Josiah Mincer and quarterback Brandon Kinneman. Snellbaker led the team in rushing last season with 861 yards.
Kinneman takes over for Kaden Hepler, who led the Bulldogs to 18 victories the past two seasons.
"I'm obviously nervous, but I think everyone is going to be nervous," Kinneman said when asked about his first start. "But, we're all prepared as a team. We have a lot of seniors (24). We're lucky to have so many guys who have experienced it (playing in front of a huge crowd)."
Miller said that Kinneman is tough and has tremendous leadership.
Both coach and player think the Bulldogs will be able to move the ball in the air. (Zach Smith is the top returning receiver.) and on the ground.
"Am I going to have a 1,000-yard rusher this year?" Miller said. "I don't think so, just because it could be Brock, it could be Steve, and we have Josiah Mincer who used to attend school here and now returned. He's a great-speed kid with great vision. We're excited about him."
Miller is wary of Central and its tremendous team speed.
"Marquis (Fells) is extremely fast, their new quarterback, Corey Hartz, is extremely fast, and there is Mr. (Andrews) Dadeboe, who I think the world of as a player and a person. If we miss tackles, we are going to be watching them run down the field."
Central has the speed, for sure. West York has more experience when comparing returning starters.
"But we do have kids who saw meaningful minutes last year," Panthers' head coach Brad Livingston said.
Hartz takes over for Brandon Baker, who passed for 1,952 yards and 31 touchdowns last season.
"We'll do some different things with Corey," Livingston said. "Brandon was more of a pocket passer. We'll get Corey out on the edge with the football and let him use his speed."
Livingston was pleased with the improvement his team showed from the first scrimmage (Carlisle) to the second scrimmage (Lower Dauphin).
"Now, we'll have to see how we look when the bright lights are on, and the stands are full," he said.
That will be on Friday night.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.