Kyle Narber and his younger brother, Ryan, come from a long line of Bulldogs.

Their father, both of their grandfathers and three of their uncles played football at West York.

Kyle, a senior, and Ryan, a sophomore, are continuing the tradition.

The brothers are part of the 2013 West York team. Kyle is a fullback and defensive end. Ryan also plays fullback, along with linebacker.

"It (the West York football connection) gives us (the family members) something to talk about," Kyle Narber said. "The games there on Friday night are so special. The stands are packed, and there's Bulldog Alley (an alley which runs behind the scoreboard at the south end of the field) where alumni gather."

West York fullback Kyle Narber catches the ball during practice on Wednesday. Kyle and his younger brother, Ryan, come from a long line of Bulldogs.
West York fullback Kyle Narber catches the ball during practice on Wednesday. Kyle and his younger brother, Ryan, come from a long line of Bulldogs. (Bill Kalina -- bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

The stands will be full this Friday night when the Bulldogs open the 2013 season at home against Central York.

"Central's one of our biggest rivals," Kyle Narber said. "I think being close has something to do with the rivalry, and a lot of us know each other from football and other sports."

Both teams took major hits on graduation day last spring. Twenty-four players from West York's 2012 team graduated, and seventeen players from Central's 2012 club graduated.

"It's a totally different team," Bulldogs' head coach Ron Miller said. "But, I'm really banking on the fact that they (this year's players) got a lot of experience last year."

Ross Campbell, a junior, takes over at quarterback for the Bulldogs. Campbell's brothers, Blake and Brett, played for the Bulldogs.

"Ross is much more confident this year, and you can tell by the way he conducts the huddle," Miller said. "Ross can run, and he didn't throw an interception in our two scrimmages."

Three quarterbacks, Zach Beam, Nik Strine and Dylan Hose, are vying for playing time at Central. Panthers' coach Brad Livingston wouldn't disclose on Wednesday evening who the starter will be on Friday.

"Dylan has a lot of big-game experience with our volleyball team (in states)," Livingston said. "He has a maturity around our offense. Zach is improving by leaps and bounds every day, and he's a person who kids like to play for. Strine has done a great job preparing, and he has probably the strongest arm."

The quarterback and the skill-position players are new at Central.

Ditto West York, with the exception of running back Josiah Mincer, whose 2012 season was cut short when he went down an ACL injury in the third game.

Central does return three starters on the offensive line, while everyone who started on West York's offensive line last season was a senior. The Panthers also have eight returning starters on defense.

"This team is going to have to rely on its defense," Livingston said. "Most of our game experience is back on defense."

Miller was impressed with Central's team speed on defense in a scrimmage.

"They run really well, and they were very physical with Lower Dauphin. Plus, they have a nice offensive line."

Speaking of speed...

"We have a very fast team," Miller said. "We're not big, that's for sure, but we do have speed."

Despite the large number of players lost to graduation, West York isn't lowering the bar when it comes to expectations. The Bulldogs want to become the first York-Adams team to win seven consecutive division crowns.

Division play will come later. Right now, the focus for West York is on its intense crossover game with its cross-town rival.

"It's going to be hard to sleep on Thursday night," Kyle Narber said.

Stoner lost: Central lost a key player in this year's first scrimmage when Jay Stone sustained a season-ending leg injury. Stone is also a District 3 champion hurdler in track and field and one of the top hurdlers in the state.

In the 2012 football season, he averaged 11.1 yards a carry on eight carries. Stone used his speed and instincts in the secondary to pick off four passes and accumulated 452 return yards on kickoffs, punts and interceptions.

Reach Dick VanOlinda at dvanolinda@yorkdis patch.com.