Brody Kern stands out in a crowd.
Anyone who is 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 270 pounds will do that.
Kern's size makes him unique, but it's not the sole thing that currently sets the West York High School senior apart from other York-Adams football players heading into the 2012 season. Kern is the only one who has an NCAA Division I college scholarship in hand.
He'll be attending the University of Delaware starting next fall.
"It's a big weight off my shoulders knowing where I'm going to college," Kern said during the York-Adams Football Media Day on Thursday at the York Expo Center. "I wanted to get it done before we started our season. I want to focus on my senior year. I didn't want to be worrying about
Kern, a center/defensive tackle, also weighed an offer from Towson University before settling on Delaware. The Blue Hens' record of success in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) played a role in Kern's decision.
"Last year, I started receiving letters from Division I schools," he said. "Coach Miller (West York head coach Ron Miller) told me ever since I started playing varsity football that I could play college football."
Kern plans to do that -- next year. Right now, his sole focus is his final season with the Bulldogs. During Kern's three seasons on the varsity team (he began playing as a freshman), the Bulldogs have finished on top of Division II every year, winning one title outright and sharing two others. They've won 29 games and lost just eight. This year's team returns nine starters on defense and eight on offense.
"I'm really excited about this year," Kern said. "I think we have a great team with all the guys we have back."
New QB: Kern will be snapping the ball to a new quarterback this season.
Brandon Kinneman will call the signals for the Bulldogs. Kinneman was a wide receiver on last year's team that featured veteran Kaden Hepler at quarterback.
"This is an opportunity that I've waited for my whole life," Kinneman said. "Last year, I know I played another position just to get on the field, but all my life I played quarterback. It's a huge role to take on, and I know that I'm going to have to do a lot of preparing and watch a lot of film. I'm also going to really embrace the role of being the leader on offense."
Kinneman thinks that playing another position last season will help him in the move under center this season.
"Playing wide receiver helps me understand things from another perspective," he said. "I know what players are seeing from another position."
Kinneman, a pitcher/first baseman on West York's state championship baseball team, devoted himself exclusively to football once baseball season ended in mid-June.
"I was throwing two, three, four times a week, at least, and I was at every workout," he said. "Experience is a huge thing for us this year because everyone has been in the big game. We just have to keep getting better each game."
Kinneman can't wait for the season opener on Aug. 31 against cross-town rival Central York.
"It's going to be awesome this year," he said. "The crowd at West York and the crowds everywhere we go are always unbelievable. I'm going to enjoy it, take it all in and hopefully win a lot of games."
Miller is confident that Kinneman will handle the challenges thrown at him by opposing defenses.
"He'll have jitters. Everyone has jitters, but he'll be fine," Miller said.
Both Miller and Kinneman are glad that Kern is back for another season at center.
"Brody, I think I played against Brody in high school," a smiling Miller said.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org.