No longer will we hear about them on the high school gridirons of the York-Adams League.
Names such as lineman David Shaw (Spring Grove), quarterback Andrew Henry (Dallastown) and running backs Jeff Delaughter (Spring Grove) and Calvin Savary (York Tech). They're a few, among many, big names gone to graduation.
However, there are plenty who could fill their void this fall. And just about all of them will have unique challenges and important roles to play if their teams hope to make any noise. These players will make their first attempts to do so this Friday, when the 2014 high school football season gets started.
Here, listed in alphabetical order, are some of the top York-Adams League players to watch out for this season, followed by a list of others to keep an eye on and others who are on the rise:
RB Colton Dull, Bermudian Springs, 6-2, 192 senior: Bermudian will need to find a new quarterback, replace its top wide receiver and a do-it-all tight end. As a result, the running game is the only sure bet for this ball club, considering it amassed 2,890 rushing yards last fall and the team's top-three rushers are returning. That includes Dull (1,107 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns), who should be the ringleader of this unit once again.
FB-ILB Isaiah Green, Dover, 6-1, 197, senior: The Eagles had the top running game in the league in 2013, averaging 6.7 yards a carry. And Green is back after gouging out a team-high 1,161 rushing yards a year ago. Dover will need a new quarterback, but most of its line is returning, so look for Green to get even more action this fall when the Eagles defend their Division II crown.
WR-OLB Qua'Shawn Grooms, York Catholic, 5-9, 200, senior: The main target for quarterback Hakeem Kinard will be Grooms, who hauled in 39 catches for 632 yards and seven touchdowns last fall, earning a Division III first-team all-star nod.
QB Marcus Josey, Northeastern, 5-11, 150, junior: The Bobcats have nowhere to go but up with 17 starters back from a team that went 1-9 last fall, with four of the losses by six points or less. Second-year coach Jon Scepanski is switching to a spread wing-T attack on offense, likely to take advantage of the team's top four rushers from last season returning. One would think Northeastern will continue to take advantage of the arm of Josey (1,246 passing yards last fall), and maybe we'll see him rack up more than the 258 rushing yards he collected last season.
QB-CB Hakeem Kinard, York Catholic, 5-10, 175, senior: The Irish in 2013 placed third in the Division III standings and made it all the way to the District 3-A title game to finish with an 8-4 overall record, the program's most wins since 2002 (9-3). And Kinard was the player who proved most troublesome last fall for opposing defenses, passing for 1,688 yards, rushing for 1,203 yards and scoring 33 total touchdowns. Kinard and a few returning talented receivers will play a large role if the Irish have any hopes of nabbing the program's first division title since 1992.
WR-DB Dylan Krieger, Hanover, senior: The only areas Hanover (1-9 in 2013) was strong in last season came in the passing game, both offensively and defensively. That should continue into 2014 with the return of Krieger (45 receptions for 719 yards) at wideout and junior Kyle Krout taking over the full-time starting gig at quarterback after totaling 420 passing yards in limited time last fall.
QB Thomas Merkle, York Suburban, 5-11, 145, junior: The Trojans return eight starters on offense, led by Merkle, who tossed 1,367 passing yards last fall, contributing to the sixth-best passing offense in the league. He'll have a pair of receivers to throw to in senior Jimmy Daglaris (12 receptions for 299 yards) and junior Collin Mailman (13 receptions for 196 yards), both of whom will have to step up to replace graduated wideouts Emmanuel McDowell (34 receptions for 584 yards) and Steve Salcedo (27 receptions for 346 yards).
MLB-RB Zack Stauffer, Spring Grove, 5-11, 205, senior: Stauffer last fall made 140 tackles, picked off three interceptions, scooped up two fumbles and collected four sacks en route to being a Division I All-Star selection. However, opposing offenses now won't have to worry up front about lineman David Shaw, who has graduated and is now playing at the University of Maryland. As a matter of fact, Spring Grove will have to replace its entire defensive line, so Stauffer might have to fight his way through a few more blockers this season before bringing down the ball carrier.
QB-FS James Way, York High, 6-foot-4, 209 pounds, senior: In 2013, Way completed 117 of 208 pass attempts (56.3 percent) for 1,624 yards while also averaging 7.2 yards a carry on 142 rushes for 1,024 yards, totaling 25 combined touchdowns. Now a senior with coaching guru George Chaump taking over as the Bearcats' offensive coordinator, and a few weapons at his disposal (running back Bryshon Sweeney, wide receiver Sae'quan Whitaker), Way could again take home Division I Player of the Year honors by season's end.
Keep an eye on: OG Andrew Lawson (Spring Grove, jr), K Andrew Luckenbaugh (Spring Grove, jr), OT-DT Justin Tindull (Dallastown, sr), WR-SS Addison Quinones (Dallastown, sr), C-DT Sam Lowe (Red Lion, sr), TE-OLB Malik Allen (Dover, sr), OT-DT Levi Murphy (Dover, sr), RB-OLB David Livelsberger (Eastern York, sr), MLB-TE Lucas Barshinger (Eastern York, sr), C Logan Stover (West York, sr), OG, DE/DT Nick Kniery (West York, sr), RB-OLB Noah Townsley (West York, sr), WR-OLB Sawyer Robinson (York Suburban, sr), QB-FS Mason Flickinger (Fairfield, sr), OLB-FB Kody Reeser (Northeastern, jr).
On the rise: TE-LB Robert Romey (Central York, sr), OLB-FB Nick Erickson (Spring Grove, jr), DB Ian Slaven (Spring Grove, jr), OG-DT Zaire Willis (Dallastown, sr), RB-DT Kenny Holloway (Red Lion, sr), RB-DB Bryshon Sweeney (York High, sr), DT-OT Noah Hakes (Berm. Springs, sr), CB-WR Wyatt Gearhart (Berm. Springs, sr), RB-DB Jake Kadis (Delone Cath., sr), RB-DB Tavian Dorsey (Delone Cath., jr), WR-S Tyler Loucks (Delone Cath., sr), OT-DT Garret Ishman (Eastern York, sr), WR Tyler Lampe (Gettysburg, sr), QB Ross Campbell (West York, sr), WR Ian Lichty (West York, sr), WR-FS Terry Cains (West York, jr), RB-DB Nashid Bones (York Tech, sr).
—Reach John Walk at email@example.com.