STROHECKER: For 13 York-Adams teams, the search for win No. 1 continues Friday
The days following the first weekend of high school football are hardly the time to over react
However, it still doesn't mean that you can't put some emphasis on Week 2's slate of games. That being the case, this Friday is a big one for the teams in Division II and Division III of the York-Adams League.
The area programs managed to go just 10-13 in the opening week. That was hardly an impressive showing for the league as a whole, but it gets even worse when you break it down by division.
Division I accounted for six of those 10 wins, with Dallastown, Central York, Red Lion, New Oxford, Northeastern and South Western all winning. Only Spring Grove and York High opened the 2015 campaign 0-1, but both of those teams began the year with tough games against Cumberland Valley (Rockets lost 33-0) and Reading (Bearcats lost 36-0).
Bad first week: When you move on to Division II and Division III, that's where the losses piled up for the Y-A League squads. Each division only won two games — Dover and Eastern York in Division II and Hanover and York Tech in Division III — while racking up 11 losses. Of course, mixed in with some of those losses were a few head-to-head match-ups that were sure to yield a win and a loss for the league. The Bobcats thumped York Catholic, 40-7; Gettysburg lost 38-13 to the Mustangs, who are legit Division I contenders; West York lost on a last-minute touchdown to the Panthers, 31-28; and reigning Division III champion Bermudian Springs was upset by the Colonials, 24-21.
A few of those losses, like the Bulldogs' late-game heartbreak and the Warriors losing to South Western, aren't so glaring. West York showed a lot of promise with quarterback Tyler Folk taking over for last year's Division II Player of the Year, Ross Campbell, and Jeremy Jones beginning his first year as the team's head coach after longtime head coach Ron Miller retired in the offseason. Gettysburg may be a contender in Division II again this year, after finishing second in 2014. A tough opening game against South Western isn't necessarily an indicator of this being a down year.
Still unknown: However, big question marks remain after the Eagles, last year's Division III champions, fell behind 21-0 to the Colonials, clawed all the way back, but lost on a last-second field goal, handing New Oxford its first win in more than a year. Bermudian entered the season void of experienced talent at key positions, so its upcoming game at Boiling Springs could start to give us a better sign of whether or not the program will take a step or two back this year after winning 52 games over the past five seasons.
But, the same could be said about both the Warriors and Colonials this Friday night, when Gettysburg travels to New Oxford. After pulling off a big win in Jason Warner's first game as the Colonials' head coach, is this program ready to get back to what it was in 2013, when it won six games? And then there are the Warriors, who can't afford to drop to 0-2 two weeks into the year if they want to be a factor in the District 3-AAA playoff picture.
New teams, still winless: Lastly, there are the new coaches who are still searching for their first win with new teams. Jones will get his second straight shot at a Y-A League team when the Bulldogs travel to Dallastown on Friday night — another tough test for him and his team. York Suburban's Andy Loucks will try to get his first win against the potent Bobcats offense, while Delone Catholic's Corey Zortman will attempt to do the same on the road against Columbia. Steve Wiles, who had great success at Delone Catholic and Hanover, is hoping to get Susquehannock back to its mid-2000s dominance. He can start by earning his first win as Warriors head coach when the team travels to face the Irish. Finally, there's Kyle Sprenkle, whose tenure with Spring Grove began roughly with a home loss to the Eagles. Now, he'll try to pick up win No. 1 against another Mid-Penn Conference team, this time traveling to Mechanicsburg. For all of those coaches, the longer it takes them to earn that crucial first win at a new school, the more pressure that will mount.
Don't worry, it's not time to panic yet if your team began the year with a loss. But, just know, that in a 10-week season where every game is pivotal in a team's playoff standing, starting 0-2 will only make that climb back into contention that much more difficult.
That applies to most of the teams in Division II and Division III.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker.