2022 football preview: Delone looks to continue success despite move to Class 2-A

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

With the right mindset, success can sometimes breed more of the same. Without it, things can spin out of control.

Fortunately for  Delone Catholic football coach Corey Zortman, his team seems to be trending more toward the former. And that mentality hopefully will continue to pay dividends for a program that has known nothing but success since Zortman took over  eight years ago.

Despite back-to-back District 3 playoff appearances, this year’s Squires squad is itching to take things a step further.

“We are staying very disciplined,” senior lineman Won Stewart said during  York-Adams Football Media Day on Tuesday. “We’re just taking it one game at a time. We’re going to be contenders in the league, and we’re going to work hard.”

Delone Catholic's guard and defensive tackle, Won Stewart (64) at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

Motivation isn’t lacking in McSherrystown this time of year. Even after qualifying for the District 3 Class 1-A playoffs the last two seasons, there’s no guarantee that number will rise to three if the Delone boys don’t put in the effort to make it happen.

Moving up a class: And that task figures to be even more difficult as the Squires make the move up from Class 1-A to 2-A this season. They will have to battle six other teams, including parochial and Y-A Division III rival York Catholic, for one of  four four berths.

Another team in contention is Delone’s first opponent this season, Trinity.

The Shamrocks earned a 34-14 victory in last year’s opener, which turned out to be the first of three consecutive losses the Squires endured to begin the season.

However, after the slow start, Delone finished strong by winning six of its final seven games to earn a berth in the 1-A title game.

Zortman, who enters the season one win shy of 50 for his career, knows that the opening three weeks will have a big impact on how far his team can go this year.

Delone Catholic's coach, Corey Zortman at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

“There’s no question that our nonleague games are tough,” he said. “And we’ve been fortunate that our teams have been well-balanced in terms of not being just all seniors. We’ve had a blend of seniors, juniors and sophomores contribute over the years.

“Now, yes, it’s typically senior-laden, but we’ve had strong support from the junior class and a handful of sophomores. Last year we didn’t get to have a scrimmage before our first game, so that made it difficult to prepare for the first game without it.”

The Squires lost seven all-stars from last year’s club to graduation, but Zortman is excited to see who in this year’s crop of players will step up to help lead the way.

One to keep an eye on is junior Denver Ostrum, who is battling with sophomore Zach Staub for the open starting quarterback position.

Speedy backs: While the Squires will need to replace a trio of successful backs from a season ago, Zortman feels this year’s group brings an exciting dynamic they didn’t have last season — speed.

“I’m excited about the blend of our skills guys and offensive lineman,” Zortman said. “Last year we had a nice team, but our style of backs were more downhill-type runners. This year we’re going to have some guys that can run. They may not be the downhill-type, but that speed makes up for a lot.”

Another thing that brought a smile to everyone in the program was the news that new uniforms were on the way. The last time the school purchased new uniforms was back in 2007.

 Zortman estimated the cost for the 63 new uniforms  came in around $22,000.

“They’re hopefully supposed to ship on Aug. 6,” Zortman said. “The guys were looking forward to it. They’ll be sort of the traditional style that we’ve had, but they’ll be a little different.”

Delone Catholic's tight and defensive end, Noah Crawford (70) at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

Following is a capsule look at the Squires: 

Team: Delone Catholic Squires.

Coach: Corey Zortman, eighth season.

2021 record: 6-5 overall, 6-1 in York-Adams League Division III.

Key losses (Division III All-Stars in bold): Coltyn Keller (RB/S), Landen Eckert (RB/LB), Dylan Staub (RB/LB), Elijah Staub (OL/DL), Sam Scovitch (OL/DL), Justin Emeigh (K), Braedan Speilman (TE).

Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): Ryder Noel (RB/DB), Alex Timmins (OL/DL), Trent Giraffa (OL/LB), Won Stewart (RG/DT), Noah Crawford (TE/DE), Josh Kramer (OL/DL), Gage Zimmerman (RB/DB), Dominic Giraffa (OL/LB), Brady Dettinburn (RB/LB).

2022 schedule (Division III games in bold): Aug. 26 vs. Trinity; Sept. 1 vs. Lancaster Catholic; Sept. 9 at Greencastle-Antrim; Sept. 17 at York Tech, 1 p.m; Sept. 23 vs. Littlestown; Sept. 30 at York Catholic; Oct. 7 vs. Biglerville; Oct. 14 at Bermudian Springs; Oct. 21 vs. Hanover; Oct. 28 at Fairfield.

Steelton-Highspire's Tyrone Moore, right, struggles to keep his grip as Jakhai Noss, left, moves in to take down Delone Catholic's Gage Zimmerman during PIAA District III, Class 1-A championship football action at War Veterans Memorial Stadium in Steelton, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Steelton-Highspire would win the game 42-20. Dawn J. Sagert photo