COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Hanover Nighthawks football preview

Countdown to kickoff

This is the second installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Friday, Sept. 4. Today, we're spotlighting the Hanover Nighthawks.

Who: Hanover Nighthawks.

2014 record: 2-8 overall, 1-6 Division III.

Coach: Bill Reichart, second season.

Key returners: Kyle Krout, senior, quarterback; Jordan Laughman, senior, running back; Bill Morris, senior, linebacker; Tavin Zinn, senior, tackle, defensive line; Bailey Kenworthy, senior, center, defensive line; Nick Seymour, senior, wide receiver, defensive back.

Notable losses: Dylan Kreiger, wide receiver; Garrett Reichart, guard, linebacker; Jase Etzler, wide receiver, defensive back.

2014 All-Stars: Dylan Kreiger, wide receiver; Garrett Reichart, guard, linebacker.

2015 schedule: Sept. 4, at James Buchanan (7 p.m.); Sept. 11, at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Sept. 18, vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.); Sept. 25, at Bermudian Springs (7 p.m.); Oct. 2, vs. York Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 9, vs. Fairfield (7 p.m.); Oct. 16, at Littlestown (7 p.m.); Oct. 23, Homecoming vs. York Tech (7 p.m.); Oct. 30, at Biglerville (7 p.m.); Nov. 6, vs. Delone Catholic.

Outlook: Wins have been hard to come by in recent years for the Nighthawks. The last time Hanover eclipsed two victories in a season came when the Nighthawks collected five in 2010. However, the team has been slowly trending upward, winning two games in 2014 after only one in 2013 and none in 2012.

Making things difficult this season will be the loss of all-star wide receiver Dylan Kreiger. Kreiger led the York-Adams League last season in receptions with 78 and yards with 1,279. He also hauled in seven touchdowns.

The good news for Hanover is that the other half of that successful passing attack, quarterback Kyle Krout, returns for his senior season. Krout was also a league leader in 2014, finishing tops in York-Adams play with 1,886 yards passing.

Stopping opponents is another looming issue for Hanover. It will try to improve from a season that saw it ranked at or near the bottom of the league's defensive stats.

The Nighthawks' schedule is a mirror image of its 2014 slate. Hanover will look to make it a happy homecoming on Oct. 23 when it hosts York Tech, one of two teams it defeated a year ago. Tech is coming off 1-9 season.

Coach speak: "We've got a good group, we've got the top returning quarterback in (York-Adams League), so that's nice to not have to worry about that position. We've only got five or six returning starters, but we've got more of a team atmosphere this year." — Hanover assistant coach Zac Carrick.