COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: York Suburban Trojans football preview
Countdown to kickoff
This is the 11th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Sept. 4.
Who: York Suburban Trojans.
2014 record: 4-6 overall, 3-3 Division II.
Coach: Andy Loucks, first year.
Key returners: Collin Mailman, senior, wide receiver/cornerback; Thomas Merkle, senior, quarterback, Dajour Henderson, senior, running back; Dustin Knaub, senior, safety.
Notable losses: Liam McWilliams, running back; Jimmy Daglaris, wide receiver; Kevin Moats, tight end; William Peters, tackle; Sawyer Robinson, linebacker.
2014 All-Stars: Collin Mailman, wide receiver; Thomas Merkle, quarterback; Liam McWilliams, running back; Jimmy Daglaris, wide receiver; Kevin Moats, tight end; William Peters, offensive tackle; Sawyer Robinson, inside linebacker; Dustin Knaub, defensive back.
2015 schedule: Sept. 4, at Red Land (7 p.m.); Sept. 11, at Northeastern (7 p.m.); Sept. 18, vs. Spring Grove (7 p.m.); Sept. 25, at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 2, vs. Ephrata (7 p.m.); Oct. 9, vs. Susquehannock (7 p.m.); Oct. 16, at West York (7 p.m.); Oct. 23, vs. Dover (7 p.m.); Oct. 30, at Gettysburg (7 p.m.); Nov. 6, vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.).
Outlook: Like seven other York-Adams schools, Suburban will enter 2015 with a new head coach. Loucks is taking over as the head man for the Trojans this year after serving as a coordinator for Franklin & Marshall University last year. Before that, he was the head coach at Kennard-Dale and a while back, he was an assistant at Suburban, so he has the experience.
On top of that, Loucks may have one of the easiest transitions for a new coach this season with the strong returners he'll have to coach. Coming back from 2014 is the league's second-leading passer, Merkle, and his go-to wide receiver, Mailman. Together, the two connected 47 times for 976 yards, which accounted for 61 percent of Merkle's 1,588 passing yards on the season. So, if nothing else, the Trojans should be entertaining to watch on a weekly basis.
Along with those two, Dajour Henderson and all-star defensive back Dustin Knaub will return to add to the depth of Suburban's roster.
While the Trojans will begin the season with back-to-back road games, this team is built to drastically improve on its fifth-place finish in Division II last year and could make a strong push for a playoff berth. Many of the experienced players should flourish under Loucks, who's coached at the next level.
Coach speak: "We have a very big senior class, which has made it easier, so I think it's been a pretty easy transition." — First-year coach Andy Loucks, on his experienced players helping him adjust to life as a new head coach.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.