Countdown to kickoff
This is the 15th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Sept. 4.
Who: West York Bulldogs.
2014 record: 10-2 overall, 6-0 Division II.
Coach: Jeremy Jones, first season.
Key returners: Cadence Thomas, junior, running back; Terry Cains, senior, wide receiver; Mike Messersmith, junior, defensive end; Ryan Narber, senior, linebacker.
Notable losses: Ross Campbell, quarterback; Diego Torres, wide receiver; Ian Lichty, tight end; Nick Kniery, offensive/defensive line; Logan Stover, center; Hunter Mummert, offensive line; Brett Strickler, kicker; Noah Townsley, linebacker; Garrett Stauffer, linebacker; Brett Kinneman, defensive back; Gavin Toomey, defensive back.
2014 All-Stars: Campbell, quarterback; Torres, wide receiver; Cains, wide receiver; Messersmith, defensive end; Narber, linebacker; Lichty, tight end; Kniery, offensive/defensive line; Stover, center; Mummert, offensive line; Strickler, kicker; Townsley, linebacker; Stauffer, linebacker; Kinneman, defensive back; Toomey, defensive back.
2015 schedule: Sept. 4, vs. Central York (7 p.m.); Sept. 11, at Dallastown (7 p.m.); Sept. 18, vs. Red Lion (7 p.m.); Sept. 25, at Eastern York (7 p.m.); Oct. 2, vs. Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 10, at Delaware Valley Charter (2 p.m.); Oct. 16, Homecoming vs. York Suburban (7 p.m.); Oct. 23, at Susquehannock (7 p.m.); Oct. 30, at Dover (7 p.m.); Nov. 6, vs. Gettysburg (7 p.m.).
Outlook: It's tough enough that new coach Jeremy Jones replaces a highly successful Bulldog on the sidelines. But, the first-year West York coach must also replace a wealth of talent on the field.
Jones comes to West York having spent the past two seasons as head coach at York Suburban, but is hardly a stranger to the Bulldog program. Before becoming the Trojans coach, Jones was an offensive coordinator under Ron Miller. Jones was on staff for West York's District 3-AAA title in 2008 — the only district crown captured by a York-Adams school in the AAA or AAAA classes.
The most glaring loss is Division II Player of the Year Campbell. The dual-threat QB racked up 1,435 yards rushing and 1,630 yards passing in leading the Bulldogs to the Division II title. Campbell helped West York reach the top of the York-Adams League in many statistical categories, such as yards gained/average (5,589; 465.8) and points scored/average (517; 43.1).
All-star senior receiver Terry Cains will be back, as will junior running back Cadence Thomas. Cains caught 15 passes for 271 yards in 2014; and Thomas recorded 110 carries for 761 yards.
The Bulldogs were equally as stout on defense. West York was the second-best defensive unit with a 15.2 points-allowed average and tops with a plus-13 turnover differential. That side of the ball sees the loss of four first-team all-stars from a season ago. Returning senior linebacker Ryan Narber will be looked upon as a leader on defense. Narber was the second-leading tackler least year, but West York lost five of its top six tacklers.
The Bulldogs will look to avenge their only regular-season loss from last year, a tight 21-20 contest, in Week 2 when they travel to Dallastown. The annual rivalry game against Dover, set this year for Oct. 30 at Dover, takes on new meaning this season. Dover's new coach is former West York assistant Wayne Snelbaker.
Coach speak: "There's expectations that go along with it," Jones said of the task of replacing Miller. "And expectations are fun. It's what you do with them, if you crack under it or not."
— Reach Patrick Strohecker@yorkdispatch.com.