COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Central York Panthers football preview


This is the 21st installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Sept. 4.

Who: Central York Panthers.

2014 record: 5-5 overall, 5-2 Division I.

Coach: Brad Livingston, 34th season.

Key returners: Zane Santos, senior, offensive guard/defensive tackle; Nik Strine, senior, quarterback; Elzir Stroman, senior, linebacker; Isaiah Dickson, senior, linebacker.

Notable losses: Terrance Carter, running back; Pearson Hinkle, fullback; Jeremiah Dadeboe, wide receiver/defensive back; Robert Romey III, tight end.

2014 All-Stars: Carter, running back; Hinkle, fullback; Dadeboe, wide receiver/defensive back; Romey III, tight end.

2015 schedule: Sept. 4, at West York (7 p.m.); Sept. 11, at Cumberland Valley (7 p.m.); Sept. 18, vs. Hempfield (7 p.m.); Sept. 25, vs. Northeastern (7 p.m.); Oct. 2, at South Western (7 p.m.); Oct. 9, vs. New Oxford (7 p.m.); Oct. 16, vs. Spring Grove (7 p.m.); Oct. 23, at Red Lion (7 p.m.); Oct. 30, vs. Dallastown (7 p.m.); Nov. 6, at York High (7 p.m.).

Outlook: Head coach Brad Livingston is entering his 34th season as head coach of Central and what does he get as a gift for that feat? Back-to-back road games against reigning Division II champion West York and District 3-AAAA powerhouse Cumberland Valley to begin the season.

It'll certainly be a tough task for Livingston and the Panthers to begin 2015, but after the opening two weeks, four of the team's next five games are at home, where the team will look to do some damage this season.

Central is welcoming back starting QB Strine for his senior season. He's coming off a strong junior year, when he eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in passing in only seven games. However, he lost his top two receivers from 2014, Carter and Dadeboe. Because of that, it'll be up to Strine to help the young receiving corps develop if he wants his final high school season to end with a playoff berth.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers will have a steady one-two combo at the linebacker position with seniors Stroman and Dickson. Stroman is entering his third year as a key component on the Central defense, while Dickson is coming back as the Panthers' leading tackler in 2014.

Year No. 34 for Livingston won't be a cakewalk, but he should navigate it well enough to return Central back to the postseason for the seventh time in nine seasons.

Coach speak: "A year ago, we never got to the point where we had that 'it' factor. We never got over that hump. We depended upon athletically talented individuals making plays when they had the chance to make them. This year, I think we're going to have 11 guys on the offensive side of the ball who are all working hard to get the ball in the end zone." — Livingston, on the differences between this year's team and last year's team.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at