This weekend's football game capsules for York-Adams teams
Here are the Week 1 preview capsules on games involving York-Adams League teams. All games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Dallastown at Lancaster Catholic: The Wildcats begin their quest to defend their Y-A Division I crown and will do so without reigning Division I Player of the Year Addison Quinones. He graduated in the spring, leaving behind more than 1,100 yards rushing and nearly 100 tackles on defense. Now, Dallastown will turn to returning quarterback Cade Gold in the hopes of replicating 2014's 9-2 season and perfect 7-0 record in league play. Gold returns as a senior and looks to build off his 1,262-yard junior season, which ranked eighth in the Y-A League. Like 2014, the Wildcats will open their season with the Crusaders, a team coming off a 4-6 record —the first time in a decade that the program didn't participate in playoff football. Dallastown won last year's contest, 35-14. Lancaster Catholic returns a lot of key pieces from 2014 and all of them have chips on their shoulders, vowing to get back to Crusader football. Lancaster Catholic suffered a scare in its final scrimmage of the preseason, when all-star lineman Noah Thomas left the game against McCaskey with an apparent knee injury. If Thomas misses the opener, it'll be a big blow to the Crusaders, who were expecting him to be a mainstay on the offensive and defensive lines for a fourth straight year.
Red Lion at Hershey (Hersheypark Stadium): The Lions made a statement in 2014 that the team is trending in the right direction under head coach Jesse Shay. The team finished second in Division I and made the District 3-AAAA playoffs, losing to Gov. Mifflin. However, it was a giant step in the right direction and now, Shay, who was Division I Co-Coach of the Year and is entering his third year at the helm, is expecting even bigger things in 2015. Senior quarterback Dalton Grove is returning, and so is senior Kendrick Boyd-Gillespie, potentially one of the most lethal QB-wideout combos in the Y-A League. Red Lion opened 2014 at home against Hershey, winning 28-7. Now, it'll travel to face the Trojans in this year's season opener. Hershey is trying to build off a disappointing 2-8 season last year, and is doing so under new head coach Jeff Geisel, who took over in June for last year's head coach Scott Mitchell, who resigned after only one season.
Cumberland Valley at Spring Grove: The Rockets nearly pulled off the upset on the road against the Eagles to begin 2014, losing 21-17. Now, Spring Grove will host the District 3-AAAA power to open the 2015 season and will do it under the guidance of new head coach Kyle Sprenkle. Sprenkle is taking over a Rockets team that is more talented than its 3-7 record from 2014 indicates. Last year, the team started the year 3-2 before injuries took a toll, resulting in five straight losses to end the season. Spring Grove was only outscored by nine points over the course of the year. The Rockets have 18 players returning, one of the more experienced rosters in the Y-A League. CV will again have a target on its back — as it always does — in the District 3-AAAA landscape. Despite only rushing for 1,873 yards in 2014, almost 1,500 fewer than the program averaged in the three previous years, the Eagles still claimed a share of the Mid Penn Commonwealth title and made it to the second round of districts.
Reading at York High: This season will likely be a rebuilding one for the Bearcats. York High will try to navigate the 2015 season with a lot of new faces at important positions. Two-year QB starter James Way graduated in the spring, as did Bryshon Sweeney, the team's shifty running back and cornerback. The Bearcats' first opponent of the season, the Red Knights, are returning a senior-laden team that made the District 3-AAAA playoffs last year. The two teams played a fantastic game to open last season, with Reading edging York, 26-25. Experience always plays a factor in high school football, which is why Friday night's contest might not be as close as last year's.
Central York at West York: This is, without a doubt, the marquee match-up for the opening week of high school football, especially in York County. On one side, you have the visiting Panthers, who went 5-5 last year, but finished third in Division I at 5-2. Still, that wasn't good enough to qualify the team for the 2014 District 3-AAAA playoffs. This year, Central returns its starting QB from a year ago, Nik Strine. In only seven games last year, Strine threw for more than 1,000 yards, a number that he's likely to top this year. The Panthers will also boast a strong defense, which could give the Bulldogs fits. That's because West York will not only be trying to replace the 2014 Division II Player of the Year, QB Ross Campbell, but must also replace longtime head coach Ron Miller. In Campbell, the Bulldogs are losing 3,155 yards of total offense and 37 TDs. Replacing the veteran Miller on the sidelines is Jeremy Jones, who was a longtime assistant at West York before becoming the head coach at York Suburban in 2013. There will be a lot of new pieces to work into the game for the Bulldogs, so don't expect them to replicate their season-opening 41-20 victory over Central from 2014.
Shippensburg at Dover: Wayne Snelbaker will take the field on Friday night for the first time as the head coach at his alma mater. The decision to hire him back in March was a popular one among many locals and now he's set to guide a team with loads of potential. Dover is returning a good chunk of its roster from 2014, a year in which the team went 5-5, but was 4-2 in league play. It could be a big senior year for Durran Ledbetter, who rushed for nearly 700 yards and eight TDs, both team highs, in 2014. Opposing Snelbaker in his first game as head coach will be the Greyhounds, a team not quite sure of its identity. Typically a power team, Shippensburg was open to the idea of instituting various formations for 2015. Much of that has to do with the Greyhounds trying to keep pace with the high-octane, spread offenses that they face on a regular basis in the Mid Penn Colonial. Typically a Wing-T offense, Shippensburg is going to put a twist to it this year by running it out of the shotgun. That could pose for a pretty exciting opening-week contest, one that the Eagles won easily, 34-13, to begin last year.
Columbia at Eastern York: The Golden Knights enter the 2015 season full of momentum. After all, they made the postseason for the first time in two decades in 2014. Now, Eastern will look to build off of last year's success. It begins by hosting the Crimson Tide. Last year, the Golden Knights kicked off their season with a 35-14 road win over Columbia, and 2015 could be more of the same. The Crimson Tide return only five players with varsity experience and also have a new head coach in Anthony Sottasante.
Kennard-Dale at Waynesboro: The Rams would like nothing more than to avenge last year's season-opening 53-7 loss to the Indians. K-D is coming off a 1-9 mark in 2014, but will be much more experienced this year. Kyle Wooldridge could be one of the more dynamic wide receivers this year, while Austin Jenkins will serve a major role on the defense. Both guys earned all-star recognition in 2014. Waynesboro on the other hand, is coming off a surprising 6-4 season in 2014, when it won the Mid Penn Colonial title by way of a tiebreaker. The Indians had no problem scoring last season, but in their losses, they also couldn't keep teams out of the end zone. Waynesboro is also bringing in its second new head coach in as many season, with Steve Myers taking over for Brennan Marion, who left the team after having off-the-field issues.
South Western at Gettysburg: If Central vs. West York is the Game of the Week for Y-A League fans, then this isn't a bad alternative, especially in the Hanover-Adams region. The Mustangs are picked by many to be the team to beat in Division I. South Western won four of its five games down the stretch in 2014, with its only loss being a one-point defeat to champion Dallastown. The Warriors made a huge statement in their first year in the Y-A League. Gettysburg finished 8-3 overall and finished second in Division II, which also included a trip to the District 3-AAA playoffs. The Warriors won a shootout in this match-up to begin the 2014 season and it will certainly be a great gauge to see where each team could end up in 2015.
Northern York at Susquehannock: This is a contest between two coaches making their team debuts. Steve Wiles begins his tenure with the Warriors, coming off of successful stints with Delone and Hanover. He will be Susquehannock's fifth head coach in eight seasons and Friday night will be the first time we'll see Wiles' Wing-T offense at Susquehannock. The Polar Bears will also debut a new head coach, Greg Bowman. He's looking to guide Northern back to winning ways. The program is only 6-14 in the last two seasons. The Polar Bears won last year's meeting in Week 1, 48-28.
York Suburban at Red Land: New coaches were a theme of the offseason in the Y-A League. Suburban hired Andy Loucks, a guy who served as head coach with Kennard-Dale in 2013 and then as an assistant with Franklin & Marshall College in 2014. Suburban was close to making the playoffs in 2014 and with a number of key returners coming back in 2015, this could be the year that it not only returns to postseason play, but battles for the Division II title. The Patriots were 5-5 in 2014. Red Land kicked off last season with a 25-0 road victory over the Trojans, so expect Suburban to try to exact a little revenge on Friday night.
New Oxford at Bermudian Springs: The Eagles are the class of Division III, losing just five times in the last four seasons, and 2015 could be another big year for Bermudian. The Eagles will get a tune-up game to begin this year, with the Colonials visiting on Friday night. New Oxford was the only team in the Y-A League to go winless in 2014, including a 34-7 home defeat to open last year against Bermudian. Friday will also be the debut of Jason Warner for the Colonials. He takes over for Jason Thurston. Warner doesn't have an real experienced bunch to work with from last year's squad, but if there is any consolation, the only direction to go for New Oxford is up.
Annville-Cleona at Biglerville: Friday night could be the beginning of a magical year for the Canners. They seem poised to challenge Bermudian for the Division III crown and that begins with the Little Dutchmen visiting Canner Country. Biglerville qualified for the playoffs last year, but a 39-3 loss to Berks Catholic sent the team's final record to below .500 at 5-6. Awaiting the Canners on Friday night will be Annville-Cleona, a team that made the playoffs the last two years, but is bringing in a new coach. Matt Gingrich will make his head coaching debut for his alma mater against Biglerville, hoping to make it another season-opening win over the Canners for the Little Dutchmen, who won last year's Week 1 match-up, 10-0.
Trinity at Delone Catholic: This is also a game between two head coaches making their debuts. The Squires will show off Corey Zortman to the home fans for the first time. He's replacing Wiles and is taking over a Delone program that was one of four District 3-A schools to qualify for the 2014 playoffs. The Squires finished the year 6-5, despite opening 2014 with a 37-30 loss to the Shamrocks. Meanwhile, Trinity's Troy Jensen will also be coaching his first game for the team looking to get back to its winning ways. However, it may not be an easy first year for Jensen, who's dealing with a team that only has four returners from last year's 3-7 team.
Newport at Fairfield: The Green Knights were well on their way to a playoff berth in 2014, but lost their final three games to miss out. Fairfield has only made the district playoffs twice in program history and 2014 would've been a third. The Knights will look to use last season's disappointing finish as motivation for 2015. Awaiting Fairfield in the opener are the Buffaloes, who are fresh off a 9-3 season in 2014. They also return valuable experience from last year's team, which defeated the Green Knights 24-21 to open 2014.
Hanover at James Buchanan: This is a match-up between two teams trying to find winning ways. The Nighthawks have only won four times over the past four seasons. They had the Y-A League's leading receiver in Dylan Krieger last year, but he graduated. Fortunately for Hanover, QB Kyle Krout, who led the league in passing last year, is returning, but his numbers won't be of much use if the Nighthawks don't drastically improve their defense. The Rockets, meanwhile, have shown signs of improvement under head coach Andy Stoner, who's taken the team from 0-10 in his first year to being just a few points away from being .500 last year. When these two teams met last year in Week 1, JB took home the road win, 33-19.
Littlestown at Boiling Springs: A year ago, this was a match-up between two teams heading in opposite directions. Just two years ago, the Thunderbolts were a 12-win team. Last year, they only managed three. On the other hand, the Bubblers have only won nine games over the last three seasons, however, six were last year. With that said, Littlestown is returning the bulk of its starters from last year and this is a team that knows how to beat Boiling Springs. The Thunderbolts beat the Bubblers in last year's opener, 18-13.
Pequea Valley at York Tech, 1 p.m.: The Spartans were the last of the eight Y-A League schools to hire a new coach and they'll be the last to debut. Brian Hanson is taking over for Matt Glennon and is inheriting a club that went 1-9 last year, but returns a lot of key players. Hanson will keep Tech's triple-option offense in place, which should help leading rusher Jibri Bones build off his 520 rushing yards from 2014. Saturday's game will be feature two similar offenses. The Braves also go with a triple-option offense. Pequea Valley has never made the playoffs, only twice going .500 in a season, one of which was last year. The Spartans lost to Pequea Valley in the opening week of 2014, 20-12.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow on Twitter @P_Strohecker