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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Fairfield Green Knights

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
505-5403/@yaiaascores
  • Fairfield is coming off a 1-9 season, including an 0-7 mark in York-Adams Division III.
  • Quarterback Darian Mort is a returning D-III all-star performer.
  • Fairfield is the only Class A program in the entire York-Adams League.

This is the first installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Friday, Sept. 2. 

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Who: Fairfield Green Knights.

2015 record: 1-9 overall, 0-7 Division III.

Coach: Darwin Seiler.

Key returners (2015Division IIIAll-Stars in bold): Darian Mort, junior, quarterback/defensive back; Trystan Griffith, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Charlie Burnett, sophomore, running back; John Macharsky, junior, offensive line/linebacker; Alex Godard, senior, offensive line/linebacker; Jacob Irwin, senior, wide receiver/defensive line; Jake Nicholls, junior, offensive line/defensive line; Logan Counceller, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Ethan Favorite, sophomore, running back/linebacker.

Notable losses (2015 Division III All-Stars in bold): Matt Petrie, running back/defensive back; Aaron Moore, wide receiver; Ian Clements, linebacker; Tyler Karsteter, running back.

2016 schedule (Division III games in bold): Sept. 2 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 at James Buchanan (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 vs. Smithsburg (Md.) (7 p.m.); Sept. 23 vs. Biglerville (7 p.m.);Sept. 30 at Bermudian Springs (7 p.m.)Oct. 7 vs. Hanover (7 p.m.); Oct. 14 vs. York Tech (7 p.m.); Oct. 21 at Delone Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 28 vs. York Catholic (7 p.m.) ;Nov. 4 at Littlestown (7 p.m.)

Outlook:As the only Class A program in the York-Adams League, Fairfield enjoys advantages and disadvantages. With just five teams in Class A in District 3, the Knights enter the season with a 40 percent chance of making the playoffs. But playing in Class A also means that enrollment numbers are significantly less than their Division III brethren.

The good news for Seiler and his program is that more than 25 percent of the male enrollment (44 of 129) is participating in the sport. In addition, junior Darian Mort returns at quarterback to lead the offense. Mort threw for more than 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore. He also led the team in rushing with 322 yards.

Matt Petrie and Aaron Moore, two of Mort’s biggest receiving threats, graduated, leaving questions about who will step in to replace those two. Jacob Irwin, a senior, is hoping to be one, while Charlie Burnett is another possible answer.

The Knights must avoid injuries. Depth could be a serious issue.

Coach speak:“It’s always good when you have the guy coming back (Mort) that gets the ball in his hands all the time. And he’s going to be a year older and a year more experienced. The biggest challenge for him to grow is that he needs to make better decisions at times. There’s no question that he’s a gifted athlete.” — Seiler.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.