This is the second installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Friday, Sept. 2.
Who: York Tech Spartans.
2015 record: 2-8 overall, 1-6 Division III.
Coach: Charlie Troxell, first season (second stint at York Tech).
Key returners (2015 Division III All-Stars in bold): Isaiah Colon, senior, wide receiver/defensive line; Jordan Ray, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Chris Sams, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Manuel Spells, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Antonio Bermudez, junior, offensive line/defensive line; Eric Clark, junior, wide receiver/defensive back; Shane Grosso, junior, offensive line/defensive line; Ben Jackson, junior, running back/linebacker; Kyle Kohler, junior, offensive line/defensive line; Josiah Smallwood, junior, quarterback/linebacker; Kole Shenberger, junior, wide receiver/defensive back; Harold Miller, senior, offensive line/linebacker.
Notable losses (2015 Division III All-Stars in bold): Matt Rossi, running back/linebacker; Damarius Wiggins, quarterback/defensive back; Brandon Montouth, running back/defensive back; Kahleik Savery, quarterback/defensive back; Maurice James, running back/defensive back.
2016 schedule (Division III games in bold): Sept. 2 at Harford Tech (7 p.m.); Sept. 10 vs. Eastern York (1 p.m.); Sept. 16 at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Sept. 24 vs. Littlestown (1 p.m.); Sept. 30 at Biglerville (7 p.m.); Oct. 8 vs. Bermudian Springs (1 p.m.); Oct. 14 at Fairfield (7 p.m.); Oct. 22 vs. Hanover (10 a.m.); Oct. 29 vs. Delone Catholic (1 p.m.); Nov. 4 at York Catholic (7 p.m.).
Outlook: While other teams can develop players into their system over years in youth leagues, Tech doesn’t have that luxury. Despite having the second-highest number of male students (771) in the York-Adams League, the Spartans enroll kids from all over the county and from all different walks of life.
Continuity in coaching has also been an issue over the years at Tech. But the hopes are that the return of Troxell, who coached the Spartans from 2002 through 2004, as head coach can be the first steps in building the program into prominence. Troxell isn’t judging success on the number of wins his team accumulates this season. Instead he hopes to bring together a diverse group of students and turn them into players. He feels that the first step toward success is building discipline and instilling confidence. If he can do that, the biggest goal is to earn the respect of opponents.
Troxell is excited that one of his former Tech players, Wes Bard, is now a coach for the freshman squad. Bard, who joined the Army after graduating from Tech, is the right person to help build a "new era of Spartan football," according to Troxell. Given that, Troxell is wiping the slate clean from last year and putting all of his focus on developing this year’s players.
Coach speak: “A lot of our kids in this program are about work ethic. And that’s because a lot of our kids are looking to learn technical skills where they can get a job right out of high school. And that’s what makes us a little bit different and unique. The ones that come out (for the football team) are special because they’re going the extra mile.” — Head coach Charlie Troxell on his player's work ethic.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.