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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Delone Catholic Squires

RYAN VANDERSLOOT
505-5403/@ydsports
  • Delone Catholic finished 4-6 overall in 2015, 3-4 in York-Adams Division III.
  • Brian Shermeyer returns at quarterback after throwing for 744 yards and five touchdowns in 2015.
  • Delone returns eight starters on both offense and defense.

This is the fourth 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: Delone Catholic Squires.

2015 record: 4-6 overall, 3-4 Division III.

Coach: Corey Zortman, second season.

Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): Ryan Hart, junior, running back/linebacker; Zach Hart, senior, fullback/linebacker; Noah Katz, senior, tight-end/linebacker; Derek Smith, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Wade Neiderer, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Bryce Perkins, senior, offensive line/defensive line; Brian Shermeyer, senior, quarterback/defensive back; Larry Leffler, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Brady Repasky, senior, tight-end/linebacker; Cody Pfaff, junior, wide receiver/defensive back; Ryan Malinowski, junior, wide receiver/defensive back; Sean Sneeringer, senior, running back; Alec Maitland, senior, running back/defensive back; Logan Panzer, senior, running back/defensive line; Andrew Hernandez, senior, running back/linebacker.

Notable losses (All-Stars in bold): Chase Kint, offensive line/defensive line; Tavian Dorsey, running back/defensive back.

2016 schedule (Division III games in bold): Sept. 2 at Trinity (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 vs. Columbia (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 at New Oxford (7 p.m.);Sept. 23 vs.York Catholic (7 p.m.); Sept. 30 at Littlestown(7 p.m.); Oct. 7 vs. Biglerville (7 p.m.); Oct. 14 at Bermudian Springs (7 p.m.); Oct. 21 vs. Fairfield (7 p.m.); Oct. 29 atYork Tech (10 a.m.); Nov. 4 vs.Hanover (7 p.m.).

Outlook:The Squires appear poised for a bounce-back season in 2016. With only two significant losses because of graduation, Zortman firmly believes that his team has what it takes to compete in Division III.

Much of that optimism is tied to the return of quarterback Brian Shermeyer. The senior is coming off a season in which he threw for 744 yards and five touchdowns. While those numbers are not overly staggering, Zortman feels that his signal-caller is primed for a breakout season in 2016. Shermeyer will be joined in the backfield by a trio of backs that tallied more than 1,100 combined yards a season ago in Ryan Hart, Zach Hart and Sean Sneeringer.

One of the big reasons that the Squires finished 2015 with a losing record was their defense. Delone finished with the second-worst pass defense (143.0 yards per game) in the York-Adams League a season ago. They were also middle of the pack in rush defense (184.1 yards per game). Unsurprisingly, both are areas of focus for Delone heading into 2016. The other key that Zortman has focused on is finishing games. His team struggled with that in 2015. Delone found itself on the short end of a few close outcomes, including tough losses to rivals York Catholic and Bermudian Springs.

Coach speak: “We have a lot of optimism. We have eight of 11 returning on both sides of the ball and we have some guys who filled in last year where we did lose some guys to graduation. And we have Brian back. He’s a great leader, athlete and a student. I really believe that he’s set to have a breakout year this year. He’s put in a lot of hard work and his confidence level is way beyond where he was last year.” – Zortman.

Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.