COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Hanover Nighthawks
- Hanover is coming off a season when it finished 9-2 overall and 6-1 in York-Adams Division III.
- That was a major turnaround from the 2015 campaign, when Hanover finished 1-9 overall.
- A key to Hanover's 2016 season will be replacing its standout quarterback, Kyle Krout.
This is the eighth 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: Hanover Nighthawks.
2015 record: 9-2 overall, 6-1 York-Adams Division III.
Coach: Bill Reichart, fourth season.
Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): Resean Williams, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Hunter Martz, tight-end/defensive line; Justin Barnes, junior, running back/linebacker; Dylon Stair, junior, running back/linebacker; Bryce Hart, junior, offensive line/defensive line.
Notable losses (Division III All-Stars in bold): Brent Hill, offensive line/defensive line; Jordan Laughman, running back/defensive back; Bill Morris, offensive line/defensive line; Neo Lambert, offensive line/defensive line; Kyle Krout, quarterback; Colton Ehrhart, running back/linebacker; Nathan Klunk, offensive line/defensive line; Tavin Zinn, offensive line/defensive line; Deandre Kerr, tight-end/linebacker; Austin Bryson, wide receiver/linebacker; Nick Seymour, wide receiver/defensive back.
2016 schedule (Division III games in bold): Sept. 2 vs. James Buchanan (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 vs. Annville-Cleona (7 p.m.); Sept. 23 vs. Bermudian Springs (7 p.m.); Sept. 30 at York Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 7 at Fairfield (7 p.m.); Oct. 14 vs. Littlestown (7 p.m.); Oct. 22 at York Tech (10 a.m.); Oct. 28 vs. Biglerville (7 p.m.); Nov. 4 at Delone Catholic (7 p.m.)
Outlook: The Nighthawks seemingly came out of nowhere to capture a share of the Division III title a season ago. Hanover flipped around its 1-9 record in 2014 to go 9-2 in 2015.
Much of that success can be tied to a dynamic offense that scored 31.4 points per game (third best in the league). Quarterback Kyle Krout threw for 1,864 yards and 22 touchdowns en route to winning the division’s Player of the Year award. Krout, like many of the other key performers a season ago, graduated recently, leaving the Nighthawks with a big hole to fill at a key position. Jordan Laughman, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards, and Colten Ehrhart, who caught 23 passes for more than 300 yards, are also gone, leaving some big shoes for a younger Hanover squad to fill.
Senior Resean Williams is eager to help out in any way he can. The team’s top pass catcher a season ago with 30 catches for 585 yards, Williams will be relied upon heavily both on offense and defense. He also is eager to step into the leadership role that Krout filled so admirably the past two years. Junior Cam Mumma will be given the chance to take over at quarterback. A backup a season ago to Krout, Mumma has a knowledge of Hanover’s slightly complex playbook, giving him the edge over two other contenders.
Coach speak: “We have to continue to dictate to our opposition what we want to do. That was critical in our success last year. You either play on your toes or play on your heels and I continually tell them that we want to be a team that is aggressively playing, putting the other team on their heels. That doesn’t necessarily mean that we will win every game, but we want to continue to use the same mindset that we created last year.” — Reichart.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.