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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: West York Bulldogs

ELIJAH ARMOLD
505-5406/@YDSports
  • West York is looking to improve on a 2015 season that saw it go 5-5.
  • The Bulldogs finished second in York-Adams Division II with a 5-1 division mark.
  • Second-year coach Jeremy Jones notes the team's speed at multiple positions as a strength.

This is the 14th 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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Team: West York Bulldogs.

Coach: Jeremy Jones, second year.

2015 record: 5-5 overall, 5-1 York-Adams Division II.

Key losses (2015 Division II All-Stars in bold): Terry Cains, wide receiver; Ryan Narber, running back and linebacker; Logan Loucks, offensive and defensive line; Walton Shull, offensive line; Noah Sowers, offensive line; Anthony Kahley, middle linebacker; Mike Messersmith, outside linebacker; Dondi Odom, defensive end; Tyler Folk, quarterback; Darian McCaulley, punter.

Key returners (2015 Division II All-Stars in bold): Ay’Juan Marshall, running back and defensive back; Justin Wetzel, free safety; Joey King, wide receiver; Cadence Thomas, running back.

2016 schedule (Division II games in bold): Sept. 2, at Central York (7 p.m.); Sept. 9, vs. Dallastown (7 p.m.); Sept. 16, at Manheim Central (7 p.m.); Sept. 23, vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.); Sept. 30, at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Oct. 7, vs. Gov. Mifflin (7 p.m.); Oct. 14, at York Suburban (7 p.m.); Oct. 21, vs. Susquehannock (7 p.m.); Oct. 28, vs. Dover (7 p.m.); Nov. 4, at Gettysburg (7 p.m.).

Outlook: After a 5-5 season that saw the team miss the playoffs, a rare occurrence at West York of late, the Bulldogs will look to get back on track.

One of the things that coach Jeremy Jones believes will aid his squad this season is his team’s speed. Jones notes it’s a characteristic not limited to any specific position or side of the ball.

Cadence Thomas will provide some of that speed out of the backfield, along with fellow running back Ay’Juan Marshall.

Senior Anton Johnson will be looked upon to lead the offense from the quarterback position. Jones also notes that senior receiver Joey King has the potential for a breakout season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs see the return of all-star free safety Justin Wetzel. The sophomore started every game a season ago.

The Bulldogs will look to build off a finish that saw them win their final three games of the season.

West York (Class 4A) has a chance to build its playoff case early. Its first three games come against Class 5A teams.

Those contests include a Week 1 trip to Central York, followed by a home game against Dallastown before a trip to Manheim Central in Week 3.

Quotable: “Overall, our team speed is going to be key. We are going to do some things to isolate some people. And (opposing defenses) are going to have to pick who they want to take away; they’re not going to be able to take away everybody. If we can mature and clean some things up we have lot of potential.” — Jones.

Reach Elijah Armold at earmold@yorkdispatch.com.