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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: New Oxford Colonials

Patrick Strohecker
505-5402/@P_Strohecker
  • New Oxford is coming off a 2-8 season in 2015, going 1-6 in Y-A League Division I.
  • The two wins in 2015 are the program's only two victories over the last two seasons.
  • Bowman is entering his first year with the Colonials, going 8-4 in 2015 in his only year as Northern York's coach.

This is the 17th 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: New Oxford Colonials.

2015 record: 2-8 overall, 1-6 York-Adams Division I.

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Coach: Greg Bowman, first season.

Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): Brandon Scott, senior, running back/linebacker; Issac Siegman, junior, running back; Evan Guth, senior, offensive and defensive lineman; Alex Hetrick, junior, offensive and defensive lineman; Cody Smith, junior, offensive and defensive lineman; Nick Duncan, junior, offensive and defensive lineman.

Notable losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): Trevon Brown, senior, wide receiver/defensive back; Corban Czap, senior, quarterback; Ferrious Ashford, junior, running back/linebacker; Brock Hartman, senior, offensive and defensive lineman; Shane Rolle, senior, tight end.

2016 schedule (Division I games in bold): Sept. 2 at Bermudian Springs (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 at Gettysburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 vs. Delone Catholic (7 p.m.); Sept. 23 at South Western (7 p.m.); Sept. 30 vs. Spring Grove (7 p.m.); Oct. 7 vs. Central York (7 p.m.); Oct. 14 at Red Lion (7 p.m.); Oct. 21 vs. Dallastown (7 p.m.); Oct. 28 at York High (7 p.m.); Nov. 4 vs. Northeastern (7 p.m.)

Outlook: New Oxford is looking to make a return to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The Colonials have only won twice in the last two seasons, both of which came in 2015. But, more importantly, the Colonials are hoping to bring some stability to their coaching position. Bowman will begin his first year with New Oxford as the third head coach in three seasons for the program. Bowman had success last year in his only season with Northern York, leading the Polar Bears to an 8-4 record and a District 3-AAA quarterfinal berth, including knocking off York Suburban in the first round.

Bowman will have to fill some key holes this year, especially at his skill positions. While his offensive and defensive lines should be set with several returners from a year ago, he needs to replace Czap at quarterback, Brown at wide receiver and defensive back, Rolle at tight end and Ashford at running back and linebacker. Of those players, Ashford is the biggest loss because he was expected to return for his senior season after a stellar junior campaign, but transferred to Gettysburg in the offseason.

BLOG: A look at the six new head football coaches

Realistically, the playoffs are unlikely for the Colonials, especially in a loaded division and in a jam-packed 5-A class. But, two, or even three, wins is realistic and something to build on for the future.

Coach speak: “They worked extremely hard all offseason. Things are trending in the right direction and I’m encouraged. We had a great team camp recently at Lebanon Valley College. We had a ton of progress there and I feel we’ll have a very competitive football team in the fall as a result of all that hard work.” — Bowman.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com