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COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Dallastown Wildcats

Patrick Strohecker
505-5402/@P_Strohecker
  • Dallastown won the Division I title last year, going 9-2 overall and 6-1 in Y-A League play.
  • The Wildcats lost their final two games in 2015 after starting the year 9-0.
  • Dallastown graduated its quarterback from last year, Cade Gold, and the Division I Player of the Year, Jake Jansen.

This is the 23rd and final 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: Dallastown Wildcats.

2015 record: 9-2 overall, 6-1 York-Adams Division I.

Coach: Kevin Myers, 12th season.

Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): Dylan Callahan, senior, running back; Max Teyral, junior, defensive back; Ben Ferree, senior, offensive and defensive tackle; Brice Register, senior, offensive and defensive tackle; John Brandon, senior, running back/linebacker; Edgar Centeno, senior, running back/linebacker; Steven Dunczyk, senior, tight end/linebacker; Drake Pew, senior, kicker; Michael Sparks, senior, quarterback; Zion DeVance, senior, running back/defensive back.

Notable losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): Jake Jansen, wide receiver/defensive back/return specialist; Cade Gold, quarterback; Jordan Burns, center; Jake Garrity, punter; Robert Paules, offensive guard/defensive tackle; William Reilly, offensive guard/inside linebacker; Connor Green, defensive end; Jack Marks, senior, running back/outside linebacker; Anthony Garcia, senior, wide receiver/defensive back.

2016 schedule (Division I games in bold): Sept. 2 vs. Hempfield (7 p.m.); Sept. 9 at West York (7 p.m.); Sept. 16 vs. Penn Manor (7 p.m.); Sept. 23 at Spring Grove (7 p.m.); Sept. 30 vs. York High (7 p.m.); Oct. 7 at Northeastern (7 p.m.); Oct. 14 vs. South Western (7 p.m.); Oct. 21 at New Oxford (7 p.m.); Oct. 28 vs. Central York (7 p.m.); Nov. 4 at Red Lion (7 p.m.)

Outlook: Count them. That’s nine all-stars from the 2015 season that graduated and won’t be back for Dallastown this year. That gives you a pretty good understanding on why the team was so successful last year. Unfortunately, the team faltered late, losing its regular-season finale and then first-round playoff game because Gold was out for both with a foot injury, spoiling his senior season in more ways than one. Also among those not returning is Jansen, the Division I Player of the Year.

So, don’t be shocked if the Wildcats take a step back this year. With that said, you can’t ever count out Dallastown to do something special. While it will take some work trying to replace all the missing pieces from last year’s team, there’s still plenty coming back that can make this team super competitive and again contend for the Division I title. Should any of the more popular favorites — Northeastern or Red Lion — slip up, expect the Wildcats to be right there ready to pounce. Working against Dallastown, however, is the fact that its two biggest games in division play both come on the road, at the Bobcats in Week 6 and then at the Lions to close out the regular season.

HEISER: York-Adams football teams have motivation

Coach speak: “I am pleased with where we’re at. I will tell you, at the beginning of June, I was pretty worried. I didn’t know what we were going to have, but this team really melded together over the summer.” — Myers.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com.