COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: A preview look at the 2017 Littlestown Thunderbolts football team
This is the sixth installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season.
►Team: Littlestown Thunderbolts.
►Coach: Mike Lippy, 15th season.
►2016 record: 8-3 overall, 5-2 in York-Adams Division III.
►Key losses (2016 all-stars in bold): Tanner Noble, Wes Storey, Brandon Morey, Drew Matthews, Ben Snouffer, Tyler Barthel.
►Key returners (2016 all-stars in bold): Dylan Morey, Dylan Stiles, Corbin Brown, Malachi Fodor.
►2017 schedule (Division II games in bold): Sept. 1, at Boiling Springs (7 p.m.); Sept. 8, at Hamburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 15, vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.); Sept. 22, vs. York Tech; Sept. 29, at Delone Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 6, vs. York Catholic (7 p.m.); Oct. 13, vs. Hanover (7 p.m.); Oct. 20, at Biglerville; Oct. 27, vs. Bermudian Springs; Nov. 3, at Fairfield (7 p.m.).
►Outlook: Last season, the Thunderbolts improved six wins from the year before and will look to keep that momentum going in 2017.
The 2016 campaign saw the Thunderbolts fall to top-seed Middletown in the first round of the District 3 Class 3-A playoffs. Middletown and Red Lion were only District 3 schools to go unbeaten in the regular season a year ago.
While Littlestown did see a large group of players depart after graduation, the Thunderbolts’ roster will feature an almost equally large group of new seniors ready to fill their spots.
Lippy expects his squad to be competitive, but stresses success won’t come without a sense of dedication to one another.
“In my opinion, they need to work real hard about caring about each other and not focusing on themselves,” Lippy said. “I think they’re going to do a good job of that this year. It’s all right to have talent ... but if you don’t have team chemistry and respect in your locker room, it can divide a team as well.”
The coach notes his squad will be thin up front, but added he has confidence in the players tasked at taking on new starting roles.
It will be another momentous year for Littlestown. Last season saw Lippy collect career victory No. 100. On Oct. 27, Littlestown will host Bermudian Springs in potentially the final contest on Memorial Field, barring a home playoff contest.
Lippy says his players will look forward to the chance to close out those confines with a victory.
►Quotable: "W’re happy that we got things turned around last year from the tough 2-8 season two years ago, but the success that we did have last year has nothing to with this year. We have to make sure we’re still doing all the things to remain successful — hard work, dedication and a commitment to what we do.” — Mike Lippy.