COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: A preview look at the York Suburban Trojans
- York Suburban is coming off back-to-back 8-3 and Division II championship seasons.
- The Trojans graduated 10 all-stars from 2016, including Offensive Player of the Year Ben Igo and Defensive Player of the Year Teague Hoffman.
- The Trojans are deep at running back and linebacker, but will need to fill a lot of holes on the offensive and defensive lines.
This is the 15th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season.
►Team: York Suburban Trojans.
►Coach: Andy Loucks.
►2016 record: 8-3 overall, 6-0 Division II.
►Key losses (2016 All-Stars in bold): Ben Igo, senior, quarterback; Teague Hoffman, senior, running back/linebacker; Jadon Haynes, senior, running back/defensive back; Colin Deardorff, senior, wide receiver/linebacker; Gavin Barclay, senior, offensive/defensive lineman; Ralph Casper, senior, offensive/defensive lineman; Pete Marino, senior, center; Ian Prats, senior, offensive/defensive lineman; Zach Weinstein, senior, punter/kicker; Carl Young, senior, offensive/defensive lineman.
►Key returners (2016 All-Stars in bold): Willie Batty, senior, wide receiver/safety; Peter Groncki, senior, fullback/linebacker; Jake Taylor, senior, running back/linebacker; T.J. Hoover, senior, tight end/linebacker; Talon Peffley, senior, wide receiver/linebacker; Janner Torres, senior, fullback/defensive end.
►2017 schedule (Division II games in bold): Sept. 1 at York Catholic (7 p.m.); Sept. 8 at Northeastern (7 p.m.); Sept. 15 vs. Columbia (7 p.m.); Sept. 22 at Kennard-Dale (7 p.m.); Sept. 28 vs. Northern Lebanon (7 p.m.); Oct. 6 vs. Susquehannock (7 p.m.); Oct. 13 at West York (7 p.m.); Oct. 20 vs. Dover (7 p.m.); Oct. 27 at Gettysburg (7 p.m.); Nov. 3 vs. Eastern York (7 p.m.).
►Outlook: Let's see if the Trojans can come out of the gates flying right from Week 1 and not start a season 0-2 for a third consecutive year.
Suburban has done well in rebounding from 0-2 starts in each of Loucks' first two seasons, going on to run the table in Division II and claim the division title on both occasions. Now, the Trojans need to find a way to at least go 1-1 in the opening couple weeks to try and improve their District 3 4-A seeding if they want to get past the first-round exits that have plagued the team in 2015 and 2016.
Loucks is forced to replace a lot for a second consecutive season, but he's worked his magic before, so why will 2017 be any different? The Trojans are hoping to win a third-straight division title for the first time in program history.
Suburban lost 10 Y-A League all-stars to graduation last year, including Offensive Player of the Year Igo at quarterback and Defensive Player of the Year Hoffman at linebacker. Loucks has remained mum on who will replace Igo behind center, but whoever it is will have some help from a strong supporting cast of running backs in Batty, Groncki and Torres. Patching up the offensive and defensive lines will take some work.
It should be another wide open year in Division II, but if the Trojans figure out new roles quickly, they could again win the division.
►Quotable: "You can't change your expectations. If you change your expectations, then the kids as a group will say, 'Well why are we not expected to be good this year?'" — Loucks
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com