Dallastown running back Nyzair Smith and head coach Kevin Myers talk about the junior's breakout season in 2017.
The countdown is on to Week Zero.
Because of an expansion of the District 3 playoffs, the 23 teams in the York-Adams League will get their earliest starts ever on Friday, Aug. 24.
That’s less than two weeks away.
So, it’s time to get serious about the 2018 high school football season.
It promises to be one of the more intriguing seasons in recent memory.
There will certainly be no shortage of returning talent roaming the area fields in search of league championships and postseason glory.
For most of the seniors, it will mark their final opportunity to strap on the pads and play with friends they’ve known for a decade or more. For a few select seniors, it’s one last chance to impress the college scouts.
With the clock ticking, here’s a preview of 20 Y-A players to watch this season, in alphabetical order:
Seth Bernstein, York High (6-2, 195, senior): After transferring from Eastern York, Bernstein has played a pivotal role in York High’s resurgence. Last season, he was a first-team Division I all-star at defensive end and a second-team selection at tight end. He helped the Bearcats go from 1-9 in 2016 to 9-2 in 2017.
Evan Brady, Delone Catholic (5-11, 180, senior): Brady made a big impact for the Squires in his first year as a starting quarterback in 2017, throwing for 1,363 yards (sixth in the league) with 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was also a Division III first-team all-star at defensive back.
Raymond Christas, Dallastown (6-2, 255, senior): Christas was the anchor of the Wildcats' lines last season, earning him first-team D-I all-star honors at center and defensive tackle. He helped Dallastown go 8-3 overall, including a piece of the D-I crown.
Chase Dull, Bermudian Springs (6-1, 210, senior): Dull has overcome some serious injury woes to become a four-year starter for the Eagles at quarterback. He was a first-team D-III all-star last year when he threw for 1,510 yards (third in the league) with 14 TDs.
Malachi Fodor, Littlestown (6-4, 235, senior): Fodor powered the Thunderbolts to 9-2 season a year ago, including a D-III co-championship. In 2017, he was a first-team D-III all-star at offensive tackle and defensive end.
Jarred Kohl, York Catholic (6-1, 205, senior): Kohl led York Catholic with 79 tackles in 2017, helping the Irish to an 8-3 overall record, a share of the D-III title and a fifth straight appearance in a District 3 final. He was a first-team D-III all-star at outside linebacker.
Andrew LaManna, West York (6-5, 190, senior): LaManna is hoping to lead the Bulldogs back among the Division II elite after earning first-team D-II all-star honors at wide receiver in 2017, when he had 29 receptions for 332 yards, averaging 11.4 yards per catch.
Jakob Lane, Littlestown (6-0, 160, senior): The QB was fourth in the league in passing yards last season with 1,495 yards, throwing for nine TDs. He was a second-team D-III all-star at QB, behind Dull.
Brayden Long, New Oxford (6-3, 185, junior): Last year as a sophomore for a winless team, Long still managed to shine, leading the league with 2,140 passing yards, while throwing for 18 TDs.
Brandon Lawyer, Dover (5-10, 180, senior): Lawyer was a first-team D-II all-star at inside linebacker last season (team-best 82 tackles) and a second-team pick at running back (807 rushing yards, 6.7 yards per carry), helping the Eagles to a second-place finish in D-II.
Ay’Jaun Marshall, West York (5-10, 170, senior): The running back has received several NCAA Division I offers after being named the D-II Offensive Player of the Year in 2017. He was also a first-team all-star at defensive back. He rushed for 1,227 yards and averaged 7.4 yards per carry. Defensively he had 48 tackles.
Demonte Martin, Eastern York (6-5, 188, senior): The rangy Martin was a D-II first-team all-star at wideout and a second-team pick at defensive back in 2017. He had 26 catches for 435 yards a year ago, averaging 16.7 yards per reception.
Cade Pribula, Central York (6-1, 200, senior): The 2017 D-I first-team all-star QB has already committed to play at the Football Championship Subdivision level with Delaware. He’s thrown for more than 3,800 yards the last two years combined.
Rob Rideout, York High (5-10, 155, senior): Rideout was D-I Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 as the cornerstone of the Bearcats’ secondary. He was also a first-team D-I all-star at wideout, catching 29 passes for 591 yards, averaging 20.4 yards per catch.
Ammon Robinson, Gettysburg (5-7, 160, senior): The speedy Robinson was a first-team D-II all-star at running back in 2017, when he rushed for 1,148 yards and averaged 7.9 yards per rush. He was also a second-team D-II all-star as a return specialist.
Nyzair Smith, Dallastown (5-10, 175, senior): The running back enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, when he was named the D-I Offensive Player of the Year. He led the league in rushing with 2,055 yards, averaging a whopping 11.3 yards per rush. He also led the league with 32 TDs.
Drew Snelbaker, York Catholic (5-8, 190, senior): The running back is coming off a standout junior season when he rushed for 954 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry for an Irish team that shared the D-III title. He was a second-team D-III all-star.
Dayjure Stewart, York High (5-11, 190, senior): Stewart has already landed some Division I college offers after a strong junior season, when he was a first-team D-I all-star at running back and a second-team pick at outside linebacker. He averaged 7.4 yards per rush last season. He also had 24 receptions.
Jacob Thomas, Littlestown (6-3, 183, senior): The wide receiver was second in the league in 2017 with 43 receptions. He averaged 15.2 yards per reception and was named a D-III first-team all-star.
Elijah Workinger, Red Lion (6-2, 245, senior): Workinger was a first-team D-I all-star at inside linebacker and kicker a season ago, and an honorable mention pick at running back. He led the Lions with 95 tackles in 2017.
Reach Steve Heiser at email@example.com.