Editor's note: This is one in a continuing series of team previews for the 2019 York-Adams League football season:
After losing 15 senior starters and reserves from last year’s squad, the Littlestown Thunderbolts' football program will have a good bit of retooling to do this season.
The very productive backfield that included quarterback Jakob Lane and running backs Corbin Brown and Jason Penton are gone. So, too, is all-star lineman Malachi Fodor, as well as receivers Jacob Thomas, Heath Reynolds and Brady McClintock.
Under coach Mike Lippy, who embarks on his 17th season at the helm at Littlestown, the program will continue to have one expectation this fall — to compete for a division title and a District 3 playoff berth.
“We only have really three guys on defense and offense coming back,” Lippy said. “So there’s a lot of opportunities for some new kids to step up.”
Seniors Matt Pugh and Wyatt Kramer, who missed all of last season because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury, will look to step up in the backfield, alongside the winner of the QB competition to replace Lane. Both expect to do well on the field once the season begins, but both also know that their on-field exploits are only half of the expectations that they have of themselves.
“We have a lot of potential,” Pugh said. “And a lot of the younger guys have a lot of talent, but they don’t have that experience quite yet. So it’s up to us seniors to help keep them all focused on the same path.”
Whether or not the Bolts will be able to reach their postseason aspirations will likely come down to how they fare in the three big-time divisional showdowns this season. Two of them, against York Catholic and Delone Catholic, will go down in the first two weeks of divisional play, while a clash with perennial power Bermudian is slated for Week 9.
Following is a capsule preview of the 2019 Littlestown season.
►Team: Littlestown Thunderbolts.
►Coach: Mike Lippy, 17th season.
►2018 record: 7-4 overall, 4-3 York-Adams Division III.
►Key losses (Division III All-Stars in bold): Jakob Lane, quarterback; Jason Penton, running back/linebacker; Corbin Brown, running back/linebacker; Malachi Fodor, offensive/defensive line; Jacob Thomas, wide receiver/defensive back; Heath Reynolds, wide receiver/defensive back; Dylan Morey, offensive lineman/linebacker; Brady McClintock, tight end; Sam Barnes, center.
►Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): Dustyn Barker, senior, wide receiver; Austin Brown, senior, wide receiver; Wyatt Kramer, senior, running back; Matt Pugh, senior, running back; Zach Ressler, senior, quarterback; Memphis Stonesifer, senior, running back
►2019 schedule (Division III games in bold): Aug. 23 at Boiling Springs; Aug. 30 at Susquehannock; Sept. 6 vs. Eastern York; Sept. 13 vs. York Catholic; Sept. 20 at Delone Catholic; Sept. 27 vs. York Tech; Oct. 4 vs. Hanover; Oct. 11 at Biglerville; Oct. 18 vs. Bermudian Springs; Oct. 25 at Fairfield.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.