Editor's note: This is one in a continuing series of team previews for the 2019 York-Adams League football season:
The Kennard-Dale Rams actually managed to win four games a season ago.
None of them, however, came in York-Adams Division II play.
That disappointment, including a heartbreaking loss against York Suburban, is not something that coach Chris Grube would like to see repeated. In his fourth season at the K-D helm, Grube is expecting bigger and better things from the senior class that began with him as freshmen.
“This group of seniors are very special to me,” Grube said. “And I want to send them out on a high note.”
For Grube, no one exemplifies hard work and dedication better than senior running back Wyatt McCleary. A three-sport standout in basketball, baseball and football, McCleary has been a starter ever since Grube took over.
“I’m eager for our skill players, like Wyatt, to showcase what they have,” Grube said.
With only seven teams in Division II, the Rams are the only squad that will not play a divisional contest on Sept. 13. Instead they will play host to Big Spring in the final of their four nonleague contests.
Last year, the Rams started out hot by winning three of those four nonleague tilts. Things, however, "fell apart" after that according to Grube.
“We played well early in the Suburban game (which was the first division contest) last year,” Grube said. “But we had some injuries and we put younger guys in and unfortunately they didn’t step up.”
Noah Hulslander, a three-year starter at quarterback, graduated last year, leaving a hole at one of the team's key positions. Grube said that his team will remain focused on running the ball, so the winner of the QB position battle in preseason will not be relied on to do too much.
Following is a capsule preview of the 2019 Kennard-Dale season.
►Team: Kennard-Dale Rams.
►Coach: Chris Grube, fourth season.
►2018 record: 4-7 overall, 0-6 Division II.
►Key losses (Division II All-Stars in bold):Ryan Gibney, linebacker; Noah Hulslander, quarterback, Garrett Lowe, tight end; Wesley Forrester, offensive/defensive lineman.
►Key returners (Division II All-Stars in bold):Patrick Maloney, senior, offensive/defensive lineman; Gabe Hulslander, junior, offensive/defensive lineman; Caleb Mannarino, junior, offensive lineman; Jaylen Kennedy, senior, tight end; Wyatt McCleary, senior, running back/linebacker; Josh Vipperman, senior, running back/linebacker; Alex Sharp, senior, running back/linebacker.
►2019 schedule (Division II games in bold): Aug. 23 at Pequea Valley; Aug. 30 vs. Solanco; Sept. 6 at Biglerville; Sept. 13 vs. Big Spring; Sept. 20 at York Suburban; Sept. 27 vs. Dover; Oct. 4 at Gettysburg; Oct. 11 vs. West York; Oct. 18 at Susquehannock; Oct. 25 vs. Eastern York; Nov. 11 vs. York Tech (contingency game).
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.