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Littlestown Thunderbolts hope hard work will lead to York-Adams D-III football title

Littlestown head coach Mike Lippy.
  • The Littlestown football program is coming off a 4-3 season in 2020.
  • The Thunderbolts are aiming for a return to the top of the York-Adams Division III standings.
  • Quarterback Xavier Benner is expected to lead Littlestown's offense.

Editor's note: This is one in a series of previews for York-Adams League football teams.

Over the years, Littlestown has become used to competing for a spot near the top of the York-Adams League Division III standings, but that wasn’t the case in 2020.

The Thunderbolts started the season with two losses to the division’s powerhouse programs — York Catholic and Delone Catholic — and also lost to Bermudian Springs.

The 4-3 record and fourth-place D-III finish angered the players on the team, and the returning players on the team are motivated to make a move up the standings in 2021. Littlestown's last D-III crown came in 2017, a shared title with York Catholic.

Quarterback Xavier Benner will lead the offense, and at 6-feet, 3-inches tall, the senior  has a talented offensive line in front of him that returns three Y-A League D-III all-stars.

Delone Catholic Squires hope strong line play will pave way to another division crown

For head coach Mike Lippy, the difference between the teams that have reached high levels of success and the ones that didn’t is the effort they put in. For the Thunderbolts to replicate their run of playoff appearances during a normal 10-game campaign, talking about winning is good, but working toward it will lead to the desired result.

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“That's not as easy as it looks, but honestly, it just kind of comes down to hard work,” Lippy said. “Those teams that are successful year in and year out, those programs that are successful, it’s hard work… It's easy to say you want to be 9-1, it’s different to prepare to be 9-1. We surely want to get back to that position where we're winning league championships, going to districts and build from there.”

Following is a capsule preview of the Thunderbolts: 

►Team: Littlestown Thunderbolts.

►Coach: Mike Lippy, 19th season.

►2020 record: 4-3 in York-Adams League Division III.

►Key losses (Division III All-Stars in bold): OL/DL Dakota Kroft; RB/DB William Shoemaker; WR/DB Braden Unger.

►Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): OL/DL Bryce Redding; OL/DL Reese Huth; OL/DL Logan Lanning; QB/DB Xavier Benner.

►2021 schedule (Division III games in bold): Aug. 27 at Boiling Springs; Sept. 3 at Susquehannock; Sept. 10 vs. Annville-Cleona; Sept. 17 vs. York Catholic; Sept. 24 at Delone Catholic; Oct. 1 vs. York Tech; Oct. 8 vs. Hanover; Oct. 15 at Biglerville; Oct. 22 vs. Bermudian Springs; Oct. 29 at Fairfield.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.