Kennard-Dale, after strong 2020, takes aim at District 3 football playoff berth in 2021

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • The Kennard-Dale football program is coming off a 4-2 season in 2020.
  • The Rams will return 11 senior starters in 2021.
  • K-D will have to replace standouts Darius Bailey and Gabe Hulslander.
Kennard-Dale head coach Chris Grube.

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

The COVID-19 pandemic caused issues for every York-Adams League football program in 2020, but Kennard-Dale’s season was really impacted.

The Rams went 4-2 last year with a talented roster. That included a victory vs. a York Suburban team coming off an undefeated campaign. The Rams would have likely earned their first District 3 playoff berth in years, if the schedule wasn’t shortened to six league-only games and the Class 4-A bracket wasn't limited to just four qualifiers. 

One year later, K-D is hopeful the 2020 momentum will roll over to a 2021 team that will have 11 senior starters, but is missing a pair of prolific performers.

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Running back Darius Bailey and lineman Gabe Hulslander won York-Adams League Division II Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors in their senior seasons, respectively, and left leadership roles open on the roster.

K-D head coach Chris Grube is confident that the combination of the program’s culture, a consistent coaching staff and the school’s powerlifting program can produce that long-awaited playoff appearance in 2021 for the Rams.

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“We've been so blessed. Our guys have been in the weight room since Christmas,” Grube said. “We're excited. The coaching staff has been the same for the last five years, going into six years. So, our kids are really bought into our system and I'm hoping that we can put these seniors out on top with all the progress that the program has made in the last couple of years.”

Here is a capsule preview of the Rams:

►Team: Kennard-Dale Rams.

►Coach: Chris Grube, sixth season.

►2020 record: 4-2 in York-Adams League Division II.

►Key losses (Division III All-Stars in bold): RB/DB Darius Bailey; DL/OL Gabe Hulslander; OL/DL Shane Reinhart.

►Key returners (Division III All-Stars in bold): LB Steven Lukes; RB/LB Micah Partee; OL/DL Jeff Mathena; OL/DL Grant Cooper; TE/LB Andrew Amrhein.

►2021 schedule (Division III games in bold): Aug. 27 vs. Octorara; Sept. 3 vs. Solanco; Sept. 10 at Biglerville; Sept. 17 at Muhlenberg; Sept. 24 at York Suburban; Oct. 1 vs. New Oxford; Oct. 8 at Gettysburg; Oct. 15 vs. West York; Oct. 22 at Susquehannock; Oct. 29 vs. Eastern York.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.