New Oxford must fill holes to claim another York-Adams Division II football title

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
Ben Leese looks to haul in a pass last season for New Oxford.
  • The New Oxford football is coming off a York-Adams Division II title season in 2020.
  • The Colonials have qualified for the District 3 playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
  • All-star wide receiver Ben Leese returns for the Colonials, along with a veteran offensive line.

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

In its first season back in York-Adams League Division II, New Oxford successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and a schedule full of new teams.

The Colonials went undefeated during league play and nearly beat a Warwick team that included multiple NCAA Division I commits in the District 3 playoffs.

York Suburban returns key junior playmaker in attempt to regain Division II football title

To make it three straight seasons with a spot in the district playoffs, head coach Jason Warner and his coaching staff will need a number of players to step up and fill key positions.

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Wide receiver/cornerback Ben Leese returns after an all-star season, but enters the 2021 campaign unsure of who will win the quarterback battle and get him the ball, and who will become the primary running back. One spot where New Oxford does return veterans is on the offensive line, which lost only all-star LaDamien Williams to graduation.

New Oxford head football coach Jason Warner

“The things that we've been able to do, it's attributed to the players, obviously, over the last three seasons has been very rewarding, but it wasn't gifted, it was a lot of hard work by leaders on the team and in the program,” Warner said. “This year's team sort of has some of the weight of that on them in that, sort of where we've come from until this point in time (and) what step is next? Obviously, making the playoffs is always exciting, but you know, that's not a normalcy at New Oxford, or at least that hasn't been in the past. So, obviously we're working hard to create that to be a normal thing, but the work has to go into it.”

Following is a capsule preview for the Colonials:

►Team: New Oxford Colonials.

►Coach: Jason Warner, fourth season.

►2020 record: 6-1 overall, 6-0 in York-Adams League Division II.

►Key losses (Division II All-Stars in bold): QB Connor Beans; RB/CB Hunter Shaffer; TE/DE Torbyn Eakins; WR/DB Connor Herring; DL/OL LaDamien Williams.

►Key returners (Division II All-Stars in bold): Ben Leese WR/CB; DE/RB Brittyn Eakins.

►2021 schedule (Division II games in bold): Aug. 27 vs. Bermudian Springs; Sept. 3 at East Pennsboro; Sept. 10 vs. South Western; Sept. 17 at Susquehannock; Sept. 24 vs. Eastern York; Oct. 1 at Kennard-Dale; Oct. 8 vs. York Suburban; Oct. 15 at Conrad Weiser; Oct. 22 at Gettysburg; Oct. 29 vs. West York.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.