Kyle Sprenkle leaves Spring Grove on high note, will now concentrate on his large family

DANTE GREEN
717-505-5418/@TaySean14
  • Kyle Sprenkle has stepped down after seven seasons as Spring Grove's head football coach.
  • Sprenkle enjoyed his best season this past fall, when the Rockets finished 10-2.
  • Sprenkle says he needs to focus on his wife and his six children.
Spring Grove head coach Kyle Sprenkle, right, and Justin Godman celebrate a touchdown by Zyree Brooks during PIAA District III, Class 5-A first-round football action at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Spring Grove would win the game 33-6. Dawn J. Sagert photo

It’s all about the kids for former Spring Grove High School head football coach Kyle Sprenkle.

Even those he isn’t raising.

Sprenkle has continued to lead his former team in its offseason program despite resigning as the head coach of the Rockets varsity team nearly two weeks ago.

The Spring Grove graduate coached the Rockets to their best season in years last fall, but now has turned in his walking papers to focus on his own growing family and his own kids.

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Sprenkle’s team played well in 2021, finishing 10-2 overall and reaching heights that the program had never touched before — including two District 3 Class 5-A playoff victories.

The coach’s stint, however, was not always that easy. His teams won just four games from 2017 to 2019. An improved 2020 season, when the Rockets went 4-3 during a COVID-shortened campaign, signaled the start of a team ready for more.

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An impressive 2021 senior class, including Slippery Rock running back commit Zyree Brooks and Randolph-Macon linebacker commit Darien Osmun, helped Sprenkle finish with his best season as the program’s head coach.

Focus on his family: But after spending seven seasons leading young men in football, Sprenkle is ready to lead his family in life.

His oldest daughter is only 8, and with a 3 month old recently added to his family of eight, the 2020 York-Adams Division I Co-Coach of the Year has plenty of work cut out for him.

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“It’s an adjustment every day but I need to be at home,” Sprenkle said. “If I can’t be fully committed, I need to step away and fully focus on my family.”

Between he and his wife, Emily, an elementary school teacher, the two have plenty of experience teaching children the necessary skills to succeed. His wife is also a Spring Grove grad. She was also a major reason that the Rockets’ coach was able to hold onto his football role for so long.

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“She’s incredible and did more than her fair share,” Sprenkle said. “She’s a superhero. She’s always been very supportive and she’s excited to get me at home. The birth of our last child and the holidays put everything in perspective for me.”

Proud of his accomplishments: Still, Sprenkle is proud of everything he accomplished in his time at Spring Grove, which ended with a 28-42 overall record. 

“I got to be the head coach of my alma mater. I’m extremely proud of the guys and wish them nothing but success moving forward,” he said. “I never wanted to cheat the kids. It will be an adjustment every day, but I need to be at home.”

The Rockets will have to move on with a new leader, but they now have a foundation built on winning, which is something to sell to the next person they bring in. Their former mentor even had some ideas as to who could maximize the potential of the team.

“They need someone who is going to push them,” Sprenkle said. “Someone who is going to give them that respect. Someone is who is going to set new goals. There are guys who are ready to step up and have been waiting their turn.” 

Some strong returning talent: Despite losing their head coach, Spring Grove is expected to remain competitive next season.

The performance of Rockets senior quarterback, Andrew Osmun, who is a potential NCAA Division I recruit as a safety and offensive athlete, will be key in how this team plays.

More:Spring Grove rising junior standout earns first NCAA Division I FCS football offer

Sophomore safety Cowan Ruhland, junior guard and defensive tackle Lane Hersh, sophomore tackle and defensive end Michael Hersey and junior Kyle Lillich are all expected to take on larger roles in 2022. 

New AD talks about the next coach: Even though he has only been there since October, new Spring Grove athletic director Jeff Laux has an idea about the type of coach that he would like to see succeed Sprenkle. 

“We are looking for someone to continue to build the success and traditions of the program,” Laux said. “All about kids and wants to work with our kids. Someone who has the energy to come in and make the program as good as possible.”

Reach Dante Green at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @TaySean14.