Spring Grove High School's football team has developed a nickname for freshman Andrew Luckenbaugh: Kicker.
Rockets coach Russ Stoner will scream it when he wants to get his attention, and Luckenbaugh's number is saved as "Kicker" in Stoner's cell phone.
Despite the simple nickname, Luckenbaugh could be a big force for the Rockets, who finished last season 1-9 and attempted just one field goal. He was easily kicking 35-yarders Monday during the first day of fall practice.
"We're going to throw him into the fire right away," said Stoner, who is entering his second year as Rockets head coach. "If we get inside the 30-yard line and our offense stalls, we're going to kick a field goal. He's got a big foot."
Literally. Luckenbaugh, 14, already wears size 14 shoes he has to custom order off the Internet.
What he has in talent, he lacks in experience. Luckenbaugh only started kicking last year after running into a former college football coach who suggested he try kicking while Luckenbaugh attended a soccer camp.
Luckenbaugh began working with a kicking coach in Maryland twice per week and attended a kicking camp in Arizona over the summer. He'll also practices with his parents shagging balls for him.
"I was all right," said Luckenbaugh, who hopes to earn a college scholarship for kicking. "I was getting used to it. I definitely have to keep working on form."
--- New Oxford: New Oxford featured a familiar face Monday.
First-year head coach Jason Thurston added former Gettysburg High head coach Ray Gouker to his staff as a defensive line coach. Thurston was a volunteer assistant under Gouker last year before Gouker was fired.
"I've heard a lot of people talk about Coach Gouker," Thurston said. "He's a positive, intense guy. I thought he'd be a great fit for these kids. What a way to give back to him.
"He talks about planting seeds, metaphorically. He throws out ideas and says, 'Just something for you to consider.' It's good. I'm very reflective. I take what he says to heart. If that can help us, yeah, we're going to try it."
Thurston said that Gouker has helped with offensive philosophies and game management.
The Colonials are looking to improve upon last season's 2-8 record. They have 53 players in camp.
"We talked this morning in our meeting about not settling for being OK," Thurston said, "really setting the bar high and realizing that's going to be difficult at times. We're fine with that."
--- Gettysburg: With 66 players in preseason practices, Gettysburg has more than last season. Their challenge will be to adapt to first-year Warriors head coach Matt Heiser.
"We're starting from square one," he said. "Some kids will be ahead. Some kids will be behind. I'm hoping things will run smoothly. The key thing is just being consistent with them."
Heiser, who joined the Warriors after holding the same position 10 years at Boiling Springs, has had trouble sleeping because of his excitement.
"It's been hard to sleep the last couple of days," he said. "I know the kids are the same way."
The Warriors will have to replace quarterback Chase Whiteman and their best offensive player from a year ago in wide receiver Benttion Hendricks.
There is a competition among three or four players for the first spot, but the second will be filled by a group. Jason and Jordan Nye, twins and seniors, will likely be counted upon to produce many of the Warriors' rushing yards this season.
--- Littlestown: Littlestown kicked off its summer practices Monday with lofty goals.
"Our goals remain the same every year," head coach Mike Lippy said at the York-Adams Football Coaches Association media day last Thursday. "You want to win the league, you want to qualify for districts, win the district championships and if you are lucky enough, you want to move on."
With Dustin Crouse returning at quarterback, the Thunderbolts hope to continue to build on the success over the past nine seasons, in which they have advanced to the District 3 playoffs eight times.
Coach Lippy was unavailable for comment on Monday.