Matt Allibone and Teddy Feinberg talk about the upcoming season of YAIAA Division III football.
YAIAA Division III football players discuss a variety of topics, including their favorite NFL players and most embarrassing moments. Matt Allibone
Pride is on the line for the Littlestown football program.
After posting seven straight winning seasons and reaching the district title game in 2013, the Bolts have won just five combined games the past two seasons. Head coach Mike Lippy and company enter 2016 determine to be competitive again.
"Our community has supported us, and I feel it's an obligation to give something back by having a competitive football team," Lippy said. "These guys have to decide if (losing) is going to stop this year. The onus is on all of us."
The Bolts bring back eight letterwinners from last year's 2-8 team, and they need new players to emerge at numerous positions, including quarterback and defensive back.
Littlestown has shaken up its out-of-conference schedule, a move that Lippy said should be beneficial. Players and coaches agree that the Bolts needs to start the season strong and play more complete games.
"Last year, halftime we were in the game five weeks in a row but in the second half we weren't as fiery," senior running back Wes Storey said. "The work we've put in this summer is really going to drive us to finish out games strong."
Quarterback: Last year's starter Cody Boyd has graduated, and Lippy has tagged untested senior Tanner Noble to replace him. While he lacks varsity experience, Noble has impressed the staff with his intelligence and leadership.
"I felt the past two years were a learning experience to grow as a player," Noble said. "Just because I'm a senior, it's not given to me, I have to earn that position."
Running back: Storey returns after an impressive junior campaign in which he ran for 980 yards and six touchdowns on 140 carries. Senior Drew Matthews, junior Austin Watters and sophomore Dylan Morey will also compete for carries.
Receiver: Seniors Ben Snouffer and Tyler Barthel are both back are receiving significant playing time last season. Snouffer caught 21 passes for 221 yards as a junior.
Offensive line: Sophomore tackle Malachi Fodor and senior guard Brandon Morey return as starters in the trenches. Seniors Lucas Hayes, Zach Heininger and Matthew Becker are slotted to fill the other spots.
Defensive line: Fodor and senior defensive end Brandon Pittinger bring the most experience. Lippy has high expectations for Fodor, the first sophomore voted team captain during his tenure.
"If you ever wanted to start a football program, he's the kid you want," Lippy said.
Linebackers: Littlestown loses Dylan Sizemore and Jesse Lemon but brings back Matthews in the middle. Dylan Morey will likely join him inside while Storey and Trey Noble play outside.
Secondary: The Bolts are inexperienced here, and will look to Watters, seniors Anthony Weaver, Josh McKinney and sophomore Corbin Brown to fill the holes.
Lippy said he feels confident with junior Alex Potts handling the kicking and punting duties.
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Save the date
Littlestown's home game against Delone Catholic on Sept. 30 will be its second divisional game and first real test against a YAIAA Division III contender. The Squires won last year's matchup, 26-7.
A return to the glory days of 2013 might not be realistic, but the Bolts should be more competitive than last year.
In the huddle
Head coach: Mike Lippy (97-50 in 13 seasons)
Assistant coaches: Corey Bittle (DC), Joe Bowman, Wes Chrismer, Todd Gantz, Steve Lane, Andrew Polashuk, Jason Popoff, Scott Staub, Mike Thomas, Larry Baumgardner.
Class: 3A, YAIAA Division III
Enrollment: 485 (248 male)
Offense: No huddle
Sept. 2 — Boiling Springs at Littlestown, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — Hamburg at Littlestown, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — Littlestown at Eastern York, 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 — Littlestown at York County Tech, 1 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Delone Catholic at Littlestown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — Littlestown at York Catholic, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — Littlestown at Hanover, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21* — Biglerville at Littlestown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — Littlestown at Bermudian Springs, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — Fairfield at Littlestown, 7 p.m.
L // @ Boiling Springs // 0-35
L // @ Greencastle-Antrim // 13-51
L // Lancaster Catholic // 13-28
W // York County Tech // 23-6
L // @ Delone Catholic // 7-26
L // York Catholic // 14-35
L // Hanover // 14-36
L // @ Biglerville // 20-41
L // Bermudian Springs // 0-35
W // @ Fairfield // 72-36