Christian Arnold and Teddy Feinberg talk about the upcoming season of YAIAA division II football.
The Bulldogs will have a younger feel to the 2016 incarnation of the team. Gone are some familiar faces such as Tyler Folk, Terry Cains and Ryan Narber.
The team will also be a bit smaller than in previous seasons, which is something that head coach Jeremy Jones will try to use to West York’s advantage. There will also need to be some versatility among the players to be able to play multiple positions.
“We’re going to have to have a lot of guys that can go both ways,” Jones said. “We’re going to have to find roles for some other guys so they’re going both ways. It’s going to be tough.”
Quarterback: The Bulldogs will turn to Anton Johnson II to be their offensive general, replacing Tyler Folk. Johnson moved to the QB position his sophomore year and was low on the Bulldogs depth chart earlier this year, but the senior has since worked his way into the starting job.
Running backs: Ay’Jaun Marshall was expected to be a big contributor, but a finger injury in camp could sideline the promising sophomore for the season. Cadence Thomas, Jamal Anderson, and Shane Kauffman will be expected to step up.
Receivers: The Bulldogs will have to make up for the loss of the fourth-best receiver in the YAIAA, Terry Cains. It will be up to a young receiving core — including senior Joey King, who Jones predicts could have a breakout season.
Offensive line: West York took a significant hit along this unit, which brings back just two players who played significant minutes last season. The Bulldogs are still trying to nail down the other three spots.
YAIAA Division II football players discuss a variety of topics, including their most embarrassing moment and what NFL player they'd like to have dinner with.
Defensive line: Austin Coy, Michael Valentine and Noah Sjoberg will be key players along the line for West York.
Linebackers: Jones hopes to see Nick Spadafora have a breakout year. He was a backup outside linebacker last season. Drew Robinson also will be an important piece.
Secondary: Justin Wetzel is the only returning starter on the defensive side of the ball. Anderson, Kauffman and Owen Richter also will be options for the secondary.
Evan Keim will return for kickoffs and field goals. Joey King will serve as the punter.
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Save the date
West York opens the season with two non-divisional opponents: its traditional opener vs. Central York, followed by a tougher matchup against Dallastown on Sept. 9. Taking on two Class 6A foes from YAIAA Division I should give an early indication of how West York is coming along.
The young Bulldogs could experience some growing pains as a new core of players adjusts to one another. Getting off to the right start will be key.
In the huddle
Head coach: Jeremy Jones (5-5 in one season)
Assistant coaches: Shawn Heinold, Rob Reinhart, Kent Lichty, Josh Fry (DC), Marcus Odell, Sam Margetas, Chad Toomey, Matt Glennon, Dakota Kessler
Class: 4A, YAIAA Division II
Enrollment: 719 total (365 male)
Sept. 2 — West York at Central York, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — Dallastown at West York, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — West York at Manheim Central, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — Eastern York at West York, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — West York at Kennard-Dale, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — Governor Mifflin at West York, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — West York at York Suburban, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21* — Susquehannock at West York, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — Dover at West York, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — West York at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
L // Central York // 28-31
L// @ Dallastown // 0-10
L // Red Lion // 14-35
W // @ Eastern York // 42-21
W // Kennard-Dale // 42-19
L // @ Delaware Valley Charter // 29-37
L // York Suburban // 22-23
W // @ Susquehannock // 34-31
W // @ Dover // 39-14
W // Gettysburg // 52-14