As the defensive coordinator for York County School of Technology, Steve Kline knows he may have his hands full Saturday when the Spartans host Eastern York.
The Golden Knights are a running team with a stable of backs that can give defenses fits. However, for Kline there’s an extra challenge, as one of those Eastern backs is none other than his own son, Logan Kline.
“You want to say, ‘It’s Eastern. It’s just another team on the schedule’ … It’s not,” said Steve Kline.
Steve Kline was brought in to run York Tech’s defense by new head coach Charlie Troxell, returning to coaching this season after a one-year hiatus. Kline last coached the Eastern York ninth grade team when Logan was a freshman two seasons ago.
He admits it will be odd seeing his son on the opposite sideline, and coaching against the Golden Knights.
“It’s going to be bittersweet,” Steve Kline said. “Either we win, which means I beat my son and Eastern, or they win and I am happy for my son.”
“It’s going to be weird having to run against his defense,” said Logan. “It’s going to be like one of those household things for bragging rights if one of us does better.”
Regardless of being on opposite sides now, the two share their love of football — a bond made even tighter because of the coach-player-under-the-same-roof dynamic.
“It meant a lot because I got to know things a lot better and got to learn it on a deeper level because of things he told me,” Logan said. “There was a connection that made it easier to bond.”
Still, father and son kept things close to the vest this week, and Logan said he has no inside information on how Tech will try to stop the Knights.
And it will be a challenge, considering that Logan and fellow running back Keegan Corwell provide a one-two punch that can be tough to stop.
“Nothing more than film session with the team. There’s nothing that he has told me,” said Logan.
“It’s not me against Logan, it’s Tech against Corwell, Kline, (Jimmy) Kurnik, (Seth) Bernstein, it’s against all those guys,” Steve said. “They can give the ball to a number of kids that can do some damage when they run the ball.”
Of course, the main part of Steve Kline’s plan to slow Eastern down is to treat his son like any other player on an opposing sideline. Although the postgame handshake line will be different.
“On Saturday I am not going to consider him as my son, I am going to consider him as Eastern’s running back. That’s the way I look at it,” Steve said. “I’ve got to gameplan for him just as I do anyone else. He’s just one of the players we have to plan for on Saturday. All the other games? He’s my kid.
“That will probably end at midfield on Saturday afternoon right after the game. At the end of the game, he will still be my kid and I am going to give him a hug.”