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In some ways, YAIAA football media day feels like the unofficial start to the gridiron season.

No, you won't find any players donning pads. And about the closest thing you'll get to actual football is khaki-clad high schoolers posing with a pigskin for grateful photographers.

But media day fosters excitement. It's the surest sign that the summer sports lull is over, and high school football is here.

We'll have plenty of coverage and posts on here in the coming days and weeks, as the buildup to football season grows. You can head here for our print piece from today's festivities at the York Expo Center.

In addition to the items in that story, here are a few notes that stuck out from today's event.

South Western restocks: Defending Division I co-champion South Western will have to replace a good deal of experience -- most notably seven starters on the offensive side of the ball.

The good news is, the Mustangs have plenty of talent to work with.

Two South Western players are receiving Division I interest: Senior linebacker Jake Shaffer and junior receiver Mike Felton.

Shaffer, a 6-foot-3, 210-pounder, has the size and athleticism to play at the Division I level, Mustangs coach Don Seidenstricker said. The key for Shaffer will be having a productive senior season.

"A lot of it is going to depend on how he plays this season," Seidenstricker said. "He's got the size, he's got the strength he's got some speed. But he's got to do some things on the field to catch some eyes."

As for Felton, the 5-foot-11 junior played his way onto the radar of Division I teams last fall, and shined in several camps this summer. He clocked a 40-yard dash in the 4.4-range at a NIKE camp recently.

"I think Mike, because of the season he had last year, could be in a position this spring to potentially have some offers if he stays healthy," Seidenstricker said.

The Mustangs coach said West Virginia has come up to Hanover to scout both players, and South Western has sent film to several mid-atlantic schools, such as Connecticut, Maryland, Penn State and Pittsburgh. Shaffer attended a camp in Syracuse earlier this year.

Already, at least two YAIAA football seniors will be playing Division I college next year: Dallastown linebacker Ben Kline (Pitt) and Red Lion lineman Andrew Zeller (Maryland). Seidenstricker feels there's no doubt big-time schools have become more willing to recruit players from the York-Adams area.

"That's one thing I can tell you without hesitation," Seidenstricker said. "The York-Adams league, we are definitely starting to get our just due. I think the athletes that are getting recruited out of our league are proving their worth at the next level.

"When that happens, the integrity of the league goes up."

Parker grabs attention: Speaking of players with Division I potential, William Penn quarterback Kelvin Parker's athletic tools have caught the attention of college suitors. Newly implemented coach Shawn Heinold said Thursday that Maryland has called to express interest in Parker as a safety.

The reason: It's not often you find a 6-foot-4, 200-pound player who clocks a 4.39 40-yard dash. Parker has also received interest as a wide receiver.

Now, Parker just needs to decide if he wants to play football in college. The rising senior is also a standout basketball player for the Bearcats.

"It's limitless, the possibilities," Heinold said. "He's an extraordinary athlete. He possesses a tremendous skill-set."

Kline the QB: Dallastown's Pitt-bound linebacker Ben Kline supplied one of the more humorous moments of the day.

When asked how he planned to use Kline on offense, Wildcats coach Kevin Myers said he would move Kline around. "We're going to make teams find him," Myers said. "That's no secret."

Kline, sitting across the table from his coach, grinned. "Quarterback?" he joked.

For some reason, I wouldn't bet on it.

Despite his imposing frame, Kline actually spent most of last season as a wide receiver for Dallastown. Towards the end of the year, Kline started taking more reps at tailback -- he piled up 187 yards and four touchdowns on just 17 carries.

Dallastown will have to replace its two leading rushers from last year -- Anthony DeFabio and Tyler Imhoff.

New look for Central: For the third straight year, Central York will be sporting a new design on its helmets.

Two years ago, the Panthers donned a "C" logo similar to that of the Cincinnati Bearcats. Last year, Central switched to a logo featuring a Panther's head.

The newest helmet is a flat black color -- as opposed to the shiny black of the past -- with an orange "C" logo resembling that of the old Chicago bears helmets. They have a bit of an old-school look.

One reporter's opinion: I give them a resounding thumbs up.

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Believe me, we have plenty of info and tidbits from media day to come. But we can't give everything away yet. Otherwise, what would we have left for our annual football tab?

Stayed tuned to The Varsity Beat and GameTimePA.com for more updates as the season draws closer.

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