Projecting YAIAA football postseason awards
In a few weeks, we'll release the YAIAA's annual football all-star and player of the year selections, as voted on by the league's coaches. But in the meantime, I thought it might be fun to try and project the YAIAA football players/coaches of the year for each division. Again, these are just my opinions, and will have no bearing on the actual all-star/player of the year voting. But a little debate never hurt, right? Be sure to weigh in with your own picks and opinions in the comments section... DIVISION IPlayer of the year candidates: LB/WR Ben Kline, Dallastown; QB Tanner Klinefelter, Red Lion; WR/S Branden Kessler, Red Lion; RB/LB Josh Slate, Spring Grove; RB/DB Mike Felton, South Western. The pick: Ben Kline He's the best player on the division's best team. But that doesn't begin to describe what Kline means to the unbeaten Wildcats. The Pittsburgh-bound senior is the driving force to Dallastown's defense, piling up a team-high 123 tackles (73 solo) and adding three interceptions. Kline has also been a do-it-all force on offense, shuttling from wide receiver to tight end to running back. He's accounted for 718 total yards and 11 touchdowns, and has been perhaps equally useful as a blocker in some cases. Kline is, in pretty much every sense, a complete football player. Coach of the year: Kevin Myers, Dallastown. Six years ago, Myers took over a downtrodden program: The Wildcats went 1-9 in each of his first two years at the helm. This year, he led Dallastown to its first undefeated regular season and first Division I title in 30 years. Need we say more? DIVISION IIPlayer of the year candidates: QB Kaden Hepler, West York; WR Brett Campbell, West York; RB/LB Tanner Link, Dover; RB/LB Aaron Greene, Northeastern The pick: Tanner Link For me, this was the toughest to pick. You could make a great case for Kaden Hepler, who has been better than just about anybody could have imagined in his first season as a starter. But I'll go with Link for a few reasons. First, the junior led the YAIAA in rushing for the regular season with 1,325 yards, to go along with an 8.4 yards per carry average and 18 touchdowns. Not too shabby. Second, he's the most productive player on a team that went from 0-10 to 6-4 and the district playoffs. Finally, he's had a pair of signature performances, running for 257 yards against William Penn and 301 against Northeastern, both of which were school records. At linebacker, Link was second on the team with 64 tackles. Coach of the year: Ron Miller, West York Once again, you could make a case for Dover's Bill Miller, who engineered a six-win turnaround. But West York's Miller has built his program to an incredible level of consistency. Once again, the Bulldogs entered this season with huge contributors to replace. And once again, there was a wave of players just waiting to step into those voids. West York has won six in a row heading into the District 3-AAA playoffs, and there's every reason to think the Bulldogs are capable of another postseason run. DIVISION IIIPlayer of the year candidates: QB/S Austin Reynolds, Littlestown; RB/LB Sean Doherty, Littlestown; RB Kodi Reed, Delone Catholic; RB Austin Keller, Bermudian Springs; RB Tyler Fitzkee, Bermudian Springs; QB Adam Sentz, York Catholic, WR/S Gary Laucks, York Catholic. The pick: Austin Reynolds No contest here. The numbers speak for themselves: 93-of-172 passing, 1,936 yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions. Oh, and Reynolds has also run for 602 yards and three touchdowns. There's a decent chance Reynolds hits 3,000 total yards before his team's season is over. He's the best player on the most dominant team in the York-Adams area. Oh, and he can play safety, too (51 tackles). Coach of the year: Mike Lippy, Littlestown Once again, we'll let the numbers do the talking. Lippy's Thunderbolts have scored 47.9 points per game while allowing just 10.3, both of which are best in the YAIAA. Littlestown hasn't won a game by fewer than 15 points all year, on its way to a 10-0 record and a Division III title. The Bolts will be a No. 2 seed in the upcoming District 3-AA tournament.