The 12 to watch in 2012: York Catholic QB James Dougherty
This is Part 3 in our continuing blog series, which looks at 12 players to watch during the upcoming YAIAA football season. A reminder, there is one major change from last year's list: In an effort to profile a wider range of teams, I'm only picking one player from each school for the list.
James Dougherty, QB
York Catholic, Sr.
2011 stats: 122-236 (51.7 percent), 2,104 yards, 16 TDs, 13 INTs
In his first season as a starter last fall, Dougherty posted some prolific numbers. The then-junior threw for the second-most yards in the YAIAA, sprinkling in some memorable single-game performances along the way. Most notably, Dougherty threw for an incredible 427 yards and four touchdowns during a Week 6 contest against Biglerville. “With James, sometimes you just go, ‘Wow,’ when you see the things he does,” York Catholic coach Eric Depew said last year.
Dougherty will have to find a new favorite target this season. The graduation of Patrick Montgomery, who accounted for more than half of York Catholic’s receiving yards last year (1,111), means a new group of receivers will have to step up. Still, if last season was any indication, Dougherty figures to be one of the area’s top passers this fall.
Other Irish to watch: York Catholic’s opponents this year won’t be able to key on Dougherty alone. York Catholic also returns third-year starting running back Matt Lehr, who has posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. And with an improving offensive line returning in front of him, there's no reason to think Lehr won’t be one of the area’s top rushers again this year. Expect the Irish to score plenty of points this season.