The 12 to watch in 2012: Littlestown QB Dustin Crouse
This is Part 5 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.
QB Dustin Crouse
2011 passing stats:126-248 (50.8 percent), 2,138 yards, 20 TDs, 11 INTs
Rushing stats: 64 att., 139 yards, (2.2 avg.), 1 TD
Mike Lippy's quarterback factory has churned out another good one. And as difficult to believe as it may be, Crouse may end up producing even more prolific numbers than his predecessors. He dazzled as a then-junior last fall, leading the YAIAA in passing for a team that posted a solid 7-4 record in what, at least compared to the Thunderbolts' recent spell of success, could pass for a "down" year. During a memorable Week 4 win against Biglerville, Crouse threw for 365 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
So what's next? There is always room to refine, and the Bolts will have to break in a new group of receivers after the graduation of leading pass catchers Corey Ahner (964 yards) and Jonathan Justice (545). But Littlestown can head into this season knowing its most important position is locked down. Now just sit back and watch the passing numbers pile up.
Other Thunderbolts to watch: Rising senior Ryan Rickell led a by-committee contingent of running backs last fall, finishing the season with a team-best 648 yards. He should be back in the backfield along with Ryan Griffin, who missed almost the entire 2011 season due to an injury.