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Oh, how the football coaching carousel has turned this offseason.

One by one, coaching seats in the York-Adams league became vacant then occupied again from January through the end of spring.

When the ride finally stopped in June, eight of 23 teams had replaced their leaders.

In the Hanover-Adams area, new coaches took over at Delone Catholic, Spring Grove and New Oxford. All three are rookies in the sense that they had no experience at the helm at the varsity level. And all three are tackling the challenge of being a coach in a different way.

They've spent the past few weeks of training camp and preseason adjusting to their new roles as the man in charge.

Delone Catholic

In McSherrystown, Corey Zortman prioritizes tradition. He and his staff wear shirts emblazoned with the phrase, "Tradition doesn't graduate," a constant reminder of Delone's storied past.

Before Zortman — a Delone grad who led the Squires to a District 3 championship as a quarterback in 1994 — took over the program, Delone football had only two coaches in the last three decades.

He was mindful of Delone's storied, winning tradition on the football field, vowing "not to rebuild the wheel, but to carry the torch," when he was hired.

His awareness combined with his familiarity with the program helped ease the transition.

"It was more responsibility but after being around the program and being around football, it was nothing I didn't expect," he said. "It was pretty seamless. The advantage for me was that a lot of coaches have to come in and build from scratch, but we can hit the ground running."

Having inherited a talented squad coming off a district playoff appearance, Zortman knows expectations from the fan base will be high right away.

"As a coach, you're always nervous about the expectations, especially at Delone," said Zortman, who pleased Delone fans by announcing the Squires would keep their traditional gold helmets and wing-T offense. "But we look forward to those expectations here. We're capable of putting together a really nice season."

Zortman's players have bought into what he's selling. His emphasis on accountability, discipline and conditioning has the team feeling more prepared this season, according to junior lineman Bryce Perkins.

"Coach Zortman is a great coach because he's a Delone guy to the bone, he went here and coached here, and he bleeds black and gold," Perkins added. "And he takes that passion up to the practice field every day to help us be the best we can be. It's been hard work, but we've all bought in to playing as a team."

Spring Grove

The Rockets followed Delone's example and went with an alumnus to replace Russ Stoner, who coached the program for four seasons, posting an 18-25 overall record during that time. Stoner's Rockets won a share of the YAIAA Division I championship in 2012, but limped through a 3-7 season in 2014.

Spring Grove turned over the reigns to Kyle Sprenkle, who called it a "dream job" upon being hired, to get the squad back on track. The Spring Grove graduate wasted no time in taking control. He met with his players — some of whom had played for Sprenkle when he was the freshmen team's head coach — the day after being hired.

"Sometimes it's hard to control my excitement, that's how excited I am to get out there for the first game," he said. "We've been putting in a lot of hard work as a team since the winter months and I'm ready to get out there and hit somebody — not personally, but have our guys hit someone from a different school."

Sprenkle's seniors appreciate the chance for a new era ushered in with a new coach.

"It's great to have a fresh start to the season," Rockets senior linebacker Nick Erickson said. "There's definitely new terminology that we're learning, but I feel like since we've been doing it since winter. We're really learning the offense, really learning the defense and it will be a good season."

The challenge, Sprenkle said, has been staying organized and not being afraid to delegate responsibilities to his staff.

"As a staff we really preach the team concept, which includes players, parents, administration, alum and coaches," Sprenkle said. "If we want our program to be successful everyone must work together."

New Oxford

The situation that Jason Warner walked into at New Oxford was easily the most peculiar. His predecessor, Jason Thurston, abruptly announced his resignation through an email to players and coaches in June.

New Oxford promoted Warner from assistant to interim head coach in June for the 2015 season with just more than two months remaining before the Colonials' first game.

"There were a couple weeks there where we really didn't have anyone running the show," Colonials quarterback Corban Czap said. "But the assistant coaches really picked up the slack there and we didn't skip a beat. Everything kept on rolling, it was like nothing else really happened."

Warner's familiarity with the team helped make the transition quick and painless, he said.

"Nothing schematically-speaking will change, and part of the process with the interim position was to keep things as consistent as possible," Warner said. "That was one of the reasons the district didn't want to open it up to a full search. They were trying to avoid hiring a new head coach who would come in and change everything weeks before the season."

His players, many of whom are attempting to erase the memory of a winless 2014 season, appreciate the easy transition.

"I don't think we really skipped a beat, honestly," said senior Trevon Brown. "Coach Warner, he was one of our coaches sophomore year, so he was already in the groove and stuff. When he came in, nothing really changed."

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