As best he can remember, it happened by accident.

On the baseball field, West York's Brandon Kinneman had always been a southpaw -- a left-handed first-baseman and pitcher.

Then, when he was 8, Kinneman's friends asked him to come play pee-wee football. He seemed smart, so coaches stuck him at quarterback.

That's when a funny thing occurred -- the southpaw started to throw right-handed.

It wasn't intentional. He didn't realize he was doing it.

It just happened.

"That's just how it's been," Kinneman said at West York football practice this week. "It's stuck."

Now, nearly 10 years later, the senior quarterback's ambidexterity continues to serve him well.

Last spring, Kinneman's left arm helped hurl West York's baseball team to a Class AAA state championship. He was the No. 2 pitcher, with a 2.05 ERA in 51 1/3 innings.

This fall, Kinneman's right arm has powered the Bulldogs' football team's run back to the District 3 Class AAA semifinals. Second-seeded West York (12-0) will host third-seeded Susquehanna Township (10-2) at 7 p.m. Friday with a trip to Hersheypark Stadium on the line.

"It's weird. A lot of people ask me about it," Kinneman said of his two-handedness. "I don't really know how it happened."

The setup, while unique, has actually been beneficial. Especially during the late spring and summer, when baseball overlaps with preseason football workouts.

"That was huge for me this year," Kinneman said. "State championship run in baseball, throwing everyday. And I can still come in here every morning, lift, throw with my receivers, and I'm fine."

On the football field, Kinneman has continued a strong lineage of quarterbacks under head coach Ron Miller -- a group that includes former signal callers Rob Estep, Alex George and Kaden Hepler.

This season, Kinneman has completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 1,525 yards, 19 touchdowns and just five interceptions. His 496 rushing yards also rank third on the team.

He's the metronome that paces West York's rhythm-based, no-huddle offense. Miller said he doesn't believe he's coached a quarterback with a better command of the Bulldogs' offense.

"There's time when he'll try to signal a play and he'll wave us off," the coach said recently. "He knows what we need."

Kinneman's dexterity does have its limits. He can't throw a football left-handed, for example, but he is able to throw a baseball right-handed. One time several years ago, he went to a baseball tryout and started winging the ball around with his right arm. He didn't even realize it until a half-hour later.

Kinneman has already looked into the possibility of playing both baseball and football in college next fall. For now, though, he'd be content to help secure his team a place in next week's district championship game in Hershey.

"I think since probably Week 5 or 6, we've started rolling." Kinneman said. "We're playing great football."

* * *

Injury update: Miller said Tuesday that a trio of players who tweaked ankles against Spring Grove last week should be ready to play Friday. They are: two-way senior lineman Janssen Nelson, defensive back Justin Warfel and wide receiver Zack Smith.

Sponseller stepping in: Bermudian Spring has battled its own injury problems the past week. Leading rusher Zach Stroup (broken collarbone) will miss Friday's 7 p.m. District 3 Class AA final against Wyomissing.

In his absence, the Eagles will no doubt lean even more on junior fullback Tristan Sponseller, the team's second-leading rusher with 1,126 yards. Sponseller did not play football last year, coach Jon Defoe said, in part to focus on wrestling.

Sponseller won a bronze medal at 170 pounds during last winter's PIAA wrestling championships.

"I think a year away, he missed it," Defoe said last week. "That's part of the growing pains he went through early in the season. He's a come a long way and really been critical to our success. ... We were tickled to death to have him."

Hersheypark history: Both Bermudian Springs and Delone Catholic are no strangers to Hersheypark Stadium.

The Eagles will be making their fifth District 3 Class AA title appearance, and their first since 1998. Bermudian is 3-1 all-time in championship tilts.

The Squires, meanwhile, will be making their 12th District 3 title game appearance, and their first since 2009. They are 7-4 all-time in such games, with their last district crown coming in 2007.

This will be Delone Catholic's second Class A championship game appearance -- it beat Scotland, 20-14, in overtime of the 1994 single-A title game. The Squires' other 10 district title appearances were in Class AA.
John Clayton is a prep sports reporter for the Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach him at 771-2045 or jclayton@ydr.com.