Gettysburg hopes fresh attitude sparks a rebound
There's a new attitude surrounding the Gettysburg football program, and head coach Matt Heiser hopes it translates to some more wins.
After a disheartening 1-9 season, the Warriors are trying to get back to the level they were at two years ago, when they won eight games and reached the district playoffs.
While Gettysburg has plenty of work to do, Heiser likes the work ethic he's seen from his players.
"There was a learning curve for us last year and we turned it into a positive," Heiser said. "I've seen a lot more support, helping each other out and getting that team chemistry and family environment going on."
Having graduated 20 players from last year's team, Gettysburg will be relying on some untested faces this fall. But that might be a good thing for a team looking for a fresh start.
The only question is whether a new attitude can lead to new results.
"I feel like we've got to go out and prove something, make people believe in the Gettysburg Warriors again," senior running back Edny Celius said. "The vibe I'm getting, we've got talent and people want to go out and hit somebody, finish the play. It's exciting."
Quarterback: Senior Josh Clapsaddle got time last season but enters this season as the expected starter now that Tyler Wilt has graduated. Junior Brady Buckley and sophomore Simeon Davis will compete, as well.
Running backs: Celius was one of the team's bright spots last season, emerging from a crowded backfield to run for 545 yards. He'll be joined this season by New Oxford transfer Ferrious Ashford, whom YAIAA coaches picked as a second-team all-star last year.
Seniors Oakley Marsh, Wesley Gayles and junior Bryce Newman will also compete for carries.
Receivers: The Warriors need to replace graduated seniors Devin Ringler, Zane Coldsmith and Tyler Kiser. Basketball and track star Ravaughn Dillard will be back for his senior season.
Offensive line: Gettysburg brings back three returning starters in Jared Manning, Luke Cross and Austin Crushong.
Defensive line: A number of last season's defensive linemen graduated, but Manning, Cross, Crushong and Logan Carbaugh will be some of the players competing for time.
Linebackers: Senior and returning starter David Johnson will anchor this group in the middle.
Secondary: Celius and junior Griffith Shultz both got experience last season. Ashford will also compete for a spot.
The Warriors need to replace graduated soccer star Adam Yingling, who handled kicking duties last season.
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Save the date
Last season, Eastern York embarrassed Gettysburg, 33-3. The Warriors will want payback when they host the Knights Oct. 7 for homecoming.
Going from 1-9 to the playoffs won't be easy, and the Warriors could go through some growing pains in 2016. The defense will have to improve after giving up at least 45 points in each of the final three games of last season.
In the huddle
Head coach: Matt Heiser (9-12 in two seasons) (DC)
Assistant coaches: Jason Thurston (OC), Wade Leedy, Howard Dorsey, Tony Spangler, Rob Dayhoff, Carlos Wampler, Eldridge Moses, Adam Hoffman, Mike Coldsmith, Logan Schultz, Gerrid Doaks
Class: 4A, YAIAA Division II
Enrollment: 730 (378 male)
Sept. 2 — Gettysburg at South Western, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 — New Oxford at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 — Gettysburg at Waynesboro, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — Gettysburg at Dover, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Susquehannock at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7* — Eastern York at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — Gettysburg at Kennard-Dale, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 — Daniel Boone at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — Gettysburg at York Suburban, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — West York at Gettysburg, 7 p.m.
L // South Western // 13-38
W // @ New Oxford //21-14
L // Waynesboro // 0-33
L // Dover // 14-25
L // @ Susquehannock // 7-21
L // @ Eastern York // 3-33
L // Kennard-Dale // 14-21 (OT)
L // @ Conrad Weiser // 0-47
L // York Suburban // 14-45
L // @ West York // 14-52