Football: Three biggest Hanover-Adams surprises through the first three weeks

By Zach Miller

In the first three weeks of the high school football season, we’ve seen plenty of results we weren’t expecting. As we get ready for divisional play to begin next week, let’s take a look at the three biggest surprises so far in the Hanover-Adams area:

1. Hanover’s hot start

With their Week 3 win against Eastern York to go to 3-0, the Nighthawks have already exceeded last year’s win total, as well as their combined win total from 2011-2013. And they’ve done it in style, outscoring their three opponents by 67 points.

Hanover heads into the first week of divisional play as not only the lone undefeated team in Division III, but also as the lone team with a winning record. Week 4 provides the Nighthawks with a chance to start division play by knocking off the defending Division III champions at Bermudian Springs.

Hanover's Jordan Laughman runs the ball against Eastern York defenders Friday night Sept. 18, 2015 at Hanover High School. Shane Dunlap -

Hanover’s Jordan Laughman runs the ball against Eastern York defenders. Shane Dunlap –

2. Bermudian Springs’ slow start

Speaking of the Eagles, they’re off to their first 0-3 start since 2007, which means they’ve already lost three-times as many regular-season games this season as they had in the last four years combined.

Bermudian Springs’ fall from dominance was to be somewhat expected as the team replaced all but one starter from last year’s division-champion team, but it still seems odd to see 0 in the team’s win column three weeks into the season. That team that started 0-3 in 2007 ended up 4-6.

3. South Western’s turnaround

The Mustangs entered the year considered a favorite to win Division I, and they’ve already impressed in their out-of-division games. After going 0-3 to start the year last season, South Western went 2-1 against the same three opponents to start this year. Last night, they held a Carlisle team that had scored more than 100 points in its first two games to just two touchdowns.

Keep in mind, too, that the Mustangs have won these games without injured running backs Drew Hartlaub and Robby Harbison.


South Western’s Zack Hughes runs the ball against Cedar Cliff in Week 2. Shane Dunlap –


What has been the biggest football surprise in the Hanover-Adams area so far this season?


What else surprised you? Let me know in the comments section.

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South Western’s Hartlaub out for season, hears from James Franklin

South Western's Andrew Hartlaub carries the ball while Gettysburg's Michael Ingalsbe defends on Friday Aug. 29, 2014 at South Western.  Shane Dunlap - GameTimePA

South Western’s Andrew Hartlaub carries the ball while Gettysburg’s Michael Ingalsbe defends on Friday Aug. 29, 2014 at South Western. Shane Dunlap – GameTimePA

By Zach Miller

South Western junior running back Drew Hartlaub will miss the remainder of the season with an knee injury, the team found out Wednesday.

Hartlaub, who is being recruited by Penn State and other Division I schools, tore his right ACL during the Mustangs’ Week 1 game at Gettysburg. He took the ball on a sweep play, coach Damian Poalucci said, and was injured by a hit he took after stepping out of bounds.

“It wasn’t a dirty hit by any stretch of the imagination, just late,” Poalucci said. “Stuff like this happens, it’s a tough part of the game.”

Although the injury means Hartlaub will not have any film to show coaches from this season, Poalucci said the junior’s performances at combines and summer camps still give him a very good shot at a Division I offer.

In fact, Penn State coach James Franklin and assistant head coach Brent Pry both called Hartlaub this week to offer their reassurance and wish him well, Poalucci said. Poalucci has a relationship with both coaches from their time at East Stroudsburg in the ’90s.

“He talked to Coach Pry on Wednesday and he let him know that with this type of injury, nowadays, the recovery time is so quick,” Poalucci said. “He’s hopefully still gonna be able to run track in the spring. He just reassured him that, ‘hey, we like you, we’re interested, you showed us what we can do already.’

“Coach Franklin talked to him today for about five minutes. It says a lot about those coaches to take time out of their busy day to talk to him and comfort him and reassure him that he’s important and they’re still interested.”

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Countdown to Kickoff: Division favorites and top returning units

By Brandon Stoneburg and Zach Miller

Last week, we asked you to vote for who you think the division winners and top returning units (quarterbacks, backfield and receiving corps.) are in the Hanover-Adams area. With just a week left to the start of the high school football season, our last installment of the Countdown to Kickoff series reveals the results of those polls and our take on each one. Keep checking back here at the Locker Room Chatter blog for news and notes throughout the season.


Which team will win YAIAA Division I?


The voters went with the trendy pick and selected South Western. The Mustangs definitely have the talent to make a title run in Division I and expectations are sky high. The target is firmly on the Mustangs’ backs and head coach Damian Poalucci said he’s fine with that.

Spring Grove coming in second might be a stretch and Red Lion should probably be higher on this list.

Which team will win YAIAA Division II?


West York has won at least a share of the division title in seven of the last eight years so voters choosing the Bulldogs is understandable. But, West York is replacing longtime head coach Ron Miller and several key players including quarterback Ross Campbell, who totaled nearly 3,000 yards last season. Gettysburg is coming off a strong inaugural season in the league but lose 19 seniors. Really, this division is up for grabs. You could make an argument for West York, Dover, York Suburban, Eastern York or Gettysburg at the top.

Which team will win YAIAA Division III?


Wow, look how close this one was. Bermudian Springs gets the nod after winning 29 of their last 30 regular season games, but Biglerville is a team on the rise and many expect the Canners to challenge for a title. Delone and York Catholic should be right there in the mix, too. The voters did a good job on their top four here.

Who’s the best quarterback in the Hanover-Adams area?


Messersmith is good, but he’ll have to prove himself a little more before we crown him the best quarterback. The voters disagree, however. Krout led the league in passing last season, so he could be a little higher on this list. Keep an eye on Shermeyer. The junior has a cannon arm and should surprise some people this season.

What Hanover-Adams area team has the best receiving corp?


It seems that Spring Grove really showed up to vote. They’re near the top of the list again as Anthony Beddia and Adam Warehime are a close second to Noah Staub and Drew Hartlaub at South Western. I like the pick here, though. Hartlaub can come out of the backfield and make plays as a receiver, evidenced by his 481 receiving yards in 2014. Hanover’s corp may be underrated, that’s a talented bunch.

What’s the best backfield in the Hanover-Adams area?


South Western nearly pulls off the sweep here with Harbison and Hartlaub taking the best backfield vote. They were a solid thunder-lightning duo last season with Harbison scratching out the tough yards between the tackles and Hartlaub bouncing outside as the home run threat. Biglerville has a solid stable of backs, but Cooper has missed time the last two seasons with injury. Dorsey is a speedster at Delone alongside Sneeringer, who will see more playing time this season as a junior. Again, the voters were accurate here.

Countdown to kickoff schedule
June 12: New Oxford
June 19: Hanover
June 26: Littlestown
July 3: Spring Grove
July 10: Biglerville
July 17: Fairfield
July 24: South Western
July 31: Delone Catholic
Aug. 7: Gettysburg
Aug. 14: Bermudian Springs
Aug. 21: Over/Unders
Aug. 28: Top returning units

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Can the senior-heavy Mustangs make a run at the division title?

By Brandon Stoneburg

We’re only a few weeks away from the start of fall sports season. We’ve been previewing each football team for the past two months, but it’s time to check in on the other sports. Here we’ll preview girls volleyball in the Hanover-Adams area. Next up: South Western.

South Western Mustangs


Last year: 7-10 overall, 5-7 Division I

Coach: Cathy Harman (12th season)

Key players lost: None.

Key players returning:  Hannah McMaster (Sr., setter), Summer Small (Sr, MH), Tori Sager (Sr., OH), Kaitlyn Chell (Jr., OH), Bonna Sheehan (Jr., OH)

Team strength: Continuity, experience.

No seniors graduated from last year’s squad and the Mustangs bring back a ton of experience. McMaster will be in her fourth varsity season and led the team in aces and assists in 2014. Fellow seniors Small, who led the team in blocks, and Sager, who led in kills, return for their third varsity campaigns.

Any concerns?: Position changes. 

While Harman’s team returns experience, some of her starters will be in new positions. Chell will be moving from libero to outside hitter, Sheehan from outside hitter to opposite and Abi Gatz from defense to libero.

“Most of our position changes made during the offseason have shown improvement to this point in our team dynamic and chemistry,” Harman said. “And our team will need to stay healthy and strong while focusing on the long haul.”

Continue reading “Can the senior-heavy Mustangs make a run at the division title?” »

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Ten must-see Hanover-Adams football games in 2015

We’re exactly 10 days from the start of football season in the York-Adams league. We’re pretty excited to get started, so we’ve put together a list of 10 must-see games this season for the Hanover-Adams area teams. Enjoy.

Sept. 4 South Western at Gettysburg  What happened in the season opener last year? Sixty-two combined first-half points, five touchdowns of more than 30 yards, a dramatic finish, and the Warriors’ first win as a member of the 20140829__247455~s300~p1YAIAA. Jake Myers hit Kobe Wansel with a 45-yard bomb to give Gettysburg a 44-41 lead, then the defense forced a South Western turnover on downs at midfield with less than a minute remaining. If this season’s matchup can match that or at least come close, that would be a great way to start the year. (Gettysburg leads the all-time series, 7-6)

Sept. 11 Gettysburg at New Oxford – In an otherwise light week on the schedule, this one offers a few storylines. They’re backyard rivals in a sense. Gettysburg is transitioning after losing 19 seniors. New Oxford is looking for its first win since Fall 2013. The Colonials would love to beat their neighbor since it’s happened just once in 27 tries. (All-time: Gettysburg 26-1)

Sept. 18 Delone Catholic vs. Union City (Tenn.) – There are a number of reasons why this matchup is intriguing:

1. How often does a York-Adams team get to play a team from the south? And not just any team from the south. Union City is a three-time state champion in the Volunteer State and enters the season on a 27-game winning streak.

2. Union City’s mascot is the Golden Tornadoes. How cool is that? The Squires vs. the Golden Tornadoes? There are so many headline ideas for this one.

3. What it could mean. Let’s say Delone pulls off the win over the Tennessee champs who are making an 850-mile trip (and stopping in Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg along the way). That could be quite the confidence boost heading into their division schedule.

Sept. 25 Biglerville vs. Fairfield – This has turned into quite the Adams County rivalry. After losing the first eight games of the series, the Green Knights have won the past two including last season’s dramatic 20-19 victory. Afterward, senior Michael Quealy said, “This is huge for our school. I can’t even put it into words. This is like a Michigan-Ohio State win for us.” Okay, Michigan-Ohio State might be a stretch, but this one should be entertaining and could be a solid early-season test to gauge whether Fairfield will be a postseason contender again. Or it could be a big revenge game for the Canners.

Oct. 2 South Western vs. Central York – Last season’s matchup was the area’s lone overtime game. It lasted just two plays into overtime, though, with the Panthers coming away victorious after a controversial interception ruling in the end zone. 20140926__878909~s500~ph_500The Mustangs didn’t agree with the call, so head coach Damian Poalucci shouldn’t have too hard of a time firing his team up. Oh, and it’s at the Corral this year.

Oct. 9 Delone at Biglerville – Another matchup that featured a few controversial calls last season. Two “inadvertent whistles” reversed two Delone fumbles, and the Squires squeaked out an 18-6 win. It was win no. 100 for Steve Wiles. The Canners believed that game could’ve gone the other way if not for the inadvertent whistles. Both teams are expected to compete at the top of Division III this season. (All-time: Delone leads the series, 20-3-1)

Oct. 16 South Western vs. Dallastown – Similar to the game vs. Central, this is another matchup the Mustangs nearly came away with and again, the Mustangs will get to host the rematch. South Western fell in Dallastown, 28-27, after blowing a three touchdown lead, then botching an extra point with less than two minutes left. Following the game, Dallastown went on to win the division and South Western closed on a three-game winning streak. Many have said that these two teams will be the best in Division I this season, making this rematch all the more intriguing.

Oct. 23 Fairfield vs. Delone –These two teams met in McSherrystown in October locked in a race for the fourth and final district playoff spot. Behind a 249-yard outburst by Jake Kadis, the Squires won, 17-14. The Green Knights weren’t happy with how the game ended when Delone was allowed to run the clock out without running a play in the last minute-plus of the fourth quarter. Kadis is gone, the Green Knights want revenge, and this one is in Fairfield. Keep an eye on this battle. (All-time: Delone leads the series, 9-1)

Oct. 30 Bermudian at Littlestown – It’s Jon DeFoe vs. Mike Lippy. It’s Eagles vs. Bolts. It’s the night before Halloween and it’s a good one to watch. DeFoe and Lippy have battled for more than a decade now and Littlestown leads the all-time series, 16-12.

Littlestown's Lucas Reynolds takes down Bermudian's Briton Shelton on Friday Oct. 25, 2013.

Littlestown’s Lucas Reynolds takes down Bermudian’s Briton Shelton on Friday Oct. 25, 2013.

They’re two of the only three teams to win the division in the past decade and they always seem to be a hurdle for the other. Two years ago, these two put on one of the best games Adams County has ever seen. Littlestown converted three fourth-down attempts on their final drive and punched in a touchdown as time expired to stun the Eagles. The win secured a division title for Littlestown and snapped a 29-game regular season win streak for Bermudian. It’s still the only regular season game that DeFoe and the Eagles have lost in the last four years.

Nov. 6 Rivalry Week: Delone at Hanover (DC 48-28-5), South Western at Spring Grove (SW 32-19-1), Biglerville at Bermudian (Berm 29-12)—Week 10 is always the most entertaining week on the schedule. It’s rivalry week and that always seems to bring the competitive side out of each of the schools. There’s gamesmanship (although, spray painting another team’s field might be taking it a bit far) and plenty of verbal jabs on social media. Hanover vs. Delone is the closest battle geographically between any two schools in the area (they’re separated by 2.5 miles). South Western-Spring Grove is as nasty as any rivalry in the league and the Mustangs could be in position to secure a division title in week 10, making Spring Grove a possible spoiler. The Division-III title could come down to Bermudian-Biglerville in Week 10.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments section.

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Countdown to Kickoff: Over/Unders

By Brandon Stoneburg and Zach Miller

With two weeks left to the start of the 2015 high school football season, we’re playing the role of bookmaker and setting over/unders for each team’s win total. Rather than predicting how many games each Hanover-Adams area team will win, we’re letting you decide by setting the bar based on a few factors: how many games each team won last season, how difficult each team’s schedule is and how many key players each team brings back from last year’s team. We set each number at an increment of .5 to force you, the fan, to pick an over or an under. Let us know in the comments section below whether each team will win over or under the win total we set.

Littlestown – 3.5

Home games: Lancaster Catholic, York Tech, York Catholic, Hanover, Bermudian Springs
Road games: Boiling Springs, Greencastle-Antrim, Delone Catholic, Biglerville, Fairfield20141017__623755~s500~ph_500

We felt that 3.5 was a good spot for a team coming off a 3-win season with a tough nonleague schedule. The Bolts spend their first two games on the road at Boiling Springs and Greencastle-Antrim before returning home to face Lancaster Catholic. There’s probably one win among those three games, then at least two or three in their league slate. The Bolts get York Tech, York Catholic, Bermudian Springs and Hanover at home.

Will Littlestown win over or under 3.5 games?

South Western – 7.5

Home games: Cedar Cliff, Carlisle, Central York, Dallastown, Northeastern
Road games: Gettysburg, New Oxford, Red Lion, William Penn, Spring Grovethayer

The Mustangs have been the popular choice as division favorites. They have a tough schedule, but they get the big games at home in the Corral this season where they’ve won 20 of their last 30 games. The Mustangs have a good chance of exacting revenge in the season opener at Gettysburg, but two straight against Cedar Cliff and Carlisle, who both made the AAAA playoffs in 2014, will be a challenge. How does four road wins and three or four home wins sound? We expect it to fall in the range.

Will South Western win over or under 7.5 games?

Continue reading “Countdown to Kickoff: Over/Unders” »

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Vote: YAIAA preseason football poll


With the YAIAA football season two weeks away, we’re curious to get your thoughts on the 2015 season. Below are several questions ranging from divisional favorites to best backfields. Vote and let us know what you think! If there’s someone who you’d like to add, sound off by leaving a comment below.


Which team will win YAIAA Division I?


Which team will win YAIAA Division II?


Which team will win YAIAA Division III?


Who's the best quarterback in the Hanover-Adams area?


What Hanover-Adams area team has the best receiving corp?


What's the best backfield in the Hanover-Adams area?



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How far can the young Nighthawks go?

By Brandon Stoneburg

We’re only a few weeks away from the start of fall sports season. We’ve been previewing each football team for the past two months, but it’s time to check in on the other sports. Here we’ll preview girls volleyball in the Hanover-Adams area. Next up: Hanover.

Hanover Nighthawks


Last year: 10-6 overall, 6-6 Division III, reached District 3 playoffs

Coach: Liz Garber (2nd season)

Key players lost: Lexi Spangler, Khadijah Bias, Lauren Smith

Key players returning: Saranda Gerlach (Sr.), Alexa Merrel (Jr.), McKenzie Cleary (Jr.), Kelsey Staub (Jr.)

Team strength: Familiarity, experience, outside hitting.

Head coach Liz Garber is no longer a rookie. The second-year head coach had a full offseason to work with her team. Youth can be a strength or weakness, depending on how the sophomore and junior classes perform and even though the Nighthawks bring back just one senior (Gerlach), the junior-heavy lineup has been playing together for several years. That familiarity is a huge strengh, Garber said.

Continue reading “How far can the young Nighthawks go?” »

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Twenty things we’re excited for about the 2015 Hanover-Adams football season

By Brandon Stoneburg and Zach Miller

With 20 days left to the start of the 2015 high school football season, here are 20 things we’re looking forward to this year:

  1. Rivalries: Spring Grove vs. South Western. Bermudian Springs vs. Biglerville. Delone Catholic vs. Littlestown. Those are the matchups that get the students fired up and we can’t help but get excited about them too. The teams don’t like each other and the fan bases don’t like each other. There’s trash talk on social media prior to the game and after every whistle.
  2. Berm’s new turf field: Bermudian’s long-awaited debut for its new, turf football field will finally arrive Sept. 4 vs. New Oxford. The field is emblazoned with an Eagle that stretches from 40 to 40 in the center of the field and two bright red end zones.
  3. Coaching debuts: Three new coaches from the Hanover-Adams area (Corey Zortman, Kyle Sprenkle, Jason Warner) will be making their debuts on Sept. 4. All three would like to get their first wins out of the way early.
  4. Coaching milestones: Last year we saw former Squires coach Steve Wiles mobbed by his players after reaching the 100-win plateau in an October win vs. Biglerville. This season, we have a chance to see Littlestown’s Mike Lippy pick up career win No. 100 if the Bolts can win five games.
  5. New looks: We always look forward to seeing what fresh look each team brings. The only major change this season will be in Spring Grove, where the Rockets trade in the plain blue helmets with stripes on the top for a new stripeless helmet with Rockets spelled out in script red lettering.
  6. New Oxford’s first win: When the Colonials take the field on Opening Day, it will have been 1 year, 10 months, and 17 days since their last victory. If and when that first win comes, it’ll be a huge relief to New Oxford. The Colonials have gone through a winless season and a coaching change in the past year.
  7. The new-look Eagles: The defending Div. III champs will field an entirely new starting lineup, aside from Logan Luckenbaugh. It’ll be fun to see how some of those guys do now that last year’s senior-heavy class is gone.
  8. The Corral: One of the most-storied and exciting places to watch a game, South Western’s Corral is stadium that once donned a banner that read, “We’re the reason you’re afraid of the dark.” It’s a must-visit during football season. The Mustangs give their home crowd plenty to cheer about. They’re 21-11 there in the last six seasons.
  9. Out of state competitions: Our teams beat up on each other every week, so it’ll be exciting to see them square off with some out-of-state talent. Can Delone hang with two-time Tennessee state champ Union City? Can Fairfield cross the Mason-Dixon Line and come away with a victory against Maryland’s Silver Oak Academy?
  10. Arms race: The Hanover-Adams area boasts three of the top quarterbacks in the league in Kyle Krout, Brock Geiman and Brian Shermeyer. Krout led the league in passing yards last season and thrives in Hanover’s pass-happy offense. Geiman threw 14 touchdown passes and Shermeyer, who thrived in limited time last season, will have a chance to air it out more, according to head coach Corey Zortman. Can one of those guys top the league’s passing charts?
  11. Gettysburg’s revenge: The Warriors’ impressive inaugural YAIAA campaign ended in heartbreak when they were upset at home by Milton Hershey in the first round of districts. Will the bad taste from that loss fuel another postseason run?
  12. Dorsey in the open field: Good luck to any linebacker or defensive back trying to run Tavian Dorsey down in the open field.
  13. Expectations: Can Biglerville and South Western live up to the billing as division favorites? Both rabid fan bases have high hopes that their squads can make some noise this season. Both have the talent necessary to play deep into November.
  14. Can Littlestown rebound? The Bolts are not used to seeing their team struggle. Before last season’s 3-7 finish, Littlestown hadn’t seen a losing season in nearly a decade. It’s fun to see the Bolts fan based fired up, so can Mike Lippy right the ship and prove last season was a fluke?
  15. What unheralded RB makes a splash? Those players who fly under the radar during all of the preseason hype, but make a name for themselves starting in week one. For instance, who saw Shay Feulmer’s big season coming in his first year as a running back or Drew Hartlaub’s sensational sophomore season at South Western? Who will it be this season? Maybe Quinton King and Ashton West at Bermudian? Or L.J. Chisholm at Spring Grove? What about Hanover’s Jordan Laughman?
  16. Bands and student sections: It’s always entertaining to see which schools show up with the best student sections. Be loud and be creative. Bands are fun too and there are some good ones in the area. What would the game atmosphere be like without those guys and girls?
  17. Playoff races: The last three or four weeks of the season are tense. With so much on the line, which playoff bubble teams crumble and which teams step up? Last season, Delone Catholic realistically needed to win out down the stretch to make the playoffs. Those implications made each of their games that much more important and entertaining.
  18. Jon DeFoe vs. Mike Lippy: As the two elder statesmen of Division III, these two coaches always bring their best when their teams square off. What tricks will they unveil in this years matchup?
  19. Quarterback debuts: Tyler Wilt (Gettysburg), Darian Mort (Fairfield) and Tristan Hoke (Bermudian) will all be starting the season as the No. 1 guy for the first time. How will they fare?
  20. The battle for the Division III title: In the past decade, only three teams (Delone, Bermudian, Littlestown) have won the division. Could Biglerville or York Catholic finally sneak into that top spot and dethrone the Eagles?

Bonus: Opening Night: Smell the concession stand food, soak in the evening sun, and hear the band belt out the fight song for the first time. Listen as the warm-up music blares from stadium speakers, pads clash on the field and the home team is introduced to a raucous crowd for the first time. Football is back.

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Countdown to Kickoff: Previewing Bermudian Springs’ 2015 season

With three weeks left to the start of the high school football season, The Evening Sun’s Countdown to Kickoff continues with the last team preview: a look at the Bermudian Springs Eagles. Brandon Stoneburg and Zach Miller will set over/unders for each team’s win totals in next week’s edition.

Bermudian Springs Eagles

Bermudian Springs' Phoenix Russell leaps over a Shippensburg defender while trying to deliver the ball further down field on Friday Sept. 12, 2014 at Bermudian Springs High School. Shane Dunlap - GameTimePA

Bermudian Springs’ Phoenix Russell leaps over a Shippensburg defender while trying to deliver the ball further down field during a 2014 game. Shane Dunlap – GameTimePA

Last year: 11-1, won Division III
Coach: Jon Defoe (16th season)

Key players lost: ***Twenty starters lost*** QB/S Ryan Markle (1,109 passing yards, 10 TDs-6 INTs, 44 tackles, 9 INTs), RB/LB Colton Dull (1,467 yards, 8.2 yards per carry, 22 TDs), RB/LB Briton Shelton (1,199 yards, 7 yards per carry, 14 TDs, 237 rec. yards), RB/DB Phoenix Russell (228 rush yards, 180 rec. yards, 3 TDs), WR/DB Wyatt Gearhart (687 all-purpose yards, 4 TDs, 5 INTs), DL/OL Noah Hakes (65 tackles, 4 sacks), LB Michael Ogle (65 tackles), LB Cody Rowland (53 tackles, 9 sacks), K Connor Zahm (47.9 kickoff average, 55 PATs), DB Brennan Waltermyer (49 tackles, 3 INTs, 1 sack)

Key players returning: OL/DL Logan Luckenbaugh (73 tackles), RB Quinton King (160 rush yards, 8 yards per carry, 3 TDs), RB Ethan Frank (144 rush yards, 1 TD), OL/DL Dorian Steele (18 tackles), QB Tristan Hoke

Key stretch: Oct. 16-30 (at Delone Catholic, vs. York Catholic, at Littlestown)

The last month or so of the Eagles’ schedule is when things get interesting. Entering this point last season, Bermudian’s Red Swarm defense had given up just 27 points all year. Then they shut Delone Catholic out, 38-0, beat York Catholic, 42-21, and blanked Littlestown, 42-0. The Bolts are always a big rivalry game, and other than Biglerville, the Squires and Irish are expected to be the biggest competition for Bermudian’s division crown, which makes this stretch intriguing. With 20 starters gone, it’d would be a stretch to think the Eagles could outscore these three opponents, 122-21, again, and all three would love some revenge after getting embarrassed.

Fun fact: The Bermudian-Delone all-time series is even, 9-9, making this season’s battle a tiebreaker.

Circle this game on the schedule: Nov. 6 vs. Biglerville

It’s the best rivalry in Adams County, but it’s been fairly one-sided with Bermudian leading the all-time series, 29-12. The last few matchups have resulted in blowout wins for the Eagles, but Bermudian could be vulnerable. Why? Because they lost 20 starters while the Canners bring back nearly everyone from a district playoff team. If there’s a year when the Canners have the best chance to beat their backyard rivals, it’s this one. And with it being the season finale, there’s a solid possibility that the Division-III title is on the line.

Storyline to follow: Does Bermudian ever really rebuild?

Rebuilding isn’t really something that the Eagles do. Even in their “down” years under Jon DeFoe, the Eagles have still managed to pull out at least seven or eight wins. After losing 20 starters, can DeFoe and his staff work their magic again and reload without taking a step back? At YAIAA Media Day, DeFoe reiterated that his squad plans to defend their division title and reach the district playoffs. “Our expectations haven’t changed,” he said. “Our goal is to defend our division title. Will we look a little different as a team? Yeah, we probably won’t be as explosive, but for us, it comes back to playing good defense first and foremost. We still have the same expectations, we just might get there in a different way.”

The good news for DeFoe and Co. is that the first six weeks of the schedule is fairly light, which should give the 20 new starters plenty of time to adapt before they enter the stretch run.

Bermudian Springs' Briton Shelton keeps Shippensburg defenders at bay while running the ball on Friday night Sept. 12, 2014 at Bermudian Springs High School. Shane Dunlap - GameTimePA

Bermudian Springs’ Briton Shelton keeps Shippensburg defenders at bay while running the ball during a 2014 game. Shane Dunlap – GameTimePA

2015 Schedule
Sept. 4: New Oxford
Sept. 11: at Boiling Springs
Sept. 18: at Shippensburg
Sept. 25: Hanover
Oct. 2: at Fairfield
Oct. 9: York Tech
Oct. 16: at Delone Catholic
Oct. 23: York Catholic
Oct. 30: at Littlestown
Nov. 6: Biglerville

Countdown to kickoff schedule
June 12: New Oxford
June 19: Hanover
June 26: Littlestown
July 3: Spring Grove
July 10: Biglerville
July 17: Fairfield
July 24: South Western
July 31: Delone Catholic
Aug. 7: Gettysburg
Aug. 14: Bermudian Springs
Aug. 21: Over/Unders
Aug. 28: Top returning units

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