Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

(Scranton) Times-Tribune (TNS)

PIAA executive director Robert Lombardi.PIAA executive director Robert Lombardi. (FILE PHOTO)

The Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association has approved a significant change to its enrollment policy and is inching closer to a decision on classifications for high school football.

While a decision has not been made whether to expand to six classifications or stay at four for football, the PIAA passed the 10 percent rule during a meeting of its board of directors Wednesday. What that means is public schools will only need to count 10 percent of students who are home schooled, cyber schooled, vocational schooled or charter schooled toward its enrollment for classification in all sports.

The motion, which passed on suspended protocol by a vote of 27-2 and is effective immediately for all sports, will have an impact when enrollments are submitted in late October for classification for the next two-year cycle that begins with the 2016-17 school year.

“I think that the Strategic Planning and Football Steering committees did a real good job here,” PIAA Executive Director Robert Lombardi said. “With the board passing a change in the way that we classify schools it is an outstanding step, historic really. The board listened to concerns and acted in what it thought was the best interest of the membership.”

Three proposals: In addition, the board also passed on a second read basis three proposals for discussion that would increase the number of classifications for football from four to six.

“Now, every district has firm talking points and data that it can go back to its member schools and say what do you support, and then bring that back to the board,” Lombardi said.

Talks began Tuesday when the Strategic Planning and Football Steering Committees voted down a six-classification format with a Super 800 class for schools with an enrollment larger than 800.

They also declined a late proposal for a six-classification format that used a bell-curve enrollment formula.

Once the move to change how the PIAA formulates the enrollment number based on classification using a 10 percent factor had been recommended and accepted, that eliminated three football proposals for a change from four to six classes that used the straight enrollment as options.

That leaves three proposals put together by Bob Tonkin, a representative of District 9, that all passed on a second-read basis.

The first is maintaining the status quo in place since 1988 with four equal classifications.

The second outlines six equal classifications.

And the third has six classifications with the largest being a Super 700 class for schools with enrollments larger than 700.

A motion must pass three reads to be adopted.

“It’s a positive move,” said Mike Ognosky, who is a member of the PIAA Football Steering Committee. “There is still work to be done, but it is encouraging.

“I also want to make sure that we all get a chance to have our schools really take a close look at the proposals and see the direction each district wants to go.”

District chairmen are being instructed to schedule informational meetings for their member schools before the Strategic Planning and Football Steering Committees will reconvene Sept. 16 to vote on what it will recommend to the Board of Directors at an Oct. 7 meeting.

While most of the discussion for increased classes surrounds football, Lombardi said he expects there to be more calls for reform from the other state-sponsored sports.

“I applaud what the board has done,” Lombardi said. “There has been some discussion about other sports. We aren’t ignoring that. Our focus right now is football, because there has been a lot of legwork and a lot of scenarios already worked out and in place for discussion.

“The people who have put in the work formulating this and giving the board a snapshot of the data have done a great job.”

Other matters: In other matters from the PIAA:

• An idea of shortening the football season from 16 to 15 weeks never got to a vote. It was only discussed, “but that doesn’t mean it’s dead,” said Lombardi.

• Passing on a second vote was a new plan that allows schools, leagues and districts around the state to have a second football scrimmage or play a game. It must pass one more vote.

• Passing a first vote was making boys and girls lacrosse two classifications at the PIAA level. The PIAA has had only one class for each in the past.

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Another York-Adams high school is looking for a new varsity head football coach.

York Tech athletic director Rob Caruso sent out a notice on Monday that the Spartans were in need of a new leader.

Caruso said that Matt Glennon resigned recently for personal reasons after two seasons as York Tech’s head coach.

The Tech AD faces an extremely tight deadline to find a replacement. The Spartans’ season opens Saturday, Sept. 5, at home against Pequea Valley. In addition, the heat acclimation period this year starts Monday, Aug. 10, and the first day for fall practice is Monday, Aug. 17.

Because of the late resignation, Caruso is asking that potential candidates contact him immediately at (717) 747-2147.

When asked for a timeline for finding a new coach, Caruso said: “ASAP.”

Glennon, a West York High School graduate, spent two years at Tech, compiling a 4-16 overall record and a 4-12 mark in York-Adams Division III. Last year’s Spartans finished 1-9 and 1-6.

Tech has traditionally struggled on the field, largely because it has struggled with continuity. The school lacks a feeder system and is now looking for its seventh head coach in the last dozen years.

The Spartans have enjoyed one winning season since 1985, a 6-4 mark in 2009. Tech’s only championship came in 1976, when it shared the York-Adams Division II title with Spring Grove at 7-3.

Glennon had previously been the head coach at Westmont-Hilltop in Johnstown, compiling a 10-30 record over four seasons.

Efforts to reach Glennon were not immediately returned.

The Tech job is just the latest head football coaching position to come open since the end of last season.

Lots of turnover: New Oxford recently hired Jason Warner to replace Jason Thurston as the Colonials’ head coach. Warner took the job on an interim basis.

Thurston had earlier announced his decision to resign at the end of the 2015 season. Once he made that announcement, however, Thurston said the school administration was uncomfortable with his commitment level and gave him two choices — resign immediately or be fired. He opted to resign.

Because of the changes at Tech and New Oxford, the York-Adams League will have eight different head coaches this coming season.

Most significantly, Ron Miller stepped down as the leader of the powerhouse West York program, replaced by one of his former assistants, Jeremy Jones, who was the head coach at York Suburban for the past couple of years. Former Kennard-Dale coach Andy Loucks takes over at Suburban.

Spring Grove (Kyle Sprenkle, replacing Russ Stoner), Delone Catholic (Corey Zortman, replacing Steve Wiles), Susquehannock (Steve Wiles, replacing J.C. Lewis) and Dover (Wayne Snelbaker, replacing Eric Lam) will also have new football coaches.

— Reach Steve Heiser at


George Shue did his best not to date himself.

The only problem was, with his lengthy resume of jobs within the York-Adams League, it was hard to not. But, after several decades, that list is finally complete. Shue decided to step down from his position as executive director of the Y-A League on May 31.

“Well, I just thought maybe it’s time that I cut back on some of my activities,” he said on Thursday.

And that list of activities? Just as extensive as his resume within the Y-A League. Before stepping down last week, along with being the league’s executive director, Shue was also an executive director of the Pennsylvania High School Football Coaches Association, on the board of directors for the Big 33 and a driving instructor at Bermudian Springs High School.

Shue got his first taste of the Y-A League back when he coached the Littlestown and Red Lion football teams. But, when he took over as executive director in 2010, he was tasked with a much more complicated job than he ever faced as a football coach.

Replacing Herb Schmidt, who served as executive director of the league for 20 years, Shue dealt with much more than just high school athletes. He also dealt with athletic directors, principals and officials, as well as organizing championships in each sport.

On top of all the day-to-day work, Shue helped grow and stabilize the league during his tenure. Through constant conversation and some help from Schmidt before he fully phased himself out of the equation, the league added its 23rd member, Gettysburg before this past school year.

“I’ll give part of that credit to Herb,” Shue admitted. “…They inquired before and when they started to inquire again, I think they first inquired with Herb.”

It doesn’t matter who deserves most or any of the credit for adding Gettysburg to the league. All that matters is that the move not only grew the league, but it also added more competitive balance to it. The Warriors were a strong team in a number of sports, both boys and girls, including finishing second behind West York in Division II football.

Along with expansion, Shue also found a way to help limit membership costs for schools, now and moving forward. The Y-A League is partnered with OSS Health, which sponsors the league championships, which is a major reason why membership dues are so low.

“With rising costs and everything else that goes on with running our championships,” he said, “I was able to keep the cost factor for the schools at the same place, and there really hasn’t been an increase in dues for the league.”

Interested applicants: For candidates interested in becoming the new executive director, the job posting on the league website reads: “Applicants must have proven leadership skills, knowledge of school policies and procedures as they pertain to athletics, high skill level in the use of technology and the ability to build interpersonal relationships.”

Applicants interested in applying for the position are asked to submit a letter of interest and resume to league president Janet May at by June 10.

Shue said he won’t have any input in helping the league find his successor, fully removing himself from the position when his tenure expired on May 31. He served his time with the league and it dates back much further than when he became executive director in 2010. Now, he’ll use his time moving forward to focus on his other endeavors.

As for whoever gets hired to replace him, they’ll have a tough act to follow.

Shue may not have served as long as Schmidt did before him, but he made an impact in the time that he did. He set the league up for continued success in years to come, and that’s all he could’ve ever expected.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at


York County, as a whole, is 911 square miles.

But, in the realm of high school athletics, it might as well be broken into 15 separate entities, with each of the 15 York County schools that compete in the York-Adams League like their own island. Rarely, when you step inside one of those 15 areas, will you find someone who supports a team other than the school in his or her own district.

The fan bases are passionate, filling gyms and stadiums to cheer on their beloved athletes, while rival supporters aren’t afraid to venture into enemy territory for a road contest. It’s one of the many things that make high school sports something that athletes remember forever.

But, make no mistake about it, even though their rooting interests may differ, there is still a common bond between every single person in the area — they are all York County residents. There hasn’t been a more perfect example of that bond than when the county fans put their individual rooting interests aside and rally around an athlete, or any other student, who’s suffering from severe health problems.

The area has seen a number of teenagers fall ill to the horrors of cancer just in the past couple of years. It’s an illness so destructive to the mental and physical health of a human, that it can leave anyone remotely associated with someone diagnosed with cancer feeling devastated.

Four get our support: So, when four local teens each received the horrifying news from their doctors that they had cancer, the entire county felt the impact and the need to help. The four kids affected — Maddie Hill, Brandon Hohenadel, Peter Falci and Marcus Josey — were not only outstanding students at four different high schools, but also athletes.

Hill, a senior at Dover High School, suffers from myelodysplastic syndrome. In short, it’s caused by dysfunctional blood cells and forced her to undergo a bone marrow transplant back in the fall of 2013. She encountered problems earlier this year and needed to undergo another transplant.

Hohenadel, now a graduate of Eastern York, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in 2013, which affects the blood and bone marrow. He played basketball through his freshman year with the Golden Knights before stopping. Still, it was basketball, which he continues to play for fun, that helped him get through his treatment and help him rebuild his strength.

Falci, a senior basketball player at Central York, was diagnosed with testicular cancer in early March, just days before the Panthers took part in the PIAA state tournament.

And Josey, a junior at Northeastern and the quarterback for the Bobcats’ football team, was the most recent athlete to find out he had cancer, diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia on April 10, the most common form of childhood cancer.

Those four graced York County with their excellence on the court and field when they were healthy, so it was only fitting that the county came together to support them in their time of greatest need.

Raising money: T-shirt drives were the biggest source of fund raising for each of the patients’ families. The Dover community sold “Fight Like Hill” shirts for Hill, while Eastern sold “Brandon’s Battle” shirts with a cancer ribbon on them in support of Hohenadel. Central started a drive by selling “Play for Pete” shirts for Falci that the basketball team wore for warm-ups before its state tournament game and Northeastern is selling “#MarcusStrong” T-shirts for Josey’s fight.

But, instead of settling for the bare minimum to help, the York community continued to help these kids in any way possible. On top of the T-shirt drives, Dover held a marrow donor registry drive on March 14, so more victims like Hill don’t have to wait as long to find a match. This June will be the second annual Brandon’s Battle golf outing to help raise money for Hohenadel’s continuing medical expenses and for other pediatric cancer patients. Just in the last year, there’s been more than $12,000 raised for him and his family. And to show how the entire county is rallying around these kids, even York Suburban took part in helping raise money and awareness for Hohenadel’s fight, by holding a white out during the Trojans’ boys’ volleyball match against the Golden Knights in 2013.

In Josey’s case, a GoFundMe account was set up online under the name “Keep #MarcusStrong” to raise money for his treatment. Just in the week since it was created, more than 100 donors contributed more than $6,000 to his fight. It’s hard to imagine that other communities, besides Northeastern, haven’t helped contribute to that total.

Looking out for them: Josey said it best last week after he underwent his first day of chemotherapy: “The support is amazing,” he said. “I honestly didn’t think I had that many people out there caring for me and looking out for me. The people at my school are amazing. They’re honestly helping me get through this a lot better than I think I would without all that support.”

The outreach and support for these kids extends much further than the walls of their school and district. When any member of York County falls ill, the entire community rallies around them.

Individually, you’ve rooted them on during their athletic endeavors, but this is a battle for which the entire county can, and has, rallied around them. Now, more than ever, these kids need your support in a fight much bigger than anything they could’ve ever endured on the fields or courts.

And that’s something we can all come together and support.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at

York Catholic’s Hakeem Kinard will be the only York County player participating in the 14th annual Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association East/West All Star Game.

The game will be played Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m. at Downingtown High School.

Kinard, a quarterback/defensive back, recently signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision level at Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) University.

The 2014 York-Adams Division III Player of the Year, the 5-foot, 10-inch, 180-pound Kinard played a key factor in the Irish going 8-4 last season, finishing as the Division III runner-up and making it back to the District 3-A title game for the second year in a row. For the season, Kinard passed for 1,935 yards, rushed for 1,544 yards and totaled 37 touchdowns.

Kinard will play for the West team.

Two other York County players were selected for the West team, but declined to participate — Dallastown linemen Zaire Willis and Justin Tindull.

The 6-5, 320-pound Willis plans to play NCAA Division II football for Indiana University of Pennsylvania next fall. The 6-4, 260-pound Tindull was a York-Adams League Division I All-Star on both offense and defense. He had 51 tackles and seven sacks on defense.

Willis and Tindull helped the Wildcats to a 9-1 regular season and a York-Adams Division I championship.

The head coach of the West team will be Tom Gravish from Jersey Shore High School and the East head coach will be Rob Klock from Lower Dauphin High School.

Bermudian Springs’ Jon DeFoe will be an assistant coach on the West team. In his 16th year at the helm, DeFoe led the Eagles this past season to the York-Adams Division III title with a perfect 7-0 league mark, the program’s third division title in the last four years.

Bermudian reached the District 3-AA semifinals, where the Eagles fell, 26-7, to eventual district champ Wyomissing. The Eagles finished 11-1 overall. DeFoe’s career coaching record at Bermudian is now 117-57.

Both the East and West teams practice on Sunday, April 19, and Sunday, April 26. The East team will practice at Dowingtown High School and the West team will practice at Woodland Hills. The final practice for both teams will be Saturday, May 2, at Downingtown.

Tickets for the game are $8 and will only be on sale on game day starting at 12:30 p.m.



Northeastern quarterback Marcus Josey has been diagnosed with leukemia and has already started chemotherapy treatments.

Northeastern quarterback Marcus Josey has been diagnosed with leukemia and has already started chemotherapy treatments. (BILL KALINA —

After being diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) late last week, Northeastern High School junior Marcus Josey began chemotherapy on Monday at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to fight the cancer.

Josey is a quarterback for the Bobcats football team.

According to The Mayo Clinic website, ALL is the most common form of cancer in children. The word “acute” is a result of the disease spreading rapidly in the patient’s blood and bone marrow, creating immature blood cells, rather than mature cells. The word “lymphocytic” refers to the white blood cells, known as lymphocytes, which the disease impacts.

If spotted early enough in the cancer’s development and treated properly, there is a good chance of the patient being cured. Fortunately, for Josey, not only was it spotted early enough for treatment to begin immediately, but he didn’t even need doctors to tell him that he had cancer.

“I kind of diagnosed myself,” he said. “I was going through some cancer-like symptoms for two weeks prior to actually being diagnosed. I actually told a couple of my friends that I thought I had cancer. I just didn’t know which type. So, I wasn’t completely shocked, to be honest.”

Some of the symptoms that started concerning Josey were uncontrollable nosebleeds, severe back pain, night sweats, joint pain and constantly feeling fatigued.

“It was definitely scary,” he said. “I knew something was wrong with me, but I didn’t really look at it and how it would effect my life, overall. I was more worried about getting my health in line and getting better.”

Treatment: Now, after Josey completes this first week’s chemo, he’ll return to the Hershey Medical Center every Monday and, as long as his numbers continue to be in line, he’ll receive chemo every Monday. The first round lasts four weeks and then he’ll undergo another round of tests, including a bone marrow biopsy and X-rays, and then he’ll begin a second round of chemo.

“His overall treatment, we’re not positive of it, it will be somewhere between five and six months for the chemo,” Andrea Josey, Marcus’ mother, said. “And then, after that, it will be maintenance. It’s about a two-year process, the worst being the first four weeks.”

Support: In the few days since his diagnosis, Josey received incredible amounts of support from his fellow peers at Northeastern. His twitter feed, @josey_thewise, is filled with retweets of prayers and encouragement from his friends and teammates, with many using the #PRAYIN6ForMarcus. The numeral 6, standing in for the “G” in “PRAYING,” is a tribute to his number on the football field. Students have sent him tweets, using the hashtag #MarcusStrong, while teammate Jonathan Maher posted a picture on his account, @Jmaher_04, of customized football cleats, that read “MARCUS” on the left cleat and “STRONG” on the right one, that the football team plans to wear for home games next season.

Students also began numerous fund raisers for him to help offset the medical bills that will continue to grow during and after his treatment. There are a couple different T-shirts that students are selling that say #MarcusStrong on the back, while there is also talk of starting a kickstarter on the crowd-sourcing website to help raise money for him and his family.

“The support is amazing,” Josey said. “I honestly didn’t think I had that many people out there caring for me and looking out for me. The people at my school are amazing. They’re honestly helping me get through this a lot better than I think I would without that support.”

Josey is the second athlete in York County to be diagnosed with cancer in the past two months, after Central York senior basketball player Pete Falci was diagnosed with testicular cancer in early March.

On the field: As a sophomore, Josey earned his first chance to start at quarterback for the Bobcats, completing 66 of 175 passes for 1,246 yards, 15 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. But, he was also a threat on the ground, rushing for 258 yards on 95 attempts and scoring twice.

Unfortunately, for himself and Northeastern, he never got a chance to show his development from his sophomore to junior year. He was injured in the first game of the season against York Catholic. He suffered a torn lisfranc ligament in his right foot in the first half of the season opener against the Irish. Despite finishing the game, he wouldn’t play another down.

Now, he has a bigger challenge ahead of him.

“To challenge a kid like Marcus and the strength that he has and the mental toughness, to me, (cancer) picked the wrong person to challenge,” Bobcats football coach Joe Scepanski said, “I know he’ll beat it just because of the way he is. His passion for life and being successful and a leader, it picked the wrong person because he’ll beat it.”

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at

West York High School’s Terry Cains has been named among the top football prospects to watch in Pennsylvania for next fall.

The 6-foot, 2-inch, 175-pound wideout/defensive back was among 107 players recognized by the Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Coaches Association from the graduating class of 2016. The PSFCA made the selections in conjunction with the Big 33 Classic for a fifth straight year.

Cains had 15 receptions last season for 271 yards, good for 18.1 yards per catch. He scored two touchdowns. He was a York-Adams League Division II honorable mention selection last year.



Jeremy Jones has resigned as the head varsity football coach at York Suburban after two seasons.

Jeremy Jones has resigned as the head varsity football coach at York Suburban after two seasons. (YORK DISPATCH FILE PHOTO)

York Suburban is looking for a new head football coach.

Athletic director Chris Adams said Wednesday morning that Jeremy Jones has resigned from the position after only two years at the helm.

Adams declined to say why Jones stepped down. When reached by phone Tuesday night, Jones declined comment.

“We are going to be searching for a head football coach,” Adams said. “I’m not sure how soon we will be posting that position. I do not have a time line at this point. I have to meet with our superintendent and high school principal and we’ll put together a time line for when we’ll be posting it and what we’re looking for (in the next head coach).”

Adams said Jones met with the Suburban football players last Thursday to inform them of his departure.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach Jones. We wish him the best of luck,” Adams said.

Whoever the next Trojans’ coach is, that person will be the program’s sixth head football coach since 2006, following John Knowles (2001-2006), Bill Kerr (2007-2009), Craig Zortman (2010), Brian Freed (2011-2012) and Jones (2013-2014).

Background: Jones officially become the Trojans’ football coach on April 8, 2013, when the Suburban school board approved his hiring at a starting annual salary of $5,290.

A 1997 graduate of Wyalusing High School in northern Pennsylvania, Jones came over to York Suburban from West York, where he had coached for a decade, serving as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator from 2008 through 2012. Jones still works full time as a physical education teacher at West York High School, which currently has a head varsity coaching opening in its football program.

Jones had taken over for Freed, who resigned in February 2013 after two consecutive 6-4 seasons with the Trojans, including back-to-back 5-4 seasons in York-Adams Division III.

In their first season under Jones in 2013, the Trojans posted a 5-5 overall record and 5-4 mark in league competition, finishing sixth in York-Adams Division III.

In 2014, Suburban started the season by losing their first three non-league games, then went 3-0 in league competition to pull back to .500 overall before finishing 1-3 down the stretch. The Trojans ended up with a 4-6 overall record and 3-3 mark in league play, tied with Eastern York for fourth place in Division II. Suburban allowed an average of 30.4 points a game last season, the sixth-most points of the 23-team York-Adams League. The average margin of defeat in those six losses was 38 points.

Statistically, the Trojans last season had the best passing defense (668 yards), second-best passing offense (1,769 yards) and were around middle of the pack in most other statistical categories.

Changing of guard in York-Adams League: As a result of Jones stepping down at Suburban, there will now be a total of six York-Adams League teams — roughly a fourth of the 23-team league — with new head coaches when the 2015 season begins in August.

The Spring Grove school board last week approved Kyle Sprenkle as the Rockets’ next football coach. West York athletic director Roger Czerwinski and Susquehannock athletic director Chuck Abbott said Monday their new hires will be on the school board agendas for approval when those respective boards meet next month. Dover athletic director Rich Leathery said Monday that the school is in the interview phase with candidates. And Delone Catholic athletic director Dave Lawrence said Wednesday the school has begun interviewing some of the roughly 15 candidates who applied for the Squires’ football post.

Now in his third year at Suburban, this will be Adams’ second time trying to find a new football coach. He was part of the group that decided on hiring Jones two years ago.

—Reach John Walk at




Not even 24 hours after officially becoming Spring Grove’s new head football coach, Kyle Sprenkle was already at work Tuesday, introducing himself to his future players after school.

“It’s just an introductory thing. I wanted to get the kids started in the weight room right away. So we organized that and will be starting to work in the weight room tomorrow,” Sprenkle said. “We have to put the work in now to be successful in the fall.”

Athletic background: The Spring Grove school board approved Sprenkle’s hiring as the next varsity football head coach at its meeting Monday night. Sprenkle, 28, is a 2004 Spring Grove grad. During his athletic career at Spring Grove, Sprenkle played football, wrestled and played baseball, and also competed on the track-and-field team. As a wrestler, he placed sixth at states at 215 pounds in his junior season and placed fourth at states as a heavyweight in his senior season.

Sprenkle then went on to have a successful career playing football at Lafayette College, seeing time at defensive tackle his freshman year before starting at that position his last three seasons. He graduated from Lafayette in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history and minor in psychology. He is currently a full-time social studies teacher at Spring Grove High School.

“I graduated (from Lafayette) in 2008 and I got hired as long-term sub at Spring Grove. I stayed there about half the school year before I got hired at Dover full time. I stayed there for a year and a half before I got hired full time at Spring Grove,” Sprenkle said. “I was raised in Spring Grove my entire life. I saw it only fitting to come back.”

Coaching background: During those previous six years, Sprenkle also spent time coaching as an assistant at Dover and Spring Grove in football, wrestling and track and field.

Sprenkle replaces Russ Stoner as the Spring Grove varsity football coach. Stoner resigned following the completion of the 2014 campaign, during which the Rockets went 3-7 overall and 1-6 in York-Adams League Division I play. In four years at the helm, Stoner’s teams went a combined 18-25 overall and 7-15 in league competition. Stoner had followed Gregg Trone, who retired after 20 seasons as the Spring Grove coach, compiling a 91-114 record.

“I was an assistant when Gregg Trone was the head coach and I coached a year of varsity under Coach Stoner,” Sprenkle said. “Then I took over the ninth grade program for a couple years. We only had one year of a true ninth-grade team. We didn’t have enough kids the next year so I decided to help out at the junior high level in any way I could. I did take last year off when my wife and I had our daughter.”

Juggling work, family, coaching: Sprenkle is married to Spring Grove grad and former Spring Grove girls’ varsity soccer coach, Emily Sprenkle (maiden name Emily Mahon).

“She was known for her flip throw-in” Sprenkle said of his wife. “We started dating my junior year of high school.”

Emily Sprenkle works full time as a special education teacher in the Spring Grove Area School District. Their daughter is now 14 months old.

“Well before I even decided to apply for the head coaching job, my wife and I sat down and had lengthy discussions on how I would be successful if I got the job,” Kyle Sprenkle said. “My wife is very supportive and takes a load off of me by being very supportive at home. She’s also a Spring Grove alum, so she’s excited.”

It’s still unclear how much Sprenkle will be paid as the football coach. According to the school board agenda from Monday, his compensation will be “established following a successfully negotiated agreement between Spring Grove Area School District and the Spring Grove Education Association.”

Sprenkle said his next step as coach is to put together his assistant coaching staff. As for what we could see from the Spring Grove offense and defense next season, Sprenkle said he plans “to take notice of the type of players I have and fit my players and schemes with the types of athletes we have.”

“I’m just excited to be getting my feet wet here very quickly. There’s no better job in my eyes that was out there,” Sprenkle said. “Obviously this was a goal of mine for awhile. I plan to help them be competitive in both aspects, on the field and off.”

Sprenkle’s hiring leaves four open head football coaching positions in the York-Adams League: Dover, Susquehannock, West York and Delone Catholic.

— Reach John Walk at



Ron Miller  York Dispatch file

Ron Miller York Dispatch file

The search continues for four York County schools in need of a head football coach. And by the sounds of things, we could be roughly a month away from having those vacancies officially filled at Dover, Spring Grove, Susquehannock and West York.

All but Dover are currently in the interview process with candidates. Dover athletic director Rich Leathery said he expects to begin interviews next week. As for Spring Grove, Susquehannock and West York, the trio could have potential hires on the school board agendas sometime in February — each hire isn’t official until approved by the school board of the respective school.

West York: Of the four openings, West York is easily the most high-profile gig. When asked by phone Wednesday night, athletic director Roger Czerwinski declined to say how many applications he received for the opening or how many applicants are being interviewed. However, Czerwinski did say he had applicants “from up and down the east coast.”

Czerwinski said candidates are still being interviewed this week and as a result any potential hire won’t be decided upon in time for the next West York School Board meeting on Tuesday. The board then won’t meet again until next month.

West York is attempting to replace the vacancy left by Ron Miller, who built the Bulldogs into a District 3-AAA powerhouse. Miller compiled an 86-25 overall record in nine years at West York, including a 47-4 league mark. He steered the Bulldogs to seven York-Adams Division II titles and seven appearances in the District 3-AAA playoffs, where the Bulldogs reached the semifinals four times (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), the title game twice (2008, 2012) and won it once (2008). This past season, a senior-laden West York squad went undefeated in Division II and reached the district quarterfinals, finishing 10-2.

While not alone in the ultimate decision on hiring the next football coach, this is Czerwinski’s first time attempting to fill the spot. He began as the West York athletic director a few short months after Miller was originally hired as football coach back in 2006.

Spring Grove: A total of 22 applications were received for the head job at Spring Grove, according to athletic director Scott Govern. Of those applicants, Govern said “likely five” will interview for the position.

“What we’re doing is interviewing this round,” Govern said by phone last week. “And then the week of the 13th will be round two and then it (the new hire) should be on the February agenda (for the school board).”

The Spring Grove School Board has meetings slated for Feb. 2 and Feb. 16. The new hire will replace Russ Stoner, who resigned following the completion of the 2014 campaign during which the Rockets went 3-7 overall and 1-6 in York-Adams League Division I play. In four years at the helm, Stoner’s teams went a combined 18-25 overall and 7-15 in league competition. Stoner had followed Gregg Trone, who retired following 20 seasons as the Spring Grove coach, compiling a 91-114 record.

This will be Govern’s first time hiring a football coach as Spring Grove’s athletic director, although he had previous experience doing so at Boiling Springs, where he was the athletic director for 12 seasons before coming to Spring Grove in the summer of 2012.

Susquehannock: Susquehannock this week began interviews for its head job that opened up when J.C. Lewis resigned after only one season at the helm. The Warriors finished 1-9 overall in 2014, continuing a run of seven seasons without a winning record during which Susquehannock has gone a combined 8-62.

Longtime Susquehannock athletic director Chuck Abbott said last week he received “around 14″ applications for the position but was unsure how many will be interviewed. The Southern York County school board won’t meet again until Feb. 19, so a potential hire might be on the school board agenda by then, Abbott said.

Dover: Finally, at Dover, Leathery said around 20 applicants are interested in becoming the next Eagles’ football coach. Leathery said “probably five” of those will be interviewed. In his seven years as athletic director, this is the second time for Leathery in finding a new football coach.

“I’ve met with a few of the committee members today to go over applications,” Leathery said last week. “We narrowed it down. Still have wrinkles to iron out before we set up interviews. The plan is to start interviews the week of the 19th.”

Eric Lam stepped down from the position last year after just two seasons as coach. In his first season, Lam’s Eagles finished 9-3, won the York-Adams Division II title and advanced to the District 3-AAA quarterfinals. Last season, the Eagles finished 5-5 overall and 4-2 in Division II.

—Reach John Walk at


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