Archive for the ‘Football’ Category



Gettysburg’s Nathan Sharrah, left, and Wade Laudeman talk with reporters during York-Adams League Football Media Day at the York Newspaper Company on

Gettysburg’s Nathan Sharrah, left, and Wade Laudeman talk with reporters during York-Adams League Football Media Day at the York Newspaper Company on Monday. The Warriors are entering their first year in the league and are expected to be a contender in Division II. (BILL KALINA —

The shiny new toy.

The pretty girl at the dance.

Call Gettysburg what you will. Either way, Gettysburg is the fresh face to the York-Adams League this school year. And these Warriors, not to be confused with those of Susquehannock, were the talk of the town Monday.

Well, really the talk inside a conference room of the York Newspaper Company offices, the site of York-Adams League Football Media Day.

After competing in the Mid-Penn Conference for 23 years, Gettysburg is the newest member of the York-Adams League this season, pumping the league to 23 teams and resulting in changes to the league’s schedule and three football divisions. Gettysburg is set to compete in Division II, as is Eastern York and York Suburban, both of whom are bumping up from Division III. New Oxford and Northeastern will move up from Division II to Division I.

Contender: So who, exactly, is this Gettysburg team located less than an hour’s drive west of York? Well, it’s one Eric Lam, the head coach of defending York-Adams League Division II champion Dover, envisions being a contender for the Division II title this season.

“West York is always there. Coach (Ron) Miller does a great job with them down there,” Lam said. “And I think Gettysburg coming in is definitely a team to look out for as No. 2. We’ll have to fight to earn our way. But I really think those two (West York and Gettysburg) are the class of the division right now.”

Gettysburg is coming off a 6-5 season a year ago that ended with a 43-8 loss to Cocalico in the first round of the District 3-AAA playoffs. The Warriors also finished second in the Mid-Penn Conference’s Colonial Division. And Coach Matt Heiser has been the man leading the charge.

Heiser: Following 10 seasons as the head coach at Boiling Springs, where he steered his teams to four appearances in the District 3-AA Tournament, Heiser took over Gettysburg in 2012 following a 2011 season in which the Warriors went 2-8. They improved to 3-7 in Heiser’s first season in 2012 before last year’s jump into the district playoffs, a place Gettysburg hadn’t been since 2010.

The Gettysburg football program, as a whole, has qualified for the district tournament in nine separate seasons, reaching the district title game three times (1993, 1994, 2007), but never winning it.

Heiser stayed mum Monday on his expectations for this season, but did note some comparisons coming from the Mid-Penn Conference to the York-Adams League.

“I think it’s gonna be faster,” he said. “Mid-Penn-wise I’m used to big, bruising offensive lineman. I see a lot of speed (in the York-Adams League). You still see a lot of size, too, but I think it’s gonna be a little bit faster.”

Gettysburg will return seven starters on defense and eight on offense. The latter unit will have every skill position player back but the quarterback.

Schedule: The Warriors also will play inside a refurbished home stadium this season, competing on top of a turf field that replaced grass. Outside of facing South Western every year in the season opener, Gettysburg hasn’t faced another York-Adams League opponent since Nov. 16, 2007, when the Warriors beat West York in the District 3-AAA quarterfinals, 33-28, on the way to reaching to the district title game.

Bulldogs’ coach Ron Miller still has painful memories of that loss.

“We played well, and at the time they were the No. 1 team in the state,” Miller recalled. “We sacked their quarterback 12 times and made a couple plays down the stretch. There are some calls I’m still not quite over. There’s not a whole lot we can change. It didn’t go the way it was supposed to. That’s all.”

So there’s potential that a little bit more than the Division II title could be on the line when West York travels to Gettysburg in the regular-season finale on Oct. 31.

— Reach John Walk at



Susquehannock lineman Nick DeLuca, left, has a laugh between interviews with teammate Tucker Devilbiss (20) and Head Coach J.C. Lewis during the York-Adams

Susquehannock lineman Nick DeLuca, left, has a laugh between interviews with teammate Tucker Devilbiss (20) and Head Coach J.C. Lewis during the York-Adams League Football Media Day at the York Newspaper Company on Monday. DeLuca said the addition of Gettysburg will bring new excitement to the league this season. For a video and more photos from York-Adams Media Day go to (BILL KALINA —

While there is an overall sense of excitement with the addition of the Gettysburg football program into the York-Adams League, that level varies from team to team.

At least that was the reaction of those surveyed during the York-Adams League Football Media Day on Monday morning.

A handful of teams weren’t overly impacted by the realignment, caused by Gettysburg’s addition, while others had to do a bit of scrambling to adapt to the change.

Take Delone Catholic for instance. The Squires and Head Coach Steve Wiles previously only had to worry about scheduling one non-divisional game a year in the old Division III. But with two teams — Eastern York and York Suburban — making the jump up to Division II, Wiles needed to fill two additional holes on his team’s schedule.

“I think it’s great for the league,” Wiles said. “I think it adds to the league and brings some excitement, which is good. But it’s made it more difficult for us with Eastern and Suburban moving up. That gave us a couple more open dates, so we had to find some more games, which was a bit of a challenge.”

Wiles was able to keep his parochial rivalry with Trinity to open the season before adding Columbia into a hole in Week 2. Filling the hole in Week 3, however, took a great deal of phone calls, texts and emailing before the Delone coach was able to schedule a non-Pennsylvania opponent — St. Paul’s — from Baltimore County.

“Week 3 was a disaster,” Wiles said. “We finally got St. Paul’s, which is a private school out of Maryland. We advertised all over the state that we needed games and a couple teams contacted us, but nothing worked out. I know a guy that coaches in Maryland and he started sending some emails out. So then the coach from St. Paul’s (called), and they play in a private league, and he has a lot of open dates during the year.”

Change not major for most schools: No other school seemed to have as much difficulty as Delone in finding new games for their schedules. Overall, the shift wasn’t overly dramatic for most other teams. Teams such as New Oxford and Northeastern, which bumped up to Division I from Division II this year, played a number of non-league games against their new Division I foes over the past few years.

“It’s bigger schools,” Northeastern head coach Jon Scepanski said. “But we’ve played York High and we’ve played Spring Grove the last two years. And New Oxford is moving up with us and obviously we played them. Almost half of the teams we have experience against. And when our kids were younger, they played against those teams in junior high. So it’s a change, yes, but it’s something that isn’t (too big).”

The change seems to be held in high regard at New Oxford, which is a program looking to build itself into a perennial contender. The Colonials went 3-2 in Division II a season ago and 6-5 overall, which earned them a trip to the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.

“I don’t want to degrade any team from last year, but there were some weeks where we would win by a good margin,” Colonials’ lineman Brock Hartman said. “This year it’s all good teams. So this is not a division to slack in … it’s a division that takes a lot of hard work and to get the best out of your people to succeed.”

New Susquehannock head coach J.C. Lewis has a particular connection with the addition of Gettysburg into Division II. While both schools mascots are the same — Warriors — Lewis’ bond is a bit deeper. He attended Gettysburg for high school.

“It’s going to be a battle of the Warriors and that’s also our first divisional game,” Lewis said with a bit of smile.

The majority of players questioned about the move seemed to echo the sentiment of Susquehannock lineman Nick DeLuca.

“I think it’s going to be interesting,” DeLuca said. “The last two years that I played football we’ve had the exact same schedule. We were playing teams like Milton Hershey and Spring Grove. So bringing in new competition, like Eastern, York Suburban and Gettysburg, is going to bring some new excitement to the season and we’re going to see how we can do against them.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at


Following is the division alignment for York-Adams League football in 2014:

Division I: Central York, Dallastown, New Oxford, Northeastern, Red Lion, South Western, Spring Grove, York High.

Division II: Dover, Eastern York, Gettysburg, Kennard-Dale, Susquehannock, West York, York Suburban.

Division III: Bermudian Springs, Biglerville, Delone Catholic, Fairfield, Hanover, Littlestown, York Catholic, York Tech.



Turns out Central York High School won’t be the only one with a new, large scoreboard featuring a video screen at its stadium in the coming months.

Next week, construction will begin at Red Lion High School’s Horn Field to install a scoreboard that will be very much similar to the new one currently going up at Central York, Red Lion district marketing and communications manager Don Dimoff said Tuesday.

Dimoff isn’t sure of the dimensions of the new scoreboard, but said it will include video capabilities for fans to watch live action and replays. And it will be used for more than just football.

“We’re gonna use it for all varsity sports that play there: field hockey, girls’ and boys’ lacrosse, girls’ and boys’ soccer and we’re hoping to utilize it for baseball as well,” Dimoff said. “Also, assuming each year we have graduation outside, we’ll have it for graduation and band performances.”

The video board will be operated by students as part of a class at the high school, Dimoff said.

“We’re using it as an educational platform as well,” he said.

Cost: At its June 4 meeting, the Red Lion Area Board of School Directors were recommended to authorize Kinsley Construction to install the new scoreboard at a cost of $17,980. The total cost of the new scoreboard, including installation, is $ $201,948, Red Lion business manager Terry Robinson said Wednesday.

Dimoff and Robinson said the new scoreboard will come at no cost to taxpayers, instead being partially covered by help from booster clubs and insurance and mostly covered from sponsorships.

“Signage-wise we’re looking at about a dozen to 14 spots (for sponsors),” Dimoff said. “As far as video themselves we’ll produce commercials and ads that’ll be unique.”

A new scoreboard has been needed at Horn Field since a September thunderstorm flattened and destroyed the old scoreboard, which dated back to the 1960s. The school district was able to secure portable scoreboards with the help of York College for use during the remainder of the school year.

The new scoreboards at both Central and Red Lion are coming from Illinois-based scoreboard company Nevco and will use LED lighting instead of traditional bulbs.

“If everything goes according to plan we hope to have it up and running at a field hockey game in late August,” Dimoff said.

Retaining wall: The scoreboard isn’t the only thing slated to be updated this summer at Horn Field. At its most recent meeting, it was recommended to the board to award a bid to H&H General Excavating Company Inc., in the amount of $68,750 to complete a retaining wall project at the field.

“It’s up back of the home stands where the people sit,” Robinson said. “That walkway is actually below the road grade. You have to come down steps from the sidewalk to enter the grandstands. There is a retaining wall there that runs the entire length of the grandstand area. That retaining wall has been leaning more and more each year. We have a company coming in that will take the existing wall out and put in another wall. I don’t know how long the old wall has been there but I’ve been in the district 36 years and it hasn’t been updated.”

— Reach John Walk at





A football coaching legend could be walking the sideline at Small Athletic Field this fall.

The York High administration has recommended that George Chaump be hired as an assistant coach for the Bearcats.

The York City School Board will have the final say on the hiring of Chaump and eight other coaches, most likely at the board’s May 21 meeting.

The 78-year-old Chaump has coached at every level: high school, college and professional.

He compiled a 190-66 record while coaching at five high schools: Shamokin, John Harris, Central Dauphin, Harrisburg and Central Dauphin East. Chaump was not retained following the 2012 season at C.D. East.

He was also an assistant coach for Ohio State and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and head coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Marshall and Navy.

“It’s huge what he would bring to the program,” York High athletic director Joe Chiodi said. “He brings a wealth of knowledge of the game.”

Chiodi said that Chaump had several meetings with the Bearcats’ head coach, Shawn Heinold.

“He (Chaump) just wanted to stay in coaching,” Chiodi said.

Track: The 2014 York-Adams Track and Field Meet on Friday at Dallastown will feature a lot of familiar names.

Eight female athletes, who captured 11 individual championships last year, will be competing again this year.

Five male athletes will return seeking to repeat as champion in their events.

Lynne Mooradian and Holly Arey, both of South Western, and Olivia Gettle of York Suburban, all of whom earned two gold medals apiece in 2013, are back this season.

Mooradian enters with the fastest time in the 400 dash. The winner of the 100 and 200 dashes last year, the South Western sophomore is seeded second to Red Lion’s Angelica Gonzalez in the 100 and 200. Gonzalez, a junior, was unable to compete in the 2013 meet because of a hamstring injury. She won both the 100 and 200 in her freshman season.

Arey, the defending champion in the shot put and discus, recorded the best throws so far this season.

Gettle, a gold medal winner in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs a year ago, holds the top time in the 3,200 going into the meet and third-best time in the 1,600 behind Emily Loeffelholz of Central and Kayla White of Kennard-Dale. Gettle is a sophomore.

The other returning champions in the girls’ meet are: Steph Shaw of South Western (100 hurdles), Erin Harman of South Western (pole vault), Amanda Myers of Red Lion (javelin) and Rachel Crane of Bermudian Springs (800). Myers is bidding for her third straight title.

On the boys’ side, five 2013 champions are in the mix this year: Brady Wilt of Biglerville (1,600), Aaron Gebhart of New Oxford (3,200), Alex Keller of Red Lion (long jump), Donnie Crabill of Central York (javelin) and Matthew Beck of Northeastern (high jump). Keller, Crabill and Beck are seniors, and Wilt and Gebhart are juniors.

Playoffs: The York-Adams League softball and boys’ volleyball playoffs will begin on Monday, while the baseball tournament will get underway on Wednesday.

The softball semifinal matchups are Dallastown vs. Delone Catholic at Susquehannock High School (5 p.m.) and Susquehannock vs. Kennard-Dale at Spring Grove High School (5 p.m.).

The championship game is listed for 5 p.m. Wednesday at New Oxford High School.

York Suburban will take on Susquehannock at 6 p.m., and Red Lion will clash with West York at 7:30 p.m. on the opening night of the volleyball tournament. Both matches will take place in the Dallastown High School gymnasium.

The York Suburban-Susquehannock winner will meet Central in the semifinals (6 p.m. Tuesday at Dallastown High School), and the Red Lion-West York winner will take on Northeastern (6 p.m. Tuesday at Dallastown Middle School). The semifinal winners will face off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Dallastown High School gymnasium for the championship.

The baseball playoffs will be held in downtown York at Santander Stadium. The semifinal games on Wednesday are: Spring Grove vs. Delone Catholic at 4 p.m. and West York vs. Susquehannock at 7 p.m.

The championship will be decided beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

— Reach Dick VanOlinda at

NIKELLE SNADER 505-5431 / @ydschools

After months of raising the required funds for a new turf field, the Dallastown Area Education Foundation has reached the goal required to start construction this summer.

The school board required the foundation to raise $500,000 before it would officially recognize a bid from A-turf, the company that will install the field. And a board motion in November required the foundation to raise that amount of money before May 1.

With fundraisers such as Turf Madness in March and a $20,000 donation from the American Legion, the foundation has $509,902 in hand, said school board member John Hartman, who represents the board at foundation meetings.

The field is expected to be complete before the fall athletic season, superintendent Ron Dyer said. Construction on the field will begin shortly after the Thursday, June 5 graduation ceremony.

Hartman said foundation members are taking a short breath before continuing fundraising efforts to raise the additional funds for the estimated $814,174 project.

Board president Kenneth “Butch” Potter said with the cash in hand, the work order for the field becomes effective immediately. A-turf submitted its bid for the project in November, but the bid was extended until May 1 to allow the foundation to raise enough money for the “trigger point” of $500,000.

The turf field will have a 12-year warranty with a concussion pad underneath as an added safety feature.

- Reach Nikelle Snader at



There are a three new members of the York Area Sports Hall of Fame.

One was a legendary athlete at West York High School in the 1960s.

One has carved out a stellar 30-plus year playing career in tennis.

And the third was a standout wrestler at both the scholastic and intercollegiate levels.

All three later became coaches.

John Sprenkle, Jim Kohr and Brad Lloyd will be inducted into the local hall of fame on Sunday, May 11, at Santander Stadium — the home of the York Revolution. The induction ceremony will occur before that day’s Revs’ game against Southern Maryland, which is slated to start at 5 p.m. Past inductees into the hall of fame are invited to attend this year’s event and share in the 50th year celebration of York Area Sports Night, which is the sponsoring organization for the York Area Hall of Fame.

Sprenkle: Sprenkle had a rare combination of size, strength and speed.

In the late 1960s, Sprenkle excelled as a two-way football tackle and heavyweight wrestler for the Bulldogs, and he was also an accomplished hurdler and shot put and discus thrower in track and field. He helped West York win consecutive York County football titles and was later named the captain of the Pennsylvania Big 33 team. As a wrestler, he went undefeated as a senior and won a state heavyweight championship.

The 6-foot, 2-inch, 230-pounder had offers from many major colleges, including Penn State, before choosing to play for Virginia Tech. He excelled with the Hokies on the football field, and also wrestled for them as a freshman, when he advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

After graduating, he returned to West York to teach and coach. He coached football for 16 years and wrestling for 14 years.

Kohr: Kohr was a standout at Central York High School, compiling an overall record of 37-3, including a York County singles crown in 1983.

He went on to earn a full, four-year scholarship to North Texas, where he won at least 20 matches in each of his four seasons there. He was a team captain at North Texas for three years.

Kohr has won 16 York City-County men’s singles championships, more than any other player. He’s also long been a highly ranked competitor in the United States Tennis Association Middle State Region.

Kohr coached tennis at Central York and has been the tennis director at several clubs in the region. He has coached many of the top young players in the area in the past two decades.

Lloyd: Being a Hall of Famer is nothing new for Lloyd, who already belongs to the Eastern Wrestling League, Lock Haven University, District 3 Wrestling Coaches and Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches halls of fame.

At Red Lion High School, Lloyd compiled a career record of 106-11-1, including a District 3 title at 119 pounds in 1983 and a third-place PIAA finish at 145 in 1984.

At Lock Haven, he was a three-time NCAA Division I All-American, finishing seventh in 1986 at 167, third in 1988 at 177 and second in 1989 at 177. He was a three-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference champion and finished his college career at 146-25-2. He is the winningest wrestler in Lock Haven history.

He later coached the Red Lion High varsity wrestling team from 1992 until 1997. He has most recently coached at the junior high level at Dallastown.

The York Area Sports Hall of Fame, which was started in 1973, is located at Insurance Services United at 224 N. George St., York. When Sprenkle, Kohr and Lloyd are added, the local hall of fame will have 123 members.

— Reach Steve Heiser at



There has been a sea change with the Eastern York football team over the past year.

First the program, which competes at the Class AAA level, found out it was moving from a smaller-school York-Adams Division III, comprised mostly of AA and A teams, to a newly realigned and bigger-school Division II, which features all AAA programs. The Golden Knights will now compete against West York, Dover, York Suburban, Gettysburg, Kennard-Dale and Susquehannock.

After this past season, when the Golden Knights finished 5-5, Head Coach Richard Brubaker elected to step down after three years at the helm, citing family reasons. Brubaker led the program to a 13-17 record over his tenure.

Now the changes appear complete after Eastern recently announced the hiring of Dave Kemmick as its new head coach. An assistant coach at three different schools across the river in Lancaster County (Hempfield, Columbia, Donegal), Kemmick is hoping to quickly turn the Knights into a contender in their new division.

While Kemmick, who teaches math in the Columbia School District, may not have a lot of name recognition to many York-Adams fans, he does have a tie with the school district, where he taught some of his junior players a few years ago when he served as a long-term substitute teacher.

We caught up with Kemmick to discuss his promotion and his plans for the program for this edition of Sports Q&A.

Q: What emotions did you feel when you were named as the next football coach at Eastern York?

A: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach at Eastern York. I know it’s a great district and is committed to the success of its students. I’m looking forward to contributing to the football program and the district as a whole.”

Q: What does getting this position mean to you personally?

A: “I began my football coaching career at the youth level, moving to head coach at the freshman level and then assisting at the high school level for several years. As a result, I focus first on teaching fundamentals, developing character and discipline, and then on winning games. I am honored to have been selected, as I feel Eastern York made their decision based on a belief in this coaching philosophy and my commitment to the program.”

Q: When did you find out about the opportunity to take over as head coach and how long or quick was the process?

A: “I learned of the open position in mid-January, and the interview process and school board approval were very timely and smooth.”

Q: How familiar are you with the Eastern program and what were your thoughts about it when you applied?

A: “I have some familiarity with the high school program, having met them as an opponent, and in reviewing film of other teams. They seem to have made progress in the last few years with Coach Brubaker, and I’m excited to keep the momentum going.”

Q: Does moving up to Division II next season make your job any more or less difficult?

A: “Regardless of which division we’re in, my job is to teach the players the game of football and to encourage them to be successful as students and members of the community. I’m confident that together we will be successful on the field.”

Q: What do you know about the York-Adams League and, in particular, the teams in Division II that you will battle this year?

A: “I am familiar with a few of the teams in the York-Adams League from scrimmages and games in the past few years. With the realignment and several new head coaches in the league, it should be an interesting season.”

Q: Who will be helping you out as assistant coaches?

A: “Several of the existing staff members will be returning, including Defensive Coordinator Josh Campbell. In addition, coaches I’ve worked with in the past will assist in varying capacities.”

Q: What kind of characteristics do you feel that you have that make you confident you are the right person to coach the program at this time?

A: “I am energetic and ready to be on the field with the players. My attention to detail and organization are also important. I believe in the importance of academics and discipline both on the field and off.”

Q: What is your plan for helping to turn around a team that hasn’t experienced a great deal of success the past handful of years?

A: “The program has made some progress in the last few years, and continuing to build an environment with a winning attitude will be important. I will focus on team–building and ensuring proper execution of basic skills and plays, creating a belief in the team’s ability to win. Increasing the collaboration with the freshman team should also have a positive impact. I know there is currently interaction with the youth program, and I will build on that for the future.”

Q: Who in the program are you most excited to coach?

A: “I am very excited to have the opportunity to coach all the players on the team. I do remember some of the current junior class from when I was a long-term substitute in the district several years ago (in 2009) and I’m looking forward to meeting them again.”

Q: What do you feel is the program’s greatest strength at this point?

A: “The returning players will contribute heavily to the success of the program in the coming year and there’s a lot of potential in the freshman and youth levels. I also have felt a great sense of support from both the administration and the school board, and I’ve heard great things about the parents’ organization.”

Q: What type of changes, in particular on offense and defense, will you implement that differ compared to last year?

A: “I will be using an offensive system that’s different than what they’ve been running. It will have a lot of Wing-T principles, but we will be running out of other formations as well. Defensively, we will most likely keep what’s been working and add some new ideas.”

Q: What area of the team do you feel like you can have the greatest impact on?

A: “My changes to the offensive system will be new and should have a big impact. Some changes will be made to the weight-lifting routine for the offseason. My belief in the team’s ability to win will be evident, and therefore the players will believe in themselves.”

Q: What would a successful first season under your helm look like at this point?

A: “Having the support of the community and the school will ultimately lead to a successful program. I think we can be very competitive this year.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at



They are the unsung workers behind the scenes, putting in countless hours for very little pay, or no pay at all.

They don’t get quoted in game stories, a task instead left up to the head coach and a standout athlete or two from the game.

But they are there nonetheless. They are the assistant coaches. I’ll admit I’ve rarely chatted with any in my few years thus far covering prep sports. But from what head coaches tell me, their assistants are often the backbone of the team. They’re often seen as the ones off to the side at practices working with a group of athletes, or one-on-one teaching a certain technique. Or holding a clipboard on the sidelines tracking stats. And many other responsibilities.

Unfortunately for those in this group, the financial situations for many have gotten tighter in recent years because schools have made cutbacks to the budgets of athletic departments. That’s part of the trickle-down effect of budget cuts to school districts. And many of the slashes have come by taking away the small stipends paid to assistant coaches each season.

West York: The latest to fit in this category is at West York High School.

The West York school board last month approved cuts in order to reduce its $1.5 million deficit for next school year. On top of the district’s staff being reduced by 29, the board approved cutting five athletic teams: the ninth-grade football team, the middle-school cheerleading programs for football, basketball and wrestling and co-ed middle school cross country. In addition, the district is asking that one paid position be eliminated for athletic teams that have three or more coaches.

As a result, West York athletic director Roger Czerwinski said a total of 14 paid high school assistants will lose their stipends next year. And this is at a school district that already has one of the smallest athletic budgets in York County.

“Yes and more than likely what’s gonna end up happening is we’ll end up splitting stipends,” said Czerwinski, who is also the head coach of the two-time state champion Bulldogs’ baseball team.

The West York baseball team will go from three paid positions this year (varsity head coach, varsity assistant coach and junior varsity head coach) down to two paid positions next year (varsity head coach and junior varsity head coach), with the varsity assistant losing his stipend.

“My baseball coaching stipend I’ll just split it with our assistant coach. That’s what we’re doing,” Czerwinski said of finding a solution to the cutback.

Making up for losses: That’s been one of the growing trends across York County. I found this out two years ago when I did a huge project examining how budget cuts are impacting athletic departments. Of the 14 high schools included in the study, three reported a drop-off in the number of paid assistants in the 2010-11 school year, six schools had decreases in the amount of money spent on coaching salaries and two schools put a salary freeze in place for all coaches.

Many coaches who I chatted with then said they made up for the losses by putting an added emphasis on booster clubs and fundraising. But the common solution has been relying on volunteer coaches, which is likely what will happen at West York when paid assistants this year become volunteers next year. Either that or some paid coaches will split their stipend with those coaches losing pay.

Not in it for the money: Unless you’re a head football coach in the state of Texas, there likely isn’t much money involved in high school coaching. There certainly isn’t in York County. In the story I did a couple years back I found most coaches are paid anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000, based on the importance of the position and tenure of the coach. But this is just a few thousand bucks a year for a position that can feel like a full-time job in-season and part-time job out of season.

“We truly honestly don’t do it for the money because if we did we’d be idiots because you don’t get paid that much,” said Bill Ackerman, who just completed his 16th season as head coach of the West York boys’ basketball team. “At the same time it’s hard to keep someone putting in 25 hours during the season and 15 hours a week during the offseason and say ‘By the way, I’m not paying you a dime and by the way your son isn’t in the program.’ It’s tough to find anyone to do that anymore.”

Like Czerwinski and many other head coaches I’ve chatted with in recent years, Ackerman has been fortunate to find assistants who willingly sacrifice their time for little to no monetary compensation. They don’t do it for the money. Or the adulation. They do it to help student-athletes, to teach them skills that might help them on the playing field or when they face obstacles later in life.

“I’m extremely lucky to have found guys where that (money) doesn’t matter to them,” Ackerman said. “As long as the kids see no difference (from the budget cuts) then it’s a win-win for everyone.”

— Reach John Walk at



It has always been the dream of Patrick Weider to become a head football coach.

He’s been an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at York High for seven years. He was also an assistant coach at Kennard-Dale this past year.

Fortunately for Weider, his move from York High to K-D a year ago seemed to be the right one in terms of timing. When the administration at K-D decided to seek out a new head coach back in November, Weider, an emotional support teacher in the school district, was well-positioned to finally achieve his dream.

The 34-year old was rewarded recently when he was named the program’s next head football coach. He will take over for Andy Loucks, who was not rehired after finishing with an 8-33 record over four seasons.

Loucks, ironically, was the one who brought Weider into his coaching staff a year ago to work with the wide receivers and defensive backs.

We caught up with Weider recently to discuss his promotion and his plans for the program for this edition of Sports Q&A.

Q: What emotions did you feel when you were named as the next football coach at Kennard-Dale?

A: “I felt a sense of pride because I truly believe we can improve the football program at Kennard-Dale. We can be successful on and off the field if we get total commitment from everyone affiliated with it.”

Q: And what does getting this position mean to you personally?

A: “I was really excited because it was a lifelong goal to be a head football coach. Since I started coaching I felt like I could do a good job of leading a football program.”

Q: When did you find out about the opportunity to take over as head coach?

A: “I learned about it a few weeks after the football season. I was instantly excited for the opportunity.”

Q: How close were you to coach Andy Loucks and what are your feelings about taking over for him?

A: “Coach Loucks brought me in as a member of his staff last year, so I will always feel like I owe him for the initial opportunity to coach at Kennard-Dale. I consider him a friend and a resource for the Kennard-Dale program.”

Q: Who will be helping you out as assistant coaches?

A: “I will be bringing back most of the coaches from last year. Coach (Eric) Updegrove will be my defensive coordinator. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him as a coach. Coach (Kevin) Christman will be back to help me run the offense. He is our head track coach and is a tremendous resource to our football program. Coach Niko Hulslander will be coming back on a full-time role as our offensive line coach as well as our strength and conditioning coach. He is a very well respected member of the community and a great leader. Coach (Jimmy) Waltermyer will also be back in some capacity. He is just a tremendous person who I always want around the program. As for the other positions, I am still in the process of filling those spots.”

Q: What kind of characteristics do you feel that you have that make you confident you are the right person to coach the program at this time?

A: “I feel that I am a highly energetic and positive person. Those characteristics will enable me to build relationships with everyone around the football program. I am also very driven to improve the Kennard-Dale football program.”

Q: What is your plan for helping to turn around a team that hasn’t experienced a ton of success the past handful of years?

A: “The biggest issue we need to compete as a football program is to have the youth program, the middle school and the high school programs totally united together. This is a process started by coach Loucks and I plan to continue it. Also, I feel that as a program we need to teach our players to fight through the adversity of tough situations in games. Furthermore, offseason commitment level from the players needs to improve.”

Q: Who in the program are you most excited to coach?

A: “I feel very confident about a few of our offensive linemen, Coleman Hamilton and Dan Creter. They are two returning starters. I also feel good about a couple of our receivers, Austin Jenkins and Justin Fitchett. And I am having a QB competition and I feel really good about Kyle Amrhein and Danny Brewer.”

Q: What do you feel is the program’s greatest strength at this point?

A: “I feel that the kids are hungry to win. Most of the players are so sick of losing that I feel it will be a great motivator for the upcoming season.”

Q: What type of changes, in particular on offense and defense, will you implement that differ compared to last year?

A: “On offense we are going to a pistol/spread attack. It will be an offense that has both spread elements and power elements to it. On defense we are going to a multi-front attack.”

Q: What area of the team do you feel like you can have the greatest impact on?

A: “I feel that on offense I can make a big impact. I have an offensive background from being offensive coordinator at York High. I am especially hopeful I can improve our passing game.”

Q: What would a successful first season under your helm look like at this point?

A: “A successful first football season is getting everyone totally committed to the football program. Then competing and having an opportunity to win as many games as possible.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at

York Dispatch Staff Report

Two York County football players have been selected to participate in the Pennsylvania State Football Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game.

Dallastown wideout/defensive back Malik Lewis has been selected to play for the East team, while York Catholic lineman Ben Smith was picked to play for the West team.

In addition, Littlestown head coach Mike Lippy will serve as an assistant coach for the West team.

The game is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4, but no venue for the game has been selected yet.

The 5-foot, 10-inch Lewis was a York-Adams League Division I First Team All-Star selection at wideout and defensive back. As a wideout, Lewis hauled in 52 passes for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns. He averaged 16 yards per catch. As a defensive back, he had 33 tackles and four interceptions. He helped Dallastown finish 10-3 overall, including a pair of District 3-AAAA playoff wins.

The 6-2, 250-pound Smith was a York-Adams League Division III First Team All-Star selection at guard and a second-team pick on the defensive line. Defensively he had 58 tackles, including 43 solo tackles and two sacks. Offensively, he helped York Catholic averaged nearly 27 points per game. The Irish finished 8-4 overall and earned a District 3-A playoff victory.

Lippy led Littlestown to a 12-1 season, including the York-Adams Division III championship and two District 3-AA playoff victories.

Previously, Spring Grove’s David Shaw was selected to the Pennsylvania team in the 56th Big 33 Classic against an all-star team from Maryland. That game is 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15, at Hersheypark Stadium.

Only Pennsylvania players who were not selected to participate in the Big 33 contest were eligible to be picked for the East-West game.


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