Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

By JOHN WALK

505-5406/@yorksportsguy

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 jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.

By DICK VANO’LINDA

505-5407/@ydsports

Chaump

Chaump

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 dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.

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 nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.

By STEVE HEISER

505-5446/@ydsports

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 sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

By RYAN VANDERSLOOT

505-5446/@ydsports

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 sports@yorkdispatch.com.

COLUMN By JOHN WALK

505-5406/@yorksportsguy

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 jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.

By RYAN VANDERSLOOT

505-5446/@yaiaascores

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 sports@yorkdispatch.com.

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.

By RYAN VANDERSLOOT

505-5446/@yaiaascores

While it may not have seemed like a positive at the time, when J.C. Lewis was forced to step away as an assistant football coach at Susquehannock this past year, it provided him a chance to focus.

He was able to focus on his family, spending quality time with the arrival of his first child.

He was also able to focus on the Warrior football program in a different light. As an assistant, his focus was almost always pointed on the team. A season away from the team, however, allowed him to look at other programs in the area,to see if they might be doing things a better way.

Little did Lewis know that the opportunity to use that knowledge would come just around the corner. Shortly after Bill Kerr stepped down as Susquehannock’s coach, the head coaching position opened up.

With his family situation opening up more free time, Lewis jumped on his chance, earning the position as the program’s new head coach last month.

Lewis, the brother of former Penn State punter Evan Lewis, recently talked about his time away from football as well as his future for this edition of Sports Q&A.

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

A: My immediate reaction was excitement. We have a school district full of very bright and talented young men who are ready to work hard to be successful on the football field. I couldn’t wait to get to work.

Q: What does this mean to you personally?

A: Being a head football coach was a goal of mine from the time I started teaching and coaching. Having the ability to coach is a big reason why I got into the teaching profession in the first place. I’m very lucky to have this opportunity in such a great school district.

Q: What was it like to not be fully available to coach as an assistant this past year?

A: Last football season was very bittersweet. It was difficult not being on the field and I missed it a great deal. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to spend more time with my wife and daughter and I would not trade that for the world.

Q: Did you learn anything from that time that you feel may be a positive?

A: Perhaps the biggest positive that came from not coaching was that I had the ability to step back and analyze not just what was going on at Susquehannock, but what other programs did or did not do as well. I was able to continue to build a vision of exactly what my program would look like if and when I was granted this opportunity.

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

A: I know that the idea of stepping away from coaching was something Coach Kerr had kicked around but it really wasn’t until the job was posted in late December that I knew there would be an opening at Susquehannock.

Q: How close were you to Coach Kerr and what are your feelings about taking over for him?

A: Coach Kerr and I have a very positive relationship. He is a great coach and an even better person. He continues to be a good friend and mentor and has told me his door will remain open should I need it. He has started to move our program in the right direction so I certainly hope I can continue to do the same.

Q: Who will be helping you out as assistants?

A: We’ve just recently rounded out our varsity staff and I couldn’t be happier with the guys that I’ve convinced to come on board. Tim Scripko and Tony Sorice are both teachers in the building and will be joining the ranks once again. I’ve also worked with Jerry Higgins and Austin McCusker in the past and they will be joining the staff as well. Toby Bonitz did a great job running the junior high program for Coach Kerr and I’m very glad to have him back again in that same role.

Q: What characteristics do you feel that you have that make you confident you are the right person to coach the program?

A: I’m a very passionate and motivated individual. I take a lot of pride in what I do, whether that’s teaching, coaching or being a husband and father. I like to think I’m a good teacher and communicator, which are traits any coach must have to be successful. More specific to this job, I’ve been teaching and coaching at Susquehannock for seven years and have gained a lot of knowledge and respect for this school and the community that supports it. I think I maintain a good rapport with our kids and hope that they continue to trust me on the football field like they do in the classroom.

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: Before we do anything with our X’s and O’s we have to get back to basics. Our offseason program needs to become more intense and we need a more consistent commitment from our guys. It is very tough to push people around on a Friday night if they’re two and three times as strong as you are. We also need to find some ways to create a more cohesive program, from our SYC teams to the guys you watch of Friday nights. Whether you’re a football player in fourth grade of 12th grade, you are part of the Warrior football family.

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

A: This is a tough question for me because I really like all of our kids. I certainly feel as though I have a connection with next year’s senior class, as I worked with them two years ago. They are a fun group and I am excited about their potential. However, there is also something about having an entire roster filled with new names and faces. Already, I can see some younger guys with a lot of potential.

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

A: Right now I think we have a group of young men who are ready to do what it takes to win some football games. Unfortunately, we haven’t experienced a whole lot of success in terms of wins and losses and I think our guys are willing to sacrifice a little bit in order to finally make that happen.

Q: What type of changes, in particular on offense and defense, will you implement?

A: While a lot of what we do this year will depend on our personnel, our offense will be more spread out than it has been in years past. Formation-wise, we’ll be based on a Pro-I look, but probably won’t look or feel like a Pro-I team at times. Defensively, we will run a base 4-4, but play a very downhill, aggressive style. A lot of our play-calling specifics in any phase of the game are still very fluid as we learn what our kids are or are not capable of running successfully.

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

A: If I had to choose a position that I might impact the most, I’d have to choose our quarterbacks. I’ll be working with them specifically on the offense. I think I bring a pretty good knowledge base to that position and hope to develop all of them, not just as passers but as play-callers and students of the game. They’ll have a lot of responsibility for what happens on the offensive side of the ball.

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

A: First and foremost, we want our players to have a positive experience and to leave our program not only as better football players, but better people. On the field, our team goals will be to win our division and make a run in the District 3 playoff bracket.

By RYAN VANDERSLOOT/ 505-5446/@yaiaascores

There aren’t a lot of people outside of Bryan Stephens’ family that he would trust to babysit his three young children.

So it was definitely high praise when the Northeastern athletic director told the crowd at San Carlos Restaurant at Monday’s Quarterback Club of York awards banquet that he would have no qualms allowing Logan Neiman to watch his kids.

But that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to those who know Neiman. Stephens referred to the girls’ soccer standout as a ‘role-model’ student-athlete and person. One of the top students academically at Northeastern, Neiman was probably better known for her exploits on the soccer pitch over the past four years. She led the Bobcats all the way to the York-Adams League championship contest this past season.

Just as impressively, however, was another fact that Stephens mentioned before awarding Neiman with a $1,000 scholarship from the QB Club of York.

“She scored more goals this year herself than the entire boys’ soccer team combined,” said Stephens, who happened to coach the Bobcats’ boys’ team.

Neiman and York Catholic’s Maggie Javitt were both honored Monday evening by the QB Club as recipients of scholarships as the top female athletes from their respective schools. The club, which generates the funds for the scholarships through a 5K race on Labor Day in downtown York, also honored the York-Adams League Division I (James Way, York High), Division II (Wes Beans, New Oxford) and Division III (Trevor Hildebrand, Littlestown) Players of the Year in football, as well as this year’s Charles Larson Memorial Scholarship award winner, Erik Ramirez of Central York.

“This is outstanding, especially since my principal and Bryan chose me,” Neiman said. “There are a lot of great girl athletes at Northeastern, and for them to choose me is a great honor.”

Neiman will use the scholarship to help her continue her athletic and scholastic endeavors at Millersville University in the fall. She’s still undecided about her major.

“I’m not real sure,” she said. “One day I want to be a teacher and then another day I want to be something else. So I’ll start out going undecided and see where that takes me.”

Javitt honored: It’s a similar case for Javitt, who finished with an 11-1 record in singles this past season for the Fighting Irish tennis team. Ranked third in her class with a 4.4 grade-point average, Javitt has yet to decide on a school for next year.

“I’m just trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and where I’m going to take the education that York Catholic gave me,” she said.

On the court, Javitt was a leader throughout her four years. She was a member of three York-Adams Division II championship squads. She also competed in league, district and state playoff contests, according to Irish girls’ tennis coach Paige Mundy.

“Maggie has made invaluable contributions to the (York Catholic) program,” Mundy said. “Maggie is the type of player that every coach would desire to be on the court with a match in the balance.”

While the awards were undoubtedly important for everyone that was honored Monday, winning a scholarship from the QB Club of York holds a particularly special place for Javitt.

“It is really amazing,” she said. “My grandfather (Edward Javitt) was a founding member of the club and it just feels like this came full-circle for me. I feel like he gave it to me personally.”

Notes: It was announced at the banquet that Ramirez had come to a final decision on his future college. He’s accepted an offer to continue his football career and education at Princeton University.

“This came down last week,” he said. “Coach said that I had been cleared for admissions and I just decided that Princeton was the place for me to be.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.