Countdown to Kickoff: Over/Unders
By Brandon Stoneburg and Zach Miller
With two weeks left to the start of the 2015 high school football season, we're playing the role of bookmaker and setting over/unders for each team's win total. Rather than predicting how many games each Hanover-Adams area team will win, we're letting you decide by setting the bar based on a few factors: how many games each team won last season, how difficult each team's schedule is and how many key players each team brings back from last year's team. We set each number at an increment of .5 to force you, the fan, to pick an over or an under. Let us know in the comments section below whether each team will win over or under the win total we set.
Littlestown - 3.5
Home games: Lancaster Catholic, York Tech, York Catholic, Hanover, Bermudian Springs
Road games: Boiling Springs, Greencastle-Antrim, Delone Catholic, Biglerville, Fairfield
We felt that 3.5 was a good spot for a team coming off a 3-win season with a tough nonleague schedule. The Bolts spend their first two games on the road at Boiling Springs and Greencastle-Antrim before returning home to face Lancaster Catholic. There’s probably one win among those three games, then at least two or three in their league slate. The Bolts get York Tech, York Catholic, Bermudian Springs and Hanover at home.
South Western - 7.5
Home games: Cedar Cliff, Carlisle, Central York, Dallastown, Northeastern
Road games: Gettysburg, New Oxford, Red Lion, William Penn, Spring Grove
The Mustangs have been the popular choice as division favorites. They have a tough schedule, but they get the big games at home in the Corral this season where they’ve won 20 of their last 30 games. The Mustangs have a good chance of exacting revenge in the season opener at Gettysburg, but two straight against Cedar Cliff and Carlisle, who both made the AAAA playoffs in 2014, will be a challenge. How does four road wins and three or four home wins sound? We expect it to fall in the range.
Spring Grove - 4.5
Home games: Cumberland Valley, New Oxford, William Penn, Northeastern, South Western
Road games: Mechanicsburg, York Suburban, Dallastown, Central York, Red Lion
There’s good news and there’s bad news in Spring Grove…
Good news: They return a ton of talent and bring back a bunch of key players who were injured last season.
Bad news: The schedule is rough. The Rockets open the season with AAAA powerhouse Cumberland Valley, then go on the road for three straight against Mechanicsburg, York Suburban and Dallastown. Three wins at Papermakers Stadium and one or two on the road is the most likely scenario.
Bermudian Springs - 8.5
Home games: New Oxford, Hanover, York Tech, York Catholic, Biglerville
Road games: Boiling Springs, Shippensburg, Fairfield, Delone Catholic, Littlestown
The Eagles have lost one regular season game in the last four years, and they have that nice, new turf to play on. But they return just one starter, and there are some solid teams on the schedule. Luckily for Bermudian, they have a great coaching staff that always keep the Eagles in the 8-10 win range, and they get two of their toughest games (York Catholic, Biglerville) at home.
Fairfield - 3.5
Home games: Newport, James Buchanan, Bermudian Springs, Delone Catholic, Littlestown
Road games: Silver Oak Academy (Md.), Biglerville, Hanover, York Tech, York Catholic
The Green Knights are another mystery team. They lost the majority of the key playmakers from a 5-5 team and will have new starters at the skill positions. Between weeks 3 and 9, Fairfield is on the road five times. It might take a few weeks to gauge how good this Fairfield team is, but for now we’ll give Coach Seiler and company three or four wins.
Biglerville - 7.5
Home games: Annville-Cleona, Waynesboro, Fairfield, Delone Catholic, Littlestown, Hanover
Road games: New Oxford, York Tech, York Catholic, Bermudian Springs
The Canners get the advantage of playing six home games after having to play six road games last season, and they could realistically be favored in all six. Road games at New Oxford and York Tech aren’t exactly daunting, but York Catholic and Bermudian Springs will be tough. We see them taking at least five home games, then maybe two or three on the road.
Gettysburg - 4.5
Home games: South Western, Waynesboro, Dover, Kennard-Dale, York Suburban
Road games: New Oxford, Susquehannock, Eastern York, Conrad Weiser, West York
The Warriors may have won eight games last season, but we expect a drop in 2015. Why? Because they were decimated by graduation, losing 19 seniors and nearly every key contributor on offense. There are four very winnable games on this schedule, and five or six really tough matchups. So we set the over/under right there at 4.5.
New Oxford - 1.5
Home games: Gettysburg, Biglerville, South Western, Red Lion, William Penn
Road games: Bermudian Springs, Spring Grove, Central York, Dallastown, Northeastern
The Colonials’ last win came in October 2013. No, that’s not a typo. Yes, it has been a while. We see that drought ending this season, though. New Oxford may have the toughest out-of-division schedule (at Bermudian, vs. Gettysburg, vs. Biglerville), and the Division I slate doesn’t get any easier, but they get three straight home games from weeks 2 to 4. Expect a grand celebration if/when those Colonial seniors get their first win.
Hanover - 3.5
Home games: Eastern York, York Catholic, Fairfield, York Tech, Delone Catholic
Road games: James Buchanan, Kennard-Dale, Bermudian Springs, Littlestown, Biglerville
There has been plenty “What will they do without Dylan Krieger?” talk, but there’s still loads of talent on the Nighthawks squad, and they get two key pieces back from injury – Colten Ehrhart and Jordan Laughman. The league’s leader in passing – Kyle Krout – is back as well. The talent is there, it’s just a matter of whether the players feel like they can win. The biggest key will be the first two games. Both are very winnable, but both are on the road (at James Buchanan, at Kennard-Dale). A win or even two to start the season could be the confidence boost the Nighthawks need, and head coach Bill Reichart knows that. Three of the first four games on the road is tough, but if they’re 2-0 entering their home opener against Eastern York, then it could be a huge boost. There are winnable games in the division, too, with Fairfield, York Tech and York Catholic all coming to Hanover.
Delone Catholic - 6.5
Home games: Trinity, Union City (Tn.), Littlestown, Bermudian, York Tech
Road games: Columbia, York Catholic, Biglerville, Fairfield, Hanover
Six seems to be the lucky number for the Squires. They won six games last year, they have six seniors on the team, and we have them at 6.5. Last season, Delone took advantage of a light, late-season schedule (Fairfield, York Tech, Hanover) to get from three wins to six and advance to the postseason. They have two winnable games from the start (Trinity, at Columbia), then a mystery game against Tennessee Class A state champ, Union City. There’s most likely two wins there, then four or five in division, especially if they can sweep the final three weeks again. The Squires get Littlestown, Bermudian and York Tech at home.
Countdown to kickoff scheduleJune 12: New Oxford
June 19: Hanover
June 26: Littlestown
July 3: Spring Grove
July 10: Biglerville
July 17: Fairfield
July 24: South Western
July 31: Delone Catholic
Aug. 7: Gettysburg
Aug. 14: Bermudian Springs
Aug. 21: Over/Unders
Aug. 28: Top returning units