SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2006-1
By Bill Engelhardt
The AAA York-Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) Division 1 Mustangs of South Western return to gridiron action Friday night, September 1, as they host the Warriors of Gettysburg to kick off another thrilling season. The Mustangs are coming off of a 4-6 overall season in 2005 and are looking ahead to a successful 2006 season. They have a career 295-180-8 record, with a .621 winning percentage and .627 non-losing percentage. They are 294-173-8 in regular season play. This year the Mustangs have a fine nucleus of returning starters and lettermen and promising new players to watch, and the winning tradition, nine league titles since 1990, should resume.
Seniors Jason Gigous, Chad La Gore, J.C. Laughlin, Aaron Repman, Shawn Rider, Jesse Smith, Tim Smith, Jason Sneeringer, Drew Snyder, Eric Updegrove and Chris Wilson are returning starters. Other returning lettermen are seniors Cory Ackerman, Cody Shue, Mike Stremmel and Steve Sullivan and junior Corwyn Gordon. Juniors Seth Barnes, John Bingham, Bryan Bosley, Chris McDonald, Blair Meesinger, Duane Rowlette, Josh Rummel and Kory Yelton are up and comers to watch this year.
The return of quarterback J.C. Laughlin leaves that position in very capable hands and the run oriented offense might very well open up the passing game a little more this season. We expect an exciting receiving corps to emerge from among Barnes, Rowlette, Rummel, Jesse Smith, Snyder, Stremmel and Yelton. We look for Gigous, Laughlin, Repman, Rider, Tim Smith and newcomer Bingham to continue the great running tradition of the Mustangs.
Ackerman, Gigous, La Gore, Laughlin, Shue, Jessie Smith, Sneeringer, Sullivan and Wilson all should figure prominently at the lines and line backer positions, with a lot of help from newcomers Bingham, Bosley, McDonald, Meesinger, Rummel and Yelton. Laughlin, Repman, Rider, Shue, Tim Smith and Stremmel should all see plenty of action in the secondary, with help from Barnes, Rowlette and Yelton.
The kicking game still relies on the very capable foot of senior Drew Snyder. As a sophomore he tied the school single season record by kicking 8 field goals and he kicked 4 more last year to set the school record of 12 for a career. He also set the school record for distance with a 47-yard field goal last year. He has also kicked 47 extra points in his career to date and has a career punting average of 37.3 yards, second in school history to Allen Zepp’s 39.0-yard average.
Don Seidenstricker is going into his 29th year with the Mustang program and has a 154-62-1 (.713) record as he goes into his 21st year as head coach. Don is ready to lead the hard charging Mustangs against the Gettysburg Warriors. He said, “2005 was a somewhat disappointing season in terms of wins and losses. Early season injuries created a situation where several of our inexperienced players were called upon to play significant roles. As a result, many of these games were played by young men who lacked confidence in themselves, and were looking for leadership.
By the end of the season we had gained that all-important playing experience which enabled our players to play with confidence. The season ended with an impressive three (3) week stretch of victories against schools that had winning seasons to that point. We will return eleven (11) starters that have varsity experience at seventeen (17) of twenty-two (22) offensive and defensive positions.
South Western will quite possibly begin the season with 75 players, which is the highest turnout in recent memory. This depth coupled with quality players at most positions indicates that we should have a very competitive team. Two factors, however, will dictate how far we go - #1) a very competitive early season against three 2005 District III playoff teams----Gettysburg, Susquehannock, and Littlestown and #2) how badly we want to play together as a ‘TEAM.’"
From here it looks like the South Western Mustangs are ready to charge out of the gate and, led by Captains J. C. Laughlin, Shawn Rider, Jesse Smith, Tim Smith and Jason Sneeringer, thrill and excite their fans with a high-powered balanced offense. The 300-victory mark is well within sight. I am anxious for the 2006 season to start. GO MUSTANGS GO.