Bill Engelhardt's MUSTANGS GRIDIRON Corner

This site is currently dedicated to covering the fortunes of the South Western High School MUSTANGS football team in York County, Pennsylvania. SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON columns will be posted for a preseason review and following each game during the season. And we will follow my Alma Mater, the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, with THE GRIDIRON columns by my twin brother Dick, the stadium announcer "Voice of the CUTTERS."

Location: Glenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Preseason Review

By Bill Engelhardt

The Mustangs of South Western return to gridiron action Friday night, August 29, as they host the Warriors of Gettysburg to kick off the 2014 season.  The Warriors have left the Mid Pen Conference and joined the York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) this year, resulting in a realignment of the three YAIAA divisions.  The Warriors are in Division II so this is a non-league contest.  Division I, now an 8 team division, consists of Central York, Dallastown, New Oxford, Northeastern, Red Lion, South Western, Spring Grove, and William Penn, with New Oxford and Northeastern moving up from Division II.

The Mustangs begin their third year under coach Damian Poalucci and are looking forward to a successful season as they enter the 55th year of the football program.  They have a career 341-209-8 record with a .620 winning percentage and a .625 non-losing percentage.  They are 335-200-8 in regular season play.  This year the Mustangs have a good group of returning seniors, returning starters and lettermen, and some exciting new players to watch, and hope to resume the winning tradition, which includes 12 league titles since 1990 and 16 in the history of the school.

Seniors Matt Helwig, Tyler Jachelski, Ryan Krebs, Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer, and Jonas Walter, and juniors Skylar Bowman, Brock Geiman, Robby Harbison, and Noah Staub are returning starters.  Seniors Like Baugher, Bret Hertzog, and Gustave Landis, and juniors Scott Dickmyer, Miles Francis, Tyler Fulmore, and Zach Hughes are also returning letterman.

 Seniors Marcus Jones, Mitch Muir, and T.J. Sneeringer, juniors Corbin Byers, Mike Farace, Jeffrey Green, Matt Smolko, Gage Thomas, and Josh Zeroth, and sophomores Kobe Carbaugh, Drew Hartlaub, Seth Janey, Evan Raubenstine, and Austin Ruesing are up and comers to watch this year.

The graduation of key players Logan Bowman, Camden Brown, Gunner Holtz, Ryan Lane, Jordan Markle, Brandon McMinn, Tyler Sterner, Payton Taylor, and Dillon Thomas still leaves the Mustangs with a cadre of seasoned players.  Senior Ryan Krebs and junior Brock Geiman have both seen significant playing time at the all important quarterback position and both are ready and excited to vie to be the starter, leaving the position in good hands regardless of which one is behind the center.

We look for Harbison, Fulmore and Walter to vie for the fullback position and lead the heralded rushing attack, and provide depth, and Francis, Green, Hertzog, Hartlaub, Hughes, and Thomas will round out the offensive backfield and continue the great running tradition of the Mustangs.  Departed Dillon Thomas led the rushing attack last year with 485-yards and 5 touchdowns, but Francis had 219-yards and a touchdown, Walter had 167-yards, and Harbison had 150-yards and a touchdown, so there is experience in the backfield.

We are looking for Staub (14 receptions for 251-yards and 4 touchdowns), Thayer (10 receptions for 228-yards and 2 touchdowns), Palmer (7 receptions for 98-yards) in 2013, and Byers, and Smolko,to form the nucleus of a solid receiving corps. Francis (3 receptions for 61-yards) and Hertzog (2 receptions for 28-yards) in 2013, have experience catching the ball out of the backfield.

Among the returning players, Helwig (7 tackles), Jones (5 tackles), Byers (4 tackles), Zeroth (4 tackles), Landis (3 tackles) Baugher (1 tackle), and Dickmyer (1 tackle) in 2013, have significant experience on either the offensive or defensive line and should figure prominently again this year, along with Carbaugh, Jachelski, Janey, Muir, Ruesing, and Sneeringer.  The trenches will certainly be a significant factor in the success of the Mustangs this year.

Jachelski (73 tackles), Walter (33 tackles), Bowman (16 tackles), Harbison (3 tackles), Thomas (3 tackles), Farace (1 tackle), Hertzog (1 tackle) in 2013, leave the Mustangs in great shape at the linebacker position.  All are seasoned veterans.  And, Fulmore, Raubenstine, and Smolko should fit in nicely here as well.

Palmer (33 tackles), Krebs (32 tackles), Geiman (6 tackles), Thayer (6 tackles), (Hughes (4 tackles), and Francis (2 tackles) in 2013, should all see plenty of action in the secondary, with help from Green, Hartlaub, and Staub.

Geiman, with 38 kickoffs and 39 punts (for 1,323-yards and a 33.92-yard average), 25 extra points, and 2 field goals, in 2013, leaves the kicking game in experienced hands.

Damian Poalucci is ready and eager to lead the Mustangs into a new season against the Warriors of Gettysburg.  In his preseason outlook he said, “The Mustang Corral should be filled with offensive excitement this season with many returning starters on the offensive side of the ball.  With the graduation of Dillon Thomas (who became the school’s leading rusher in Game # 3 last season) Jonas Walter, Robby Harbison, and Tyler Fulmore look to earn the starting position in summer camp.  The rest of the offensive backfield will be filled by returning lettermen Bret Hertzog, Zack Hughes, Miles Francis, Jeff Green, and newcomer Drew Hartlaub.

Brock Geiman and Ryan Krebs will have a shootout for the starting quarterback position with the departure of Lebannon Valley College recruit Tyler Sterner.  With a strong receiver corp consisting of returning lettermen Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer, and Noah Staub the QB’s should have many options to get the ball downfield.

The old cliché’ that “it all starts with the line” has never been more applicable.  The fate of the Mustang Football Team clearly rests up front.  The offensive and defensive line will be anchored by seniors Matt Helwig, Gus Landis, Marcus Jones, and returning junior starter Skylar Bowman.  Newcomers to the offensive and defensive line Scotty Dickmyer, TJ Sneeringer, Josh Zeroth and Corbin Byers will play a vital role on both sides of the football.

We do return significant playing experience in the defensive side of the ball with Ryan Krebs and Hunter Palmer returning to their safety and cornerback positions.  Tyler Jachelski will return to his ILB position and be joined by Sklyar Bowman who is moving from DE.  The outside backer position returns letterman winners senior Bret Hertog,  and juniors Matt Smolko, and  Chris Ginevra.

NEVER AGAIN is 2014 mantra in the South Western Corral.  The off-season work ethic in the weight room, 7v7s, voluntary camps, and instructional sessions was excellent, actually the best in many years.  The up and coming sophomores (Drew Hartlaub, Tyler Bynaker, Kobe Carbaugh, Nate VanCampen, and Jake Warrington) worked tirelessly this summer and may contribute to the returning players and lettermen.

The absolute, number one, positive with this group has been the bond of classes and willingness to work together.  There has been outstanding senior/junior leadership from the starters, lettermen, and “players to watch” (noted elsewhere in this article) and these young men really want to continue the strong tradition of Mustang Football!

                                                                                                Go Mustangs!!!!
                                                                                                            Damian Poalucci”

From here it looks like the South Western Mustangs are ready and eager to provide all the thrills and excitement their faithful fans have come to expect in their 55th season.  I think the Mustangs are up to the challenge of resuming their winning ways.  I can’t wait for the start of the 2014 season.  GO MUSTANGS GO.


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