By Bill Engelhardt
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.