Coach: Mike Lippy (95-42 in 12 seasons) // YAIAA Division III // District 3 // Class AA
Zach Miller / GameTimePA.com
Littlestown looks to return to prominence as one of the top teams in Division III in 2015.
The Thunderbolts, which have won 95 games in 12 seasons coached by Mike Lippy, went 3-7 last season. That result was the program's first losing record since 2006.
"We're used to winning," senior linebacker Jesse Lemmon said. "That really makes us want to try harder to live up to what people want from us in Littlestown."
This year, the Thunderbolts return several players who gained experience as underclassmen last season. Experience should help, and the seniors preached the value of hard work and teamwork during the offseason.
"They take great pride in what they do," Lippy said. "Even though we have (a winning) tradition, these are the kids that have to step up and do it."
If Littlestown can get back on track and win at least half of its games, this year's team would be the one to help Lippy win his 100th game. He enters the year with 95 career wins.
"I have to do a better job as a head coach, and these guys know what the expectations are, they've been around here long enough to know," Lippy said. "They know what it's like to walk off the field last year at 3-7, and they don't want that to happen again."
Quarterback >> Lippy said last season was the first time he didn't have a designated starting quarterback. Senior Cody Boyd was one of the players who split time at the position, but Lippy said it is Boyd's job to lose this year.
Running backs >> The Thunderbolts lost do-it-all back Lucas Reynolds to graduation and will rely on five or six different players to handle the running load this year. Lippy said Dylan Sizemore will get significant playing time at fullback.
Receivers >> Leading receivers Reynolds and Dalton Brittain are gone, so Lippy plans to rely on a combination of seniors and underclassmen to fill the void.
Offensive line >> Senior Ryan Dickensheets returns from an injury to give the line a boost.
Defensive line >> The Bolts will need to replace Zach MacLeod, who was second on the team with 78 tackles last year.
Linebackers >> Sizemore and Lemmon bring experience to an otherwise inexperienced group of linebackers. The Bolts lose Dustin Duvall, who led the team with 100 tackles last season.
Secondary >> Like with receivers on the offensive side of the ball, replacing Brittain will be the biggest challenge for the secondary.
Speedy running back/linebacker Wes Storey will handle the kick and punt return duties for the second straight season. In 2014, he returned five kickoff for an average of 47.8 yards.
Save the date >> The Thunderbolts' Oct. 2 game at Delone Catholic is their only road game in a five-week mid-season stretch and the first big test in YAIAA play. The Squires won last year's edition of this backyard rivalry by a 30-19 score.
Bottom line >> It will not be easy for Littlestown to replace Reynolds, Brittain, MacLeod and leading-tackler Duvall, but Lippy feels like his team is pretty balanced in terms of experience on both sides of the ball. This season will determine if last year was a fluke or the beginning of a downward trend.
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
L // @ Boiling Springs // 0-35
L // @ Greencastle-Antrim // 13-51
L // Lancaster Catholic // 13-28
W // York County Tech // 23-6
L // @ Delone Catholic // 7-26
L // York Catholic // 14-35
*L // Hanover // 14-36
L // @ Biglerville // 20-41
L // Bermudian Springs // 0-35
W // @ Fairfield // 72-36
Result // Opponent // Score
W // Boiling Springs // 18-13
L // Greencastle-Antrim // 14-49
L // Lancaster Catholic // 19-49
L // York County Tech // 12-24
L // Delone Catholic // 19-30
L // York Catholic // 18-56
W // Hanover // 49-20
L // Biglerville // 14-28
L // Bermudian Springs // 7-42
W // Fairfield // 25-20