BERKS COUNTY, Pa. - The Wilson West Lawn football team may have lost 11 offensive starters, but that doesn't mean the Bulldogs will stop being the class of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. In the Berks League, Fleetwood is aiming for a Berks II championship following a breakout year in 2013.
The Bulldogs heard it all too well last preseason. They were supposed to be down. They weren't supposed to win the L-L.
Instead, Wilson (7-0, 12-1) rolled off a 10-0 regular season and earned the top seed in the District III-AAAA playoffs. They also captured their 6th straight L-L Section I title.
The Bulldogs are a program that can reload, regardless of who is back and who is not. Wilson has a total of four returning starters this year, all four coming on defense.
Head coach Doug Dahms says the preseason focus will be on the offensive line which, in his words, "is where everything starts."
In Fleetwood, the Tigers (4-2, 6-5) are coming off a momentous 2013 season under James Martinez.
The squad won six games, a winning season overall, and made the postseason.
Behind veteran skill guys Tyler Emge, Zach Koenig and Michael Allen, the Tigers have set the bar even higher for the coming campaign. Fleetwood figures to be in the thick of the Berks II race, along with Schuylkill Valley and incumbents Berks Catholic and Wyomissing.
Fleetwood is still a young program. But even the players know that the team is not considered a doormat within Berks County any more.
Allentown, PA 18102
- Southeastern PA Matt Rourke/AP