Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Season Previews Galore by Reinhart

Jeff Reinhart has been a busy man. He's been powering through league, section & team previews left & right on his Lancaster-Lebanon League News site. The previews are very deep & insightful for all teams but naturally we're going to focus on the Bulldogs. I won't rip off Jeff's excellent work so below are just a few Wilson excerpts from his previews. I strongly encourage you to check out each article as you'll find not only more Bulldogs notes but also how the league, sections & teams stack up against Wilson.

First up? Jeff's lengthy Wilson team preview (bottom of the page). He has the basics (coaches, classification, last year's result), the 2011 schedule, a game to "circle", plus his take on the schedule itself. Then he continues with last season's stats & this year's returning starters while listing every single player lost & his postseason awards. Yeah, Jeff's good. Naturally next up is the list of the returning players & what schemes Wilson runs on offense & defense. Jeff continues with "good" & "bad" about the 2011 squad plus a player to watch. Finally Jeff states his take on the season.
REINHART’S TAKE: I know 16 starters are gone. But I’m quite sure Wilson’s staff has the next 16 spitting fire and ready to go. It’s called a program. Team to beat until someone knocks them off the perch. Any takers?
Absolutely excellent stuff; I really encourage you to read the entire preview.

We're just a quarter of the way through Reinhart's preseason posts.

Up next are his preseason rankings. Now remember, Jeff covers all of the L-L. This list takes into account every team in all three sections in the league. Wilson comes in high, but doesn't top the preseason list. Who does? Well, a familiar face leads the team... Lancaster Catholic, with Bruce Harbach at the helm. Wilson will have to settle for 2nd.
2. Wilson (11-1 overall last season; Section 1 champs) – Bowed out to eventual champ Cumberland Valley in the District 3 Quad-A quarterfinals, and then lost a bunch of kids to graduation, including the entire starting o-line, some ball-hawker LBs and some key secondary pieces. And a DI quarterback. So things might look a little different at the outset this season in West Lawn. But this is still Wilson. And Section 1 is the Bulldogs’ to lose until someone knocks them off the top of the dog house.
FIRST GAME: Friday @ Governor Mifflin, 7 p.m. No love lost when those Berks County backyard rivals square off.
So if the Bulldogs are ranked 2nd across all sections, that means they have to be #1 in Section 1, right? Of course! Jeff has this to say...
1. Wilson – Shooting for an unprecedented fourth undefeated Section 1 championship in a row; Bulldogs have won 22 league games in a row and own 19 Section 1 crowns in all. Silly, silly numbers. But that’s how terrific this program is. Could be some (gulp) growing pains with 16 new full-time starters in the mix. Methinks somebody will even trip up the Bulldogs early in the season. But this is Wilson. Remember what I said about programs? Bulldogs’ section to lose until somebody bites them and knocks them down a peg. Good luck.

OK, so that's three links down. One more to go...

Games start Friday so Reinhart has your Week 1 primer all ready to go.
BACKYARD BRAWLS: Wilson @ Governor Mifflin (will probably hear those pads cracking in Lancaster County)
WEEK 2 SNEAK PEEK: Wilson @ Manheim Central
Excellent work, Jeff! Can't wait to follow L-L football with him this fall.

If you want a Wilson question answered or just want to read some info. on L-L football, Jeff is hosting a live chat tomorrow (Thursday 9/1) at 7pm on the site.

PREVIEW: 2011 Regular Season, Game 1


Where: Mustang Stadium, Shillington, PA
When: 7:00 PM, Friday, September 2nd, 2011

  • Hard work & practice throughout the spring, summer & two-a-days. Neither team has accomplished anything on the field yet. It's time to see if what looks great on paper translates to the gridiron.
  • The Bulldogs will play their first game since their District 3 playoff loss at home versus Cumberland Valley in November 2010. The same goes for the Mustangs, who lost in the District 3 playoffs to Central Dauphin the same week last season.
  • This will be the 61st meeting between Wilson & Governor Mifflin, two long-time rivals. The Bulldogs hold the edge, winning 34 of the previous 60 matches, including last season's opener in West Lawn (21-14). The last Mustangs win in the series was August 31st, 2007, 28-16 in Shillington to start the '07 regular season.
  • BULLDOGS - QB Seth Klein; RBs Micchi Young, Jimmy Brooks, and Jesse Poore; WR Jake Morgan; DE Junior Joseph; DT Justin Burk
  • MUSTANGS - QB David Clemens; RB Derek Nye; ATH Christian Jeznach

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Gillin, Klein Highlight's Preseason Lists has posted a few lists of interest to Wilson Bulldogs fans, primarily their preseason awards or players to watch. They call them their "IMPACT" lists. Bulldogs QB Seth Klein comes in 2nd out of 5 on the IMPACT Top QBs list, trailing only Daniel Boone's Tommy Bodolus. Not to be outdone by his teammate, star RB/DB Rodney Gillin tops the IMPACT Top 5 Best RBs list. Both are also mentioned on the Preseason IMPACT Top 10, with Gillin at #1 & Klein 7th. With two players in their Preseason Top 10 it makes sense that the Bulldogs make an appearance in the team rankings, too. Wilson comes in at #1, ahead of Daniel Boone.

    The season kicks off in just 3 days!

    Friday, August 26, 2011

    Rodney Gillin Spotlight at PennLive

    Eddie O'Brien, a.k.a. J. Cleezy, is's Eastern PA Region Football Analyst. Earlier this month he highlighted star Wilson RB Rodney Gillin. Not much was said that hasn't been published here before but let's reiterate how strong a season Gillin had in 2010.
    Gillin is currently under the radar, but there’s no doubt that his combination of speed, quickness, and toughness makes him one of the best not only in Eastern Pennsylvania, but in the state. Nobody kept him under 100 yards rushing as he averaged 183 yards per game. He was also good for at least two scores per game.
    Included in the link was also a YouTube video of highlights from Gillin's stellar 2010. You can check it out below, courtesy of


    Hat tip to Trevor Vaughan at the Wilson Football Tradition Club on Facebook for finding the link.

    Thursday, August 25, 2011

    MaxPreps Covers the Bulldogs

    The CBS Sports-affiliated site MaxPreps, like many sites, has preseason previews for major high school football programs across the nation. Their 2011 Bulldogs preview was recently published. It includes a bevy of one-line information, such as ratings for both last year & this year.
    2011 Starting Power Rating:
    2011 National Rank:
    2011 State Rank:
    The preview also lists strengths, weaknesses & number of returning starters.

    Besides the 2011 preview, MaxPreps also has the Top 10 Pennsylvania football dynasties, calculated using the Freeman computer rankings for the past 5 seasons (2006 through 2010). The past 5 seasons happen to be Wilson Head Coach Doug Dahms' first 5 seasons as the Bulldog head man. For those of you that have been following Wilson football during that time, you know the teams have been rather strong. MaxPreps (& the Freeman rankings) agree.
    9. Wilson (West Lawn)
    Classification: Division AAAA
    2010 record: 11-1
    Record last five years: 45-8
    Opponents' W-L: 350-261
    Be sure to check out the rest of the dynasty rankings. Some names will sound familiar, though no other Berks County or L-L teams made the cut, which is not surprising.

    Only 8 days until the regular season kicks off!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011

    Former Bulldogs QB Collins Lured Back to NFL by Colts

    Well that didn't last long. Former Wilson QB Kerry Collins - who helped lead the 1989 squad to the PIAA-AAAA State Championship Game - is back in the NFL, joining the Indianapolis Colts. Collins, who decided to retire in early July, was pulled back to the gridiron by Jim Irsay & Bill Polian to become Peyton Manning's backup.

    Colts owner & CEO announces the unretirement of former Bulldogs QB Kerry Collins via twitter.
    However, it is possible that Collins may be more than Manning's backup, at least to start the season. The legendary Colts QB is recovering from offseason neck surgery & has not yet practiced or participated in a preseason game. Some are wondering if Manning may miss the first week or two of the regular season. Indianapolis starts their season on Sunday, September 11th, at Houston. Their week 2 match is at home against the Browns on the 18th.

    Collins last played for the Titans before retiring.

    Collins has been a prolific NFL passer to date, placing 9th all-time in completions, 11th all-time in yards & 29th all-time in TD passes. Indianapolis will be his 6th NFL squad.

    Good luck, Kerry!

    Jim Irsay: Colts add Kerry Collins [ESPN]
    Kerry Collins gives up retirement, joins Colts [Pro Football Talk]

    Tuesday, August 23, 2011

    Reinhart Previews the 2011 Season

    Jeff Reinhart's Lancaster-Lebanon League News covers all things sports, not just football. However, with kickoff just 10 days away the main focus is on the young men on the gridiron. Reinhart's primer has predictions for players of the year, teams of interest & a full preseason All-Star squad. Naturally Wilson makes an appearance or two but they don't dominate the field as one may expect. Perhaps this year will be where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts? Regardless of individual honors - which go only to Rodney Gillin (as a RB & DB) - the Bulldogs are Reinhart's "Team to Beat" in Section 1.
    TEAM TO BEATWilson. If this sounds like a broken record, well, it is. The Bulldogs have won 23 Section 1 games in a row and 19 Section 1 championships overall, including the last four in a row. Here’s one of my favorite L-L League football stats: In Section 1 games, Wilson coach Doug Dahms is 33-2. The Bulldogs’ last section loss: At Manheim Township. In 2007. In a driving rainstorm. Tradition never rests.
    Tradition never rests.

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    7 Bulldogs Named to Preseason District 3 "Players to Watch" List recently published there annual preseason "Players to Watch" lists for every district. Of course there were a few Bulldogs mentioned, 7 to be exact. Singled out for potential stellar seasons were OL Austin Noss, OL Clayton Schannauer, WR/DB Collin Harrop, WR/DB Jacob Morgan, TE/LB Junior Joseph, RB/DB Rodney Gillin & ATH Seth Klein. had this to say about Gillin...
    Gillin is, without question, one of the top returning running backs in all of the Lancaster-Lebanon League. He finished his junior season with 1,890 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns on 183 carries to go along with five receptions for 55 yards on the offensive side of the ball, averaging 10.3 yards per carry and 11 yards per reception. He ran for no fewer than 118 yards in each of the Bulldogs’ 12 games last year and finished nine games with at least two rushing touchdowns. He accounted for 168 of Wilson’s 462 points scored on the season. Defensively, Gillin added 20 tackles, eight deflected passes, an interception and a fumble recovery. He has run for 1,961 career yards.
    The site has small write-ups on the other 6 Bulldogs too. Head on over to to see them all.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Reading Eagle Has the Bulldogs Covered

    Two-a-days have been underway for just three days but the Reading Eagles has Berks County high school football covered. Featuring prominently in articles over the first few days this week are none other than your Wilson Bulldogs.

    Up first was 10 Things to Watch in Berks Football in 2011. Written by the venerable Mike Drago, the list mentions the Bulldogs twice.
    2. Dog days
    The Lancaster-Lebanon League's 40th season figures to be much like its first 39, with the Wilson Bulldogs out in front in Section 1.

    The Bulldogs have won a record 19 Section 1 titles, more than twice won by any other team. They own a Section 1-record 23-game league winning streak and have gone through the league unbeaten three straight years. No team had ever done that.

    They haven't lost in Section 1 play since 2007; in Doug Dahms' five seasons as head coach, the Bulldogs are 33-2 in the league.

    Dahms has only a handful of returning starters back, but tailback Rodney Gillin is one of them, and that gives the Bulldogs a dynamic weapon no other team has. Gillin raced for a school-record 1,829 yards and scored 28 touchdowns as a junior.
    Point #7 also brings up Wilson & again focuses on returning senior RB/DB Gillin.
    7. Grand return
    After setting Wilson's single-season rushing record, Rodney Gillin is within 1,610 yards of Jake Stopper's career mark (3,510).
    After a Wilson football story hiatus on Tuesday, Drago came back to the presses about the Bulldogs on Wednesday. The topic this time around? Why Gillin, of course! Bulldogs Count on Gillin to Lead the Way to Title goes into detail about the terrific season Rodney had in 2010 & recounts how special it really was.
    Gillin scored a touchdown in every game until the District 3-AAAA quarterfinal loss to Cumberland Valley, averaged a school-record 10.1 yards per carry and raced past big numbers produced by star Wilson tailbacks such as Pete Gilmore, Jeff Niedrowski, Zacc Groff and Jami Sands.
    It's a great read & really hammers home how special a talent Gillin is at this level. Definitely give it a look.

    Rodney Gillin, who set the single-season Wilson record for rushing as a junior in 2010, returns to the Bulldogs this fall for his final high school season. (Photo: Reading Eagle)

    Also published by the Reading Eagle on Wednesday was a list of the Top 10 Season Rushing Leaders in Wilson history. They beat me to the punch! I will have that & many more statistics published to this site in the coming weeks. Check the pages up above, just below the Bulldog banner. The list reemphasizes Gillin's outstanding 2010, where he rushed for 1,829 yards, besting Pete Gilmore's old record of 1,810 set in the magical 1999 season, as mentioned here last year.

    So the Reading Eagle is off to an awfully good start when it comes to Bulldogs football coverage. Let's hope that keeps up well into the fall!

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    We're Just Getting Started

    This morning the 2011 Wilson Bulldogs took to the practice field for the start of two-a-day practices. While the high schoolers practice all facets of the game over the coming weeks in preparation for not only the season opener versus arch-rival Governor Mifflin on September 2nd but for the entire season as well, I'll be tweaking the site to look & feel better. Hopefully I'll be able to give you as much information - both new & historical - about the Bulldogs as you could ever want. If you have a suggestion or would like to pass along some information, please email me at! Thank you & LET'S GO BULLDOGS!

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    The Boys of Fall

    Excuse my extended absence. Wilson football is a passion of mine but I haven't been able to dedicate as much time to this blog as originally intended. I was hoping to recap the postseason & have 1 or 2 posts per month during the spring & summer but that hasn't happened. I do, however, plan to continue coverage throughout the fall. This is not a farewell, rather a status update. This blog will continue!

    If you have any comments, suggestions or additions for the site, please email me at

    Summer camp begins Monday, August 15th! Bulldog football is almost back!