On the surface, Lewisville's football game at 7:30 p.m. today at York doesn't have the appeal of most of the others on the schedule.
But a closer look defies the thought. At about 10 p.m., either the visiting Lions or the Cougars will have their first win of the season. At 0-4, both have struggled so far this season.
"I've been telling my guys to hang in there and keep working. That it's not the journey but the destination,'' first-year York coach Mike Propst said. "We try to come out and work hard every week.
"We want to win a ball game. We as coaches have seen improvement, but we need to keep getting better. We have to keep digging and working on all phases of the game.''
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Propst had a master plan after moving to York last spring.
He realized he would have a young team, with as many as 15 sophomore starters.
That changed, he said, after several new and returning players stepped forward. But he still starts seven sophomores, and two others split time. Propst's plan to "throw his young players to the wolves and get them ready for the future'' is still in place.
Lewisville is in much the same boat. But using young players is a reality because it's a small, Class A school.
Lions coach Marvin Burke, a former East Carolina linebacker in his second season at the Chester County school, has six sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup.
"It's not about wins or losses right now,'' he said. "It's about getting better before region play starts. Like York, we are hungry for a win.
"I feel good about this one. It's our next game and we are working on improving ourselves. My biggest concern is if our team will step up and meet the challenge because York is good team ... one that is well-coached.''
Lewisville suffered a devastating blow in the preseason when returning tailback Brian Colvin collapsed during a pre-season jamboree and died.
Replacing a player with Colvin's abilities, attitude and leadership is hard. The chore fell on the shoulders of junior LarVenski Gaither, who has 40 carries for 208 yards. He was on the Lions junior varsity team last year and was moved to tailback midway through the season.
"Gaither is just one of the new players we've been pleased with,'' Burke said. "We went into the season with only one returning starter on the offensive line. That group is very young. The are getting better and we expect good things out of them in the future.''
Propst said that while watching video of Lewisville, he was impressed with the Lions' rushing attack. Stopping it will be the Cougars' biggest challenge.
As is the case with many high school football teams, Propst said he lost several players who came out but "didn't invest'' in the team. He called it natural attrition and added that the players who stayed are giving maximum effort.
Two sophomores in particular have made last impressions: quarterback Spencer Carroll and tailback Lee Wright.
"Spencer has done a good job of running the offense and not trying to do things above his head,'' Propst said. "Lee is the same way. He runs hard with authority and he's willing to block when we go to the spread. He has a good upside.
"The player that has been the most impressive is wide receiver Tony Thomasson, who has scored most of our points. He's a senior and decided to play football this year. He's a good addition to our team.''