Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Semi-pro football may return to York

York Dispatch

Peyton Pool Jr. loves football.

He loves the contact. He loves the competition. He loves the camaraderie.

He just can't get enough of it.

That's why the 2000 Delone Catholic High School graduate is trying to bring back semi-pro football to York.

The Hanover resident is the driving force behind the York Silver Bullets, a team which plans to compete in the Mason-Dixon Football League (MDFL) starting in June. And yes, Pool said the team is named after the popular adult beverage.

York's history with semi-pro sports is spotty, at best. Remember the Lions (football), the Icecats (ice hockey), the Cyclones (men's basketball) or the Noise (women's basketball)? All tried to establish a foothold in York. All failed.

But that doesn't scare off Pool. He's convinced the Silver Bullets can succeed.

"I want to bring a winning team back to the York area," Pool said. "They're trying to bring a minor-league baseball team to York. Hopefully we can bring a football championship to York. I think there's enough talent in southcentral Pennsylvania to put a winning team together."

Pool does have semi-pro football experience. The 5-foot, 8-inch 220-pound linebacker played two seasons for the Baltimore Bulls of the Diamond Football League. But practicing, playing, traveling to Baltimore and holding down a full-time job got to be too much. He gave up playing for a year.
This fall, he filled his football fix by coaching the Spring Grove Jets Pony youth team. But with encouragement from his young players, he got the itch to play football again. With help from two friends, Spring Grove High School graduates Kevin Grove and Keith Grove, Pool started looking around for a league to play in.

"It just kind of mushroomed from there," Pool said.

Pool and his friends discovered the MDFL, which has teams in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina. The York team is set to compete in the Northern Conference against teams located in Maryland and Virginia. The Silver Bullets are expected to play a dozen regular-season games on Saturday evenings.

But there's still much work to be done. Last week, Pool said he had 20
definite player commitments and another 15 players considering it. He's hoping to have a roster of 40-60 players when the team takes the field next June.

"Within the last month, my phone has been ringing off the hook," he said.

The players who do sign up will do it for the love of the game. Despite its semi-pro label, there's no money to be made with the Silver Bullets. In fact, playing for the York team will require a substantial financial commitment. There's a $15 tryout fee. The player dues are $65. You have to buy your own equipment for another $300. And you're responsible for getting yourself to practices and games.

Pool does have a site (West York Middle School) for the tryout, set for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. But he still needs to find a site where the team can hold its games and practices. He's also searching for an owner and a head coach.

It's a work in progress, but Pool remains optimistic.

"It's a second chance for guys," Pool said. "While watching NFL or college games on weekends, you always get the comment, 'Man, I wish I could get back out there.' This is their chance. We can put on the pads and smack people around and have fun again."

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at or at 854-1575, ext. 455. Peyton Pool Jr. can be reached at 717-440-2248 or at The Web site for the York Silver Bullets is

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