YORK -- Encouraged by what he has seen in the offseason and preseason, York Comprehensive High School football coach John Barrett said the players and coaches are ready to play.
They get their wish Friday when the Broome Centurions make the 45-minute trek to York for the 2008 season opener for both teams. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at storied Pratt Field.
"We're happy to start the season at home," Barrett said. "We're looking for a big crowd. I hope the stadium is packed."
Barrett views Friday's opponent with high regard.
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"Broome has a successful football program," he said. "They won a state championship a few years ago. Broome is very athletic and well-coached."
The YCHS coach remembers the Centurions' 6-foot-7 wide receiver from last year.
"He's one of the best receivers we'll face this season," observed Barrett. "He caused us a lot of problems last year."
Todd Staley, who is in his second year as head coach of the Centurions, has a career record of 41 wins and 32 losses.
Staley brought a new offensive scheme to the Centurions last season, a spread option with four wideouts.
The Centurions will depend on James Anderson at running back, who averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year.
Senior Aaron Harris, the team's quarterback last season, has been moved to linebacker.
Other defensive standouts include linebacker Aaron Harris and defensive lineman Sheldon Long, both seniors.
The Cougars will run multiple offenses, with heavy use of the I formation.
The offensive line, which averages more than 250 pounds across the front, paves the way for junior tailback Quastin Walker, who has blazing speed.
Adrion Crawford, a 6-1, 195 pound quarterback, has picked up where he left off last season.
Barrett has been pleased with Crawford's execution of the lead option.
"We also have confidence in Matt Haynie and Corey Dover at quarterback," he added. "We may reach a point this season where Crawford lines up at tailback or on the defensive side of the ball. We would like to use his athletic abilities at other positions."
YCHS mainstays Akeem Mobley and Brandon Martin are relied on for senior leadership.
Mobley, a defensive end, said reading defenses is critical to his game.
"The first-year players are coming along," he said.
Mobley places much emphasis on holding their positions in the defensive schemes.
"They need to know their assignments," the senior defensive stalwart said. "One leak in the defense can be the difference in winning or losing."