With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, the York Comprehensive High School football team wrapped up spring workouts with an intra-squad scrimmage at the school stadium May 22.
Though it felt like July-August heat, the players enthusiastically carried out their assignments as coaches substituted freely on both sides of the ball.
In assessing the Cougar football program approaching June and July off-season preparations, head coach Bobby Carroll was upbeat.
Carroll has been pleased with the participation in the off-season leading up the annual spring workouts.
“We have 130 helmets and pads,” he said of the varsity and JV squads. “We’re getting as many reps as we can offensively and defensively. We have a good nucleus coming back”
Carroll said in addition to the spring practice, the Cougars have been in the weight room since January.
“The players are tired,” he said. “We’ve backed off a bit.”
Added Carroll: “We’ve had a few surprises at this stage. Fortunately, there are no serious injuries.”
Last year, the Cougars outscored the opposition for the most part and had a solid kicking game.
“We lost a lot of personnel from our 2012 team and had to restructure the defensive unit last year,” said Carroll.
While on the subject of defense, the YCHS coach said scheming to slow down offenses is more of a challenge than 15 to 20 years ago.
“Even the real good defenses give up yardage at the high school and college level,” he said.
“We might face a spread, one-back offense one week, the wing the next and Air Raid the following week,” said Carroll. “Auburn runs the wing-T out of the shotgun, which their coach brought from the high school ranks.”
Carroll said it hasn’t been that long ago that high school and college teams would run 55 plays in a game.
“Some teams run as many as 80 plays in today’s game,” he said.
The Cougars enter the 2014 season knowing rising senior Buddy Anderson can handle the placekicking chores.
Anderson, who booted two field goals with the clock running down last season, has set lofty goals this season.
“I want to be selected to the North-South All-Star game or the Shrine Bowl Classic and to make the all-region team,” he said.
Anderson is aware that former YCHS punter/placekicker Spencer Lanning booted the winning field goal in the North-South game his senior year. He was an outstanding kicker for the Gamecocks and most recently for the NFL Cleveland Browns.
“My goal is to make it to the NFL,” said Anderson.
Anderson recently finished spring soccer at YCHS and will practice placekicking three days a week in the off-season to ready himself for his final season with the Cougar football team.
“I hope to hear from a good many colleges this football season,” he said.
Another key player for the Cougars this season is offensive tackle Josh Moss, a rising senior who stands 6-foot, 6-inches tall and tips the scales at 265 pounds.
“Our offense had success last year,” said Moss. “I think we’ll be better this year, with the offensive line leading the way.”
Moss has already gotten the attention of the college scouts.
“I’m hearing from a lot of colleges,” he said.
The Cougars open the season Aug. 22 against the Sumter Gamecocks at home.