A kink was thrown into York’s 2016 football plans with the last minute transfers of Wally Wilmore and quarterback Brayden Hawkins.
A return to the 10-win plateau reached each of Bobby Carroll’s first four years may look beyond reach, but the Cougars were more than just two players.
Carroll’s club has plenty of skill position players to trot out on the hashes. Shaq Harris, Ladarius Allison and Paul Moore give the Cougars plenty of quality receiving targets, while Moore and Tyquan Huntley offer diverse skill sets at running back. Senior Shandon Cobb will take over the vacated QB reins; an outfielder on the baseball team, Cobb has a capable arm and is a quick runner.
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York returns three offensive linemen, led by three-year starter Danny Warren.
The Cougars’ defensive line also looks potentially dangerous. Defensive end Kyle Ersek was a disruptor last fall and is stronger, according to Carroll. Tackle Cornell Thompson is a big guy that can gum up opposing offenses at the point of attack and senior Dalton Zurick will augment his efforts in the middle of the d-line.
Dondre Davis, J.T. Sanders and Ke’Trael Lytle make up a very explosive linebacker unit. Lytle is a standout track and field jumper and likes to put a lick on opposing receivers and running backs. Returning starting secondary players Detorien Rawlinson and Zion McClinton are joined by Jae’vion Matthews, who looks like a Division I prospect at cornerback and is one of the quickest players in the area. He should see time on both sides of the ball and also in the return game.
York’s coaching staff and players were no doubt shocked by the late preseason departure of two key players, but at least the Cougars don’t play a regular season game until Aug. 26 against Rock Hill. That should give Cobb more time to establish a rapport with his receivers and a better understanding of his new position.
Returning starters: 7 offense, 6 defense
Key returning players: Sr. WR Shandon Cobb; Sr. ATH Jae’vion Matthews; Sr. LB Ke’Trael Lytle; Sr. OL Danny Warren; Jr. DL Kyle Ersek; Sr. RB Tyquan Huntley; Jr. LB J.T. Sanders; Sr. DB Detorien Rawlinson; Sr. RB/WR Paul Moore; Sr. OL Michael Cartwright; Sr. OL Sean Victor; Sr. DL Dalton Zurick.
Coach Bobby Carroll
Career record 100-34
Assistant coaching staff David Prince, defensive coordinator/outside linebackers; John Moorefield, inside linebackers; Chad Burgess, safeties; Shawn Woodard, cornerbacks; Jamel Gaines, defensive line; Knox Baggett, offensive coordinator; Joey Moore, offensive line; Jarrett Neely, running backs; Jamie Bolton, wide receivers; Grady Baggett, wide receivers.
Last season 8-4, lost to Nation Ford 40-21 in first round of 4A Division II state playoffs
Last 10 years combined 71-53 (57 percent)
School state championships 1 (1986)
August 26 at Rock Hill
September 2 Union; 9 Nation Ford; 16 at Fort Mill; 23 Clover; 30 Richland Northeast
October 7 at Ridge View; 14 at Westwood; 21 at Lancaster; 28 South Pointe
4 straight seasons with 10 or more wins at York, before last season’s eight.
4 10-plus win seasons for York football from 1972 to 2010.
7 non-offensive touchdowns for cornerback Jae’vion Matthews last season.
2 schools are bigger than York in the new 4A classification. Realignment worked out pretty well in that regard for Cougar athletics, which played a number of schools in region play last year that are now in the 5A ranks.
1 sophomore on York’s varsity roster to start the season. Carroll has high hopes for 10th grade wide receiver Ladarius Allison.