YORK — With the 2013 high school football season less than a month away, York Comprehensive High School head football coach Bobby Carroll is keenly aware of the challenges.
The Cougars lost nine defensive starters to graduation and five to six from the offensive unit. Still, Carroll feels the Cougar football program can absorb the losses.
The YCHS head mentor relies on the jayvee, ninth-grade and middle school programs to build for the future. “You can count on losing as many as 25 players a year to graduation,” said Carroll. “We have a progression.”
With preseason practice slated to begin the morning of Aug. 2, Carroll has been pleased with the players’ commitment.
“We’ve had a tremendous offseason,” Carroll said of ongoing weight lifting and conditioning as well as 7-on-7 drills in and about the Upstate.
“The numbers are what we expected them to be in the offseason,” he said. “A lot of families are on vacation this time of year.”
Carroll noted that next week is a dead period for fall sports teams across the state as determined by South Carolina High School League guidelines. “Our kids will devote their time to conditioning and weight lifting next week,” said Carroll.
The Cougar head coach points to Thursday, Aug. 1 as a big day for the Cougar football program.
“We will have our parents’ meeting and family cookout Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. in the YCHS cafeteria,” Carroll said. “The York Touchdown Club will meet. There will be other organizational meetings that day.”
Friday, Aug. 2, will be first day of preseason practice for the Cougar football program.
The varsity and jayvee players report to practice at 9 a.m. Aug. 2. Ninth-grade football participants will report to practice the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 7 for preseason practice.
The first scrimmage for the Cougars will be at 10 a.m. Aug. 10 at Richland Northeast.
Cougar fans will get a sneak preview of the coming season when Gastonia Ashbrook visits the YCHS stadium for a 6 p.m. scrimmage on Aug 13.
A big treat for Cougar fans is the much-anticipated Bank of York Preseason Scrimmage to be Aug. 16 at the YCHS stadium.
The game-type scrimmage, which draws a big crowd each year, will have the Cougars pitted against the Union County Yellow Jackets.
“We appreciate the Bank of York’s willingness to sponsor this event each year,” said Steve Boyd, athletic director at York Comprehensive High School. “The fans look forward to it.”
The Cougars open regular-season play Aug. 23 at home against longtime rival Chester and have a rare open date the next Friday, Aug. 30.
Next will be a road game at Boiling Springs on Sept. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
A four-game home swing begins with perennial power Gaffney on Sept. 13, with Keenan visiting York for a Sept. 20 game.
Region 3-AAAA competition begins versus the Rock Hill Bearcats Sept. 27 .
Fort Mill closes out the four-game home stand with an Oct. 4 homecoming game at the stadium. All 2013 Cougar football games have 7:30 p.m. starts.
After an Oct. 11 region game at Lancaster, the Cougars return home to face Nation Ford on Athletic Hall of Fame Night.
The York School District One Hall of Fame recognizes former athletes representing York Comprehensive High School, Jefferson High School and the former Hickory Grove and Sharon high schools.
The Cougars close out the 2013 season in style, traveling to Northwestern Oct. 25 before hosting South Pointe in a region showdown Nov. 1.
The YCHS football team will travel to Clover Nov. 8 to close out the regular season against rival Clover and first-year head coach Chad Smith in a Blue Eagle Country showdown.