YORK – It’s not always about talent, though the York Cougars pass the physical eye tests with flying colors. It is about the intangibles woven through the talent pool that creates a successful football season. York head coach Bobby Carroll has built a solid foundation based on those intangibles.
“It’s not always about the potential or how much talent you have,” Carroll said after the Cougars practiced Tuesday in shoulder pads and shorts. “What it comes down to is effort, toughness, discipline, commitment, and attitude. We have a great group of kids who have really bought into our system here. They don’t complain, show up each day with a smile on their face, and work hard while they are here. So far there have been no letdowns.”
For the first time in school history, the Cougars are coming off consecutive 10-win seasons under the tutelage of Carroll, who had spent the previous five seasons at South Pointe in Rock Hill. A second round playoff loss to those same Stallions ended York’s season a year ago, after the Cougars defeated South Pointe during the regular season.
The playoff loss merely whet the appetite. The 2013 York team aims for a state championship. The Cougars last won a state title in 1986 with a three-point win over Strom Thurmond.
“If you want to win a state championship you have to start talking about a state championship early during camp,” Carroll told his team. “I have been around several championship teams and all of them talked about it. Our program is in a place where a title is a reasonable expectation and goal. We have to put in the little things to get there.
Heading into his 31st season coaching football, Carroll still gets excited in early August.
“This part of the year never gets old. I can’t wait until we get to strap it on for real here in a couple weeks. This has the potential to be a very successful season.”
York runs a spread offense and will have to replace two-year starter Spencer Carroll behind center. Deshaw Andrews and Jerome Pettiway are the two quarterbacks battling for the starting job, though neither has a leg up at this point. They are of similar build and ability so the competition will be fierce over the final three weeks of summer camp as they both prepare for York’s spread offense.
Whoever wins the starting quarterback position, their job will become easier with three year starter Ryan Moore handling the top running back duties. Moore has rushed for over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons and knows that he will be a vital part of the Cougar offense once again.
“With a new quarterback I know my role will be magnified,” said Moore. “I have high personal goals, I’d like to run for 2,000 yards and have another 300 yards in receiving. The big thing we are working on with the offense is team unity. Whoever starts at quarterback will be ready, but we’ll need to work out any kinks early.”
Defensively, the Cougars have many more questions. York must replace nine starters from a defense that gave up just 11 points per game a year ago and shut out four opponents. Again, replacing the talent may not be as big an issue as replacing the nasty attitude of last year’s defense.
Defensive tackle Karl Weinburg reiterated the importance of working together. “We are very young on defense but we have been working hard all offseason. We are doing more drills at a quicker speed than we have in the past. I played jayvee last season and I know the game’s speed will be a huge adjustment. I also know we are pushing each other to be the best and trying to have that same attitude that last year’s defense had.”
York opens up at home against the Chester Cyclones on Aug. 23, at 7:30. It’s a date and time that can’t come soon enough for the Cougar coaches and players.
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