YORK — Huddled with players and assistant coaches after Friday’s loss to No. 1 ranked Northwestern, York Comprehensive High School head football coach Bobby Carroll made a special commitment to teary-eyed senior team members.
“I’m sorry it had to end like this,” he said.
“We’ll do everything we can to get the colleges to take a look at you,” Carroll said of the video highlights coaches will put together in the days and weeks to come.
And for returning Cougar players, Carroll had this to say: “Hit the weight room. We’ve got work to do.”
Senior mainstays Jerome Pettiway, Chance Kelly and Markel Castle leave the YCHS football team with lots of memories and a keen awareness of what it will take to push the Cougars further into the playoffs.
Pettiway, a backup quarterback whose punting helped the Cougars win the field position battle at critical stages of the game, leaves the program with his head held high.
“It’s been special being part of building a winning program,” Pettiway said after Friday’s season-ending loss. “We’ve made a difference.”
His advice to the returning Cougar football players: “Work hard year-round, including the summer months. It’s the little things that count, the basic fundamentals of the game.”
Kelly, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior stalwart, was an impact player on the defensive side of the ball.
“I’ve been part of the program the three years coach Carroll’s been here,” said Kelly. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into making this a winning program. The best is yet to come.”
He, too, offered words of encouragement for the returning players.
“Don’t let up during the offseason,”said Kelly. “Football is a year-round sport. You’ve got to be ready to meet the challenge when the season begins.”
Castle, a sure-handed wide receiver who can extend the play after a catch, echoed Pettiway’s sentiments.
“We’ve put together three 10-win seasons,” he said. “It means a lot.”
Castle added: “It’s not over. My message to the returning players is to keep their heads up and stay in the weight room. The best is yet to come.”