Russ Stoner can still picture in his mind a catch that Shawn Heinold made in a varsity football game 24 years ago.
"It was in the first game against Dover, and he ran a post route," Stoner said. "It was a heck of a catch. He also made a big catch for us against Delone Catholic in the district final."
Stoner and Heinold were teammates on the 1988 West York team that captured the District 3 Class AA title. Stoner, a running back/defensive back, was the York-Adams Division II Player of the Year in his junior and senior years.
The former Bulldogs will be on opposite sidelines Friday night when Stoner's Spring Grove team hosts Heinold's York High team in a key York-Adams Division I game.
"We played together all the way up through, starting with the youth team," Heinold said. "We've texted back and forth recently praising each other's team and congratulating each other. It's going to be an interesting, fun matchup."
Stoner spent 16 seasons as an assistant coach at Central York, with many of those years in the role of defensive coordinator, before taking over as head coach at Spring Grove last season. Heinold, a former York High assistant, is in his third season as the Bearcats' head coach.
When Heinold took over in 2010, he became the Bearcats' third head coach in three seasons.
"When the head coaching job opened up, I decided to go for it because the kids know me, and I felt that would ease the transition for them," he said. "I fell I love with it (being a head coach), although it consumes my life. I'm up at night, and I'll think of something and wake up at two o'clock in the morning."
Heinold and Stoner find their teams in a crucial game just one season after they combined for just three victories.
"I'm proud of what Shawn has done with his team, and I'm proud of what we've done here," Stoner said. "I'm looking forward to seeing Shawn on Friday night."
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin email@example.com.