During one preseason practice last November at York College's Grumbacher Center, the members of the men's basketball team ran the floor while a potential recruit looked on.
It's been a common occurrence in the two years that Matt Hunter has been the head coach of the Spartans. There's normally at least one high school recruit at every home game and some stop by practice. It's just another part of the process in the relentless efforts of Hunter and his coaching staff to attract talented players to York.
On this particular day the recruit was Red Lion senior Mike Fox, who went on to average 18 points a game in the 2013-14 season for the Lions. When it came time for his college decision, the Red Lion standout chose the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, where Fox plans to study to become a pharmacist.
"It's the nature of the beast," Hunter said in an interview last month. "We recruit a lot of kids. It doesn't matter if they're from New York or York County or Maryland or Virginia. We just keep working at it."
A year ago, Hunter lost out on Tavon Parker, a former York High standout who chose to play at NCAA Division II Millersville over York and a few of other schools. And although they didn't get Fox this year, Hunter and assistant coaches, Ryan Van Zelst and Nick Brady, were still able to nab their first recruit from the York-Adams League in South Western grad Mike Duffy, who is transferring from Shippensburg to York following an unsuccessful tryout for the Ship football team last fall. Duffy will join six recent high school grads as part of a strong 2014 recruiting class, Hunter's second recruiting class at York.
Hunter took over the coaching reins after York won the Capital Athletic Conference title in 2012. Since then, the Spartans have gone a combined 12-39. It's definitely been a bit of a rebuilding process. Of the 10 freshmen on the roster last season, three of them started (forward Dalton Myers, point guard Joey Feinberg and shooting guard Brad Wesner) and four others saw significant action off the bench. York went 5-20 last season, with seven of those losses by six points or less. The Spartans also finished with the 14th-toughest schedule out of the 418 NCAA Division III men's basketball squads.
"It's one of those things where you're playing a bunch of 18-year-olds and they've got to find their way in so many ways way bigger than basketball," Hunter said. "By the time you get to February and March of your freshman year in college you start to get life figured out. You get life figured out, then all of a sudden basketball becomes a bit easier."
Myers, Feinberg and Wesner have all-conference potential and are a good nucleus Hunter can build around. Below are the seven incoming recruits Hunter will add to the mix next season, when he aims to get York back on the winning side:
Duffy: Duffy averaged 15 points a game for South Western in the 2012-13 season.
Zack Galic, Cedar Cliff: Galic is 6-foot-7 forward who was a Pennlive.com Big 15 Second Team selection last season after averaging 14.9 points per game. Stats were provided by Pennlive.com.
Blayde Reich, Lebanon: Reich is a 6-foot-5 hoopster who can play in the post and from the perimeter. He averaged 13.1 points per game last season. Stats were provided by Pennlive.com.
Matt Scamuffo, Central Bucks South: Scamuffo is a 6-foot guard who averaged 16.1 points and made 28 3-pointers in 20 games last season. Stats were provided by CB South coach Jason Campbell.
Connor Panzer, Bayport-Blue Point (NY): Panzer is a 6-foot-1 point guard who averaged 19.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.1 steals over 17 games last season. Stats were provided by Bayport-Blue Point coach Kyle Black.
Brian O'Sullivan, Monsignor Farrell (NY): O'Sullvan is a 6-foot-4 forward who averaged eight points and eight rebounds in 25 starts last season.
Lawrence Feldman, Montgomery Blair (Md.): Feldman is a 6-foot-5 forward.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.