South Western backs up lofty goals with experience: 2022 football preview

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

After getting a taste of postseason action last year, the South Western football team is eager to get a bigger bite this  season.

That won't  be an easy chore, as playing week in and week out in York-Adams Division I is no cakewalk.

Yet the Mustangs are looking to do just that as they embark on the 2022 campaign.

“We want to go at least 7-3 and have a home district game,” South Western senior quarterback Max Wisensale said.

"We’re going to make a run this year,” teammate Carson Trone added.

South Western's quaterback and centerback, Max Wisensale (12) at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

A lot of the answer to whether  that lofty goal is achievable will be  on the shoulders of Wisensale and Trone.

Dual threat: An all-star punter last season, Wisensale is stepping into the QB position that former all-star Shilo Bivins held a season ago. Like Bivins, Wisensale will be a threat to both pass and run the ball.

“He’s built like a running back,” Mustangs head coach Tony Shermeyer said. “We’re going to drill it in his head that if he’s open to keep it and run.”

Success figures to follow if Wisensale is also able to consistently connect with Trone, an all-star wide receiver last year. A speedster, Trone is a danger to the opposition with his ability to take the top off of a defense.

South Western's receiver and defensive back, Caron Trone (5) at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

“We’re going to move Carson around this year,” Shermeyer said. “He played slot mainly last year, so we’re going to put him on the outside as well and try to get him the ball any way we can.”

Key players back: The Mustangs boast one of the bigger and more experienced  offensive and defensive lines in the division this year. Jeremy Carter and Ayden Wysocki were all-stars last year, while Gavin Mullins, Ethan Wildasin and Rion France figure to provide at least adequate protection for Wisensale.

In the backfield, it looks like Cohen Bull, who led the Mustangs in rushing last year, will be a primary option this fall.

On defense, Shermeyer sounded excited about his front four controlling the line of scrimmage, while the backend will be under the control of Wisensale and Trone this season.

“Ayden and Ethan are both big, strong kids,” Shermeyer said. “And with Max and Carson in the back, I think we can really limit the big plays with our secondary and force teams to beat us up front. Our goal is to get them into a lot of third-and-long situations this year.”

South Western's coach Tony Shermeyer at Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

One thing the South Western schedule won’t provide this year is a barometer of how the Mustangs stack up against teams outside of the York-Adams League. Their four nonleague contests will be against Dover, New Oxford, Susquehannock and West York, all of whom play in Division II.

That may not matter, however, as programs like York High, Central York and Dallastown all figure to be dangerous, if not district championship contenders.

“York High has a lot of returning starters back,” Shermeyer said. “Jahiem White. ... he killed us last year. And Central just has a ton of kids. Dallastown has a big line and that receiver Kenny Johnson (who has D-I college offers).

"We got hammered around a little bit last year, but I see us being much more competitive this year against those kinds of teams.”

Media Day for the local high school football teams in York on August 2, 2022.

Following is a capsule look at the Mustangs: 

Team: South Western Mustangs.

Coach: Tony Shermeyer, second season.

2021 record: 6-5 overall, 3-4 in York-Adams League Division I.

Key losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): R.J. Utz (OL/DL), Josh Wasowicz (TE/MLB/K), Ty Cromer (MLB), Shilo Bivins (QB).

Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): Carson Trone (WR/S), Robbie Sterner (OLB), Jeremy Carter (OL/DL), Aiden Wysocki (OL/DL), Cohen Bull (OLB), Max Wisensale (QB/P), Gavin Mullins (OL/DL), Rion France (OL/DL), Ethan Wildasin (OL/DL).

2022 schedule (Division I games in bold): Aug. 26 vs. Susquehannock; Sept. 2 at Dover; Sept. 9 at New Oxford; Sept. 16 vs. Dallastown; Sept. 23 at Central York; Sept. 30 at Red Lion; Oct. 7 vs. West York; Oct. 14 vs. Northeastern; Oct. 21 at York High; Oct. 28 vs. Spring Grove.