York Country Day senior Jordan Ray is a standout on both the football gridiron and basketball hardwood.
He drew more than his fair share of college interest in both sports. Ray, however, elected to go the football route, committing to play for Hampton University next fall as a preferred walk-on. He made the announcement on his Twitter page last Friday.
"It was a great fit," Ray said. "...As I started to excel (in football) this past season, I talked to (a York Tech assistant coach) more and more and he had some connections with different universities and I thought maybe I could take matters into my own hands and reached out to Hampton because that was already one of my top schools, and they were a little iffy in getting back to me because they were in the middle of their season, as well. But once the season was over, that's when it started heating up a little bit. I started talking to the coaches about walk-on opportunities and they gave me the spot as a preferred walk-on and (assistant coach Michael Ketchum) was like, 'Can you commit to us,' and I committed to them right on the phone call."
Hampton, an historically black college and university, is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), formerly known as Division I-AA. Ray originally became interested in the school when he took a trip to the Lynchburg, Virginia, campus during the school's "High School Day," when it invites high school kids to explore the campus. He fell in love with it. The Pirates went 5-6 in 2016 and 5-3 in MEAC play.
He was in touch with the men's basketball coach about playing basketball there as a walk-on last season, but things didn't work out and he eventually started gravitating to the idea of playing football in college. Ray said that even if he didn't play a sport in college, Hampton was among one of his top schools to attend solely for academics. As a preferred walk-on, Ray has a spot on the team guaranteed for next season, but won't be on scholarship.
In football, the 6-foot, 4-inch Ray played for York Tech, where he led the York-Adams League in receiving in 2016. He caught 27 passes for 760 yards and nine touchdowns for the Spartans, helping them to a 4-6 record.
Ray is also a 1,000-point scorer for the YCD boys' basketball team and was a significant part of the team's District 3 1-A title last year. York Tech and YCD have a cooperative agreement in football.
He also drew interest from Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) program Old Dominion as a preferred walk-on. ODU just completed its first season as an FBS member.
"We just lost communication," Ray said about his relationship with ODU. "I was also looking at my future with football and I know they're a high-powered team that won a bowl and I was like, 'How much playing time will I get,' and that definitely played a part in it."
OTHER PREP NOTES
Yinger collects title, 100th win: Taking part in the New Oxford Invitational over the weekend, Northeastern wrestler Blaine Yinger made it a memorable event for himself.
Yinger, one of the top heavyweights in the state, won his weight class with a 3-2 decision over Line Mountain's Garrett Kieffer. In the process of capturing the 285-pound division, Yinger also won his 100th varsity bout. He's only the second Bobcat to reach that milestone.
Yinger's teammate, standout freshman Cole Wilson, also won his weight class, capturing the 106-pound division. Wilson pinned Matty Coller of Line Mountain in 1:51 to secure the title.
Dallastown's Bryce Shields also picked up his 100th victory over the weekend.
Brooks nearing 2,000 points: In the history of the Y-A League, there have only been five boys' basketball players to eclipse 2,000 career points.
Spring Grove senior Eli Brooks will likely become the sixth player to join that club on Tuesday. The Rockets travel to Red Lion on Tuesday night, when Brooks will need just five points to reach 2,000 for his career.
The Michigan commit is already the program's all-time leading scorer and is averaging 29.9 points per game this season. Keeping on that pace, Brooks could realistically finish his Spring Grove career as the league's third-highest all-time scorer. The Rockets would need to make deep postseason runs in both the league and District 3 5-A tournament, as well as qualify for states, if he wants any shot of finishing second on the all-time list.
The league's all-time leading scorer, Andrew Nicholas, finished his Eastern York career with 2,504 points, a total that should elude Brooks.
Six York County players make CPIHL all-star team: There are only two York County teams still with high school ice hockey, but combined, they'll send six kids to the Central Penn Interscholastic Hockey League All-Star Game.
Central York will be represented by Cody Rumsey and Anthony Tranchitella, while Susquehannock has four participants — Tim Schwensen, Elijah Emenheiser, Carson Kratzer and goalie Hayden Folfas.
On Sunday night, the players were drafted onto teams, with four of the six York County kids being selected onto the American Team. All three Warriors' skaters — Schwensen, Emenheiser and Kratzer — were drafted onto the American Team and will be joined by Rumsey. Tranchitella and Folfas will compete for the National Team.
The all-star game is set for Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Lancaster Ice Rink.
Same teams remain in state rankings: In the latest City of Basketball Love state boys' basketball rankings, the same three teams remain the top-10 of their respective classes.
In 5-A, after suffering its first loss of the season on Friday night, Northeastern (17-1) dropped from fifth to seventh in the rankings. Despite only being seventh, the Bobcats have the second-most wins among the top 10.
In 3-A, York Catholic (15-1) finally got a bump in its state ranking. For much of the year, the Fighting Irish have been sitting at No. 5, but now took the small step up to No. 4. York Catholic is riding a 16-game winning streak after dropping its opening game of the season to Trinity, the No. 6 team in the 3-A state rankings.
York Country Day (12-3) remains sixth in the 1-A rankings, a spot it's occupied for the majority of the season. After beginning the year 3-3, the Greyhounds have rattled off nine consecutive victories to move to the top of the District 3 1-A power ratings and look to be a serious threat to repeat as District 3 1-A champions.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com