COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: Preview of York High football.
This is the 19th installment of our daily preview capsules leading up to the start of the York-Adams League high school football season on Sept. 4.
Who: York High Bearcats.
2014 record: 3-7 overall, 3-4 Division I.
Coach: Shawn Heinold, sixth season.
Key returners: Ny'Kam Beverley, senior, tight end/linebacker; Nyshaun Ritter, senior, wide receiver/linebacker.
Notable losses: James Way III, quarterback; Bryshon Sweeney, running back/defensive back; Sae'Quon Whitaker, wide receiver; Jake Whitfield, defensive tackle; Lasmir Mitchell, linebacker.
2014 All-Stars: James Way III, quarterback; Bryshon Sweeney, running back/defensive back/specialist; Sae'Quon Whitaker, wide receiver; Jake Whitfield, defensive tackle; Lasmir Mitchell, linebacker.
2015 schedule: Sept. 4, vs. Reading (7 p.m.); Sept. 11, at J.P. McCaskey (7 p.m.); Sept. 18, vs. Harrisburg (7 p.m.); Sept. 25, at Red Lion (7 p.m.); Oct. 2, vs. Dallastown (7 p.m.); Oct. 9, at Spring Grove (7 p.m.); Oct. 16, at Northeastern (7 p.m.); Oct. 23, vs. South Western (7 p.m.); Oct. 30, at New Oxford (7 p.m.); Nov. 6, vs. Central York (7 p.m.).
Outlook: The true test of a high school coach's ability is when you see what he can do when trying to navigate the graduation problem.
Every coach will at some point encounter losing a large portion of his team to it, so it's at those moments when we can truly gauge a coach's true impact on his team. This year will be York High's Shawn Heinold's time. Any notable player from last year's 3-7 club is most likely gone to graduation, leaving the Bearcats with a lot of holes to fill in 2015.
Versatile, two-way threat at quarterback, James Way III, was lost to graduation. As a junior two years ago, he accumulated over 1,000 yards both rushing and passing the ball. Sae'quan Whitaker and his team-high 424 receiving yards are also gone from 2014. And to add the cherry on top, leading rusher Bryshon Sweeney also graduated last spring. He led York High in 2014 with 641 rushing yards, good for a 5.3 yards per carry average.
Fortunately for Heinold, he's getting Ny'Kam Beverley this season after he transferred to York High last spring after Hilda Goodling Impact Academy closed. He'll add some much-needed size on the defensive side of the ball and can help out on offense as a tight end. Senior Nyshaun Ritter will also be counted on this season, both as a wide receiver and linebacker.
Coach speak: "We're not going to be a young team, but we're going to be inexperienced at the varsity level. But, again, I think that will play into our favor because we're going to be hungry." — York High head coach Shawn Heinold speaking about new guys having to step up to replace last year's graduated starters.