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Central York High football has found its new head football coach.

The district’s school board approved Gerry Yonchiuk on Monday as the Panthers’ leader. Yonchiuk comes to Central York from Lebanon High, where he had been since 2006. 

Yonchiuk takes over after Josh Oswalt left Central York to take the same position at Cumberland Valley High, which is Oswalt's alma mater. Oswalt was the 2019 York-Adams League Division I Coach of the Year and led the Panthers to a 9-2 season in 2019, with a D-I title and a district playoff berth.

According to Lebanon’s MaxPreps’ football page, the team's record from 2006 to 2019 was 50-95. Last season, the Cedars went 7-4, averaging 30 points per game. Since Lebanon moved from Section I to Section III in Lancaster-Lebanon League before the 2018 season, the Cedars are 13-9. Lebanon is a Class 6-A program, but it has traditionally struggled with roster size.

That shouldn't be a problem at Central, which traditionally has one of the larger rosters in the York-Adams League. 

Yonchiuk led Lebanon to its first playoff appearance in program history in 2008.

Before taking over at Lebanon, Yonchiuk spent time at several different schools, including Central Dauphin East and Pocono Mountain. In 2001, Yonchiuk led Central Dauphin East to its first league championship in 23 years.

In addition to coaching for more than 30 years, Yonchiuk has been a familiar figure at clinics around the country teaching quarterbacks. 

A quarterback guru: Before the 2019 season, Yonchiuk and a few players attended the Manning Passing Academy, run by the trio of former NFL quarterbacks the camp is named after — Archie Manning, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning.

Yonchiuk instructed the quarterbacks from Pennsylvania, which included players from high school to NCAA Division I programs. Along with the elite Manning Passing Academy, Yonchiuk also was a presenter at a coaching clinic at Rutgers University in 2016.

His presence on the Central York sidelines could create an even brighter future for sophomore quarterback Beau Pribula. The standout signal caller already holds scholarship offers from NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision Sacred Heart University, as well as Temple University and Old Dominion University, which are NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

Pribula finished his sophomore year 77 for 135 (57%) for 1,244 yards passing and eight touchdowns. He also rushed 62 times for 365 yards, averaging nearly 6 yards per carry.

Air it out: Yonchiuk is known for running an Air Raid offense, which was popularized by Mississippi State University coach Mike Leach while Leach was at the University of Kentucky and Texas Tech University. The offense is run from a shotgun formation with one running back and four pass catchers and allows quarterbacks to produce high passing yards and touchdown passes.

Yonchiuk has produced six DVD videos for Coaches Choice on running an offense and has a video on usafootball.com which features drills for passing quarterbacks.

One of the quarterbacks that Yonchiuk helped guide to the NCAA was James Capello. In 2008, Capello was the Lebanon High quarterback during the team's playoff appearance. He was also named the Pennsylvania Class 3-A Player of the Year and earned a scholarship from NCAA Division I FBS Iowa State University.

Along with Pribula, junior wide receivers Taylor Wright-Rawls and Judah Tomb could see an increase in their stats from a season ago as well in Yonchiuk’s offense. 

Wright-Rawls was a Y-A first team all-star in 2019, while Tomb made the second team. Both players have received interest from Temple and Tomb visited NCAA Division I FBS West Virginia University in 2019.

Under Yonchiuk, the Panthers will attempt to defend their Y-A Division I title with a talented team that returns a number of key players. In addition to all their league rivalries on the schedule, Central York will host its former coach, Oswalt, early next season. 

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.

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