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New York Suburban football coach feels he's found right time, right place, right program

  • Josh Fry was approved as York Suburban High head football coach Monday.
  • Fry has been a defensive coordinator at Dallastown and West York since 2013.
  • Fry graduated from West York in 2000 and has been coaching since 2005.

High school athletics can offer teens a chance to learn valuable life lessons through the prism of sports.

How do you respond when things don’t go as planned?

What does it take to become a person that battles through challenges to emerge as a successful adult? 

They are the situations that can change the lives of students — if they can discover the answers to those questions.

So why not hire a coach who has experience dealing with hardships?

When the York Suburban school board approved Josh Fry as the Trojans’ new head football coach on Monday, the board did just that.

Fry has been an assistant coach at West York and Dallastown for the past 15 seasons. During that time, he was passed over for other head coaching positions that he applied for. He plans to use the perspective that he gained from those disappointments to teach his new players about perseverance.

“A little bit of that adversity we talk to kids about a lot during games and overcoming that,” Fry said. “Obviously that’s a big thing when you’re applying for jobs and getting turned down. Just overcoming that and believing in yourself, and in the process that you’re going through. I think it just ended up being the right time, the right place and the right program, and I think the kids will benefit from that and the lessons I can bring.”

Josh Fry, center, poses for a photo with two Dallastown football players. Fry was named the York Suburban head football coach on Monday. Fry previously served as the defensive coordinator for Dallastown.

Fry joins the Trojans after being the defensive coordinator at Dallastown for the past two seasons. He previously served the same role at West York from 2013 to 2019, where he began his coaching career.

Replacing Loucks The move comes after Andy Loucks resigned in December to watch his sons play football in the Kennard-Dale program.

Under Loucks, the Trojans had a 36-23 overall record and won three York-Adams League Division II titles, highlighted by an undefeated regular season in 2019. The Trojans are coming off a 4-2 record during the COVID-shortened 2020 season.

A 2000 West York graduate, Fry returned to the school while he attended Lock Haven University in pursuit of an education degree to become a health/physical education teacher. His father was coaching the Bulldogs’ offensive line at the time under Terry Bupp and Fry developed a passion for coaching while he volunteered with the team.

“I just really enjoyed the experience and really fell in love with coaching and tying sports and how that equates to life,” Fry said. “It’s been a goal of mine for a while. Just a chance to lead a program and talk about values that are important to me in my life and try to build that into a program of my own.”

Moving up the ladder: Fry started teaching and coaching at West York in 2005, starting out at the middle school level. In 2010, he moved to the varsity staff as defensive backs coach and head junior varsity coach.

During his playing career, Fry was a quarterback primarily and had always been involved in the offensive side of the ball, but the more he became involved with the defense he developed an admiration for what that phase of the game can bring to a team.

“The passion, the energy (and) creating turnovers,” Fry said. “Really getting kids to buy into they can make big plays on defense too and can really have an effect on the game and turn the energy around by making a big stop, causing a turnover and ride that momentum into the offensive side of the ball.”

York Suburban quaterback Camden Brewer launches a pass as the Trojans host Lampeter-Strasburg in the District 3 Class 4-A quarterfinal, Friday, November 8, 2019. John A. Pavoncello photo

Trojans boast returning talent: With the Trojans, Fry will have a trio of athletes that can make plays throughout the game.

Junior quarterback Camden Brewer was a York-Adams League Division II first-team all-star with 1,482 passing yards and 17 touchdowns, second to only Central York's Beau Pribula.

Sophomores Mike Bentivegna and Kenny Johnson were Y-A D-II all-stars at multiple positions. Bentivegna recorded 852 total yards and six touchdowns out of the backfield, while Johnson had 640 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns. Johnson received an offer from NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Toledo last month.

While Fry plans to adjust the Trojans’ defensive scheme this summer, things will stay the same on offense. Fry said that offensive coordinator Brian Marshall will remain on the staff.

Eager to get started: After 15 seasons as an assistant coach, Fry now has his his shot to run a program. With talented players returning, Fry is eager to get started, using the knowledge he's gained on the field and in life to lead the Trojans’ team.

“I’m super excited. I’m very thankful for the opportunity,” Fry said. “I’m very thankful for my family that has been supportive through this. Obviously this has been a goal I have tried for several times and they stuck with me and supported me through the whole time. I’m just thankful to Suburban for finally giving me the chance. It’s a great opportunity and I think we’ll have a lot of future success.”

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.