South Western Mustangs undergo major system changes under new football head coach

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
Tony Shermeyer
  • The South Western football program is coming off a 2-5 season in 2020.
  • The Mustangs have a new head coach in Tony Shermeyer, who replaces Chris Heilman.
  • Shermeyer is changing the offensive system to a spread attack. On defense, he plans to run a 4-3.

Editor's note: This is one in a series of previews for York-Adams League football teams.

South Western enters this season with a new coach and a massive change in its offensive identity.

After running the Wing-T offense for years, head coach Tony Shermeyer has changed the Mustangs’ scheme to a spread attack in 2021, much to his players' excitement.

Shermeyer, a Delone Catholic High School graduate, served as a volunteer coach at South Western last season under the since-resigned Chris Heilman, so he was familiar with the team’s talent. Still, having a full offseason was crucial to see which positions the team’s playmakers would fall into.

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Quarterback Shilo Bivins and tight end Josh Wasowicz should see an increase in their production after all-star seasons, but Shermeyer was impressed by his players' ability to adjust to new roles on the team and make plays.

The Mustangs have also switched to a 4-3 defensive front, so it will look like a completely different team when they take the field this season.

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“We had a pretty good idea coming in who was gonna fit well, (but) some kids have surprised us,” said Shermeyer, who formerly was a successful head coach in Maryland. “I think that part of it went pretty smoothly with getting kids in the right spot. Along with the new offense, we changed the defense somewhat... so you saw some growing pains there. But we have, at this point of where we are, we have a very good idea of where we're going to place players.”

Following is a capsule look at the Mustangs:

►Team: South Western Mustangs.

►Coach: Tony Shermeyer, first season.

►2020 record: 2-5 in York-Adams League Division I.

►Key losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): RB/DL Charles Gaither; WR/CB Da'Shawn Gaither.

►Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): QB/DB Shilo Bivins; TE Josh Wasowicz; OL/DL R.J. Utz; RB/LB Ty Cromer.

►2021 schedule (Division I games in bold): Aug. 27 vs. Milton Hershey; Sept. 3 vs. York Suburban; Sept. 10 at New Oxford; Sept. 17 at Dallastown; Sept. 24 vs. Red Lion; Oct. 1 at Central York; Oct. 8 at Northeastern; Oct. 15 vs. York High; Oct. 22 at Dover; Oct. 29 vs. Spring Grove.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.