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York High Bearcats ready to begin football season of great expectations

Red Lion's Luke Miller, left, tries to stop York High's Jahiem White as White runs the ball in for a touchdown during football action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. York High would win the game 34-30. Dawn J. Sagert photo
  • York High is coming off a 7-1 football season in 2021.
  • The Bearcats return a load of talent, led by running back Jahiem White.
  • White led the York-Adams League in rushing yards in 2020.

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

Despite losing to Central York in the District 3/York-Adams League Division I title game last season, York High could be considered the favorite to win the division this year.

The Bearcats were a skilled group of young players last season, but after an undefeated regular season, the team proved it has the talent to compete for a title.

One year older and with a full offseason to prepare, head coach Russ Stoner has high expectations for his players in 2021.

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Quarterback Sam Stoner enters his second season as a starter after spending the summer improving his skills. He also has a trio of wide receivers to throw to that Stoner is excited about — Janas Simms, Jacquez Simmons and Ajani Cheshire.

Along with the potentially prolific passing game, York High’s best offensive option remains handing the ball to running back Jahiem White, the Y-A League's leading rusher in 2020. York High can then let its offensive line, led by UConn recruit Joden Nelson, open the holes for a player who has already attracted Football Bowl Subdivision offers.

York High vs Red Lion during football action at Horn Field in Red Lion, Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. York High would win the game 34-30. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“If (Sam Stoner) doesn't like what he sees, obviously having somebody like Jahiem, what's our worst-case scenario, hand it to him?” Russ Stoner said. “That's not a bad thing for us, and then you have Janas Simms, who honestly I believe, I’m gonna go out there on the limb and say he’s going to be the best wide receiver in York County this year. I'm actually not gonna go out on a limb. He's gonna be the best wide receiver in York County this year.”

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Following is a capsule preview of the Bearcats.

►Team: York High Bearcats.

►Coach: Russ Stoner, sixth season.

►2020 record: 7-1 overall, 6-1 in York-Adams Division I.

►Key losses (Division I All-Stars in bold): WR/DB Rashim Lee; DB Marcellus John; DB Antoine Beard; OL/DL Saumir Deshields; OL/DL Terrence Drakeford.

►Key returners (Division I All-Stars in bold): RB Jahiem White; QB Sam Stoner; OL/DL Joden Nelson; WR/DB Jacquez Simmons; WR Janas Simms: OL/DL Montress Jackson; LB Steven Roland-Washington.

►2021 schedule (Division I games in bold): Aug. 27 vs. Governor Mifflin; Sept. at J.P. McCaskey; Sept. 17 at Dover; Sept. 24 vs. Spring Grove; Oct. 1 at Dallastown; Oct. 8 vs. Red Lion; Oct. 15 at South Western; Oct. 22 vs. Northeastern; Oct. 29 at Central York.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.