York County Tech
Coach: Brian Hanson (first season) // YAIAA Division III // District 3 // Class AAAA
Colin Snyder / For GameTimePA.com
It was not the way a one-win York County Tech team wanted to head into the 2015 season, but the Spartans got blindsided when head coach Matt Glennon stepped down last month after two seasons.
Assistant coach Brian Hanson was quickly given the reins and heads into this season with many of the same questions being asked once again. What will it take to build a winning program? The Spartans have not had a winning season since 2009. Can it be done without a feeder program? The Spartans are in a unique situation where there is no junior high program, and its athletes come from various school districts throughout the county.
"There is a lot of excuses to be made," said Hanson, who is in his third season with the program. "Talent has never been an excuse. We are trying to find out whether you are part of the solution or are you part of the problem. We don't have a feeder program, but we have kids in the hallways that can play football. We are a big school. I just saw the numbers, and we are bigger than (William Penn). There are kids out there. Getting some success is important. That's how you recruit kids. It's hard to convince a kid to come out and play football when you are everybody's homecoming game. We want to create a culture where kids here want to be a part of it."
Now it is Hanson's opportunity to make his imprint on the program.
"I was sad Coach Glennon had to depart," Hanson said. "I know it was something he did not want to do. But at the same time, I am excited about the opportunity. It's been a goal of mine to be a head coach."
Quarterback >> Kahleik Savery, a 5-foot-7 junior who played some last season, and 5-10 sophomore Josiah Smallwood will be vying for playing time this season. Hanson calls them "polar opposites". Savery would be a scatback, slot-type receiver on many other teams in the league. He offers a dynamic running option. Smallwood has a strong arm and is not as fleet of foot. Hanson said the Spartans will be an option football team, but "if we have to throw it, we'll throw it."
Running back >> Senior Matt Rossi, a 5-9, 220-pound senior, lines up at fullback. Hanson said Rossi will be leaned on to be the bell cow back. Injuries forced Rossi to play guard, tight end, inside linebacker and defensive line last year. Seniors Brandon Montouth and Maurice James offer speedier options in the backfield. Junior Jibri Bones, a coaches' all-league first-team selection as a return specialist last season, transferred to Milton Hershey.
Receivers >> Returning starters David Porter and Luis Deleon are back for their senior seasons. The 5-9 Porter had two catches for 99 yards and a score against Hanover last season. Montouth and James also will see time in the slot. Hanson plans on using a tight end this year. Isaiah Colon, a second-team all-league pick at defensive end as a sophomore, has the inside track on that job.
Offensive line >> Cedric Baldwin, a 6-2, 270-pound tackle/center and three-year starter, is one of three returning starters back. Junior Chris Martin joins Baldwin as well as does 6-5, 302-pound sophomore Kyle Kohler, who finished second in the state last year at the JV powerlifting championships as a freshman. Senior Paris McDermott, a 5-9, 290-pounder who placed third in the varsity state powerlifting championships, started on the defensive line last season but is moving across the ball this season.
Defensive line >> Hanson plans on rotating plenty of players up front to keep the first line of defense fresh. Junior JD Miles heads up the contingent.
Linebackers >> Rossi and the 6-2, 192-pound Colon anchor this group. Hanson said Rossi will play inside in the 4-4 scheme while Colon will line up on the outside. Junior Jordan Black is moving to inside linebacker.
Secondary >> Montouth, James and Savery anchor this experienced group of returnees.
Hanson said the team had several soccer players from the co-op with York Country Day trying out for the job, which is a change from 2014 when the Spartans attempted no place kicks.
Save the date >> Sept. 25 at Littlestown. The Spartans scored their only win of 2014 last September in a 24-12 upset of Littlestown. No doubt the Thunderbolts have circled this game on their schedule in 2015.
Bottom line >> Hanson brings some fresh optimism and energy to the Spartans. There is talent. Can it all come together?
Date/Result // Opponent // Time/Score
W // Pequea Valley // 27-21 (OT)
L // @ Eastern York // 12-19
L // Kennard-Dale // 20-34
L // @ Littlestown // 6-23
L // Biglerville // 6-23
L // @ Bermudian Springs // 8-34
W // Fairfield // 30-14
L // @ Hanover // 16-53
L // @ Delone Catholic // 28-49
L // York Catholic // 8-56
Result // Opponent // Score
L // Pequea Valley // 12-20
L // Eastern York // 8-26
L // Kennard-Dale // 12-30
W // Littlestown // 24-12
L // Biglerville // 8-17
L // Bermudian Springs // 0-46
L // Fairfield // 8-34
L // Hanover // 14-22
L // Delone Catholic // 3-8