The New Oxford football team had a banner year in 2020.
Despite the loss of stars Brayden Long and Abdul Janneh to graduation, the Colonials ran the table in the 2020 regular season, going 6-0 and finishing atop YAIAA-2. The regular season was good enough to earn them a berth in the District 3 Class 5A semifinals where they narrowly fell to Warwick, 14-12.
New Oxford was justly rewarded for its strong season, with six players landing as first-team YAIAA-2 All-Stars and coach Jason Warner being named the division’s coach of the year,
“It’s really a testament to everyone around the program,” Warner said of both the individual honor and the team success. “We talk about being together as a team and being a family and I think this is a result of that.”
Junior Ben Leese had perhaps the most impressive resume, ending up on the first-team as a wide receiver, cornerback and return man.
“It really means a lot,” Leese said. “It all started in the summer with the work we put in, all of those guys worked really hard to get to this point and it’s an honor to be recognized for all our work.”
Leese finished the season with 33 receptions for 440 yards and five touchdowns, while fellow wideout Connor Herring also made the first team with 34 catches for 506 yards and six scores.
Joining them on the first team offensively was tight end Torbyn Eakins and running back Hunter Shaffer. Shaffer was a workhorse for the Ox, carrying the ball 87 times for 345 yards on the year behind a young offensive line.
The Colonials worked in four new starters on the line who joined the only returning starter, LaDamien Williams, a first-team pick.
“Coach (Derek) Starner, all the credit goes to him for that,” Warner said of the success up front. “I’m fortunate to have a great group of assistants and he took a group that didn’t really have much experience and got them ready to go.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Dylan Forbes found himself on the first team after bulking up and moving from middle linebacker to defensive tackle.
Quarterback Connor Beans, starting for the first time after taking over for Long, passed for 1,268 yards and 11 touchdowns to land on the second team, as did kicker/punter Josh Little.
“Connor put a lot of work in during the offseason,” Warner said of his signal caller. “There were times as a freshman and sophomore where he struggled to even get the play read out in the huddle. He’s matured and become a much more confident football player and that showed a lot this season.”
A trio of Gettysburg players found themselves as first-team all-stars as well, with Trevor Gallagher named the top center in the division and Frankie Richardson landing as one of the top defensive tackles. Additionally, kicker/punter Zach Parr took the first-team spot at each of those positions.
The Warriors also had four players earn second-team honors, with Jeremiah Scott at running back, Ruger Pennington at middle linebacker, Shane Brockett at outside linebacker and Gunnar Wilson at safety.
YAIAA Football Coaches
Division 2 All-Star Teams
Offensive Player of the Year: Darius Bailey, Kennard-Dale
Defensive Player of the Year: Gabe Hulslander, Kennard-Dale
Coach of the Year: Jason Warner, New Oxford
First Team Offense
QB: Camden Brewer, York Suburban
RB: Darius Bailey, Kennard-Dale; Mike Bentivegna, York Suburban; Hunter Shaffer, New Oxford
WR: Kenny Johnson, York Suburban; Ben Leese, New Oxford; Bryce Currier, Eastern York; Connor Herring, New Oxford
TE: Torbyn Eakins, New Oxford
OT: LaDamien Williams, New Oxford; Frankie Richardson, Gettysburg
G: Gabe Hulslander, Kennard-Dale Mike Jury, York Suburban
C: Trevor Gallagher, Gettysburg
Returner: Ben Leese, New Oxford
Kicker: Zach Parr, Gettysburg
First Team Defense
DE: Gabe Hulslander, Kennard-Dale; Hunter Williams, Gettysburg
DT: Frankie Richardson, Gettysburg; Dylan Forbes, New Oxford
MLB: Ben Oestrike, Susquehannock; Jamal Lewis, York Suburban
OLB: Steven Lukes, Kennard-Dale; Mike Bentivegna, York Suburban
CB: Jacob Crumling, Eastern York; Ben Leese, New Oxford
S: Bryce Currier, Eastern York; Darius Bailey, Kennard-Dale
P: Zach Parr, Gettysburg
Second Team Offense
QB: Connor Beans, New Oxford
RB: Maddox Crumling, Eastern York; Victor Gonzales, West York; Jeremiah Scott, Gettysburg
WR: Andrew Fuller, Susquehannock; Jacob Crumling, Eastern York; David Moye, York Suburban; Chaz Ethridge, West York
TE: Neijon Gonzalez, Eastern York
OT: Shane Reinhart, Kennard-Dale; Hunter Williams, Gettysburg
G: Nate Dandridge, Eastern York; Grant Cooper, Kennard-Dale
C: Jeff Mathena, Kennard-Dale
Returner: Kenny Johnson, York Suburban
Kicker: Josh Little, New Oxford
Second Team Defense
DE: Torbyn Eakins, New Oxford; Isaiah Pineda, York Suburban
DT: Grant Cooper, Kennard-Dale; Logan Wright, York Suburban
MLB: Ruger Pennington, Gettysburg; Kaleb Crean, Eastern York
OLB: Mike Staub, Susquehannock; Shane Brockett, Gettysburg
CB: Kenny Johnson, York Suburban; Andrew Fuller, Susquehannock
S: Gunnar Wilson, Gettysburg; Joseph DeJesus, West York
Punter: Josh Little, New Oxford
Honorable Mention Offense
QB: Brady Halloran, West York; Mike Staub, Susquehannock; Austin Billet, Eastern York
TE: Shane Brockett, Gettysburg; Ty Posey, York Suburban; Andrew Amrhein, Kennard-Dale
OT: Barry Kelley, Eastern York; Dermot Pogson, York Suburban; Caleb Mannarino, Kennard-Dale; Logan Wright, York Suburban
G: Grant DeGoe, Gettysburg; Connor Kayhoe, Gettysburg; Logan Ensminger, West York
C: Connor Main, New Oxford; Ryan Townsley, Eastern York; Albert Zapata, York Suburban; Carter Young, West York
Returner: Jacob Crumling, Eastern York; Mike Bentivegna, York Suburban; Jahmarri Generette, West York
Kicker: Dylan Jones, Kennard-Dale; Damien Yepez, York Suburban
Honorable Mention Defense
DE: Brittyn Eakins, New Oxford; Jayden Ness, Eastern York; Dunn Kessell, Gettysburg; Austin Chandler, York Suburbam
DT: LaDamien Williams, New Oxford; Jeff Mathena, Kennard-Dale; Mike Jury, York Suburban
MLB: Jacob Copenhaver, Kennard-Dale; Jayden Seiler, New Oxford; Neijon Gonzalez, Eastern York; Dermot Pogson, York Suburban
OLB: Peyton Mathis, New Oxford; Jayce Henderson, York Suburban; Chaz Ethridge, West York
CB: Jahmarri Generette, West York; Andrew Gastley, Gettysburg; Sam Poster, York Suburban
S: Anthony Withrow, New Oxford; David Moye, York Suburban
Punter: Austin Billet, Eastern York; Chaz Ethridge, West York