Friday night, the PA football team will try to slog its way across a rain-drenched mud pit of a field to defeat Kellam, and keep its playoff hopes alive. Senior quarterback Ryan High who transferred here this year from Spotswood High in Harrisonburg is putting up amazing passing numbers, like crazy video game numbers, and is also the team’s leading rusher.
Coach James Yeager does not mince words when talking about the prototypical 6-foot-3, 240-quarterback who fell into his lap this year.
“I think he is one of the best [quarterbacks] I’ve seen, period,” said Yeager. “He’s got a really lively arm and has a ton of potential.”
But because of the pandemic and shortened season, college football recruiters are not out looking for players. Yeager says that is because the NCAA gave all of last year’s freshman players a “free” year, meaning that this fall they will be true freshmen, negating the need for new recruits.
Yeager says he thinks High is definitely a Division 1-quality quarterback, and with his size and skill is an NFL prospect.
But, he says, this year’s seniors are going to have to find a high school graduate program to play in, to be ready to sign scholarships in 2022.
Due to Covid, Yeager says seniors with college aspirations “really got the short end of the stick.”
Because the season was shortened, the team’s first-game loss to the top-ranked team is making the playoffs dicey. If PA wins Friday and in next week’s final game, it might make the playoffs depending on what other teams do. But it is not a one-man team.
Yeager says so few players came out for the team, lots of are them playing offense and defense. Some of the players helping the Cavs win and sometimes dominate are wide receiver and defensive back Tychaun Chapman who leads the team in receiving and is considered a four-star player which is almost as good as it gets for college recruiters; wide receiver and defensive back Mike Newell, a leader on offense and defense; and Hunter Sherman and Jayden Truesdale who are on the field for every snap. Even after days of solid rain, the forecast for Friday is heavy rain and high winds. Yeager tried to get the game moved to an artificial turf field, but it did not work out. And for a team that relies on precision passing and precise routes for receivers, anything that can make the better team less effective benefits the underdog.
“Not only is the projected weather a great equalizer, it’s not safe. But they are making us play here, so we got to do what we got to do,” said Yeager. Game time is 7 p.m. at Princess Anne.