The Tigers’ tackle machine had 17 tackles in the 28-7 win over Valley Central, including six for losses. It also forced confusion.
Despite opposing offenses routinely throwing two York blockers per game, he finished the season with 120 tackles. Of those, he compiled an impressive 44 tackles for losses, including seven sacks. He also forced four fumbles and bumped a punt.
And though linebackers don’t get their hands on the football much, York showed he could do something with it when he did by returning a kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown against Pine Bush.
York’s dominance on the field was a key factor in the Tigers’ 5-4 record in 2022, the school’s first winning season in 11 years.
For all his accomplishments, York was named Freeman’s Player of the Year for 2022. York is the first Kingston player to win the award since running back Zack Chilcot in 2011.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound York, who also competes for Kingston, said his success began with working hard in practice every day.
“I was going to get a lot of reps in practice,” he said. “It’s just about being aggressive and doing it over and over as hard as you can. I’ve been playing the game for so long I can see openings.”
York also believes that his training in jiu-jitsu and other martial arts helped make him more disciplined.
“When I was doing that as a kid, she pushed me so hard,” he said. “It’s a different strength you need.”
York was pleased to be part of a team that produced such a successful season, although he thought there was potential to qualify for the Division 9 Class AA playoffs. He said the loss to Middletown that ultimately cost the team a playoff spot still hurt.
“It was great to have a winning season and I expect them to do even better next year,” said Yorke. “I think we could have done better, but it is what it is. We have a lot of talented players coming in and they are going to get better.”
Yorke said he was particularly close to defensive coordinator Keith Vanroy.
“I can’t give him enough credit for helping me progress as a fullback and defensive player,” said Yorke. “He gives me the technique and I implement it.”
Yorke, 17, said he would like to take his football career to the next level. He said he was interested in playing for Division III SUNY Cortland.
Vanroy said Yorke’s work ethic was what made him such a special player.
“Everything he did in the game, he made it look easy because he was one of the hardest workers in practice,” said Vanroy.
VanRoy said that by the time the Tigers entered Class AA, the playing teams were on York. But, he added, that made little difference.
“He played faster and more aggressively,” said Vanroy. “That was really the answer to most problems. He read offense better than most people I’ve coached.”
Kingston head coach Quentin Johnson was unsurprised by York’s superior senior campaign.
“I think from the start everybody looked at him and knew he was our leader,” said Johnson. “It’s (Freeman’s Player of the Year) a huge honor for him. He worked so hard for it and I’m really glad I saw it happen.”
Players of the Year Freeman
2022 – Nick York, Kingston
2021 – Gavin Cole, Red Hook
2019 – Sean Pettway, Ellenville
2018 – Kenny Fearney, New Paltz
2017 – Jimmy Fearney, New Paltz
2016 – Jimmy Fearney, New Paltz
2015 – Renault Tambury, Marlboro
2014 – Renault Tambury, Marlboro
2013 – Ryan Curry, Marlboro
2012 – Josh Villafan, The Killer
2011 – Zach Chilcot, Kingston
2010 – Jimmy DiCicco, Kingston
2009 – AJ Borriello, Ellenville
2008 — Donald Exner, Ellenville
2007 – Alex Dumas, New Paltz
2006 – Ross Mosher, Red Hook
2005 – Jason Krakowski, Kingston
2004 – Trevor Pedrick, The Killer
2003 – Joe Kennard, Kingston
2002 – Nick McGill, Rondout
2001 – Shane Burroughs, Red Hook
2000 – Brandon Sebald, Rondout
1999 – Chris Rogers, Red Hook
1998 – Chris Rogers, Red Hook
1997 – Scott Ricketson, Kingston
1996 – Steve Checksfield, Kingston
1995 – Dermal Brown, Marlboro
1994 – Dermal Brown, Marlboro
1993 – Lamarque Logan, Ellenville
1992 – Dave Ahos, Ontario
1991 – Def Ahos, Ontario
1990 – Joe Davis, Kingston
1989 – Jeff Williams, Kingston
1988 – Alan Young, Kingston
1987 – Phil Driscoll, New Paltz
1986 – Ken Bessemer, Kingston
1985 – Chris Cruz, Kingston
1984 – Tim Lucy, Marlboro
1983 – Eddie Parker, Kingston
1982 – Walter Moseley, Ellenville
1981 – Walter Moseley, Ellenville
1980 – Walter Moseley, Ellenville
1979 – Doug Dubois, Marlborough
1978 – Jim Brown, Kingston
1977 – Guy Fawcett, Kingston
1976 – George Thomas, agent
1975 – Dave Schmeltz, Rondout
1974 – Jim Meriken, Red Hawk
1973 – Ray Younger, Ellenville
1972 – Steve Tannenbaum, Ellenville
1971 – Perry Monroe, Highland
1970 – Perry Monroe, Highland