Eastern offense takes strides behind Bernstein brothers
Eastern York football earned its first win of the season, defeating West York, 27-10, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
Every night after football practice, Seth and Trey Bernstein head home and practice some more in the yard or in the basement.
Seth, the sophomore quarterback, stands a few feet behind his bigger-but-little brother Trey, the freshman center. For an hour, sometimes longer, the Eastern York brothers work on snapping the ball. Their father, John, often lines up across from Trey to help the pair simulate what they'll see after the snap.
“It’s pretty unique," Trey said. "You call your teammates your brothers when you’re on the field, but we actually get to play with a blood brother. We get to go home almost every night after practice and work on our snaps and improve every day.”
Added Seth: “I don’t think you could have a much closer bond than we have. We train together a lot and we both do the same three sports: football, basketball and track.”
On just about every offensive play that the Golden Knights have run this season, the ball starts in Trey's hand and ends up a few seconds later in Seth's hands. Their improvement, and the improvement of the entire young team, has shown over the last couple weeks. After Eastern York lost the first three games of the season, the Golden Knights beat West York and Dover, making them one of three teams sitting at 2-0 in YAIAA Division II play.
Seth ranks fourth in the entire YAIAA with 676 rushing yards, using his feet to score seven touchdowns so far this season. He's also thrown for 394 yards and four touchdowns. He credits much of his success to his offensive line, which includes three seniors and is anchored in the middle by Trey.
Both brothers still have plenty to learn at their positions, which makes that time spent in the yard or basement that much more important. Seth played quarterback in middle school, but played tight end for the Golden Knights last season. Trey lined up at right guard through middle school, but moved to center for the first time during the summer.
“With a shotgun team like us, there’s a lot of pressure to get that snap on time," Eastern York coach Jeff Mesich said. "Overall Trey's done well with it and keeps getting better, but that’s a never-ending process. The center is the most difficult position on the offensive line, you have to be someone that understands all the plays, you’re gonna get blitzed the most, and you have to make sure the ball gets back on the snap first. For a freshman to come in and do that, that’s not usual.”
With the first half of the season in the books, Eastern York now prepares for a trip to Gettysburg on Friday night. Like the Golden Knights, the Warriors also started slow this season but have opened up divisional play with back-to-back wins.
For the last five games of this season, Eastern York has its sights set on winning a divisional title. From there, the Bernstein brothers hope to help their coaches and teammates keep pushing the program forward.
“We want to build this team up and win more games each and every year and go further and further," Seth Bernstein said. "We want to put this school back where it should be, with a winning record and a winning team.”