by Chris Hunt
If you ask North Mecklenburg’s Andrew Yost, football is all about the details.
It’s how a lineman doesn’t put all his weight on his hand in a three-point stance, signaling that he’s going to pull on the play, or what’s an offense’s tendency on third-and-2 with time running out in the fourth quarter. It’s knowing where a quarterback wants to throw the ball, even when his eyes are saying something else.
This past season, Yost had the answers to those gridiron questions before he stepped on the field. After hours of film study each week, he was pretty good at predicting his opponents’ intentions before the snap of the ball. Yost’s ability to dissect a play, along with his willingness to stick his nose in places that might intimidate many high school football players, is one of the many reasons he was one of Mecklenburg County’s top tacklers, registering 151 stops on the season.
It’s also why he’s the Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group’s 2010 Lake Norman-Area Defensive Player of the Year.
“Andrew looked at more film than half of the coaches on my staff,” North Meck coach Mike Bradley said. “Every team has tendencies, and he could call out formations for our defense and let them know what play the offense was going to run. He was like an assistant coach on the field.”
But Yost wasn’t always a stickler for the details.
The Viking took up film study after frustrating, injury-plagued sophomore and junior seasons. Inspired by his brother, Josh, a rising senior tight end at Davidson College, Yost spent hours in front of his family’s basement TV, searching for clues in his next opponent like a poker player reads an adversary’s body language.
“My brother used to watch film,” said Yost. “I didn’t watch until my senior year. We would watch as a team, but when I started taking tape home each week and I started seeing the results on the field, I took stock in it.”
Yost’s study sessions put him in position for bone-crushing tackles, but it also sharpened his skills in other areas of the game. This season, he also collected eight sacks and four interceptions. His favorite game of the season was a 34-7 victory over Myers Park, when he intercepted three passes and took one in for a score.
Yost’s film study also helped him secure an opportunity to make new memories on the gridiron. This week, he signed a National Letter of Intent with Campbell University.
As for his senior season, Yost couldn’t ask for anything more.
“I’ve been playing all this time, but as a captain I felt like this was my team – my moment,” said Yost. “When I look back, I can say I have no regrets.”