AUBURN — Anthony York said he didn’t know what to expect when he joined the Central Maine Community College men’s basketball team last year. Coming from Spruce Mountain High School, and as a commuter student from Jay, York didn’t know much about the college game, nor his new teammates.

Then, CMCC head coach Dave Gonyea mentioned players needing to find roles, and a light bulb turned on in York’s head.

“I was like, ‘Alright, I know one thing I can always do, and that’s take charges,'” York said. “So ever since then, that’s all I’ve done, was just take charges and be physical.”

“We have 23 guys,” Gonyea said. “I’m very much into Belichick roles. You can’t play 23 guys and win. But you can find different roles that guys can do. And Anthony is one of those key guys that, he’s a chemistry-builder. On the defensive end, especially, he steps up and takes charges, he rebounds, but he bangs big guys, and I like that. And that’s a role. Now, you can’t do that for eight minutes. You can do that for three minutes. And our team is kind of built around roles, and specialty players.”

York’s statistics weren’t eye-popping last season as a freshman. He averaged only 2.5 points per game in just over 10 minutes per game. He had game-highs of seven points, four rebounds, and blocked just one shot all year.

But he did do well in one stat.

“I think he got 35 charges or some number like that. That’s crazy,” Gonyea said. “But that’s what he relishes. He relishes stepping up and doing that. That’s kind of his role — rebound, bang, pick up charges, and pick up garbage points along the way, too.”

York has solidified a role on the Mustangs that he once filled for his Spruce Mountain High School team.

“I like it. I was always a charge person,” York said. “I’ve always taken charges, from high school on. My coaches through high school, Scott Bessey and Dave Frey, they always made sure I was taking a charge, no matter what. That was my assignment.”

York’s role is one that he thinks better fits the college game than what he experienced in high school.

“It’s a big, physical game,” York said. “And that’s how I played in high school, I was real physical, but I always fouled out.”

York only fouled out three times in 32 games last year. He was never whistled for more than three fouls in any other game.

According to the sophomore forward, Gonyea said there are only two plays that are game-changers: dunks and charges. York said he thrives on killing the other team’s momentum.

And he’s never regretted standing in the way of an opposing player who was coming at him with momentum. Well, at least not in his college career. York did say he took a couple full-court charges in high school that, looking back, he might not have taken.

“It’s just mentally, you just have to be mentally strong through it,” York said. “Pain is temporary, it doesn’t really hurt. And if you do it right it doesn’t hurt. If you sit back and take it it’s not going to hurt at all.”

York said he was pumped to take his first college charge, and that when he saw the opportunity arise, he was more excited than nervous.

Those are the moments that had has made York a “good team guy,” according to Gonyea.

“He’s beloved by his teammates, because he does a lot of the dirty work, and is not afraid to do the dirty work,” Gonyea said. “I think Anthony’s just a rough, tough guy. He’s just a blue-collar, hard-working kid that is beloved by his teammates, who just does whatever is asked of him. I wish I had 10 Anthonys.”

York will start the season slotted in as the Mustangs’ third big, coming off the bench to give Jonathan Moore and Cornelius Lawhorn a breather.

Lawhorn is one of many first-year players for CMCC. York, being a veteran on the team, has some advice for the freshmen.

“Just telling them to be physical, more than anything,” York said.

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