Last original Charlotte 49ers football player dies at 93

By Richard Walker

The Charlotte 49ers athletic department announced Monday that the last player from the school’s first football team in 1946 had died.

Carroll York shown at the Charlotte 49ers’ Richardson Stadium before the school restarted its football program in 2013. York played on the school’s first two football teams in 1946 and 1947. [charlotte49ers.com photo]
Charlotte’s Carroll York died peacefully on June 2 surrounded by his family. York played on the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina Owls football teams in 1946 and 1947.

At the time, the school now known as UNC Charlotte was a two-year school that held its classes in uptown Charlotte’s Central High School (now Central Piedmont Community College). Because high school classes were during the day and college classes were at night, the CCUNC teams were nicknamed “Owls.”

York served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and the U.S. Army during the Korean War before becoming an architectural engineer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for many years.

A graduate of old Charlotte Tech High School and Clemson University (1952), he was a regular at Charlotte 49ers games and was honored when the school restarted its football program in 2013.

In 1946 and 1947, York was a starting end for Owls teams that went 2-4 in 1946 and 1-3 in 1947. He scored two touchdowns and recorded a safety in the 1947 season.

York was predeceased by his wife Carol Watts York, parents John and Alma York and brother John Harris York. He is survived by chree children Michael C. York, Susan C. York (Wally) and David H. York (Cyndee), five grandchildren: Aaron, Adam, Walter, Rachel and Natalie and three great grandchildren: Duncan, Marnie and Susanna.

In 2016, York told the Gaston Gazette he recalls playing for the Owls teams but doesn’t have many memories of the games.

“I just remember having fun fielding a team at the school for the first time,” York said.

He was thrilled to watch the 49ers restarted the program on his birthday of Aug. 31, 2013.

“It’s super having a team back,” York said. “I’ve been a season ticket-holder from the start.”

York died almost seven months after another 1946 Owls player Fred Bogar, a longtime local coach and former South Mecklenburg High athletic director, died on Nov. 10, 2020.