Editor's note: This is the second in our three-part 1st-and-10 series looking ahead to the 2012 York-Adams League football season. Tuesday, we will look at 10 games to watch and Wednesday we will look at 10 teams to watch. On Monday, we looked at 10 players to watch.
Which game will York-Adams football fans still be talking about when the 2012 season is history?
Will it be one of the rivalry games that communities have rallied around for decades?
Will it be a showdown that decides a division title?
Or will it be a shootout that is decided in the final seconds?
The scrimmages are over, and the games are about to begin.
Which one, or ones, turn out to be the most memorable remain to be seen,
1. West York at Central York, Aug. 31, 7 p.m.: Since these teams resumed their rivalry in 2006, the game has drawn huge crowds at both venues. This year, it's Central's turn to host its cross-town rival. The Panthers are considered one of the favorites, if not the favorite, in York-Adams Division I. West York is once again the pick in Division II. Why not? The Bulldogs return eight starters on offense and nine on defense, and they've won or shared the past five division titles.
2. South Western at Cedar Cliff, Sept. 6, 6 p.m.: The starting time is not a misprint. Sept. 6 is not only a Thursday, it's a school night. Being that it's the only game around, York-Adams fans will have a chance to take a look at South Western and its new head coach, Damian Poalucci. Cedar Cliff, led by veteran coach Jim Cantafio (251 victories), earned regular-season victories over the Mustangs the past two seasons, but South Western prevailed when the teams met in a 2009 District 3 Class AAAA playoff game.
3. Bermudian Springs at York Catholic, Sept. 7, 7 p.m.: York Catholic, which graduated just five players from last year's team, is aiming to be among the contenders in Division III this season. The Fighting Irish can take a huge step in that direction with a victory here. Of course, many teams have tried to take down Bermudian Springs and failed. The Eagles are coming off an 11-1 season during which they captured the division crown.
4. Littlestown at Delone Catholic, Sept. 14, 7 p.m.: Geography plays a role in this rivalry since Littlestown and McSherrystown (the home of Delone Catholic) are just seven miles apart. The year-to-year success of both teams also makes this a must-see game each year for fans of the two teams. The Thunderbolts and Squires began playing in the York-Adams League in 1992, and over those 20 seasons, Delone Catholic has recorded 173 victories and 59 losses (74.6 winning percentage), while Littlestown is 145-77-1 (65.3 winning percentage).
5. Delone Catholic at York Suburban, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.: York Suburban wants to make a statement this year and can certainly do it with a victory here. The Trojans will need an outstanding performance to stun the Squires, who, along with Bermudian Springs and Littlestown, have dominated Division III since it was formed in 2004.
6. West York at York High, Sept. 28, 7 p.m.: York High celebrated 100 years of football in 1996. West York began playing the sport in 1934. The Bearcats and Bulldogs have taken on hundreds of opponents over all those decades, but not each other - at least in an all-varsity matchup. West York, which took the short trip to Small Athletic Field many times to take on York Catholic, will find a new opponent waiting this time.
7. South Western at Central York, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.: The defending Division I champion travels to take on a team that has designs on the 2012 title. The Mustangs will call on a tested group of skill players, and the Panthers will counter with speedy playmakers on both sides of the ball. South Western scored a 26-20 victory when the teams clashed last year in the Mustangs' corral.
8. Central York at Dallastown, Oct. 19. 7 p.m.: The Division I cat fight (Panthers vs. Wildcats) could have a major impact on the title race. Dallastown went with a core of young players during a rebuilding season in 2011. The 2012 Wildcats plan to reap the benefits of the experience those players gained during their introduction to varsity ball.
9. Red Lion at Dallastown, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: This is THE GAME for the players and fans of the neighboring communities. A victory over your arch-rival is a sweet way to end the regular season. Records and places in the standings aren't always a good barometer of what to expect in this emotion-filled contest.
10. York Catholic at York Suburban, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.: The parochial-public rivalry dates back to 1959. Players on both teams are hoping this year's game, though, is about more than bragging rights. The Fighting Irish and Trojans are aiming to step up with the traditional powers in Division III (Delone Catholic, Littlestown and Bermudian Springs) and be part of the title discussion.
- Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.