Of nine returning starters to this year's York Suburban wrestling team, just three were seniors.
Plus, the Trojans had lost talented grapplers John Salcedo (220 pounds) and Nick Lucchesi (285 pounds) to graduation. The duo combined for 67 individual wins a year ago.
It left second-year York Suburban coach Brian Gentzyel unsure of what to make of his club entering this season. It surely appeared Suburban might take a step back from its 3-5 York-Adams Division II record from 2011-2012. Then the Trojans hit the mat and went 5-3 in league action this season, marking the program's first winning season in league action since 2009-2010 (6-4) and third since 1999-2000 (7-2).
So what changed for Suburban?
"Last year we pretty much lost a lot of the close matches and we gave up a lot of the bonus points," Gentzyel said last month following a 40-33 win over Hanover. "This year we're staying in matches more. We're getting pins when maybe we weren't supposed to. That's something the kids did not have last year."
All five of Suburban's league matches were decided by 17 points or less, three of them by 12 points and two of them by single digits. The Trojans' final league win came by two points, 42-40, over Delone Catholic. Suburban finished 14-11 overall.
Suburban's turnaround was one of many bright spots in an interesting York-Adams League season that's pretty much wrapped up -- Dover and Red Lion meet Wednesday.
While Spring Grove (10-0 Division I, 23-1 overall) and Bermudian Springs (8-0 Division II, 23-5 overall) are continuing their stellar runs into the state team tournaments, here are some other accomplishments from programs around the league this season:
Division I: The usual suspects finished near the top of Division I again.
Behind Spring Grove was South Western (9-1, 9-3) and Dallastown (8-2, 8-3). The Mustangs have now finished in the top three in the division six of the last seven years, while Dallastown has been in the top three 13 out of the last 16 years.
Now in his sixth year at the helm, West York coach Brian Gross is doing a good job of resurrecting the once-proud Bulldogs' program. West York (6-4 Division I) achieved the program's first back-to-back winning seasons in league action since 1997.
Should Dover (5-4 Division I) beat Red Lion (2-7 Division I) this week, the Eagles would finish with a plus-.500 league record for the second straight year, something the program hasn't done since 1991.
New Oxford (5-5 Division I) also had a nice year after going 3-7 in league action last season. The Colonials have now finished .500 or better in league action four of the last five years.
Division II: Biglerville (7-1 Division II, 23-3 overall) once again finished behind Bermudian in Division II.
But Eastern York, York Suburban and York Tech also had notable seasons. The Golden Knights (6-2 Division II) tallied six league wins for the fourth straight year despite losing five seniors to graduation (including two district qualifiers) and wrestling without two other district qualifiers (Toby Barnhart and Dillon Mackley) until two weeks ago because of disciplinary reasons.
York Tech (2-6 Division II) reached two league wins for the first time since 2005-06.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.