BLOG: York-Adams League football teams in familiar spot entering 2017 season

Steve Heiser
York Dispatch
  • In the Pennlive.com preseason state rankings, no York-Adams team cracked the top 10 in any class.
  • Only one school, York Catholic, garnered recognition as a "team to watch."
  • According to 247Sports, none of Pennsylvania's top 60 recruits are from a York-Adams school.

By now, the players, coaches and fans in the York-Adams League are used to it.

In fact, it’s become an annual rite of August.

When it comes to preseason state-wide or regional recognition, the local football teams get snubbed.

The 2017 season is not shaping up any differently.

This week, Pennlive.com released its 2017 preseason state football rankings. Sixty teams across six classes earned top-10 spots — none, however, came from the York-Adams League.

In fact, only one York-Adams team even garnered “team-to-watch” status — York Catholic in Class 2-A. The Fighting Irish are coming off a District 3 Class 2-A title season.

Pennlive.com also released its preseason glance of the top dozen teams in central Pennsylvania, regardless of class. One York-Adams team was included — Central York at No. 12. Each of the other major conferences within District 3 (Mid-Penn, Lancaster-Lebanon, Berks) had at least one team in the top five.

Central York head football coach Josh Oswalt leads his players during a recent workout. The Panthers are ranked No. 12 among central Pennsylvania high school teams, regardless of class size.

Now, some might argue that Pennlive.com is biased in favor of the Mid-Penn Conference and against the York-Adams League. That charge has been made many times over the years.

Such a bias would be natural, since the website is based in Harrisburg.

Still, given the York-Adams League’s poor postseason history in football, Pennlive.com seems justified in not giving much consideration to our local teams.

In the annals of the District 3 football playoffs, dating back to the 1980s, the local league has not produced a single champion in the largest classification offered by the district, be it 6-A, 4-A or 3-A. In fact, the only area school to win a championship above the 2-A level is West York in 2008, when the Bulldogs claimed a 3-A title?

Given that kind of track record, it’s hard to argue that the Y-A League is being unfairly overlooked.

In addition, Pennlive.com, is not alone when it comes to ignoring York-Adams teams and players.

The 247Sports composite rankings of the top 60 recruits in Pennsylvania for the class of 2018 doesn’t have a single player from the Y-A League.

So where does that leave us?

Well, it leaves us in a very familiar position.

That position likely won’t change until the local league starts producing more big-school district champions and more players earning scholarships to Power Five college conferences.

League action should be entertaining: That doesn’t mean, however, that Y-A football won’t be entertaining to watch this season.

Actually, it's quite the opposite. It should be tremendously competitive.

There doesn’t appear to be an overwhelming favorite in any of the league’s three divisions.

STROHECKER: Once again, there's no clear-cut favorite in York-Adams Division II football

There should be lots of close finishes, high-scoring games and surprising outcomes.

The division races likely won’t be decided until the final week of the regular season.

That’s the advantage of having a league packed with parity.

Unfortunately, it’s also a league that appears devoid of any dominant programs.

As a result, local fans shouldn’t expect great results early in the season when the Y-A teams venture out of conference, or in November, when the playoffs get rolling.

History tells us that much.

So do the 2017 preseason rankings.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.