Zach Schuler has been one of the mainstays with the Stoverstown Tigers over the last 14 years.
Schuler has been there when his team twice won the prestigious Tom Kerrigan Memorial Tournament, which is annually held over the Labor Day Weekend in York County.
He’s been there for a handful of Central League regular-season and playoff crowns.
One thing that the Stoverstown veteran hasn’t seen to date is a York County championship.
The Tigers lost in the York County Championship Series to Conrads back in 2012, and also fell the past two seasons to East Prospect. Now, however, the Tigers and Schuler will have another shot at claiming the county crown two weekends from now.
Stoverstown officially clinched the team’s third-consecutive CL title after defeating Dillsburg 10-7 Tuesday night.
Another shot at Pistons: The Pistons (29-6) clinched their third-straight Susquehanna League title a few weeks ago, so Tuesday’s victory assured Schuler and his buddies another shot at the Pistons, and another chance to break the recent county title drought. Stoverstown's only county crown came back in 1976.
“I’m not getting any younger,” Schuler said. “We’ve put together a lot of really competitive teams these past five, six years. And it’s been a lot of different guys over these past few years, so you have to give it to our manager, Tim Thoman, for juggling it all.”
Schuler, who is in his mid-30s, has pondered retirement over the past few years. With a young son and a wife, the veteran has stayed around because of the influx of newer and younger guys. Those youngsters make him feel like he’s still in his early 20s.
“I’m one of the older guys, but guys like Levi (Krause) and Nick (Spangler) and Brandon (Warner) kind of keep it fun for me,” Schuler said.
Missing crown: Despite being the most successful organization in the CL over the last five years, the Tigers (20-5-2 through Wednesday's action) somehow have been left behind when it comes to the York County Championship Series. Schuler was optimistic last year after the Tigers won Game 1 of the best-of-three series only to see the Pistons win Game 2 and Game 3 to repeat as county champs.
“I tell the guys that this is what we play for, the county championship,” Schuler said. “I’ve personally been in three county championships, with the one back in 2012 as well, and we still haven’t won one. We’ve won a lot, but the county championship is one thing that we haven’t and I really want to win it before I retire.”
The county title series this year is slated for Saturday, Aug. 10 and Sunday Aug. 11. The Tigers will host Game 1 on Saturday, with the Pistons hosting Game 2 and Game 3 on Sunday. Game 3 will only be played if necessary.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.