This could finally be the year.
For more than a decade now, the York-Adams League boys’ lacrosse teams have been unable to beat the elite teams from around District 3.
That’s not an opinion. That's fact.
The district playoffs started in 2009 and there have been a dozen championship games during that span. For the first eight years of the playoffs, the district crowned just one champion, while in the past two years, champions have been determined in both Class 3-A and 2-A.
None of those champions have come from the Y-A League. In fact, no Y-A team has even advanced to a district final.
During that time frame, every other major conference in District 3 (Mid-Penn, Berks and Lancaster-Lebanon) has won multiple lacrosse championships. The best the Y-A League could manage were third-place finishes in 2-A by Eastern York in 2017 and York Catholic in 2018.
Since the district playoffs started, the Y-A teams have combined for a 26-55 record, a winning percentage of 32%.
History is telling us the Y-A teams will fall short when the district playoffs start in about a month.
Ratings systems like Y-A teams: Current form, however, indicates that 2019 could be different.
The Y-A teams may finally be catching up to their District 3 brethren, especially in Class 2-A.
The District 3 power ratings certainly are giving the Y-A teams some respect. In 2-A, York Catholic (9-0 through Monday’s games) sits at No. 1 and York Suburban (7-1 through Monday) sits at No. 2. Susquehannock (8-2 through Monday) is also in the mix at No. 5.
The MaxPreps ratings also like the Y-A teams. The Irish are No. 2 among all district teams, behind only 3-A powerhouse Manheim Township. Among 2-A schools, York Catholic is slated No. 1 in the district by MaxPreps, while Susquehannock is No. 2 and York Suburban is No. 3.
In 3-A, Central York (8-2 through Monday) is No. 5 in the district power ratings, while Red Lion (5-2 through Monday) is No. 6 and South Western (6-2 through Monday) is No. 9. MaxPreps, however, has Central No. 2 among District 3 3-A teams, while South Western is No. 3 and Red Lion is No. 5
Ratings, however, won’t mean anything once the district playoffs start. The Y-A teams still must prove it on the field — something they’ve failed to do in the past.
Catching up on the field, too: There are indications, however, that the Y-A teams are catching up on the field, too.
York Catholic dominated Trinity on Saturday, 21-8. That’s the same Trinity team that is the defending District 3 2-A champion. The Shamrocks came into that game with just one loss and is No. 7 in the district 2-A power ratings.
The Irish also own wins over Central York (in OT), South Western and a Crestwood team (5-3 overall) that leads the Wyoming Valley Conference at 5-0.
Suburban also owns an impressive win vs. Central York and faces a Thursday afternoon showdown against York Catholic that could ultimately decide the Y-A regular-season title.
Central, meanwhile, owns conference wins over Red Lion and Susquehannock and nonconference victories over Cumberland Valley and Penn Manor. CV was the District 3 3-A runner-up a season ago.
Red Lion’s only nonleague game is a 12-9 win over an 8-3 Ephrata outfit.
Individual talent: In addition, the individual talents of the Y-A players seem to be making a good impression on college coaches.
Several local players have committed to play for NCAA Division I or strong Division II programs.
Gap appears to be narrowing: Add it all together, and it seems to bode well for the Y-A teams.
The gap between the area squads and their District 3 rivals definitely appears to be narrowing.
Of course, the final judgment will come in mid-May when the district playoffs actually begin.
Still, all indications point to a potential York-Adams boys’ lacrosse breakthrough in 2019.
Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.