The spring sports season is almost ready to fully bloom, with practices beginning two weeks ago.
Some sports, such as tennis, began play last week, while lacrosse teams took to the fields over the weekend for "play day." But, if there was anything that Saturday's snow squalls should've reminded us about, it was that the winter sports season still had to be completed.
All competition for the winter sports schedule finished this weekend, with the conclusion of the state basketball and swimming and diving competitions. So, it feels like a necessary time to look back at what was a pretty big winter season for some York-Adams League teams and athletes in 2015-16.
Boys' basketball: While boys' volleyball might be considered the best of the best when it comes to high school athletics in York County, then basketball has quickly made a run at becoming No. 2.
In particular, boys' basketball. This past season, not only did we see 13 of the league's 23 teams qualify for the District 3 tournament, but in the large-school classes, nine schools qualified, including having three of the top four seeds in the District 3-AAAA tournament coming from York County. York County basketball is definitely making its presence known on the central Pennsylvania scene.
We also saw the emergence of a Spring Grove basketball team, led by standout guard Eli Brooks. Behind the junior's strong play and league-leading 24.7 points per game, the Rockets won their first Y-A League title since 1971.
Staying in Class AAAA, Central York made it all the way to the district title game, before falling to Reading. Eastern York did the same thing in Class AAA, eventually seeing its comeback magic run out against Bishop McDevitt.
And in Class A, York Country Day won its first District 3 crown in program history and then advanced to the second round of the state tournament, a program best.
Unfortunately, in some news that disappointed a large number of people, longtime York High basketball coach Troy Sowers resigned after 10 very successful seasons. Sowers won a combined seven league and district titles during his time with the Bearcats, taking the program to new heights.
Girls' basketball: On the girls' side, the big shock came from York Catholic, which saw its run of 10 straight District 3-AA titles come to an end with a loss in the championship game to Camp Hill.
However, in the process, we enjoyed a breakout season from sophomore Kate Bauhof, who led the Y-A League in scoring, averaging 21.6 ppg. She also eclipsed 40 points in a game twice this year, putting the rest of the girls' basketball scene on notice that she'll be a force over the next two years.
This year also saw the resurgence of the York High girls' team, which made the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. Behind Chyna Steele's 18.4 ppg, the Bearcats qualified for the league playoffs and the District 3-AAAA tournament.
Unfortunately, we're seeing the end of the Courtney Dimoff-Don Dimoff, father-daughter, coach-player relationship at Red Lion. Courtney completed her senior season, but made sure to win a league title and help lead the Lions to district and state playoff berths.
Swimming: Swimming and diving were the last sports that York County athletes competed in, completing their seasons this past weekend at Bucknell University in the state competition.
Over the course of the four-day event, Y-A League swimmers and divers combined to win 16 state medals, with 10 coming in Class AA and six in Class AAA.
The stellar career of Dallastown's Kacey Oberlander ended with a bronze medal in the 100 back on Thursday, while the Alabama recruit also captured a seventh-place finish in the 200 individual medlay on Wednesday. Wildcats' senior Spencer Hill won a combined three medals in the competition and then committed to Drexel University to top off a tremendous career.
The York Suburban swim team again performed well on the state stage, capturing six of the 10 medals collected by York-Adams AA schools. Eastern York's Madison Nalls won a fifth-place medal in the 200 free and West York's Taylor Hoover won seventh in the 200 IM.
York County divers, meanwhile, made up two-thirds of the top of the podium when West York's Erica Sarver captured her third medal in three state competitions. The junior improved on her bronze-medal performance last year by capturing silver on Saturday. And right behind her was Northeastern's Lindsey Pope, who walked away with bronze.
Wrestling: Lastly, we saw two impressive performances at the state's highest level of wrestling this year when Spring Grove's Dalton Rohrbaugh and Central York's Dylan Chatterton each won third place.
But, getting those bronze medals came in two completely different fashions. Rohrbaugh, who is just a sophomore, made it all the way to the 106-pound semifinal bout, before losing, but then prevailed in the third-place consolation bout. He became the first Rocket wrestler to win a state bronze medal as a sophomore.
Meanwhile, Chatterton took a less direct route to his 145-pound bronze medal. The senior lost his preliminary bout and then reeled off six straight victories to end his high school career on the third place podium. He became the first wrestler in the two years since the state competition added the preliminary round to lose his prelim bout and then win bronze, the highest possible finish for a wrestler who loses before the finals.
Several other Y-A League wrestlers also won medals at the state competition, including Eastern York's Dakota Mackley. Mackley concluded his high school career with an eighth-place finish at 170 pounds.
The winter was a season in which we saw history made on various levels, and many athletes achieve tremendous individual success.
Here's to hoping the spring season brings the league and the county more of the same.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org