Thursday was a big afternoon for the York Catholic boys’ lacrosse team.
Hosting a Red Lion program that has traditionally been a thorn in the Irish side over the years, the YC boys combined the importance of a big York-Adams League clash with the emotions of Senior Night.
Fortunately for coach Shane Harper and his senior-laden squad, the Irish were able to make their final home game this season a memorable one.
On the day that senior Drew Snelbaker broke a Y-A League record, the hosts broke a 2-2 tie late in the first quarter before cruising to a 13-8 triumph.
Snelbaker broke the league career record for face-off wins (1,011) set by former Central York standout Kollin Vaught just last year.
York Catholic improved to 13-0 overall and 11-0 in the league. The Lions fell to 9-3 overall and 7-3 in the league.
“A perfect day,” Irish senior Ricky Pokrivka said.
Inching closer to goal: Thursday’s triumph moved the York Catholic boys one step closer to the goal they hoped to accomplish before the season began.
“We set out to beat every team that we play,” said Pokrivka, one of the team’s standouts on defense. “We want to let everyone know that we do deserve to be No. 1 and that’s what we’ve done every single game so far this year.”
Only road contests against Dallastown, Delone Catholic and Berks Catholic stand in the way of the Irish and their quest for an unbeaten regular season.
“This just feels so great because we’re sticking to our goals,” Pokrivka said of his team, which is No. 1 in the District 3 Class 2-A power ratings.
Stellar senior class: Pokrivka and his 13 senior teammates enjoyed the thrill of victory against the Lions. To follow that up with a ceremony honoring the 14 seniors on the roster only made the day that much sweeter for the Irish.
“Many of them have been three- or four-year starters,” Harper said. “The chemistry that they have developed and the bus rides that we’ve had over the years … it’s just so much fun for me. And these guys not only play together, but they are best friends off the field as well.”
Much of that winning chemistry developed in another sport — football. All 12 of the football seniors, who helped the program capture a District 3 title on the gridiron this year, also play lacrosse.
“There are a lot of senior classes that may play for each other, but they don’t genuinely care for each other,” Pokrivka said. “But with this class, we all really do care for one another. And you can see it. We’re all always hanging out together after school and that’s why I think we all play well together.”
Harper is just trying to enjoy his time with his seniors for as long as it will last.
“Next year we’ll be without our 14 seniors,” he said. “A lot of starters and a couple of backups that we are going to have to replace. A lot of talent will be graduating this year for sure.”
Sophomore shines on Senior Day: While the game was played in honor of the seniors, it was a sophomore who kind of stole the show against the Lions. Brennan Witman, a sophomore, tallied five goals to better his older brother Cole, who finished with four goals.
“Brennan is a very, very good player,” Harper said. “He’s a sophomore, but he’s the one freshman that played for us last year. But he’s already one of the better players in the league and he’s definitely going to be one of the players you’re going to hear more about moving forward.”
Snelbaker sets a new mark: A year after Vaught set a seemingly impossible mark for career face-off victories, his biggest rival, Snelbaker, eclipsed it with still plenty of season left to go.
Unlike Tuesday, when Harper stopped play to allow his players to celebrate Snelbaker’s 1,000th face-off win, there was a lot less fanfare Thursday. Harper, in fact, didn’t even realize it happened when Snelbaker set a new mark with a win in the second half.
“He’s just going to keep on going,” Harper said. “We’ll see what the final number is, but he’s going to keep getting more, that’s for sure.”
Central York 7, South Western 6: At Hanover, Jimmy Kohr scored with 10 seconds left off an assist from Ryan Kilgour to give the Panthers the win. Kohr, Ryan Fahs and Matt Hawksworth each scored two goals for Central, while Kilgour had three assists. Jacob Bollinger (two goals, assist) and Sean Quinn (two goals) paced South Western. Central improved to 11-2 overall and 9-2 in Y-A action. South Western fell to 9-3 and 8-3.
Eastern York 17, Kennard-Dale 5: At Fawn Grove, Gavin Evans led the Golden Knights to the road victory by scoring three goals and adding three assists. Also for Eastern, Cadyn Michael scored four goals, Bryce Henise scored two goals and added one assist, Jake Crumling scored two goals and Rylan Emlet scored one goal and added two assists. For the Rams, Drew Dressel scored three goals and added one assist.
Susquehannock 14, York Suburban 7: The host Warriors (12-3, 10-2) were led by Gavin Held’s four-goal, two-assist game. Ben Wilson also had three goals and three assists, while Allen Clapp had three goals and a helper. The Trojans (7-5, 6-5) were led by Evan LeCates and Dominic Corto, who scored four and two goals, respectively.
Dover 7, Dallastown 6: At Dover, Paige Lantz and Annie Long led the Eagles by each scoring three goals. Teammate Katie Sweitzer made 18 stops in goal to record the win. For the Wildcats, Laura Frey scored two goals.
York Catholic 15, Red Lion 3: Ella Linthicum led all scorers with four goals for the Irish (14-0). Sydney Mentzer and Natalie Neiman both chipped in with three goals and three assists apiece. Shannon Staples and Kennedy Eckert both had two goals. Grace Doyle had one goal.
Susquehannock 20, York Suburban 6: At Suburban, the Warriors triumphed behind Kenna Hancock (five goals, six assists), Addison Roeder (three goals two assists), Ari Prediger (four goals), Maggie Howells (three goals), Abby Grim (goal, two assists), Kalen Hancock (two goals), Sydney Marusko (goal, assist) and Rachel Oestrike (two assists). Kamille Wasilewski scored twice for Suburban.
Top seeds move to league quarterfinals: There were almost no surprises during the first day of the York-Adams League boys' tennis singles tournaments.
All eight seeded players in Class 3-A each won two matches to advance to Friday's quarterfinals.
In 2-A, six of the eight seeded players made the quarterfinals, including each of the top four seeds.
Today's 3-A quarterfinals will pit No. 1 Holden Koons (Dallastown) vs. No. 5 Josh Sanderson (Northeastern), No. 4. Justin Gruver (New Oxford) vs. No. 8 Sebastian May (Dallastown), No. 3 Jonathan Burns (Dallastown) vs. No. 6 Cameron Wheeler (Red Lion) and No. 2 Parker Lando (York Suburban) vs. No. 7 Drew Heinzelmann (Gettysburg).
Koons is the three-time defending 3-A champion, while Lando won the 2-A title a year ago as a freshman before Suburban got moved up to 3-A this season.
Today's 2-A quarterfinals will pit No. 1 Augie Citrone (West York) vs. unseeded Evan Brady (Delone Catholic), No. 4 Andy Snyder (Susquehannock) vs. unseeded Nate Edmondson (Bermudian Springs), No. 3 Jack Citrone (West York) vs. No. 8 Brett Laughman (Bermudian Springs) and No. 2 Matt Steinberg (Delone Catholic) vs. No. 7 Nate Remington (Littlestown).
Brady pulled off the only upset of the day, beating his teammate, fifth-seeded Paul Tily, in three sets in the second round. The No. 6 seed, Biglerville's Noah Mattson, did not compete.
Action in both classes gets started at noon Friday at Wisehaven. The event was moved to Wisehaven because of Friday's inclement forecast.
Eastern York 5, Lancaster Mennonite 2: The host Golden Knights (9-5) scored three runs in the fifth to win the nonleague game. Emmit Silar went 2 for 3 with a run and three RBIs. Bren Taylor went 3 for 3 with a double and two runs. Quinton McNew chipped in with two RBIs. Drew Dellinger was the winning pitcher. He allowed four hits and two runs (zero earned) with three walks and one strikeout. Owen Shimmel earned a save. He tossed two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
South Western 8, Dover 1: At Dover, Zack Reed led the Mustangs, throwing 6 2/3 innings, striking out four, walking one and allowing three hits to record the win. Reed also went 4 for 4, including a double. Teammate Derek Hoff went 3 for 4 with a homer, three RBIs and one run scored. For the Eagles, Anthony Friday went 2 for 2, while Konner Gibboney went 1 for 2 with one RBI.
Dallastown 6, Cedar Cliff 4 (8 innings): At Camp Hill, the Wildcats plated three runs in the top of the eighth to break the 3-3 tie. Brianna Rufo led the Wildcats (10-5) with two doubles, three RBIs and one run scored. Also for the Wildcats, Allison Hoffman went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and one RBI; Tessa Thompson went 2 for 4, including a double, with one RBI and one run scored; Samantha Parker went 2 for 4; and Kelsie Merriman threw a complete game, striking out nine and walking two. Merriman passed the 300-strikeout milestone for her career. She also set a school record with her 119th career hit.
Red Lion 3, West York 0: At Red Lion, the home team triumphed, 25-17, 25-10, 25-16. The Lions were led by Blake Hildebrand (15 kills), Jared Bodisch (11 kills), Connor Baker (23 assists) and Ethan Shoup (12 assists). West York's leaders were Alex McClellan (six kills, six digs) and Jason McSherry (eight assists, six digs).
New Oxford 3, Spring Grove 1: At New Oxford, the Colonials grabbed a 27-25, 25-17, 25-27, 26-24 victory. Leading the Colonials were Matt Faust (55 assists, eight digs), Cameron Krebs (16 digs), Chase Nell (17 kills, 10 digs), Thomas Haugh (14 kills) and Sergio Lua (14 kills). Spring Grove's stat leaders were Daniel Gonzales (10 digs), Dalton Mummert (16 kills) and Sam Sweigart (25 assists).
Northeastern 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Manchester, the Bobcats rolled to a 25-4, 25-10, 25-14 win. Tanner Sadowski (15 assists), Austin Richards (10 assists) and Alex Finch (seven kills) led Northeastern, which improved to 11-1 overall and 9-0 in Y-A action.
Dover 3, Eastern York 0: At Dover, the Eagles captured a 25-19, 25-20, 25-17 victory behind Owen Davis (20 assists), Dakota Dehoff (nine kills) and Devin Crone (10 kills).
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.