Highlights featuring York-Adams League boys' lacrosse players that competed in the Mason-Dixon Showcase event held Tuesday, June 12 at York College. Elijah Armold, York Dispatch
The Mason-Dixon Public School Lacrosse Showcase was created in part to prove that boys' lacrosse players from the burgeoning area of central Pennsylvania could compete with some of the top public-school players from lacrosse-crazed Maryland.
The inaugural event, held Tuesday night at York College, did just that.
Not only did the area prove it could keep up, but it did so with a distinct York-area flair.
For starters, it was held on the campus of York College. York Suburban staple David "Buddha" Coombs performed the national anthem. And the rosters for the central Pennsylvania team read like a "Who’s Who" of York-Adams League all-stars.
Those same players then plastered their names all over the score sheets Tuesday night.
“From the number of coaches that showed up, to the crowd, to the national anthem … It was just really well executed and well done,” York College men’s lacrosse head coach Brandon Childs said. “It was really well done, and I think it created a pretty fun atmosphere for the kids to play in.”
Efforts paying off: However, in many ways, the night also served to confirm that the area’s efforts to grow the game and earn regional respect are paying off.
The event’s arrival is yet another step in the rapid maturation process the sport has undergone in the area.
Childs, who has helped turned York College into one of the premier NCAA Division III programs in the nation, also runs a youth camp during the Spartans’ offseason. He’s not surprised that Tuesday’s event shows that the area now has the steady stream of talent needed for continued success.
“It’s amazing, I think that’s where it starts. It’s amazing how different the youth scene is now in terms of development and skill from seven years ago,” said Childs, who took over the Spartans program in 2012.
“In seven years, I think the youth have really gone and developed, and I think that’s due to more opportunities for kids to get involved in lacrosse. More kids playing, better coaching, and it’s worked itself up to the high school level. The caliber of player at the high school level is a pretty good player on the national level these days, as I think we saw (Tuesday) night.”
College attention: The game continues to grow best if those ever-improving youngsters can attract the attention from those at the next level.
Tuesday night gave players from both regions the chance to shine in front of a slew of representatives from high-caliber nearby college programs. The sideline opposite the player benches featured a row of more than 30 college representatives alone, plus those in the stands.
With the area now increasingly bursting with top-notch talents, Childs relishes the chance to share the abundance of talent with neighboring schools.
“The more people that we can bring to our campus, the bigger the benefit for our program moving forward,” Childs said. “Just having something in our backyard is quite nice, not only for the kids, but also for the recruiters. A lot of the schools in this area do a lot of traveling for recruiting. So, to have an event in this area on a Tuesday night where they can then go home and be with their families is nice. …This area has a lot of colleges competing in lacrosse.”
Yorkers shine for central Pennsylvania teams: As for the games themselves, the central Pennsylvania clubs picked up a pair of victories that came with heavy York-Adams League influences.
Several local products would find the score sheet for the 2019 central Pennsylvania team that defeated the Maryland team, 17-5. Included in that group was Red Lion's Elijah Workinger, who scored a pair of goals less than 30 seconds apart during a first quarter that saw central Pennsylvania race out to an 8-2 lead.
Central York's Ryan Fahs also found the back of the net multiple times (three goals) for central Pennsylvania and York Catholic's Andrew Snelbaker showed his normal acumen on the draw, helping the Pennsylvania club's offense roll along.
The second game could have been dubbed the "Trojan Connection" game. York Suburban's Austin Sipes and Dominic Corto put on a show in leading the 2020/21 team to a 17-12 victory.
The two went back and forth on many occasions throughout the night, taking turns on assisting each other's goals as the central Pennsylvania team pulled away in the second half. Corto recorded five goals and three assists, while Sipes posted three goals and three assists.
PIAA Class 3-A champion Manheim Township also put some of its top talent on display Tuesday, with Eddie Newman posting four goals and two assists for the 2020/21 club. His Manheim Township teammate, Ben Mann, added three goals for the same squad.
Reach Elijah Armold at email@example.com.