STROHECKER: Seven Y-A football teams head to districts
- Seven Y-A League teams made the District 3 playoffs.
- Two Y-A League teams in 6-A and 3-A made the postseason.
- Red Lion enters the playoffs as one of two undefeated teams remaining in all of District 3.
For much of this York-Adams League high school season, we've been providing you with weekly updates on how the local teams are faring in the District 3 power ratings.
During most of the season, the league had nine teams projected to make the postseason in any of the six classes, with no fewer than eight seemingly being destined for the playoffs.
However, after Week 10 concluded Friday night, and with the final power ratings officially released Sunday morning, only seven Y-A League teams will see their District 3 postseason dreams fulfilled.
That's because, with both Dallastown and Fairfield losing Friday night, both dropped outside of the playoff picture and had their seasons disappointingly end Friday night. The Wildcats finished the year 7-3, but lost their final two games, slipping from fifth in the 6-A power ratings down to No. 9, the first team out of the eight-team tournament. Meanwhile, the Green Knights finished off a 4-6 season with a lopsided defeat to Littlestown and were officially jumped by Steel-High for the No. 2 spot in 1-A. Only the top two teams make it in that class.
Still, there will be plenty of postseason football for local fans to watch, at least for one more week. The following are next Friday's District 3 match-ups for the seven playoff-bound programs.
6-A: Unbeaten Red Lion finished as the third-rated team in the largest class. As a result, the Lion will host 6-4 Central Dauphin East, the No. 6 seed, on Friday night. The bonus for Red Lion, which moved up to No. 3 from the No. 4 spot, is that if it moves on to the second round, it will avoid facing top-seeded Central Dauphin (9-1) if the Rams get out of the quarterfinals. Central York (7-3) also made the postseason in this class, capping a strong turnaround season under first-year coach Josh Oswalt. The seventh-seeded Panthers will travel to No. 2 Wilson, which went 9-1 on the year. If both Red Lion and Central win their district openers, they would collide in the semifinals.
5-A: Northeastern is the only team in 5-A to make the eight-team field, but finished at No. 3, meaning it will host a playoff game on Friday night. The Bobcats, who finished 8-2 on the year and on a six-game winning streak, will welcome Cocalico to Manchester, a team from the Lancaster-Lebanon League that finished 7-3.
4-A: Halfway through the regular season, it looked like a long shot that the Y-A League would have any teams in this class make the playoffs. Even the best teams from the league in 4-A were hovering around .500. However, York Suburban stepped up, finishing its season on an eight-game winning streak for the second straight year and now goes into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed. As a result, the 8-2 Trojans will now host a first-round playoff game, welcoming fifth-seeded Lampeter-Strasburg (6-4) to town on Friday night.
3-A: This is the only other class besides 6-A in which two Y-A League teams will compete in the District 3 tournament. Both Bermudian Springs and Littlestown qualified, with the Thunderbolts and Eagles both finishing 8-2. Bermudian Springs finished as the No. 3 seed, while the Thunderbolts finished in the fourth-and-final playoff spot. As a result, both will have to travel for their first playoff games Friday. The Eagles will take on second-seeded Wyomissing (7-3). Littlestown will have to take on undefeated Middletown, the only other school, besides Red Lion, to go through the regular season unbeaten in District 3.
2-A: It's no shock that York Catholic finished as this class' top team. The Fighting Irish were destined to finish in the No. 1 spot since about Week 8. At 9-1, York Catholic will play in its fourth straight District 3 championship game, this time facing 9-1 Newport on Saturday night at 6 p.m. at Boiling Springs High School.
1-A: After starting the year 4-0, Fairfield could never right the ship, ending the year on a six-game slide and missing out on the 1-A championship game. Instead, the Green Knights' season is finished and they will be left wondering what could've been had they just won one more District 3 game.
Even though the final week of the regular season wasn't favorable to two teams who spent the entire season seemingly destined for the playoffs, there's still at least seven reasons to be excited for playoff high school football.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com