After completing the program’s first undefeated regular season in nearly 60 years, the York Suburban football team earned itself a celebration.
While he wanted the players to enjoy the victories they produced over the first 10 weeks, York Suburban coach Andy Loucks wanted to keep the Trojans focused on their second season, which begins Friday.
So, the team took 20 minutes last Monday during its bye week to eat some chocolate and vanilla cake and barbecue chips in lieu of a film session and reflected on the historic nature of the season.
Loucks was clear in the message to the team during the party — they can’t get full on the wins they already racked up because the real party will come if they handle their business in the coming weeks.
“We really stressed the fact that the regular season success doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to the postseason,” Loucks said. “We really tried to make sure that they understood the regular season is over. None of that stuff is important anymore, until after the entire season is over.”
Suburban will also look to end a six-game District 3 losing streak, dating back to a 10-7 win over Susquehanna Township in the 1986 2-A title game.
Time to recover: The Trojans took advantage of their bye week to use the time to focus on improving their technique and fundamentals, two areas that can get skipped in a week when they are preparing a scheme for an opponent. The down time also allowed the team to recover from the injuries that occur over 10 games. They didn’t go full-contact during practices.
“We just took it as an opportunity to go back and have everybody get on the same page,” Loucks said. “Also, just to heal us up a little bit. We tried to focus on the little things.”
Senior running back and corner back Savion Harrison wasn’t concerned about how last week's bye would affect Suburban. He said the team enjoyed the time to heal up, and added that while it was odd not to play, the Trojans will be better because of it.
“It was different for us, but it was a good different,” Harrison said. “We got time to recover and get back to 100%.”
The opponent for the top-seeded Trojans is Lampeter-Strasburg (8-3) — a team that is very familiar with District 3 action. The Pioneers have appeared in 25 district games since 2006, going 13-12 overall, including a 2007 district 3-A crown. Among Lampeter's district wins is a 48-0 triumph vs. Suburban in the Trojans' last district appearance in 2017.
Harrison said the eighth-seeded Pioneers present a different challenge than they’re used to with speed, but the team’s approach will be the same as during the regular season.
Focused on them: As the lone team to go undefeated in the York-Adams League this season and the team with the best record of the four league teams remaining in the postseason, Loucks said the team isn’t worried about proving to the rest of the district and state that teams from the Y-A League can advance in the district playoffs, especially in the big-school classes — 6-A, 5-A and 4-A.
Last week, the three York County big schools from the Y-A League — Central York, York High and Northeastern — went 0-3 and were outscored 130-42, with each losing by at least 27 points.
He added that while the players are aware of what is said about the Y-A league, their sights are set on winning games and being the best team they can be.
“If people want to say we’re going to hold a torch for York County, let them say that,” Loucks said. “That is not really our focus.”
Not done yet: While he and the team are proud of the season they have had to this point, Harrison knows it won’t be a great memory to look back on without a successful postseason to go with it. Once the lights come on Friday night, the Trojans will be hungry to begin a new win streak and hopefully earn another party in the future.
“We know this 10-0 season is a huge accomplishment, but losing (in the) first round (of the) playoffs would really be a down play on us,” Harrison said. "We know this is a big game for us and we don’t want to go out early. So, we’re going to go out as hard as we can.”
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.