It’s a not much of a surprise that, with a name like Mailman, fans have the expectation that you'll deliver.
That's been the case for York Suburban senior standout Collin Mailman, who led the Trojans' boys' lacrosse team with 35 goals, to go along with 14 assists, a season ago. One of the area’s top recruits, Mailman hopes to continue to deliver for Drexel University next year.
Before that happens, however, Mailman is hoping to make history during his senior campaign.
After twice qualifying for, and subsequently falling in the District 3 playoffs as the No. 16 seed, Mailman, his teammates and Coach Luke Beam are hoping to improve that seed and secure the program’s first-ever district victory.
Doing so, however, is a lot easier said than done.
“I’m looking at the schedule and there are not a lot of real (sure wins),” Beam said. “It’s a rough schedule and it’s game after game. And I think we’re capable of beating anyone we play, but I know we’re also capable of losing those games as well. There are lot of great players in the league that you have to game-plan for.”
In order to improve upon a 9-6 record from a year ago, Suburban will need to win the games late on the schedule. After a 7-2 start a year ago, Suburban dropped four of its final six.
This year will be much the same. Of the six other teams considered main contenders for the league title — York Catholic, Central York, West York, Susquehannock, Red Lion and Dallastown — the Trojans will play all of them during the second half of their 14-game schedule.
While the Trojans will have to find some new faces to fill in for the seniors who graduated from last year’s team, Mailman will be happy to know that classmate Mike Sipes will be on his side. Sipes led the Trojans with 14 assists a season ago while adding 23 goals himself.
League outlook: While the York-Adams League has yet to taste significant success in the sport at the District 3 level, there is no doubt that the level of competition locally has improved.
Long gone are the days of 2008-2010, when Red Lion and Susquehannock battled for the top spot every season. Now, with the league fielding 12 teams with more to come next year, there is no shortage of contenders.
Defending champion West York has some holes to fill, but hopes to be one of seven teams in the mix. Susquehannock, the runner-up a season ago, figures to contend, along with Central York, Dallastown, York Suburban, Red Lion and York Catholic.
While winning the league is a nice accomplishment, the York-Adams schools are hoping to finally break a drought at the next level — the District 3 playoffs. No York-area team has advanced into the semifinal round in boys’ lacrosse, a fact that area teams are looking to end. The local teams are just 8-26 in the district playoffs since 2009, when the sport was officially adopted by PIAA.
Here’s a look at a few teams around the rest of the league that figure to be contenders this year:
Susquehannock: The Warriors, who were 13-4 a year ago, will have to find someone to replace goalie Shane Silk, the league’s Defender of the Year a season ago.
Silk, who plays collegiately at Virginia Wesleyan College, finished with an outstanding 62 percent save percentage a year ago.
Fortunately for Susquehannock coach Russ LeBlanc, the addition of senior Anthony DeVincent to the lineup should provide a big boost.
After scoring 55 goals to go with 21 assists as a junior at South Western, DeVincent figures to form a nice offensive trio alongside junior Jack Allred and senior Aiden Kirkendall.
West York: The Bulldogs have won a District 3 game in each of the past two seasons. Coach Rodney Tamblin’s program also is coming off its first York-Adams League title.
While Tamblin will have some nice younger players looking to make an impact this year, those youngsters will have some big shoes to fill.
Hunter Betz, the league’s Offensive Player of the Year last season, is gone. Betz scored 45 goals to go along with a league-best 66 assists.
Tanner Hale, a key defender, also graduated, as did goalie Cole Rinehart.
Tamblin, however, is confident in his team’s ability to fill those holes.
“We’re excited about this season,” he said. “We may not be able to fill all of the holes, but we have players that bring different dynamics to the team. The big hole is our goalie, but other than that we have some guys that I feel can step right in and do the job.”
Dallastown: The Wildcats will have a new head coach with Joe Slessinger taking over for Phillip Bates. Slessinger, however, was an assistant/JV coach a year ago so he’s familiar with many of the returning players, who finished with a 14-5 record last year.
One of those returning players is outstanding goalie Jack Marks. A second-team all-star a year ago, Marks will be relied upon heavily to help a Dallastown defense that will be without standout Frankie Marquet, who graduated.
Cade Gold, who was the quarterback for the Dallastown football team, will be a similar offensive spark plug on offense. He will be looked upon to replace some of the offense that Brian Prats, who scored 47 goals a year ago, provided last year as a senior.
Red Lion: The Lions figure to be one of the most talented offensive teams in the league again this season. Sam Emig, now a junior, scored a league-best 71 goals as a sophomore last year for Red Lion, which finished at 13-5.
Coach Stefan Striffler’s team returns a number of starters this season, which has only fueled the excitement around Horn Field.
“We’ve all been playing together for a while, so this is our last time to play together,” Emig said.
York Catholic: The Irish have never qualified for the district playoffs but they are hoping to end that streak this season.
With a group of attackers that could rival anyone in the league, the Irish could be the league’s dark horse this season.
Tanner Yannick, Jacob Norton, Eddie Smith and Luke Brennan will look up to help Coach Shane Harper’s crew improve upon a 5-12 season a year ago.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.