By JOHN WALK
The cheers echoed throughout the Central York High School gym when the Panthers’ boys’ basketball team lit up the scoreboard.
They weren’t loud enough, though, to drown out the second thoughts one Central York student, Dan Sepic, was having in his head.
The 6-foot, 2-inch, 200-pound Sepic had played basketball through his 10th-grade year, then quit to strictly focus on baseball.
“I was probably going to start on varsity (as a junior),” Sepic said of basketball. “But I gave it up for baseball. I felt baseball was going to lead me to college. I’d been playing baseball since I was 5 or 6.”
As he watched the Panthers capture the program’s first York-Adams League boys’ basketball title in 40 years and go on to reach the District 3-AAAA semifinals, Sepic wondered what it would’ve felt like to a be a member of the team.
“There were definitely regrets. Seeing them go far, wishing I could be out there on court with them,” Sepic said. “But I know baseball was my way to get to college.”
His prophetic planning proved true. And he also got a serious taste of success on the diamond. This past baseball season, Sepic posted a 5-1 record with a 1.83 ERA in 53 innings pitched, striking out 49 and walking 17. He played the infield on the days he didn’t pitch. And at the plate, Sepic gathered a .391 batting average with a homer, 10 doubles, 15 RBIs and 14 runs scored, leading Central York to 9-4 league record, 12-9 overall record and an appearance in the District 3-AAAA Tournament in what turned out to be the best season for the program in five years.
For his efforts, York-Adams League coaches have selected Sepic as the 2014 Division I Player of the Year.
“My coach actually called me this past weekend,” Sepic said of the Division I Player of the Year honor. “I was so excited. I worked really hard. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. In my time playing for Central it was my first time we got to districts.”
Sepic expects to see action right away next spring at NCAA Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Sepic said he had passed up a walk-on spot at NCAA D-I Pittsburgh.
Players of the Year: Northeastern’s Nick Sprenkle and West York’s Brett Kinneman split Division II Player of the Year honors.
Sprenkle batted .441 and gathered a .558 on-base percentage to go along with three homers, eight doubles, 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
Kinneman batted .316 with a pair of homers, six doubles, three triples, 11 RBIs, 24 runs scored and had a .487 on-base percentage. The Bulldogs captured the Division II crown with a 13-0 league record and made an appearance in the District 3-AAA Tournament, finishing with a 17-4 overall record.
Susquehannock’s Sammy Miller is this year’s Division III Player of the Year. As a pitcher, Miller posted a 6-1 record with a 1.79 ERA over 31.1 innings of work, striking out 28 and walking 10. At the plate, he hit .439 with a homer, five doubles, three triples and 18 stolen bases.
The Division IV Player of the Year award went to Delone Catholic senior Dalton Haymaker. The right-hander went 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA, striking out 65 and walking 19 in 58 innings over nine games (eight starts), including seven complete games, one of them a shutout. Haymaker also batted .319 with seven doubles, 14 RBIs and 23 runs scored over 23 games, accumulating a .478 on-base percentage. The Squires went 13-2 in league play to win the Division IV title, made an appearance in the league tournament and reached the District 3-AA semifinals.
Coaches of the Year: Spring Grove coach Eric Zeigler was named the Division I Coach of the Year after leading the Rockets to a 10-3 league record, capturing the Division I crown, winning the league tournament and making an appearance in the District 3-AAAA Tournament.
Northeastern’s Don Kauffman earned Division II Coach of the Year honors by steering the Bobcats to a bronze medal in the District 3-AAA Tournament and making it to the state quarterfinals.
Susquehannock’s Tim Hare is the Division III Coach of the Year following the Warriors’ 13-1 record in league play to capture the Division III title and later appearing in the District 3-AAA tourney.
Biglerville’s Jeff Taylor was selected as the Division IV Coach of the Year after the Canners went 8-7 in league competition and appeared in the District 3-AA Tournament.
— Reach John Walk at email@example.com.
YORK-ADAMS LEAGUE BASEBALL COACHES ALL-STAR TEAMS
Player of the Year: Dan Sepic, Central York.
Coach of the Year: Eric Zeigler, Spring Grove.
Nick Spangler, Spring Grove.
Will Maughlin, Spring Grove.
Austin Taylor, Red Lion.
Ty Golden, Dallastown.
Matt Taylor, South Western.
Tanner Forry, Dallastown.
Tommy Golden, Dallastown.
Tyler Butcher, Dallastown.
Matt Brooks, Spring Grove.
Drew Landis, Red Lion.
Jon Snyder, Dallastown.
Infield: Walker Monteith, Central York; Outfield: Brady Taylor, Red Lion. Ryan Crum, Central York; Pitchers: Jake Thoman, Spring Grove. Tyler Wagner, Central York; Catcher:Dalton Hoiles, Spring Grove.
Co-Players of the Year: Nick Sprenkle, Northeastern, and Brett Kinneman, West York.
Coach of the Year: Donnie Kauffman, Northeastern.
Austin Kibler, New Oxford.
Kyle Amrhein, Kennard-Dale.
Logan Stover, West York.
Grant Myers, Northeastern.
Carson Fries, West York.
Grant Hoover, Dover.
Chase James, West York.
Aaron Palmer, New Oxford.
Anthony Lippy, New Oxford.
Brandyn Smith, West York.
Devin Blymire, Northeastern.
Kody Reeser, Northeastern.
Infield: Jake Toal, New Oxford; Outfield: Corban Czap, New Oxford. Ethan Hertz, New Oxford. Michael Santiago, West York; Catcher: Cole Bixler, West York.
Player of the Year: Sammy Miller, Susquehannock.
Coach of the Year: Tim Hare, Susquehannock.
Todd Cook, Littlestown.
Connor Hood, Susquehannock.
Josh Houser, Susquehannock.
Luke Knott, Susquehannock.
Aaron Spahr, Bermudian Springs.
Derek Starner, Bermudian Springs.
Cody Dennis, Susquehannock.
Devin Strickler, Eastern York.
Levi Stein, York Suburban.
Bryan Kerr, Susquehannock.
Terry Godfrey, Eastern York.
Clay Hoff, Bermudian Springs.
Colby Shimmel, Eastern York.
Toby Sponseller, Bermudian Springs.
Littlestown: Brady Topper, Russell Livesay, Graham Schuman, Travis Henrie; York Suburban: Jackson Marshall, Thomas Merkle; Susquehannock: Alec Lebo; Eastern York: Thomas Taylor, Clayton Miller, Mike Dunn, Dalton Renn, Bobby Hedrick.
Player of the Year: Dalton Haymaker, Delone Catholic.
Coach of the Year: Jeff Taylor, Biglerville.
Pitcher: Jared Peterman, Hanover.
Catcher: Austin Roth, Delone Catholic.
First baseman: Koby Griest, Biglerville.
Second baseman: Erich Hartman, York Catholic.
Third baseman: Devon Craig, Delone Catholic.
Shortstop: Zac Sheets, Biglerville.
Outfield: Nick Trish, Hanover. Clint Bohn, York Catholic. Jimmy O’Boyle, Delone Catholic.
Pitcher: Jake Krevetski, York Catholic.
Catcher: Zac Sheaffer, Hanover.
First baseman: Ryan Bowman, Hanover.
Second baseman: Shawn Redding, Biglerville, and Hunter House, Fairfield.
Third baseman: Matt McKim, York Catholic.
Shortstop: Pat Clement, York Catholic.
Outfied: Joe Ames, Delone Catholic. Nate Haney, York Catholic. Sam Brown, York Tech.