By RYAN VANDERSLOOT
The Dallastown field hockey program is, without a doubt, the measuring stick against which all York-Adams League rivals compare themselves.
Having won an amazing 18 Division I titles over the last 22 seasons, the Wildcats and Coach Jeri Myers are pretty much synonymous with success.
Coach Lori Livingston is hoping to lead her Central York crew to that consistent level of success someday. That day may not be too far away, especially after the very special season that she and her Panthers enjoyed this year.
Both Myers and Livingston shared the York-Adams League Division I Coach of the Year award after completing very successful campaigns. Myers guided the Wildcats to their third Division I title in a row, while Livingston directed Central to runner-up finishes in the Division I and league playoffs, in addition to a victory over Dallastown in the District 3-AAA playoffs.
The sharing wasn’t limited to the coaches of the two schools either. Wildcat standout Bryna Cook and Panther star Paige Harrold were also selected co-players of the year as well.
All of the selections were made by league coaches.
Central York honors: “What made this season so special is that the girls got along really well with each other and they played together as a team,” Livingston said. “They finally learned to believe in themselves and this is what helped them to finally defeat Dallastown. For some reason, defeating Dallastown seemed like a goal they never believed they could achieve. They worked extremely hard, not only during the season but in the offseason as well.”
Being the last York-Adams League AAA school left standing in the district playoffs also set the bar for Livingston’s outfit in the future.
“As for the team, beating Dallastown was memorable because they are always on top,” she said. “After that victory, we were the only York County team left in districts to play in the quarterfinal round.”
The Panthers were able to achieve their success in large part because of Harrold, the team’s center-midfielder. She scored 18 goals and added nine assists while serving as a team captain.
“Paige deserved to be MVP because she was an all-around player who in four years rarely came off the field,” Livingston said. “She not only scored a lot of goals and had many assists but was also a key player defensively on corners, intercepting many passes. Because she excelled playing on the offensive and defensive ends of the field, I truly felt that she deserved to be the league MVP. Her experience helped her take charge and direct her teammates on the field. She had excellent vision and decision making.”
While Harrold and fellow senior all-star Alexis Young won’t be back next year, Livingston has a couple of other all-stars to build around for the future. Forward Gretta Plappert and defenders Sara Rilatt and Jordan Hersberger were named all-stars as underclassmen.
“Greta, in addition to playing forward, was also the flyer on defensive corners.” Livingston said. “Her speed allowed her to intercept many corner inserts from the opposing team. Jordan was great at slowing our opponents down and recovering the ball. And Sara not only played defense, but she was the inserter for us on penalty corners. She had nine assists and scored four goals as a result of this. In addition, she made many tackles and forced several turnovers on defense. She made several goal-line saves while defending on corners.”
Dallastown tradition: While Central is starting to grow accustomed to success, Coach Myers and her crew know that it takes a lot to build and then sustain a proud tradition. The biggest key to that is, not surprisingly, the seemingly endless flow of talented players through the program over the years.
“We have great student-athletes,” Myers said. “And we have a great foundation program with the junior high and it progresses through the JV team to the varsity team. We have the dedication and commitment to make sacrifices for the team and we emphasize that we are family and we take care of each other. We are constantly striving to improve the program and we have the saying that ‘tradition does not graduate.'”
Unfortunately for Myers, Cook will graduate this spring before heading off to continue her career at the University of Massachusetts. Cook capped off her senior campaign with 19 goals and 12 assists.
“(Bryna) is an athlete with speed and endurance,” Myers said. “She has put in the time through club teams, tournaments and festivals that have improved her skills. As a sophomore and junior, I needed her as a midfielder and she sacrificed playing forward for the success of the team. This year she had her chance to shine as a forward and her skills and speed said the rest.”
Division II: The new kids on the block, Gettysburg, certainly made its presence felt in its inaugural season in the York-Adams League.
The Warriors won both the Division II title and the York-Adams League playoff crown behind Coach of the Year winner Janelle Ebaugh and Player of the Year winner Maggie Fees.
Gettysburg swept through its new division with a perfect 10-0 record before defeating Dallastown and Central in the league playoffs en route to a 19-2 record overall. The Warriors were, however, knocked out in the first-round of the District 3-AA playoffs by Greenwood, 2-0.
Fees, a West Chester recruit, led an offensively gifted Gettysburg squad that scored more than 100 times this season with 12 goals and five assists.
Division III: While Dallastown has dominated when it comes to Division I, Bermudian Springs has been equally impressive in Division III.
After winning another division title this season with a 10-0 record, the Eagles have claimed or shared 10 of the past 11 crowns.
Bermudian (16-4) was led by the quartet of Mackenzie Farley, Nicole Wolf, Lindsey Brehm and goalie Sara Crane.
YORK-ADAMS LEAGUE I coaches All-Stars
Central York: Paige Harrold (Co-Player of the Year), Gretta Plappert, Alexis Young.
Dallastown: Bryna Cook (Co-Player of the Year), Haylee Anders, Maggie Noll.
New Oxford: Kaelyn Long.
Northeastern: Ashley Meyer, Kirstin Josey.
Red Lion: Paige Taylor, Jayla Godfrey.
South Western: Hannah Glover, Montana Utz.
Central York: Sara Rilatt, Jordan Hershberger.
Dallastown: Jenna Abrahamsen, Karley Andrews, Lydia Trout.
Dover: Hannah Taylor.
New Oxford: Katie Wildenstein
Northeastern: Carly Brenner, Scarlett Malave.
Spring Grove: Camille Lecrone.
South Western: Lauren Schmidt, Bailey Moses, Allie Bentley.
Eastern York: Tia Judy.
Gettysburg: Maggie Fees (Player of the Year), Sydney Tomassini, Megan Miller, Katelyn Gormley.
Kennard-Dale: Jordan Miller, Emmie Dressell.
Susquehannock: Camryn Burke, Kristy Langhan.
West York: Allyssa Howard, Madison Miller.
York Suburban: Tagan Lehr.
Eastern York: Ashton Evans.
Gettysburg: Emma Bahm.
Kennard-Dale: Lindsay Dell, Elizabeth Six.
Susquehannock: Elizabeth Ferg, Brooke Morris.
West York: Paige Gembe.
York Suburban: Colleen Dommel, Paige Robison
Bermudian Springs: Mackenzie Farley, Nicole Wolf, Lindsey Brehm, Sarah Crane.
Biglerville: Maddie Wenk, Sierra Frock.
Delone Catholic: Zoie Klunk, Kayla McCleaf.
Fairfield: Madison Macharsky, Megan Leckemby, Lydia Westre-Stith.
Hanover: Lauren Werner, Morgan Herrick, Emily Albright.
Littlestown: Kelsie Dews, Shelby Dews, Alexis Morey.
Bermudian Springs: Morgan Williams, Olivia Blasone.
Biglerville: Liz Burke.
Fairfield: Rebecca Moyer, Kayla Silko.
Hanover: Renee Eisenberg, Mackenzie Keeney, Haylee Wood.