Michele King was named the top athlete at Spring Grove.
Michele King was named the top athlete at Spring Grove. (Submitted)

1. Michele King, 2006

She was the YAIAA Swimmer of the Year as a freshman, sophomore and junior. She also set state records and won gold medals in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle as a junior and is regarded by some as the greatest female swimmer in league history. She left the school team after her junior season to train exclusively with the prestigious North Baltimore Aquatic Club before heading to the University of Tennessee.

2. Jared Smith, 1993

He is the school's all-time leading basketball scorer (1,676 points) and was a first team all-state soccer star. He averaged 18.2 points per game in his basketball career and is still the seventh all-time leading male scorer in YAIAA history - four points behind No.


About this series
Coming up with a short list and then ranking the 10 greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA high school was a daunting task. For sure, there is no scientific approach. But after two years of interviews, research and roundtable discussions, we are presenting as fair an attempt as possible to create an objective list on a decidedly subjective topic.
OUR CRITERIA: 1. The only accomplishments considered were those achieved while competing in high school varsity athletics. If an athlete earned a college scholarship, that was also factored in. 2. Accomplishments outside the setting of high school varsity sports and accomplishments after high school were not taken into account. 3. Athletes who attended more than one local high school were only evaluated at the school where they had the most varsity success. 4. Female athletes were rated by how they dominated their own sports not how they would fare going head-to-head against male athletes.

Your turn
If you d like to comment or offer a differing opinion on this list, we d love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we ll present your feedback on opinions on page 2 of the York Sunday News sports section - The Rundown. E-mail your thoughts to Sports Editor Chris Otto at cotto@ydr.com or mail them to: Greatest Athletes, c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.

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6 Jon Raab of Eastern High. Smith was among the county's soccer leaders in goals scored as a freshman and went on to earn a soccer scholarship to Division II Shippensburg. He even ran track as a high school senior, competing in the 100 meters, 200 meters and on the 400 and 1600 relay teams. "It's a shame we only saw one year of track out of him," said former coach Dennis Latchaw. "He had tremendous speed and a lot of stamina as well. He could have really been a district and state medal contender. . . . He just scratched the surface."

3. Scott Wakeland, 1980

He was a YAIAA player of the year in both football and wrestling. He was an undersized star running back (5-foot-8, 170 pounds) who finished with 2,565 career rushing yards and earned Big 33 honorable mention status and went on to play at West Point. He also was a star wrestler who won sectionals as a junior and finished second in districts as a senior. He even ran sprints, long jumped and pole vaulted for the track and field team.

4. Darrell Wildasin, 1973

He was a star shooting guard on the basketball team and a star pitcher in baseball. He broke the 1,000-point barrier (1,075) despite only playing two varsity seasons. He averaged 25 points and 5.7 rebounds per game in those years. As a senior, he averaged 29.8 points in 19 league games, including a 54-point effort against Northeastern. He was a varsity pitcher for three years, earning a baseball scholarship to Gettysburg College.

5. Ross "Spike" Welsh, 1962

The three-sport star led the YCIAA in basketball scoring as a senior and is the school's No. 2 all-time career scorer (1,296 points). He was an Associated Press honorable mention all-state pick after his senior year, helped by his 92 percent free throw shooting. He went on to play Division I basketball at the University of Richmond. He also was a pitcher and a standout quarterback for the Rockets.

6. Cimmie Shahan, 1999

She was the first female golfer in Pennsylvania to win three state championships. She also won four YAIAA and District 3 titles. She played Division I golf at Furman University in South Carolina.

7. John Shaw, 2003

The standout football lineman was the first YAIAA player in five years to be named to the Big 33 team. The first-team all-state pick was one of the top defensive tackle recruits in the nation. He led the Rockets to back-to-back Division I YAIAA titles and earned a scholarship to Penn State.

8. Ryan Gruver, 2001

One of the school's greatest wrestlers with more than 100 career wins, he earned a pair of District 3 titles and back-to-back third-place medals at 189 pounds at the PIAA Class AAA championships. He was named the Daily Record's Division I wrestler of the year. He also was a three-year starter at linebacker and fullback on the football team. He wrestled at Cornell University.

9. Emily Ural, 1998

The four-sport athlete was the the YAIAA's top field hockey goalie as a junior and senior and the league's player of the year in soccer as a senior. The star sprinter and long jumper also won districts and finished fourth in the 400 meters at the PIAA track and field meet as a sophomore. She played basketball during the winter.

10. Brian Polashuk, 2006

He was the first wrestler in school history to win a state title, capturing the Class AAA 125-pound championship with a 42-1 record. Only two wrestlers in YAIAA history have more career victories than his 141 (141-29). He earned a scholarship to Rider University, choosing the private school over Maryland and West Virginia.