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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Check out the full series

Len Bucher might sound as if his accomplishment was nothing special. But, even in the late 1970s, pulling double athletic duty at a Division I college was a rare occurrence.

Yet the 1975 Littlestown High graduate did just that - playing both football and baseball at Division I Bucknell University.

Bucher summed up his busy college days this way: "It was a challenge. One thing I developed at a young age was the concept of how to manage my time. The challenge was to put all the time (needed) into the sports."

Of course, it would have been tough for Bucher to choose between the two sports after earning nine varsity letters for the Thunderbolts.

"Baseball was always my favorite sport - even as a youngster," the 51-year-old Bucher said. "Obviously I performed pretty well with that. Some people said my best sport was football. I guess they were football fans."

His Littlestown football teams won Blue Mountain League titles in 1973 and 1974. The Bolts were a perfect 12-0 in Bucher's senior season.

A pass-catching tight end and wide receiver, Bucher hauled in more than 40 receptions for an offense that, behind strong-armed quarterback Neal Lippy, had more than 1,400 yards through the air and averaged nearly 50 points per game.

Bucher had 79 career receptions for 1,577 yards and an amazing 26 touchdowns for the Thunderbolts. He garnered team MVP honors as a senior.

"Lenny was a great receiver," said George Shue, who was Littlestown's coach then. "At the time, we ran a Pro-I formation. If we went right, he was tight end. If we went left, he was split end. I always kept him on the right side."

"We had a pretty dynamic quarterback in Neal Lippy, so I was getting the ball quite a bit," Bucher said.

But that wasn't even where Bucher truly made his name on the gridiron.

"He was a tremendous defensive player," Shue said. "He was a hitter. He was good outside and could cover passing plays. He was definitely one of the most outstanding ball players I ever had."

After his senior year, he was a member of the Pennsylvania Big 33 team at outside linebacker, the same position he went on to play at Bucknell.

Then there was Bucher's baseball career, which he continued after college by playing for the Littlestown Dodgers in the South Penn League until he was 42.

At Littlestown, he was a four-year varsity Starter, either behind the plate or in the outfield, and led the Bolts' in hitting during his senior season.

He was also a two-year starting forward on the basketball squad in high school and was a team captain for all three sports as a senior. He finished his prep career being named the Outstanding Male Athlete at Littlestown High for 1974-75.

For all the success, Bucher is kind of quiet about his accomplishments. People who remember him on the field, however, are not.

"He was great at football, a hell of a baseball player and probably a good basketball player," Littlestown wrestling coach Dave Bowersox said. "If he doesn't make your list, I won't buy the paper again."

At Bucknell, Bucher played on both sides of the ball for the Bison football team and was a three-year starter.

In baseball, he posted team-high batting averages in 1978 (.357) and 1979 (.369). In 1975, he set a single-season school mark with 38 hits. He finished his Bison career with 71 hits - including 40 doubles, five triples and four home runs - and a .333 average.

Bucher is now the vice president in charge of logistics for the Clarks Shoe Company, based in Hanover, one of the English company's North American offices.

Bucher and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Amanda and Andrew.

He now serves on the board of directors for the Littlestown football boosters, which makes sense. After all, it's where a tremendous career got its start.

snavaroli@ydr.com; 771-2060

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 numerous interviews, in-depth research and round-
table 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

Our list and ranking of each school's greatest athletes is just the starting point. Now the fun part begins: the debate. If you'd like to comment of offer a differing opinion on this list, we'd love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we'll present your feedback and 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 send a letter to: "Greatest Athletes," c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.