That night last month, the Bulldogs players celebrated by camping out beyond the center field fence of their home field at Sunset Lane Park. They set up tents and everything.
Except at some point that night, it started to rain. Hard.
"I wake up with water all in my face," senior shortstop Brock Gladfelter recalled. "I was like 'What?' "
Oh yeah, it was also a school night. Don't worry, all the Bulldogs made it to class on time the next day.
None of this explains why West York went on to win a PIAA Class AAA championship on Friday, toppling District 3 champion Lampeter-Strasburg, 9-6, at Penn State's Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Bulldogs won because they were a great baseball team. They won because their insanely deep lineup tore through pitchers and because their own ace, Kaden Hepler, was one of the best hurlers in the state.
But stories like that soggy camp-out do give some insight into who these Bulldogs were -- a sometimes-quirky, fun-loving group that seemed to savor every moment of this state title run.
They were the sort of group that built their own clubhouse in a shed next to their home field, just so they could have a place to hang out together.
They were the sort of group that sang cheesy boy-band tunes during bus rides and rain delays, then went out and crushed baseballs all over the field.
They were also the sort that pulled together during tough times. Before the season, West York coach Roger Czerwinski and senior catcher Jesse Bortner both lost somebody close to them -- Czerwinski a dear friend, Bortner his grandfather.
On Wednesday, two days before their state final, brothers Brandon and Brett Kinneman learned their great-grandmother had passed away.
"That hit us all during practice (Wednesday),"
It was during those times that the bonds proved most valuable. After the Bulldogs had collected their trophy and gold medals Friday, they wandered out toward the left-field corner for a team meeting. Czerwinski asked them to take a moment for the three loved-ones that had passed. Several coaches and players teared up. Afterward, a few dropped to a knee on their own to say a prayer.
"It was emotional," Brandon Kinneman said. "But it just again shows our chemistry, that we can have moments like that. We can cry together."
Years from now, those will be the moments that these West York players will look back on. Many of the details of these games -- the key plays, the decisive moments -- will fade.
But these players will remember the bus trips and the karaoke sessions and, yes, when they helped pull each other through tough times. This is one of sports' greatest virtues, especially at the high school level -- its ability to foster connections, to unite a group of individuals.
You could see it in that huddle Friday. This group -- 14 players and eight coaches -- was not defined solely by its talent.
"These relationships are going to stay with us for the rest of our lives," Kinneman said. "I love all these guys."
That would have been the case whether or not West York had returned from State College on Friday with gold medals around their necks.
Maybe that's the lesson to take from this Bulldogs team. It's not necessarily if you win, but how much you enjoy the journey together.
John Clayton is a sports reporter at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org; 771-2045; @johnsclayton.