Top YAIAA performances of 2016
Trying to remember every great performance by a York-Adams athlete in 2016 is nearly impossible.
On any given night, there were multiple kids in different sports putting on shows that left fans and reporters shaking their heads. From 300-yard rushing performances to no-hitters and state titles, the YAIAA saw a little bit of everything.
When I started putting this list together, I felt I could have expanded it to 25 or even 50 performances. But since I wanted to keep it to 10, I tried to focus on playoff games and other high-stakes meets.
Here are my top 10 individual single-game (or meet) performances from 2016 in order of when each took place.
Brooks carries Spring Grove to league title
The Rockets won their first league title since 1971 behind Eli Brooks' huge fourth quarter. Brandon Stoneburg
Spring Grove basketball star Eli Brooks puts on a show nearly every time he steps on the court. But through three quarters in last season's league title game against Central York on Feb. 13, he seemed to be having an off night with just nine points.
Good thing there was a fourth quarter. Brooks erupted for 17 points in the final eight minutes and hit the go-ahead shot in an eventual 42-36 Spring Grove win. It was the program's first county championship since 1971.
On a night where nearly everyone shot the ball poorly, Brooks carried the Rockets by scoring 62 percent (26 points) of their points.
Springer helps Eastern shock Milton Hershey
Eastern York's Evan Springer doesn't have the notoriety that most of the athletes on this list do. But in the District 3 Class 3A boys' basketball semifinal on Feb. 22, he was the difference for a Golden Knights team that shocked top-seed Milton Hershey.
A junior at the time, Springer scored a team-high 24 points as Eastern York erased a 13-point third quarter deficit to beat the Spartans, 73-65. Springer also made all five of the Knight's 3-pointers.
"This might have been the best game of his career," Eastern coach Jon Reichard said.
Garland dominates in District 3 tournament
While Hanover's 126-pound wrestler Caleb Garland was unstoppable during last season's District 3 Class 2A tournament, he came very close to not winning the title and not making this list.
Taking on Pequea Valley's Gabe Miller in the finals on Feb. 27, Garland was called for an illegal slam in the first period and would have lost if Miller hadn't been able to continue. But Miller was able to compete, and Garland responded by beating him 14-3 in a major decision. He also recorded two pins earlier in the tournament on his way to his first district title.
There were plenty of great individual wrestling performances by YAIAA athletes this year, but Garland gets the nod because of his dominance throughout the tournament.
Matt Brooks nearly unhittable in return to mound
One of this spring's biggest disappointments was the wrist injury that sidelined Spring Grove baseball star Matt Brooks for the majority of the season. But when he returned for the District 3 quarterfinals on May 24, the Charlotte commit showed fans what they had been missing.
Against No. 4 seed West Perry, Brooks tossed a complete game one-hit shutout to lift the 13th seeded Rockets to a 7-0 win. The senior allowed his only hit with two outs in the sixth inning. In what was a very frustrating season for the Rockets, Brooks provided the team's top highlight.
Dillard wins second straight triple-jump title
VIDEO: Gettysburg's Dillard wins state triple jump title
Ravaughn Dillard spent most of the last two seasons breezing past his competition in the triple jump. But for a brief moment at the PIAA track and field championships on May 27, it seemed like his best might not be good enough.
Despite breaking his own school record on consecutive jumps, Dillard remained slightly behind Central Catholic's Bricen Garner going into his final attempt. With everything on the line, Dillard leaped an incredible 48 feet and seven inches to win his second consecutive state title.
Mooradian sets school record at state meet
She may not have come in first place, but what South Western's Lynne Mooradian did at the PIAA Class 3A track and field championships on May 28 was no doubt impressive.
The Mustangs senior set a personal (and school) record in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.42 seconds, but came in second place to Susquehanna Township's Yasmin Brooks by .77 seconds. It was Mooradian's sixth career state medal.
Mooradian actually beat Brooks for the gold medal the week before at the District 3 championships. That performance could have made the list, but I went with the faster time.
Devilbiss leads Northeastern to fourth straight state title
Matt Wilson, Reese Devilbiss and Brandon Arentz talk about the emotions of sealing a fourth title. Brandon Stoneburg
There were very few times in his high school career that former Northeastern volleyball standout Reese Devilbiss didn't give a performance worth remembering. But in his final game this spring, the current Ohio State outside hitter reminded fans that he's arguably the greatest player York County has ever produced.
In the PIAA Class 2A title game against Ambridge on June 11, Devilbiss recorded a team-high 21 kills in a Northeastern sweep. The win gave the Bobcats their fourth straight PIAA title and solidified them as one of the county's great dynasties in recent memory.
McLain breaks 30-year course record
For Eastern York cross country junior Maddie McLain, breaking course records was almost second nature this season. Still, the most impressive feat the junior accomplished may have come at home on Oct. 4.
In a Golden Knights win over New Oxford and Fairfield, McLain broke the Sam Lewis State Park record with a time of 19:35. The previous record had been set by Carena Williams in 1986.
Yokemick leads York Catholic to District 3 title
York Catholic won the second District 3 football championship in program history Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. The Irish defeated Newport, 55-21, in the D3 Class 2A title game. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
A halfback rushing for nearly 300 yards and averaging over 16 yards per carry in a title game? That's impressive. A quarterback pulling off the same feat? Now that's unheard of.
But that's exactly what York Catholic signal caller Dan Yokemick did in the Irish's 51-21 win over Newport in the District 3 Class 2A final on Nov. 12. The senior ran for 298 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries while adding two scores through the air. It was York Catholic's first district title since 1982 and ended the Irish's three-year district title game losing streak.
York Catholic running back Jakkar Kinard also could have made this list with his performance in the same game. He ran for 239 yards and three touchdowns and intercepted two passes on defense.
Clarke catches fire in state title game
For most of this season, Fairfield girls' soccer freshman Nora Clarke took a backseat to senior Hannah Logue and fellow freshman Annabel Anderson. But in the Class 1A title game against Shady Side on Nov. 18., the young forward scored four goals to lead the Green Knights to a 9-4 title. It was the first state team title in program history.
While you could've reserved this spot for Logue, who had two goals and three assists in the game, Clarke scored three times early in the second half to put the game away. It was quite a way for the freshman to end her first high school season.
- Central York boys' basketball player Jared Wagner scores 23 points and hits game-winning shot against Spring Grove in District 3 Class 4A semifinals on Feb. 23.
- Spring Grove wrestler Dalton Rohrbaugh earns a bronze medal at the PIAA Championships on March 12.
- Central York wrestler Dylan Chatterton wins sixth straight matches to win bronze at the PIAA Championships on March 12.
- Dallastown freshman tennis player Holden Koons wins District 3 Class 3A title on May 9.
- New Oxford track and field athlete Madi Smith breaks YAIAA javelin record by throwing 147 feet on May 14.
- Central York golfers Julianne Lee and Joe Parrini win District 3 titles on Nov. 11.