A look at the league's power structure. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
Central York and everyone else.
That’s the lay of the land entering the stretch drive of the YAIAA boys’ lacrosse season, where the Panthers sit at 13-0 on the season and 11-0 in league play. After that, there are four to five teams duking it out for second.
Make no mistake, while the Panthers sit firmly atop the league standings, the two-through-five positions in these power rankings could shift following any given game on any given day of any given week.
For point of order: just four teams make the YAIAA tournament (scheduled for May 10 and 12), which precedes the District 3 and state tournaments.
Without further ado, our top-five teams in the league, followed by some honorable mentions, at this point of the 2017 campaign:
5. Susquehannock (9-4 overall record)
The Warriors beat York Suburban on Thursday, 13-8, to move into our No. 5 slot. Susquehannock controlled possession throughout that victory, and a win followed suit.
4. Red Lion (10-3)
When you have a player like Sam Emig on your squad, anything is possible. And while Red Lion lost a lot from last year’s YAIAA title-contending team, a standout performance from Emig alone is capable of beating any opponent on any evening. Don’t sleep on them.
3. York Catholic (8-3)
A 13-12 thriller over Red Lion on Thursday — which was a rematch of last year’s YAIAA title match — put the Irish in the No. 3 slot this week. The defending YAIAA champions lost some juice this offseason, but returned attackman Eli Doyle. Drew Snelbaker stepped up on faceoffs in Thursday's win over the Lions, and the return of Paul Dick from an ACL injury could help solidify the defense during the team's playoff push.
2. Dallastown (9-2)
A well-rounded and balanced team, the Wildcats are tough defensively while being anchored by senior standout AJ Lentz. At 8-2 in YAIAA play, they’re tied with York Catholic for second place in the standings. Those two teams are set to square off May 5 at Dallastown.
1. Central York (13-0)
Clearly the top squad at this juncture of the season, the Panthers are 13-0 overall and 11-0 in YAIAA play. They have a Division I college faceoff specialist in Kollin Vaught, an elite goal scorer in TJ Ross and the Kilgore brothers — Alex (junior midfielder) and Ryan (sophomore attack) — form a key one-two punch. In short, Central York is the deepest team in the league, has an undefeated record and an established program. They’re the top dogs.
York Suburban:A young team, a fun team, and a sporadic team. The Trojans are 7-4 in YAIAA play.
Eastern York:They have some talent. They're also inconsistent.
South Western:A much-improved squad, with an 8-7 win over Red Lion this season to show for it.