Home-field advantage serves Susquehannock vs. West York
League championship games are typically played at neutral sites.
Susquehannock has been host to the YAIAA boys' and girls' lacrosse finals since their first year in 2011, but Thursday's games won't be so neutral with both of its teams playing for titles.
In a few ways for the Warriors, that's a good thing.
Boys' coach Russ LeBlanc has two daughters he rarely saw play this season on the girls' squad. Midfielder Zach Orner's twin sister, Amber, is the girls' goalkeeper. Like his coach, Orner hardly sees his sister play — or vice versa — during the league season because the boys and girls play on the same day.
The girls, at least, will get to see most of the boys' final on Thursday, which pits the Warriors (13-2) against West York (13-3). Their presence was appreciated Tuesday night, cheering from the stands at Central York behind Susquehannock's bench.
"That was sweet," goalie Shane Silk said. "I saw them dancing up in the stands. It kind of made it a chill atmosphere."
The Susquehannock boys are vying for their first league title since the inaugural tournament in 2011. West York is in pursuit of its first league title and returns after a 2013 appearance in the final.
The two teams split this year's regular-season title. Thursday's game will be a rematch of their early April meeting, a 14-6 Susquehannock win in which Silk had 15 saves. The senior and his defense were able to slow a potent offense led by senior attacker Hunter Betz, who scored the go-ahead goal in West York's 11-9 semifinal win Tuesday against Red Lion.
"I'm lucky to see that for four years," West York coach Rodney Tamblin said. "I can't say enough about the kid. He brings a 100 percent positive attitude. Any individual awards that kid gets, he'll trade them for a win on Thursday night."
Betz said after the win he isn't deterred by West York's previous meeting with the Warriors. The Bulldogs got another run on Susquehannock's turf in Tuesday's semifinal. Asked if the home-field advantage — or disadvantage — worried him, Betz responded with a calm sense.
"Nope. Not anymore."
Contact Matt Goul at 771-2045.
YAIAA boys' lacrosse championship
Who: West York vs. Susquehannock
When, where: 7 p.m. at Susquehannock
Last meeting: Susquehannock won, 14-6, on April 9.
West York projected lineup
Attackers: Ryan McCauley, jr., Hunter Betz, sr., Devyn Roehm, sr.
Midfielders: Seth Wise, sr., Cody Richter, so., Sam Sterner, jr.
Defense: Tanner Hale, sr., Hunter Jones, sr., Cody Hopta, sr.
Goalkeeper: Cole Rinehart, sr.
Coach: Rodney Tamblin
Susquehannock projected lineup
Attackers: Aidan Kirkendall, jr., Collin Riley, sr., Jack Allred, so.
Midfielders: Dorian Faster, jr., Zach Orner, sr., Noah O'Brien, sr.
Defense: Alex Founds, sr., Kevin Clapp, jr., Jordan Stahm, sr.
Goalkeeper: Shane Silk, sr.
Coach: Russ LeBlanc