Preseason power rankings: YAIAA baseball
With the high school spring athletics season getting underway this week, we give our sport-by-sport preseason power rankings in the YAIAA. Today, we take a look at high school baseball. Check back in every day this week for a new season preview in the York Daily Record and GameTimePA.com.
1. Spring Grove: The Rockets return almost everyone from last year's team that won the YAIAA Division I title, went to the District 3 Class AAA title game and qualified for states. They're led by pitcher/shortstop Matt Brooks, who is committed to play NCAA Division-I baseball at UNC-Charlotte.
2. Eastern York: Pitchers Colby Shimmel and Brandon Knarr both return for the Golden Knights. That pair of arms helped lead Eastern York to the YAIAA Division III title last season, but the Golden Knights missed qualifying for the District 3 Class AAA tournament by three spots in the power ratings.
3. Red Lion: The Lions also return two strong arms in seniors Wyatt Tyson and Erik Paules. The team won 10 games last year, but missed the District 3 Class AAAA tournament by four spots in the power ratings. They get a fresh start with new coach Kevin Lawrence.
4. Dallastown: Old Dominion commit Tye Golden headlines a group of several returning players from last year's District 3 Class AAAA tournament qualifiers. Greg Kinneman, an assistant at West York for seven years, takes over as head coach of the Wildcats.
5. West York: The Bulldogs also start fresh with a new coach. Scott Erickson — not the former major leaguer — takes over a team that needs to replace several key players from last year's squad that won the YAIAA title and qualified for the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.
Five games to watch
* A look at key games entering the new year. The 2016 high school baseball schedule oficially gets underway Thursday with a host of games on the calendar.
Red Lion at Dallastown, April 4, 4:15 p.m.
Gettysburg at Eastern York, April 7, 4:15 p.m.
Northeastern at West York, April 20, 4:15 p.m.
Spring Grove at Red Lion, April 20, 7 p.m.
Delone Catholic at York Catholic, April 29, 4:15 p.m.