About this series
Coming up with a short list and then ranking the 10 greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA high school was a daunting task. For sure, there is no scientific approach. But after two years of interviews, research and roundtable discussions, we are presenting as fair an attempt as possible to create an objective list on a decidedly subjective topic.
OUR CRITERIA: 1. The only accomplishments considered were those achieved while competing in high school varsity athletics. If an athlete earned a college scholarship, that was also factored in. 2. Accomplishments outside the setting of high school varsity sports and accomplishments after high school were not taken into account. 3. Athletes who attended more than one local high school were only evaluated at the school where they had the most varsity success. 4. Female athletes were rated by how they dominated their own sports not how they would fare going head-to-head against male athletes.

Your turn
If you d like to comment or offer a differing opinion on this list, we d love to hear from you. Each Sunday, we ll present your feedback on opinions on page 2 of the York Sunday News sports section - The Rundown. E-mail your thoughts to Sports Editor Chris Otto at cotto@ydr.com or mail them to: Greatest Athletes, c/o Chris Otto, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408.

Read more
Check out the full series

This is a sampling of the feedback we received from last Tuesday's second install-
ment of "The Greatest Athletes," our 22-week series on the greatest athletes in the history of every YAIAA school.

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Please consider Josh Shellenberger.

He graduated from West York 1995 and was the only player to ever win the county tennis championship as both a freshman and a sophomore. He played as the No. 1 tennis player for all four years at West York, then went on to Lebanon Valley College, where he also played every match in the No. 1 spot. He was the most valuable player at Lebanon Valley four years in a row.

Now he is a doctor at Geisinger Medical Center, in his second year of a gastroenterology fellowship.


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You've completed two schools and still no golfers, even at honorable mention.

At a time when the best athlete in the world is a golfer, maybe you should open your eyes (and mind).


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There were many great athletes at West York. Without a doubt, you picked the correct No. 1 in John Sprenkle.

This multisport athlete could do everything extremely well.


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Please consider Rick Joseph.

A 1973 West York graduate, he was a two-time all-county basketball player who scored 993 points and played in two county championship games for the Bulldogs.

He was the first West York player nominated to the all-state team.

His Bulldogs still hold a school record for scoring 90 points in a game.

Joseph went on to play four years at Bloomsburg University.


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I enjoyed reading your Tuesday review of the West York top athletes and think the series is a great idea.

However, you neglected to consider the 1978 West York cross country team in your review.

This team won the 1978 state Class AA boys' cross country championship with a total score of 36. This is the lowest score on record since the Class AA competition was started in 1963.

An exceptional team in every respect, it went on to receive additional honors at various invitational meets.


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I've read over your criteria several times and you are correct in saying that it is not scientific, but is it even intellectual?

I have done my research as any seasoned educator would do and I would suspect that a seasoned reporter would do as well.

You would think in your so-called two years of research/interviews you would have contacted West York's athletic director and surveyed each and every one of its coaches. You did not do this.

So what roundtable were you at, a local VFW over pizza and beer? You wanted to cause controversy and you have. And you have disappointed and angered many parents and athletes who -- after being named the best in their respective sports in the state of Pennsylvania, and going on to success at a college other than Penn State or being named to your all-star teams for their respective sports -- were ignored by your "list".

I am also a bit concerned over your sexually biased reporting. You mean to tell me in all these years of West York sports there were only three female top athletes and all those males? Wow, now we have a need for concern.

So to all the parents that know for a fact their sons and daughters should have been chosen, take comfort in the fact that the grossly under-researched and biased reporting of this newspaper and its reporters was done without fact and without even contacting the school district, its present or past coaching staff and present and past athletic directors.