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.

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It took a lot of sweat and perseverance and hard work - all of the typical cliched sports phrases usually thrown around - for former Delone Catholic student Craig Staub to earn a college football scholarship.

He wasn't a starter on the varsity team his sophomore year. He never showed the kind of athleticism that drew attention from scouts, even for a lineman. He had to step it up in the weight room and in offseason workouts and he did, ending up at Division I-AA William & Mary as an unlikely success story - eventually playing well enough to up to earn first-team All-America status at defensive tackle and several offers to play professionally in Canada and Europe.

But along the way, something happened that didn't fit into the storyline.

Craig Staub was a basketball standout at Delone Catholic.
Craig Staub was a basketball standout at Delone Catholic. (Submitted)
While flipping through his textbooks between practices and games, the jock accidentally discovered a secret passion.

"I never would have gotten in to William & Mary without football, but when I was down there I started studying economics" said Staub, who works as managing principal for the private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners in New York. "I got very interested in it and just sort of ignited an interest I never knew I had."

As it turned out, Staub's story ended up being about as far from cliché as you could imagine.

In high school, he helped the Squires to an undefeated football regular season in 1988 and earned Blue Mountain League Defensive Player of the Year honors for his work on the defensive line. He was a starting forward on a Delone basketball team that won the PIAA title a few months later.

After a stellar playing career at William & Mary, several of his teammates, including current Pittsburgh Steelers head man Mike Tomlin, went directly into coaching or pursued professional football careers. Staub accepted a National Scholar Athlete award instead, allowing him to stay on at W&M on scholarship as a graduate student and earn his Master's degree in public policy.

Thirteen years after entering the workforce, Staub has had a tremendous amount of professional success. He has risen from an associate at a strategic investment firm to vice president at two different investment firms before his current gig at Odyssey. He now lives in the posh Long Island enclave of Garden City, where even small one-family homes carry a price tag of more than $1 million.

For Staub, athletics has always been a means to an end. Sports got him to where he is today. He doesn't understand why he would need them for anything else.

"In school I learned subject matter, but in sports I learned what it's like to be successful and what it means to work hard at something, what it means to persevere when your down, what it means to pull together with your teammates to make the sum greater than you are individually," Staub said.

At Delone, Staub was known for his ability to bring the best out of his teammates as well as his raw athletic talent. Former teammate Jeff McKibben was impressed enough to recruit Staub to work with him at Odyssey.

"I went after Craig because he's a winner and he makes other people around him better," said McKibben, who was on the state title winning basketball team with Staub. "People like working with him and he's a very talented guy."

Most of Staub's current athletic endeavors consist of he and his wife Jennifer playing with their three kids - Katherine, 6, Brendan, 4, and Elizabeth, 1 - in the backyard and helping out with youth teams. But being away from competitive athletics doesn't make the memories of the glory days any less sweet.

Craig Staub was on the Delone Catholic boys’ basketball state championship team.
Craig Staub was on the Delone Catholic boys' basketball state championship team. (Submitted)
Even as a hotshot finance executive, Staub still remembers his individual statistics from the state championship basketball game.

"This is going to sound a little arrogant, but I still know my exact numbers for that game," Staub said with a laugh, before talking about scoring 27 points and pulling down 22 rebounds in the title contest. "It's only been 20 years, right?"

smclernon@ydr.com; 771-2045