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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Joe Bierly ('52) excelled in football and basketball but was the best in the spring, when he boasted a 5-foot-11 high jump for the track team and earned a baseball scholarship to Gettysburg College as a hard-throwing pitcher.

Chris Bilbie ('84) won a district wrestling title as a 105-pound sophomore, was a district runner-up as a junior and finished fourth in states as a senior. He had a 111-10 career record and wrestled at Division I Bucknell University. He also led the Warriors to their first YAIAA soccer title as the league's co-player of the year and was a standout center fielder in baseball.

Nate Brassfield ('01) was a 1,000-point scorer in basketball and a star quarterback. He threw for 1,429 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior and was the league's Division II player of the year as a junior.

Jan Keeney ('75) helped lead the Warriors to division titles in football as an offensive lineman and baseball as a hard-hitting catcher. In wrestling, he finished third in districts as a 185-pound senior.

Doug Krebs ('75) won the school's only state wrestling title at 145 pounds as a senior and also was an all-star running back in football. He was recruited for wrestling by Oklahoma State, Penn State and others but honored an early scholarship commitment to Lock Haven.


Senior Megan Sheaf already has led her softball team to back-to-back state titles as arguably the top pitcher in Pennsylvania. Last season she struck out 258 batters in 153 innings, giving up only 26 walks. Her earned-run average was a sparkling 0.42. She also batted .425 for the season.


Fritz Allison ('90) played one season of pro ball in the Florida Marlins system. Since, he's become one of the most prolific hitters in Central League baseball history, entering this past season with a .376 career batting average and 146 home runs, second all-time.

Barry Black ('61) played five varsity sports - three in the spring (baseball, golf and track and field). He pitched a no-hitter, finished fourth in districts in the half-mile and high-jumped 6-foot-1.

Emily Brown ('05) earned all-state volleyball honors as a senior, setting a school record for career assists as her team finished second in the state. She earned a scholarship to Villanova. She also was a track and field standout, running on a school-record 1,600-meter relay team.

Beth Dansberger ('92) is the school's all-time leading female basketball scorer (1,429 points) and rebounder (1,010).

John Devilbiss ('82) was the point guard of the district title-winning basketball team as well as a standout shortstop in the spring. He also impressed as an undersized lineman in football.

Buck Elliott Jr. (1937, Glen Rock) was drafted by the Washington Senators out of high school and also played pro basketball with Pottstown, Reading and Allentown in the Eastern League. He spent nearly 50 years in baseball as a minor-league player, manager and major-league scout.

Roger Gaeckler ('59) earned a football scholarship to Gettysburg College but earned a living for years as a basketball coach, twice leading Hofstra University to the NCAA tournament. He went on to become a stockbroker on Wall Street.

Amy Gnibus ('00) was the YAIAA's volleyball player of the year and an all-state pick. She also was a standout basketball player, scoring 852 career points.

Cliff Heathcote (1914, Glen Rock) played outfield and first base for 15 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies between 1918 and 1932. The rookie even hit for the cycle in a 19-inning game.

Kirk Henry ('70) was not only a 1,000-point basketball scorer but was the team's top golfer for four years and a star pitcher in baseball. He was recruited for golf and basketball by Morehead State and Bucknell but ended up playing both sports at York College.

Dan Mays ('69) scored 1,010 points in high school and went to play basketball for the Naval Academy. He graduated from a theological seminary in California and is doing missionary work in the Ukraine. Brother Andy Mays ('70) earned a scholarship to Gettysburg College for basketball and baseball and was a Maryland state police officer for 27 years.

Quinn McCullough ('02) was a two-time all-league catcher but was even better at basketball, scoring 20 points a game as a senior and more than 1,000 in his career.

Barkley Miller ('04) was a two-time all-state soccer pick and earned a scholarship to Penn State.

Bryan Palmer ('82), a 6-foot-9 basketball star, led the Warriors to their only district title. He averaged 20.6 points per game as a senior, was a second-team all-state pick and earned a scholarship to the University of Maryland.

Missy Rohrbaugh ('06) was a second-team all-state pick in volleyball as a junior and a first-team selection as a senior. She went on to play at Towson University.

Zach Slenker ('98) was an all-state volleyball player who co-captained powerful Penn State into the Final Four as a senior.

Justin Solomon ('96) set a school record with 19 quarterback sacks and earned a football scholarship to Division I-AA William & Mary College.

Brad Stinar ('87) was a standout quarterback who went on to pitch for former Baltimore Oriole Tippy Martinez at Towson University.

Aubrey Stock Arnold ('97) was a two-time field hockey captain at Ohio State. She married Clemens Arnold, a two-time field hockey Olympian with the German national team.