When Kevin Myers took over as Dallastown's head football coach in 2005, he and his assistants set their sights beyond just York and Adams counties.

"Certainly, our first priority was York-Adams Division I, but we also said 'let's start looking at the big picture,'" Myers said.

That meant seeking to consistently be a part of the discussion when the District 3 playoffs rolled around each year.

After missing out on the playoffs in Myers' first two seasons, the Wildcats have been in the district Class AAAA bracket each of the past seven seasons.

This season, Dallastown scored a breakthrough when it advanced to the semifinals for the first time in school history.

The Wildcats led Cumberland Valley, a perennial District 3 power, after three quarters of the semifinal game before going down, 33-17.

"There's no reason we can't be in this position time and time again," Myers said during the week before the Cumberland Valley game. "Along with our varsity players, we have a ninth-grade group with size and speed, and we have an eighth-grade group with size and speed. I said at the banquet that we've got to be serious about football from January on."

One thing Myers won't have to worry about is having enough players.


Eighty players were on this year's varsity roster. The school's male enrollment for grades nine through 11 in 2011 was 819. The number is larger than any other York-Adams school and sixth in District 3 behind Reading (2,177), Lancaster McCaskey (1,311), Chambersburg (1,097), Cumberland Valley (1,045) and Central Dauphin (830).

While Dallastown reached the next-to-the-last game in districts, York Catholic and Littlestown played in the district Class A and Class AA title games, respectively.

After his team bowed to Steel-High on Saturday, 26-7, York Catholic coach Eric Depew said his team will be in the championship game again.

Depew feels the seniors on the last three teams set the example of the work ethic required to be a championship contender.

Littlestown? The Thunderbolts fell to unbeaten Berks Catholic on Saturday, 42-0, but they also own three District 3 crowns, so it's hardly a reach to picture them playing in a future title game.

-- Dick VanOlinda covers high school sports for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at dvanolinda@yorkdispatch.com.