The District 3 committee on Tuesday officially approved the football playoff brackets, and three L-L League gridiron teams earned spots in their respective classifications.
Section 2 champ Warwick, Section 3 champ Lampeter-Strasburg and Section 4 champ Elco will play in district-playoff games on Nov. 6.
In a Class 5A semifinal, No. 2 seed Warwick will host New Oxford, and in the Class 4A semifinals, No. 1 seed L-S will welcome Conrad Weiser and No. 2 seed Elco will host Northern York. All games are Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.
About two hours after Tuesday's meeting, D3 officials announced that Harrisburg, the No. 1 seed in the Class 6A bracket, was withdrawing from the playoffs because of a positive COVID-19 test in the School District of Harrisburg.
The Cougars just played Monday night at State College for their fourth game to become playoff-eligible. Harrisburg was 4-0, and was set to play York in a semifinal game at home on Saturday at 1 p.m.
According to D3 officials, the Harrisburg student involved did not travel to State College for the game, and Harrisburg did contact State College about the positive result.
Since D3 officials had already approved the brackets and their fall sports playoff guidelines — albeit only about two hours earlier — York was rewarded a forfeit victory and a spot in next week's 6A title game. According to D3 guidelines, once the brackets and guidelines were approved, any team that couldn't participate because of coronavirus shutdowns had to forfeit.
Had Harrisburg withdrawn before the vote, the Cougars would have been replaced in the bracket, likely by the No. 5 seed, which was L-L League Section 1 champ Wilson.
York will play the Central Dauphin vs. Central York winner for the D3-6A championship next week.
Meanwhile, Warwick is set to play at Hempfield and L-S is set to host Northern Lebanon in league-mandated crossover games on Friday. Those games will not count toward the power ratings, which closed on Monday night. Elco has an open date and will remain idle, preparing for its playoff game instead.
More fireworks came after Tuesday's video-conference meeting was adjourned, when Bishop McDevitt athletic director Tommy Mealy appealed to the District 3 committee to extend the regular season one more week, with games being played this coming weekend among Class 5A and Class 4A teams to count toward the power ratings.
McDevitt is 5-0, but finished fifth in the rankings and as the last team out in the Class 4A bracket. Hershey (5-0), in Class 5A, was the only other undefeated playoff-eligible team in the district that didn’t qualify for a playoff bracket.
District 3 chairman Doug Bohannon and D3 executive president Ron Kennedy both reiterated to McDevitt’s officials that the brackets were formalized and approved by the committee during the meeting, and those brackets stand.
McDevitt hadn’t missed the district playoffs since 2003. Hershey, meanwhile, has added a nonleague game vs. Manheim Central on Nov. 6. The PIAA has given teams the option to add games through Nov. 28.
NOTES: District 3 approved its fall championship guidelines. Higher seeds in every sport will host throughout the championship in their respective brackets. … D3 officials recommended that visiting spectators be allowed to attend, but they can’t enforce it. Home schools will determine how many spectators are allowed in, and how the tickets will be sold and divided. Home venues can continue to live-stream the events. … Runners competing in this weekend’s district cross country championships at Big Spring in Newville will each get two spectator tickets. Those fans will be asked to clear the area after the race so the next set of fans can be let in. … D3 is permitting the soccer championships to be played on a grass field this fall, but just for this season. … The field hockey championships must be played on a turf surface, even if the game is moved to a neutral site. … The D3 committee did discuss potential changes in the power ratings — not how they are computed, but when and how they are released, plus potential cutoff dates for adding games moving forward. The playoff brackets were approved back in August during the COVID pandemic, meaning truncated seasons and smaller brackets for all of the fall sports. … D3 officials also said they’re awaiting guidelines and modifications from the PIAA for the start of winter sports; the PIAA meets Wednesday. …. D3 officials dissolved the athletic co-op between York Tech and York Country Day.