Comets Threepeat as Pennsylvania Champs March 22, 2018
On lucky St. Patrick's Day, Penn Manor's bowling team captured its third straight Pennsylvania state bowling championship at Princess Lanes in Pittsburgh. But luck had nothing to do with it.
"The kids just did not want to lose," said head coach Chris Vital.
The Comets, in a 12-team field, worked their way through the qualifying rounds and two baker sets and found themselves sitting in second place behind a familiar foe in District Three's Wilson. The Bulldogs, with a 4105 total, sat in first place while Penn Manor, with a 4064, fell in second place ahead of Franklin Regional (3993).
"We rolled a 1074 in the third game," said Vital. "That was the highest game by any team in the tournament."
In the Baker Game semifinals, the Comets, as they did in the L-L League finals and regional tournament, fought from behind to advance. Franklin took the first game 187-171. In a win-or-go-home second game, Manor pulled out a 206-205 win and then commanded the rubber match 236-173 to get Wilson in the finals.
"It was a total team effort," commented Vital. "We were pretty far ahead in that second game. We were on three strikes in a row going into the tenth frame and Dan Mease, who was a rock all weekend, rolled a nine on the first ball. After that, we had the momentum."
The Comets, with three strikes early, came out strong against Wilson, winning 209-173. But the Bulldogs, after falling to the Comets 2-1 in the regional finals on March 4, were looking for revenge and took the second game 206-196. That, however, wasn't enough as Manor charged back with a 234-174 championship-clinching game.
"Michael Morris took over the leadership role and kept everyone focused," Vital noted.
"When it came down to crunch time, we opened that last game with three straight spares and Wilson had an open frame in the third," explained Vital. "We took it upon ourselves to win and finished with five straight strikes. It was over by the ninth frame."
Prior to the team championships, Dan Mease competed in the singles competition on Friday and, in a field of 24 competitors, finished in 10th place. He rolled a 224 and a 226 in his last two games, the highest of his six qualifying rounds. Mease finished with a 1216 total. Lewisburg's Anthony Neuer was tops in the qualifying rounds with a 1455. The top six advanced to the stepladder finals.
"Dan wasn't far off the top five," Vital stated. "He was 44 pins away, but he fouled four times and that cost him 40 pins. He was right there.
"Dan is only the fourth Penn Manor boy ever to qualify for states," he added. "That's quite an accomplishment.
"It certainly was a memorable weekend."
Also competing in the state championships was swimmer Alaina Breitbach. The sophomore competed at Bucknell's Kinney Natatorium on March 15 and finished 12th overall in the 100-yard breaststroke.
"Alaina dropped her time from districts by 1.1 seconds in the prelims and broke her own school record from last year with a 1:04.47," noted head coach Eric Urban. "She is also a Pennsylvania High School Swimming Coaches Association All-State Honorable Mention swimmer for the 2017-18 season. What a tremendous finish to the year," he added.
Seniors Alyssa Schriver and Macy Carroll were recently recognized as Section One All-Stars. Schriver, who joined the 1,000 point club earlier this year, was a First Team selection while Carroll received Honorable Mention recognition. Both were slated to play in the senior All-Star game on Tuesday, March 27, at 6 p.m. at Hempfield High School.
On the boys' side, Kevin Roldan represented the Comets as a Section One Honorable Mention All-Star.
A handful of Comet matmen also received all-star recognition for their efforts this season. Tanner Stefanick (106) and Trevor Grassel (113) were both First Team All-Stars, while Nick Fafel (126), Caden Rogers (132), Nick Baker (160), and TJ Keener (195) were voted to the Second Team. Receiving Honorable Mention recognition was Chad Mowbray (138).
Solanco Wrestlers Receive Awards March 22, 2018
Dominic Flatt, Grayson Charles, Nick Yannutz, and AJ Wilson received some of the top awards at Solanco's end-of-the-season wrestling banquet held on March 20 in Strasburg.
Flatt (106) received the Iron Man Award named after former coach Ivan Steele.
Wrestling at 138, Charles was the team captain and received the Outstanding Senior Award. Charles posted 103 career wins with 41 pins and earned 36 wins this year with 14 pins. He is a two time L-L League champion, and he received the Shorty Hitchcock Pin Award this year. Charles is a four-time Sectional runner-up, a three time First Team All-Star, and a four-time district/regional qualifier.
This year's Most Improved Wrestler Award, in memory of Ray Long, went to Yannutz with 26 wins and 16 pins at 195.
Wilson was awarded the Carlton Shindler Award/MVP and the Most Team Points Award. He wrestled at 160. He finished the season with 40 wins and 14 pins and pushed his career record to 102 wins with 40 pins. Wilson was a two-time Sectional champion, a district/regional third-place finisher in 2017, and this year's regional champion. He is also a two-time PIAA state qualifier, a sixth-place PIAA finisher, and a three-time First Team All-Star.
Also receiving awards were Ben Root, Zach Spade, Kaleb Tucker, Tucker Pierson, and Sheldon Peiffer. Root was a team captain and PIAA qualifier. He finished with 32 wins and 16 pins this year and pushed his career record to 117 wins with 58 pins. He is a two-time L-L League and Sectional champion.
Spade, who finished fifth in Sectionals, received a one-year Dedication Award.
With 46 career wins and 27 pins, Tucker received a three-year dedication award. He finished third in both the Mule Classic and Penn Manor tournaments, was fourth at the Trojan Wars, and was a Second Team All-Star.
Pierson and Peiffer both received four-year Dedication Awards. Peiffer capped his career with 61 wins and 25 pins, earning 25 wins and 10 pins this season. He is a two-time district/regional qualifier and a Second Team All-Star.
Raasch, Lynam Place in PIAA Swimming March 16, 2018
Most freshman athletes spend their first varsity season learning the ropes, but Conestoga Valley's (CV) Karli Raasch broke the mold, as well as multiple records, in her first season on the varsity Buckskin swim team. Capping her debut season with a trip to Bucknell University's Kinney Natatorium for the PIAA state tournament last Wednesday and Thursday, Raasch competed in the 200 IM, where she produced a personal best time and a new school record with a time of 2:05.58, good enough for a 12th place overall finish.
Junior Nick Lynam also represented CV at states, competing in two events. Lynam cracked the top 10 in the 200 free with another school record of 1:40.89 to secure the 10th-place spot. In his second event, the 500 free, Lynam once again made school history, cruising into ninth place with a personal and school record time of 4:33.88.
Basketball duo and brothers Logan and Austin Monroe were each named to the L-L League Section One all-star second team. L. Monroe was CV's top scorer, netting a season total of 374, for an average of 16 points per game. A. Monroe collected the Bucks' second-highest total of 282, averaging 12 PPG.
Even while battling a late-season injury, Kenzie Reed's season-long efforts were recognized by the league, and Reed was named to Section One's first team all-star roster. Reed led the Lady Bucks with a game average of 15 points.
E-town Lady Bear Bowlers Qualify for States March 9, 2018
The weather outside may be driving mid-staters crazy, but the Elizabethtown bowling team has found comfort inside the cozy confines of various bowling lanes. Most recently that sent the Bear bowlers to Leisure Lanes and 222 Dutch Lanes on March 2 and 3 for the Eastern Pennsylvania Regional Championships.
Count the trips to the two Lancaster Country bowling alleys a success as the entire girls' team, as well as Katelynn Garman, qualified for the Pennsylvania State Championships to be held on Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17, in Pittsburgh. Garman opened the state qualifying on Friday, rolling her way to a 213 average in the qualifying round. Her 1,065 total was good enough to make the top 12 cut into the finals. Garman bowled games of 199, 245, 228, 227 and 166 to finish 21 pins over what ended up the cut line. The qualifying success slotted Garman eighth in the finals, pitting her opposite Muhlenberg's Charlize Wanner in the first round of the stepladder finals. Wanner, the Lady Muhl sophomore, got the better of Garman, 214-212, leaving the E-town bowler one of four first-round casualities.
Four other Lady Bears joined Garman in the singles competition, but none were able to join their teammate in the finals. Elizabeth Vuxta came the closest, tallying a 997 to finish 25th out of the 150-bowler field. Nikki Lee was the only other Lady Bear to crack the top 50, her games of 169, 171, 184, 201 and 215 giving her a 940 total. The final two Elizabethtown bowlers finished 12 pins apart with Eryn Moore finishing 55th with an 899 while Abby Chaffins claimed 59th thanks to her 887.
After spending Friday bowling for themselves, the five Lady Bears and Addie Gish teamed up for the Girls Team Championship on Saturday. The team qualifying used the standard three-game format with Vuxta leading the Lady Bears to a fourth-place mark with a 688 series. Garman and Lee also cracked the 600-pin barrier with Garman posting games of 199, 244 and 196 to finish with a 639 series while Lee posted a 629 series thanks to games of 205, 201 and 223. Chaffins was the fourth and final Lady Bear to bowl all three games, finishing with a 485 series. Moore handled the first two games of the fifth spot, rolling her way to a 125 and 158. Gish stepped in for the final game and posted a 164.
With their state championship berth locked up courtesy of their top six finish, the Lady Bears went to work in the stepladder finals. Unfortunately, that resulted in a 2-0 quarterfinal loss to Truman with the Lady Tigers posting wins of 211-151 and 188-146.
Over on the boys' side, just two bowlers, Logan Hoover and Patrick Hoffmaster, qualified for the singles championships on Friday. Hoover bettered his teammate but was off the qualifying pace set by the top 12. Hoover's five-game tally of 991 left him 142 pins short of the cut line and in 73rd place. Hoffmaster's games of 210, 183, 161, 166 and 190 left him in 131st place with a qualifying tally of 910.
The pair, along with Bradley Ruth, Zach Deardorff, Andrew Telenko, Ben Davis and Tyler Freeman, teamed up for the boys' qualifying on Saturday at Leisure Lanes. The result was a 20th-place finish and an end to their 2017-18 season. Hoffmaster and Ruth managed to cross the 600-pin threshold with Hoffmaster posting games of 190, 243 and 171 to record a 604 series. Ruth finished 10 pins better with games of 232, 179 and 203. Hoover was the only other Bear to bowl all three games, finishing with a 561 series. Deardorff and David bowled two games apiece while Telenko and Freeman picked up the final two games. Davis posted the lone 200+ game of the quartet, a 211 to go along with a 136 game two. Deardorff finished with a 195 and a 163 while Telenko (170) and Freeman (174) finished a few pins back.
The swimming team made its annual trek to Mechanicsburg for the District 3 Championships on March 2 and 3. The Bears collected five podium finishes in the eight events that Gabby Walsh, Lexi Fink, Oliviah Rachael, Abbi Dehmey, Daniel Mueser and Ben Azzalina competed in at the Cumberland Valley Natatorium.
The quartet of Lady Bears collected the bulk of those finishes, leading to a 12th-place finish in the team standings. Rachael earned three of those finishes, two for her solo work and one as a part of the 200 medley relay team. The relay team posted a 1:53.76, good enough for an 11th place-finish while trimming just over a quarter of a second off their seed time. Rachael's solo medals came in the 50 and 100 freestyle races, where she outperformed her entry times as well. The senior shaved just over six-tenths off her 100 freestyle time, taking 12th with a time of 53.32 while her 24.43 in the 50 free was good enough for ninth place and came in 0.12 seconds quicker than her previous best time.
Walsh was the final Lady Bear to make a podium trip, doing so thanks to a 1:00.12 in the 100 backstroke. Like Rachael, Walsh outperformed her qualifying time, jumping from the 16th quickest time to her 10th-place finish. Fink was the final Lady Bear to go solo at Cumberland Valley. Fink came into the 100 breaststroke with the 28th best time but finished 27th with a 1:11.65, cutting 0.38 seconds of her previous best time.
On the boys' side, only Mueser was able to climb the podium, taking ninth in the 100 butterfly. The senior posted a 52.24 in finals, jumping from the 15th seed to his ninth-place spot on the medal stand. Mueser experienced the opposite in the 50 freestyle, his 22.35 coming in three-tenths of a seconds slower than his best time, dropping him into 16th place.
Azzalina also took part in two solo events during the district competition but was unable to earn a medal. The freshman went through the same troubles as Mueser in the 50 freestyle, his 23.17 time in the finals being 0.23 seconds slower than his best time which resulted in a 28th place finish. Azzalina was able to redeem himself with a 20th place finish in the 100 backstroke by trimming 0.16 seconds off his 56.71 seeded time to post a 56.55 in the finals.
Basketball Team Wins Championship March 6, 2018
The varsity boys' basketball team from Saint Theresa School in New Cumberland won the 66th annual Harrisburg Diocese Championship held at St. Patrick's Catholic School in Carlisle on March 4. It is only the fourth Harrisburg DIO Championship in the last 55 years for the boys' program.
With the win, the team qualified for the Pennsylvania State Championship Final 8 Tournament, which will be held in the Harrisburg Diocese at Trinity High School from Friday, March 16, through Sunday, March 18.
The team finished the regular season and postseason play with a combined record of 29-3. In addition to the DIO championship, the team won the Harrisburg Area League regular-season title with an undefeated record of 18-0 as well as the STS preseason tournament. The team also finished third at the St. Paul's School showcase tournament in Baltimore against national-level competition.
Team members include Jack Staul, Tyler Houser, Charlie Werner, Chance Westry, Evan Scott, Gabe Deppen, Ethan Pfeffer, Jacob Shull, Danny Britten, Daniel Mailey, Malachi Palmer, Cooper Manley, Jordan Negley, and Joe Charbonneau. They are coached by head coach Jason Grace and assistants Scott Rider, Steve Kuntzelman, and Chris Schemeck.
A pep rally will take place at the school on March 16 at 11:15 a.m., followed by a police and fire engine sendoff at approximately noon. The public is invited. Fundraising events will take place to help offset the tournament expenses for the team. To order championship T-shirts, readers may visit www.sainttheresaschool.org. The state championship schedule has also been posted.
Program Aims To Bring Golf To Schools March 6, 2018
Approximately 10 schools in York County are making use of the free Golf in School Program, which is being offered through a partnership with the Philadelphia PGA and York Indoor Golf and Training Center.
Through the program, which is geared toward children in kindergarten through sixth grade, schools receive free equipment to implement the program in physical education class. Additionally, physical education teachers receive free training on how to teach the program to students. PGA professionals will coordinate and visit local schools and help teach and offer support to teachers.
A training session was held on March 5 at St. Patrick's in York, and schools slated to be represented included St. Patrick's, St. Joseph's, St. John's, and Dayspring Christian Academy.
First Pitch Event Will Support Baseball Team March 3, 2018
The Hempfield Baseball Booster Club will host the annual Hempfield High School baseball First Pitch Meet the Team Night on Friday, March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria of the school, 200 Stanley Ave., Landisville. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. An admission fee for adults will be charged at the door. Children will be admitted at no cost.
Complimentary hot dogs, soft pretzels, chips, desserts, and beverages will be offered. There will be games for children, and attendees will be introduced to this season's baseball team.
Additionally, there will be a silent auction and drawings for a variety of items, which will include gift cards for local restaurants, jewelry, tickets to professional sporting events, and several baseball bats, mitts, and helmets.
Proceeds from the event will be used to pay the rental fees for the indoor training facilities that the team uses during winter as well as to purchase equipment, provide team meals before games, and cover other expenses.
Senior players Nick Bair and Eric Sipling are looking forward to a fun, positive, and, they hope, winning season. The First Pitch Meet the Team Night is a way for the team to connect with the community before the season begins.
"I like to see the youth baseball players and future Hempfield High School baseball players come out and support us," Nick said.
"I like to see all the support from the community," Eric added. "On behalf of the team and our coaches, we would like to thank the businesses and families who have donated to help make First Pitch another successful fundraiser."
For more information about First Pitch Meet the Team Night, readers may email club co-chairs Deb Lichtenwalner and Cris LaBarbera at Hempfieldbaseballboosterclub@gmail.com.
Munro Earns Recognition March 1, 2018
Kyle Munro of New Providence is one of 11 Lebanon Valley College track and field student-athletes to have earned Middle Atlantic Conference all-conference honors after competing at the conference Indoor Championships at Lehigh University on Feb. 23 and 24.
Munro, a graduate of Solanco High School, competed in the 4x800 relay. The men's 4x800m relay group won silver with a combined time of 8:07.20 to earn third team all-conference honors. Munro is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice.
Student-Athletes Announce College Selections February 28, 2018
On Feb. 12, eight Avon Grove High School senior athletes participated in the second athletic signing ceremony at the high school. Joined by coaches and family members, the students celebrated their college selections.
The students and the colleges they were accepted to are as follows: Shane Wolford, football, Bloomsburg University, Division II; Ben James, soccer, Elizabethtown College, Division III; Alex Ei, baseball, Juniata College, Division III; Bryce Carey, baseball, Widener University, Division III; Rachel Butler, softball, West Chester University, Division II; Kevin Francis, football, Bloomsburg University, Division II; Tyler Boyd, football, University of Delaware, Division I; and Dillon Estes, football, Lebanon Valley College, Division III.
Lacrosse Team Donates Purses February 22, 2018
The Hershey High School girls' lacrosse team recently participated in Purses Full of Hope. As part of the effort, they collected and filled more than 200 gently used purses and donated them to the Harrisburg YWCA to support women who have been affected by poverty or domestic abuse.
Each purse was filled items including nail files, tissues, deodorant, hand sanitizer, lotion, mints, and gum, as well as handwritten letters of encouragement. The purses were delivered in time for each woman to get a purse for Valentine's Day.
This is the second year the team has participated in Purses Full of Hope. Last year, the team collected and donated 86 purses.
Athletes Sign Letters Of Intent February 16, 2018
Nine Lower Dauphin High School student-athletes signed letters of intent to continue their education and playing careers at the collegiate level. In the signing day ceremony in the school cafeteria on Feb. 12, the students were joined by parents, coaches, teachers and classmates.
Nathaniel Hoffman, the son of Jeffrey and Kelly Hoffman, pitches for several club baseball teams. He will continue his academic and baseball career at Wilson College, where he will major in criminal justice.
Will Manley, the son of Barb and Phil Manley, is a four-year member of the high school baseball team, earning Keystone Division MVP honors last season as a pitcher and infielder. He will continue his academic and baseball career at Desales University, where he will major in criminal justice.
Brendan Shaffer, the son of Darrin and Dorinda Shaffer, is a three-sport standout in football, wrestling and track. During his senior year campaign in football, he was a first-team divisional all-star at running back. He will continue his academic and football career at East Stroudsburg University, where he will major in nursing.
Adeline Gesford, the daughter of Roy and Dawn Gesford, is a three-year varsity letter winner and also plays club soccer. She will continue her academic and soccer career at Pennsylvania College of Technology, where she will major in surgical technology.
Rory Klingensmith, the daughter of Don and Jenn Klingensmith, is a two-sport standout for the Falcons in soccer and track. She was Mid-Penn Keystone Player of the Year her senior year and is also a club soccer player and National Merit Scholar Commended Student. She will continue her academic and soccer career at Drexel University, where she will major in biomedical engineering.
Jackson Becher, the son of Bill and Dawn Becher, is a four-year varsity starter in both soccer and basketball for the Falcons and plays club soccer. In soccer, he is the leading goal scorer in school history and was an All-American his senior year, capping back-to-back state titles. He will continue his academic and soccer career at the University of Maryland - Baltimore County.
Nick Iagnemma, the son of Tony and Linda Iagnemma, is the school's all-time assists leader and was a second-team divisional soccer all-star his senior season, in which the Falcons captured their second straight PIAA title. He will continue his academic and soccer career at Slippery Rock University, where he will major in finance.
Diego Heredia Soto, the son of Antonio Heredia and Diana Soto, is a three-year starter on the two-time state title-winning soccer team, and he also plays club soccer. He will continue his academic and soccer career at Colgate University.
Kealey Smith, the daughter of Troy and Rayme Smith, is a four-year softball starter and was part of three divisional championships and one District 3 championship for the Falcons as a pitcher and infielder. She will continue her academic and softball career at Alvernia University, where she will major in occupational therapy.