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Knights Top Peters Twp., Bow in PIAA Finals November 19, 2017

The Hempfield boys' soccer team reached the state championship game after winning a tense semifinal match over Peters Township on Tuesday night at Altoona.

The winner of this PIAA Class-AAAA playoff match was not decided in the 80 minutes of regulation play; the score was tied 2-2. Neither the Indians nor the Black Knights scored in the two 15-minute overtime periods, taking this game into the penalty shootout phase where Hempfield scored on all five attempts for the win.

The Black Knights, however, brought home the PIAA Class-AAAA runner-up trophy after a 4-0 loss to Conestoga on Saturday night at Hersheypark Stadium. The loss ended Hempfield's tremendous run with a record of 22-5.

The victory over Peters Township wasn't one of those cautiously played games where two soccer teams play conservative, defensive styles with the intent to avoid giving the edge to the other team.

Ryan Hepler scored five minutes into the match and the Indians evened it up in the 12th minute on Logan Brinsky's goal. A few minutes past the midway point of the first half, Jake Suchar gave Hempfield the lead again. Peters Township tied it up at almost exactly the same juncture in the second half on Bryce Gabelhart's goal - Brian Bruzdwicz assisting.

"Ryan Hepler had a beautiful shot in the upper right corner of the goal," said head coach Mark Ashley. "We love to score first and were happy to get on the board.

"Peters Township responded well," Ashley went on. "But Jake Suchar scored off a deflection on a throw-in.

"They tied it up in the second half and in overtime I felt we had the better of the opportunities," continued the coach. "Our fitness helped us and they were tiring. So we had more chances because of that. Our fitness helped us in the penalty kicks too."

The Knights lined up their penalty shooters - Zach Wilson, Drew Johnson, Hepler, Dan Hester and Austen Goodling, who had an assist on the Knights' first goal of the game.

"We felt that all five of our shooters can kick the PK's with power and accuracy," said Ashley.

And each of them came through - with power and accuracy.

"They went first," Ashley noted. We made all five of our shots; question was would our goalie make the saves. Brady Ross saved their third shot. So Austen had to make the fifth shot for us to move on."

Though the penalty kick often seems like an easy goal, there's a different approach to the PK shootout, Ashley explained.

"It's a little different with the penalty shootout because you're dealing with five in a row," he said. "We encourage them to trust their training and put the ball where they've consistently put it in practice.

"And if you're a goalie, a lot of times the goalie will guess - left or right, high or low. Typically, Brady will make an educated guess on the position of their feet and angle of their hips.

"Having been through a lot of playoff games, our coaching and preparation include anticipating the situations we may end up in," he added. "We mix it up with our goalkeepers too."

The Knights went with Tristan Green as their goalie in the first half and brought in Brady for the second half and the extra time as well as the shootout.

"That worked well for us," Ashley said. "Brady was warmed up and loose. He was mentally ready too."

After beating the team that had won the state championship in 2006 and 2014, the Knights went up against the Pioneers, who had won last year's title game over Elizabethtown by a 1-0 score.

Conestoga senior Chris Donovan, who had the lone goal in last year's state finale as a junior, scored all four goals Friday night as the Pioneers kept their collective foot on the accelerator through the match, playing a high-pressure game across the pitch.

"That guy is unreal," said Ashley. "We knew about him. We tried to start the game marking him, trying to take him out. We also knew about [Nick] Jennings in the middle - we thought if we could neutralize those two, we would have a chance. But they played pretty phenomenal."

Unlike Hempfield's run in the playoffs for the Lancaster-Lebanon League, the District Three 4A quest and the PIAA tournament where they often took the early lead, this game saw them fall behind 1-0 less than 10 minutes into the match. Donovan scored another goal in the 15th minute - a 2-0 lead that held until halftime.

"It was really tough," Ashley said "All year long we've typically scored early on in our games with the exception of maybe three games. It's hard to give up an early goal in a game like this.

"It seemed like we were starting to get some opportunities, finding the targets and slipping it in," Ashley said, referring to the final few minutes of the first half. "We also got a corner kick. But we weren't able to get much of a solid attack."

"Getting the first one is key," said David Zimmerman, the Pioneers' head coach. "When you score one, it means they have to score two and we haven't given up that many goals. Forces them to come out.

"We're fortunate in terms of depth and we use that to our advantage - wearing out teams and getting fresh legs in constantly," Zimmerman added.

The Pioneers claimed the championship, wrapping up their 2017 campaign with a 25-0-1 record. Dating back to their 2016 District One championship game, which they lost, the Pioneers went unbeaten for 30 straight games. That included this year's 26 games as well as the PIAA run of 2016, which included a 1-0 defeat of Hempfield in the quarterfinals.

"There was a lot of pressure because we won it last year," Donovan said when asked about keeping an unbeaten record going. "We wanted to get that undefeated season. District championship was another big goal because we didn't win that last year.

"Central League, District One and state," Donovan added. "Couldn't have scripted it any better. There's nothing more to accomplish."

"You couldn't ask for a better ending to an incredible high school career," Zimmerman said of Donovan.

The Pioneers did have 11 shots on goal. Ross came up with six saves, including a beautiful one on a one-on-one breakaway by the Pioneers. Another save came off the foot of Wilson, who booted a ball away from the goal line when a shot got past Ross.

"Brady made some great saves for us," Ashley said. "Zach Wilson made the difference in holding down the defense for us. He's one of our leaders and played a phenomenal game.

"Tough to see it end this way," Ashley concluded. "But that's a phenomenal team. Conestoga is unreal. I give them so much credit as a team. They know how to play together. They executed. They deserve it."

FOOTBALL

In the District Three Class 6A semifinals, the Black Knights suffered a 28-7 loss to Cumberland Valley on Friday night. The district's top-seeded Eagles improved to 10-2 and earned their ticket to the district championship game at Hersheypark Stadium this Saturday where they'll face Manheim Township.

The Eagles' running game was effective against the Knights, resulting in 248 rushing yards on 48 attempts. The Knights (8-4) also hurt themselves with two fumbles.

Jared Plessinger completed eight of 12 passes for 129 yards, including a one-yard touchdown toss to Charlie Katsir, who finished with 69 receiving yards.

Mark Himmelsbach ran for 69 yards on 14 carries and threw a touchdown pass for Hempfield's lone score of the game. He finished the game with 11 completions out of 15 attempts for 97 yards. His touchdown pass came in the fourth quarter, connecting with Nash Beinhauer.

Jake Palmer and Cole McVoy had the other Cumberland Valley touchdowns - both rushing TD's from inside the Knights' 10-yard line.

The Hempfield defense holding the Eagles to only 28 points was notable. In seven of their previous nine wins, the Eagles had scored over 30 points, including a 62-9 victory in the first round of districts.

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Knights Football, Soccer Teams Alive in Playoffs November 13, 2017

Both of the Hempfield football teams that are alive in their respective post-season pursuits won in dramatic fashion within a span of 24 hours. First, it was the football team of pigskin variety scoring the game-winning touchdown with only 40 seconds to play in Friday night's District Three Class 6A opening round. In a PIAA Class-AAAA state quarterfinals match, the boys' soccer team earned a 1-0 overtime victory over Council Rock North on a goal by Drew Johnson.

In a match played at Downingtown West High School, the Knights battled a tough Council Rock North team in a defensive grudge match for much of Saturday's contest. Following 80 minutes of regulation play and with the Knights having had more close and dangerous chances than the Indians on a frigid night, the scoreless draw carried into overtime.

"It was a battle of wills - both teams determined to not let the other get off a quality shot," said head coach Mark Ashley whose team improved to 21-4-0. "There was a lot of midfield play.

"It was close," Ashely said in regards to possessing the ball. "We had better possession than they did. We had more opportunities also, but their keeper made some great saves.

"Also, I thought a few of our throw-in opportunities were close," continued the coach. "We didn't get the finishing shots, but I think we got good plays out of them. I also thought a couple of corners might lead to something but they defended them well."

The District One runner-up Indians (16-8-1) did survive several Hempfield scoring chances thanks to senior goalie Ed Mancinelli. He either scooped up shots directly at him or either punched away or plucked balls out of the air that Hempfield wingers crossed into the box.

The golden goal came 7:06 into overtime. An indirect kick by Christian Benedict near the left sideline was redirected by Daniel Hester toward the right goal post and finally to Johnson, who headed it past Mancinelli. In addition, Zach Wilson, without touching the ball, had a supporting role.

There was some strategy involved in how Hempfield's offense set up the scoring play. The attackers focused on isolating CRN senior Zachary Saifer whose height was an advantage for the Indians' defense in the box.

"The set piece there was that Zach Wilson ran to the side to bring out their number 55 (Saifer), who's about 6-foot-3," Ashley explained. "He knew that the guy was going to defend him, so we brought him out of the mix and he wasn't there to get the header. That freed Daniel up to be able to get a piece of it and head it back in for Drew to finish."

"Zach pulled us aside before the play and said he was going to take number 55 out," Hester explained. "He went the other way. He told Christian that I was going to hang back. Christian played in a perfect ball. I played it in and Drew was there to put it home."

"I just saw it coming toward me," Johnson said. "I figured it was the chance to win the game. I was just hoping it went in."

Johnson was mobbed by his teammates as well as those running onto the pitch along with the coaching staff to celebrate the winning score.

"It's really rewarding, especially with this group of players," Ashley said. "You love to see them succeed because they work so hard. They root for each other and the attitude out there is 'what can I do to help the team?'"

Ashley addressed the team's need to regain momentum as regulation drew to a close.

"We told the kids to just settle down and relax and get back to what got us here - passing the ball, finding feet of open men," he explained. "Another thing we tried was to have our strikers check back to midfield to try and get the ball rather than looking for it over top."

"The coach told us to do what we do best," Johnson said. "There have been a lot of games that we've won early in overtime. So we just wanted to come out and do it again."

"At the end of regulation we felt like we were a little hectic and a little out of sorts," Hester concurred. "We came off the field after regulation and we said 'Let's just go out there as hard as we can. If we win, great and if we lose, we do it with pride and good effort.'"

The Knights' opening-round victory was also a 1-0 final that saw the game's only goal scored on a set piece. Ashley was asked about the key to these plays.

"They're such a huge part of both defending and attacking," Ashley replied. "Of course it's a dangerous opportunity for your opponent, so you have to defend them well; you have to take advantage of them offensively."

The Knights earned their fifth straight post-season shutout. Earning this one while recording five saves was junior Tristan Green. In the prior games, Brady Ross had received the nod. However, the junior was battling an illness following the first-round victory earlier in the week.

"Brady Ross got sick in that game and had a fever," Ashley explained, referring to Tuesday's win. "Tristan had playoff experience for us last year. We felt confident with him and he stepped up."

Hempfield's next game will be against Peters Township.

In the opening-round match, which was played at Hershey, Ross made five saves in an intense 1-0 victory over Perkiomen Valley. The defense held off the Vikings after Wilson broke a scoreless tie 31:32 into the game. Hester's indirect kick found Wilson near the six-yard box and he headed the ball past the goalie.

"Zach is such a threat for us," Ashley said. "He's someone we trust in those situations."

FOOTBALL

The Knights advanced to the District Three 6A second round by defeating Dallastown 31-28 at Landisville Friday night. The game-winning drive was engineered by quarterback Mark Himmelsbach, who helped Hempfield move to the Wildcats' red zone where he called his own number from two yards out for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Knights entered the fourth quarter trailing 21-16, which included some missed opportunities along the way.

"We felt like we made a lot of little mistakes in the first half - blocking, route mistakes and missed assignments," said head coach Ron Zeiber. "Little mistakes will come back and bite you. We needed to eliminate them and play precision football. We rallied the guys up at halftime."

Himmelsbach put Hempfield on the board with a 40-yard run in the first quarter. The Wildcats scored two TD's in the second period - a four-yard run by running back Nyzair Smith and a five-yard rushing TD by quarterback Brett Smith with 2:13 left in the half.

Hempfield responded with a drive that culminated on Curtis Johnson's 25-yard field goal 10 second before the half, cutting the deficit to 14-10.

Though the Knights did come out with a mission in the second half, the visitors' offense was given another spark by Nyzair Smith on the Wildcats' first possession.

"Their first play from scrimmage goes for an 82-yard touchdown," Zeiber noted. "But we picked ourselves up."

Indeed, after Smith's TD extended the Wildcats' lead to 21-10, Himmelsbach brought his team back with a touchdown toss to David Martin-Robinson from 26 yards out. The Wildcats blocked the extra point, giving them the 21-16 lead after three quarters.

Max Teyral recouped the points for Dallastown on his two-yard rushing TD with 9:28 left to play in the game. Mitchell Groh's extra-point kick made it 28-16.

"The resilience of this team is pretty impressive," said Zeiber, whose squad improved to 8-3 on the year. "They keep fighting. They don't want to lose.

"David and Mark are two of the team's leaders," he added, referring to Robinson and Himmelsbach. "The team respects them on and off the field."

Himmelsbach gave Hempfield fans something to cheer about again, connecting with Darien Ressler for a 66-yard touchdown pass. It was his second TD pass of the game. He finished with 129-yards, completing seven of 15 attempts.

As for the winning drive, it started with less than a minute left. Himmelsbach, who also ran for 148 yards on 29 carries, went to work.

"We were in a no-huddle offense and Mark was calling the shots out there," Zeiber said. "He did a great job of getting us into the end zone."

The touchdown made it 29-28 Hempfield. Even with an extra point kick by Johnson, the Knights would have given the Wildcats 40 seconds to get into field goal range for Groh.

"We wanted to make sure we made it a three-point game," Zeiber explained. "A field goal would beat us. They have a good kicker we've played against before."

Zeke Rodriguez was on the receiving end of Himmelsbach's two-point PAT pass.

"Mark made a great read," Zeiber said.

The game was between the fourth-ranked Knights and the fifth-ranked Wildcats. Dallastown fell to 8-3 and finished 2017 on the same field where it started. In the season opener, Hempfield beat D-town 38-14 in a non-league game at home.

Hempfield's next opponent is Cumberland Valley. The Eagles improved to 9-2 with a 62-9 drubbing of Central Dauphin East on Friday.

"Now we go up against the number one seed," said Zeiber. "We have to play perfectly.

"In the playoffs you're going against good players who are very well-coached," continued the coach. "Sometimes it can be a shootout and who wins is based on who makes fewer mistakes," he added.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Sometimes the team with the more impressive record doesn't get the victory. Sometimes a district champion pitted against a runner-up from another district will come up short.

Despite their tremendous and tenacious comeback attempt on Tuesday evening, the District Three champion Black Knights lost to District One's fifth-place Garnet Valley Jaguars in a PIAA Class 4A state playoff match played at Manheim Township.

The Jags (18-5) won the first two sets, including a close 25-21 victory in the second. Hempfield came back with back-to-back 25-22 wins, forcing a tiebreaker fifth set. Garnet Valley hung on for a 15-9 victory, ending Hempfield' season at 18-2. The Jaguars (18-5) moved on to play in the quarterfinals.

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Lady Knights Edge Exeter for District Crown November 6, 2017

Hempfield claimed the District Three Class-AAAA girls' volleyball championship on Saturday night. The Black Knights did it with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Exeter Township at Garden Spot High School.

It was a classic clash between the two teams vying for the district crown. Hempfield came out with a strong 25-23 effort and won the second set by the same score. The Eagles responded with a 25-23 victory and eventually poured on enough points to deny Hempfield in the fourth set by a 27-25 margin.

"It was a very exciting match," said head coach Andrew Olree. "The first four sets were all within two points of each other. A battle for sure."

The momentum shifted back to Hempfield's side of the net. The Knights aced the tiebreaker with a decisive 15-5 victory to win their 11th district trophy in the program's history.

Olree noted that his squad's comeback attempt, which made the fourth set such a close one, helped carry over to the fifth set.

"In the fourth set we were down by six or seven at one point," he said. "We came back and made a game of it. We made up the difference and that sparked us the rest of the way."

Kylie Ulrich registered 23 kills and Riley Shelly chipped in with 12. Senior libero Ramsey Mahosky tallied 29 digs and Natalie Virts, another senior, provided 49 assists.

"Kylie had an awesome night," Olree remarked. "She was playing on another level. She put the team on her back and carried us through.

"Everyone played a steady game in the back row, getting the passes," added the coach. "We out-passed them."

The 19-1 Knights will play Garnet Valley in the opening round of the PIAA 4A state championships in a match at Manheim Township. The Jaguars (17-5) finished fifth in District One.

BOYS' SOCCER

The Knights defended their District Three championship in boys' soccer, shutting out Cumberland Valley by a 2-0 score on Saturday night at Hersheypark Stadium. Austen Goodling and Jake Suchar scored for the Knights while Brady Ross grabbed six saves to help Hempfield repeat. A year ago, the Knights defeated Conestoga Valley for the district trophy.

Head coach Mark Ashley commented on the luxury of having a group of upperclassmen with post-season experience.

"We have a really good solid core of senior players who were part of the district run last year," Ashley said. "So we've been able to build on that with these veteran guys."

Ashley spoke of the importance of starting out strong in this crucial match.

"We knew we needed to get off to a good start," he said. "We were able to get our possession game going early on, and maintain and complete a lot of passes in a row."

Conversely, the Eagles (13-8-0) had an ineffective game plan.

"It seemed that Cumberland Valley, when they did win the ball, played it long," Ashley remarked. "Our backs were able to win back those balls and play it to our midfielders. We had 68 percent of the possession in the first half."

And with less than five minutes to play before halftime, the Knights (19-4-0) scored the game's first goal, finally getting one past CV goalie Matt Zambetti.

"We had a number of shots prior to that and their keeper made some nice saves," Ashley said. "Getting the goal before the half was important."

The scoring play started with a nice maneuver by Cam Graybill and a heads-up reaction by Goodling.

"Cam Graybill took a pass from 30 yards out with his back to the goal," Ashley described. "He was able to spin with two defenders coming toward him. He took a great shot but Zambetti made the initial save. It was a great first save.

"It popped out about eight or nine yards out," Ashley continued. "Austen Goodling was able to get on the rebound even though he was pressured by a defender."

Suchar's goal came 14 minutes into the second half. The two-goal deficit and a steady rain didn't help the Eagles' chances.

"The rain started to come down really hard. It was great to have that two-goal lead because with bad weather anything can happen," Ashley said. "We were glad to have that cushion."

The cushion came thanks to Suchar taking a pass from Daniel Hester near the goal and one-timing it into the net.

"Daniel Hester, our right back, got forward into the attack," Ashley said. "Typically he'll go down the flank and cross the ball in. He was able to cut inside toward the penalty area. He slotted it to the far post and Jake Suchar hit it with his right foot."

As for the Eagles, they continued their long ball game to no avail.

"We were expecting them to change their tactics in the second half," said Ashley. "We were surprised that they continued to do what they were doing. Their thinking may have been that if they sent enough long balls that the ball would wind up at the feet of their attackers."

The Knights will return to Hersheypark Stadium for their first PIAA Class 4A game as they battle Perkiomen Valley out of District One.

"We kind of feel like it's our second home field," Ashley said. "It's exciting to go back to the site of where we won our district championship."

In fact, it will be Hempfield's third straight game at that stadium. The Knights reached the title game by defeating Chambersburg 2-0 on Tuesday night in a district semifinal match.

The scoring times were nearly identical to Saturday's game. Jesse Gutierrez scored with about two minutes remaining in the first half. Colin Gallagher doubled the lead 16 minutes into the second half while Hester delivered an assist. Ross had three saves to record the shutout.

FOOTBALL

The Lebanon Cedars came into Landisville with a 0-6 record against their Section One opponents while the Knights were looking to wrap up a successful season.

Somehow the Cedars put up 48 points, scoring two touchdowns in all but the first period of Friday night's game.

It wasn't enough, however, as Hempfield improved to 7-3 (5-2 in league) with a 59-48 victory.

"They have some tremendous athletes," said head coach Ron Zeiber.

Running back Steve Wenzel scored four rushing touchdowns in the first half alone. He finished with 118 yards on 19 carries.

Quarterback Mark Himmelsbach completed all 10 of his pass attempts for 121 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown toss to Nash Beinhauer. Himmelsbach also busted through the line for a 38-yard rushing TD as part of his 260 yards on the ground.

"The offensive line has come through for us all season," Zeiber said. "When you have a quarterback who has run for over 1,200 yards and passed for over 1,200 yards, then your offensive line is doing its work.

"We tried to remain as balanced as we could, mixing the passing game with the running game. We were able to play our game.

"I think our special teams played extremely well," continued the coach. "We even had a blocked punt for a touchdown.

"You have to count on all three aspects because one of the three might not be gelling," he added.

Zakee Sailsman threw for 523 yards to lead Lebanon's offense. The Cedars' quarterback completed 33 of 45 pass attempts, four of which went for TD's. He also ran the ball 17 times for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

The Knights took a 14-7 lead into a wild second quarter in which they outscored the visitors 21-14. Lebanon cut that 14-point deficit by six points going into the fourth.

The Knights got a 24-yard field goal from Curtis Johnson in the fourth quarter along with Himmelsbach's two rushing TD's to hold off the Cedars. In that fourth quarter, Sailsman scored his two rushing TD's.

The game was meaningful for the Knights in that they rebounded from a disappointing 2016 season.

"Last year we weren't able to make the playoffs with a very young team," Zeiber said. "It was a big deal for our guys getting back in there."

The Knights go into the District Three 6A playoffs as the fourth seed. They'll play host to fifth-seeded Dallastown on Friday night.

CROSS COUNTRY

The Hempfield boys' team finished eighth at the PIAA class-AAA state championship race on Saturday at Parkview. The squad finished with 240 team points, narrowly missing seventh place (235) claimed by Owen J. Roberts. LaSalle College High School won the state championship with 130 points with Council Rock North (130) taking second.

Leading the Knights was Christian Groff, who crossed the finish line in 29th place, registering a time of 16:34. Max Lessans (16:54) and Justin Rittenhouse (16:59) were 58th and 67th, respectively.

Sophomore Jack Mieszkalski ran the course in 17:29 while Ryan Farmer (17:36) finished 154th. Crossing the line at the 18:00 mark was Derek Zeigler while David Jackson registered an 18:03.

Sienna Gates ran individually in the girls' race and had a strong performance, placing 71st with a 20:12.

TENNIS

In the PIAA Class-AAA tennis singles championships, Amanda Hagino suffered a 6-1, 6-0 loss to North Allegheny's Ashley Huang on Friday. Hagino entered the state tournament as the District Three champion while Huang was the third seed out of District Seven. She went on to claim the state championship at the Hershey Racquet Club on Saturday.

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Booters Top Carlisle, South Western in Districts October 30, 2017

The Hempfield boys' soccer team made a statement in the District Three Class-AAAA playoffs with its 4-0 victory over South Western on Saturday afternoon in a quarterfinal match played at Cedar Crest.

Coming out of the halftime break with a 1-0 lead thanks to Austin Goodling's goal in the 29th minute, the Black Knights poured it on with three second-half goals. Meanwhile, the Mustangs were only able to muster up one shot on goal, which Brady Ross handled for the shutout.

The victory sends third-seeded Hempfield (17-4-0) into the semifinals against number seven seed Chambersburg in a Halloween doubleheader at Hersheypark Stadium. The nightcap will have another Lancaster-Lebanon League team playing as Ephrata faces Cumberland Valley. The top three teams advance to the PIAA 4A state championships.

"We were thankful for that win," said head coach Mark Ashley "It will help us going into the semis with some confidence."

The score became 2-0 when Zach Wilson scored 12 minutes into the second half. Jake Suchar's goal in the 69th minute made it 3-0 until Nebryu Bekere's late goal capped the scoring. Dan Hester had an assist.

When discussing the possibility of facing Ephrata in the district title match, Ashley recalled how his squad defeated Elizabethtown a year ago for the championship.

"Elizabethtown got knocked out in the first round this year, otherwise we could've had the chance to meet them again in districts," he said. "But with Ephrata moving on to the semis, it'll be fun to have another final between two Lancaster-Lebanon League teams."

The Knights were coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against Carlisle Tuesday. Christian Benedict scored the game winner with two minutes left in the second overtime to give the Knights a win.

"He headed it in off a nice cross by Daniel Hester," Ashley described.

"They're 15 minutes long in districts - an extra five minutes for each period," Ashley noted, referring to the overtime periods at this stage of the post-season.

Of course an extra five minutes in the extra time can take its toll on a team. But not so with Hempfield's squad, which has obviously had success in regulation as well as overtime wins.

"I would attribute that to two things - conditioning is one," Ashley explained. "Their fitness is at a high level. When it comes to overtime, our opponents often begin to fatigue - mentally and physically. The other thing is, we have a lot of senior leaders who are experienced and have been in those situations in the past. They don't get rattled by the tension that can build."

The Knights scored first against Carlisle as Austin Goodling scored off a Drew Johnson assist.

"He received a cross by Drew Johnson and a deflection by one of their defenders," Ashley said. "He put it inside the far post with his left foot.

"They tied it 23 minutes into the second half and we finally got the game-winner in the second overtime," he continued.

The Hempfield coach had the chance to play many of his reserves in the Carlisle game. It is a luxury that can have great benefits in the upcoming games.

"That was really good this time of year," said Ashley. "Sometimes the bench has to be shortened. You keep those guys engaged and help keep everybody fresh as you go deeper into the playoffs."

CROSS COUNTRY

The boys' cross country team claimed the District Three Class-AAA championship on Saturday at Big Spring High School, qualifying for the state championship race. The Knights had 110 team points, beating second-place Twin Valley by 42 points.

"I was just so impressed with them," said head coach Terry Newman.

Christian Groff finished sixth, posting a time of 16:24. Teammate Justin Rittenhouse made the top-10 with his 16:33.0 finish.

"Christian is a tough kid and a great leader," Newman said. "He didn't have his best day, but he's looking forward to states."

Keeping a strong, steady pace was senior Max Lessans (16:39.0) with his 19th-place finish. Jack Mieszkalski ran the course in 16:59.0 to claim 36th place.

"Max is another one of our senior captains," said Newman. "He and Christian have worked well together, running 1-2 on most of our meets. Max was a little disappointed in his race, but his place was even better this year though his time wasn't as good. He ran a very competitive race.

"Justin and Jack both ran their bests," continued the coach. "Justin had a better finish than he did in leagues.

"Jack's goal was to run under 20 minutes and he ran under 17," Newman noted.

Ryan Farmer took 39th place at 17:03 and Derek Ziegler grabbed 71st (17:31.00) with David Jackson not far behind (78th, 17:36.00)

"Ryan has been in our top five pretty much all year," said Newman. "He has had some degrees of inconsistency. He was 26th at the one mile and at 58 after two miles.

"He had an unbelievable last 1,000 meters," continued the coach. "I think he caught 15 or 20 guys on his own. Without him coming back like that and if we had to wait for our next scorer in the 70's, we might have still won the meet, but it would've been closer."

The girl' team finished eighth overall with 222 team points. The team was led by Sienna Gates, who individually qualified for states with her time of 19:48 - good for a 23rd-place finish

"For a group that had only three varsity returnees and only two girls who ran this race a year ago, I would say this team came along really strong this year," said Newman. "The girls' race was very competitive."

Gabriella Hollinger (20:26) claimed 44th place and a few strides behind (20:28) was sophomore Ella Kielmeyer, who finished 46th. Bronwyn Meldrum (58th, 20:41) and Lily Williams (70th, 20:58) made up the top five.

"Everyone in our top five was under 21 minutes, which is pretty solid," Newman noted.

"Gabrielle and Lily had good long seasons," continued the coach. "Bronwyn was a field hockey player until this year and she was our number four kid in this race."

Julia Campbell was barely over 21 minutes, finishing 75th at 21:07. Hannah Graybill finished the race in 22:20.

"They're tough kids and a good group to work with," the coach concluded.

GIRLS' SOCCER

Breanna Sgrignoli scored with less than three minutes left to play, giving Central York a 1-0 victory over the Hempfield girls' soccer team in the opening round of the District Three 4A playoffs in Landisville.

The Panthers (17-4-1), who entered the playoffs as the number 10 seed, ended the seventh-seeded Knights' impressive run at 14-5-1.

Aly Rote came away with four saves while Panthers' goalie Rachel Szczypinski stopped all five of Hempfield's shots.

FOOTBALL

In case you missed it, the big news in L-L League football was the end of Wilson's 68-game win streak against league opponents.

Going into this past Friday night's Section One game, the Wilson Bulldogs themselves wanted to forget about their loss to Manheim Township on October 20.

So with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs came back to beat Hempfield 21-10, taking sole possession of second place in Section One with their 5-1 league record. Hempfield fell to 4-2 (6-3 overall).

Wilson running back Iggy Reynoso gained 211 yards and scored two touchdowns in the second half.

Despite playing a strong defense and keeping the Bulldogs out of the end zone, the Knights were only able to score on a 24-yard field goal by Curtis Johnson. It was the only scoring of the first half.

In the third quarter, the teams' swapped one-yard touchdown runs. Reynoso scored for the Bulldogs and Hempfield quarterback Mark Himmelsbach scored on a one-yard sneak to regain the lead for the home team at 10-7 later in the third quarter.

Himmelsbach finished with 66 yards rushing on 23 carries. Stephen Wenzel had 58 yards on 13 carries and David Martin-Robinson was handed the ball 10 times for 56 yards of real estate.

Martin-Robinson also caught four passes for 90 yards as Himmelsbach completed eight of 16 attempts for 141 yards.

The Knights' next game will be against Lebanon (0-6, 1-8 overall).

GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

The Black Knights captured the L-L League championship with a 3-1 victory over Warwick on Wednesday night at Manheim Township. The win gave the Knights (15-1) momentum heading into the District Three Class AAAA playoffs.

Hempfield did not win easily over Warwick. The Warriors, after losing the first set 25-20, came back for a 26-24 hard-fought win in the second set. The Knights held them in check with a 25-14 victory but had to pour on some extra services and kills to claim the fourth set 29-27.

Both Jailene Lugo and Kylie Ulrich registered 16 kills each while Lugo also notched three blocks.

Natalie Virts had four saves along with a match-leading 44 assists while Ramsey Mahosky came through with 34 digs.

The Knights, who had won their L-L League semifinal match over Cedar Crest two days earlier by scores of 25-15, 25-15 and 25-9, entered district play as the number two team. Governor Mifflin, the 15th-seeded team, visited Landisville for a Saturday afternoon match.

Hempfield pulled off a 3-0 win by scores of 25-13, 25-11 and 25-17. And just as the boys' soccer team had faced South Western in the district quarterfinals, the girls' volleyball team will go from facing the Governor Mifflin Mustangs to the South Western Mustangs on Tuesday.

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Groff Leads Harriers to L-L League Championship October 23, 2017

In the L-L League Championship race on Tuesday, the Hempfield boys captured the team title while Christian Groff claimed first place for himself. Meanwhile, the Hempfield girls finished third in the championship race at Ephrata Middle School.

The boys' team compiled only 72 points - 30 ahead of second-place Cedar Crest while Cocalico was third at 109.

Groff registered a time of 16:05.4 as he crossed the finish line ahead of all 163 runners. Max Lessans gave the Knights a ninth-place finish at 16:44.4.

Justin Rittenhouse's pace of 16:47.7 earned him 14th place. Senior Ryan Farmer (17:01.7) and sophomore Jack Mieszkalski (17:06.3) were 21st and 27th, respectively.

Also competing for the Knights was David Jackson (30th, 17:13.3), Derek Ziegler (53rd, 17:38.8) and Ian Willig (59th, 17:48.9).

The girls' race was won by Manheim Township as the Blue Streaks had 44 points to Elizabethtown's second-place total of 100. Hempfield was a close third at 102.

Sienna Gates led the Knights with a 13th place finish in 19:41.5. Ella Kielmeyer cracked the top-20 with her time of 19:57.7 while Lily Williams (26th, 20:15.4) Bronwyn Meldrum (36th, 21:03.6), Julia Campbell (38th, 21:07.0) and Bella Hollenbach (46th, 21:35.9) also competed.

FOOTBALL

In a football game that saw 47 points put on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter alone, Hempfield survived a league game at Conestoga Valley. In winning 64-36, the Black Knights extended their Lancaster-Lebanon League winning streak to four games Friday night.

Hempfield (6-2, 4-1 in league) actually came back to win this one. The Buckskins, who fell to 4-4, (2-3 league) took an early 10-0 lead only to have Hempfield score 24 unanswered points before halftime.

"The guys are doing what they need to do and things are rolling for us," said head coach Ron Zeiber.

Mark Himmelsbach was one of Hempfield's heroes. The senior quarterback was involved in six of the Knights' eight touchdowns. He threw for two TD's and ran for four others as he gained 411 yards of total offense - 282 yards rushing on 22 carries and 129 passing yards.

He had a 42-yard dash for the Knights' first score of the night, and added an eight-yard rushing TD and a one-yard quarterback keeper all in the first half.

"We had three backs with over 100 yards - Mark, Steven Wenzel and David Martin-Robinson, who also plays receiver position or motion back," said Zeiber.

The Buckskins put seven points back on the board in the third quarter and missed the extra point. Leading 24-16, the Knights went back to work with their dominant offense.

Himmelsbach threw a 10-yard TD pass to Darien Ressler. He also had a 26-yard rushing TD.

Sandwiched between that and Martin-Robinson's 40-yard scamper to the end zone, the Buckskins scored two more TD's. They added a Keegan Martin one-yard run, but Wenzel's 37-yard touchdown run and a 10-yard run by sophomore junior varsity quarterback Luke Miller wrapped up the scoring.

Zeiber remarked that the offense is multi-faceted and that what defenses throw at Hempfield can be solved with a varied attack.

"Teams are trying to take one thing or another away and we come up with ways to win," he said. "Two weeks ago [against Warwick] they ran a defense that gave us the numbers in the box to run the football and it worked out for us. When teams make that change, we look at it differently and make our adjustment.

"Same thing this week," he went on. "They gave us something we thought we could run at. There really wasn't much of an adjustment."

The offensive line received credit for helping the backs compile big numbers.

"They're doing a great job," said the coach. "Most games we're out-sized up there. But they're getting after them. They're aggressive moving their legs and opening things up.

The win streak comes after a 56-0 loss to Manheim Township in what was the first league game of the year for both teams. Zeiber was asked if that loss motivated the players.

"I think it hit the guys pretty hard," he replied. "One of the choices was to believe they weren't good and the other was to come back and be more focused and to work harder."

This Friday the Knights will play Wilson, who lost their first L-L League game in 10 years.

BOYS' SOCCER

When a match goes into overtime, you hope that the breaks go in your favor.

If it's a league playoff match, you need every ounce of good fortune possible.

In Tuesday night's L-L League semifinal match at Conestoga Valley, things were going Hempfield's way for the first 78 minutes of the game against Elizabethtown. There are 80 minutes in a high school soccer game.

In the 79th minute, the Bears tied the score at 2-2 on Aiden Fetrich's goal. They went on to post a 3-2 victory in overtime thanks to Caleb Gerber's second goal of the match.

"They scored on a long throw-in with under two minutes to play," explained head coach Mark Ashley. "We didn't defend the throw-in well.

"So, we went from having the game well in hand to seeing them get a big emotional boost, which they carried into overtime," he added.

Gerber had put E-town on the board, evening the score at 1-1 earlier in the second half. The Knights had taken a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to an Alex Garcia goal 27 minutes into the game. Ryan Helper made it 2-1 Hempfield until Fetrich's late-game equalizer.

"It was a well-played match by both teams," Ashley commented.

The match was a battle between Section One champ Hempfield and Section Two champ E-town. The Knights hadn't lost a league game in the regular season (12-0-0) and added another victory over a league foe with an opening round 6-0 defeat of Elco the previous Saturday. The Bears brought an 11-2-1 league mark into the game and moved on to defeat previously unbeaten Lancaster Mennonite in Thursday's league championship match.

Austin Denlinger made seven saves for E-town in Tuesday's match. Brady Ross saved six shots for the Knights.

Hempfield (15-4-1 overall) heads into the District Three Class-AAAA playoffs as the third-ranked team and open play against 14th-seeded Carlisle this week.

"They were our first-round district match last year too," Ashley noted. "We know some things about them - their returning players at least.

"Our guys are coming out of the league semifinal loss very disappointed but very much refocused," continued the coach. "I think we're ready to go into the District Three playoffs with cohesive team focus."

GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

The girls' volleyball team earned a ticket to the L-L League semifinals with Friday's 3-0 victory over Lampeter-Strasburg. It was part of a first-round doubleheader at Hempfield with Cedar Crest winning the other match 3-2 over Lancaster Mennonite, earning a semifinal berth against the Knights, who improved to 13-1. The semis will also be played as a doubleheader at Lancaster Mennonite with Warwick and Elizabethtown playing the nightcap.

Hempfield posted winning scores of 25-10, 25-8 and 25-13. The Knights had 21 assists and 10 digs from Natalie Virts. She also had three aces as did Riley Shelly, who finished with a match-high nine kills. Matching Virts with 10 digs was Ramsey Mahosky. Jailene Lugo registered five blocks.

GIRLS' SOCCER

In a Tuesday evening playoff game at CV, the Black Knights came up short against Manheim Township. The Blue Streaks won the L-L League semifinal match 4-0 and moved on to claim the league championship two days later over Conestoga Valley.

The Knights (14-4-1), who were coming off an opening-round victory over Lampeter-Strasburg on October 14, held the Streaks to only one goal in the first half. Alison Heckman, who had that first-half goal, doubled Township's lead eight minutes into the second half. The Streaks added two more in the final 15 minutes of the game.

The District Three Class-AAAA playoffs are scheduled to begin this week. The Knights are the seventh seed and will host 10th-seeded Central York.

GIRLS' TENNIS

Livia Jackson and Kate Donnell made it through the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA doubles championships in a mid-day match at Hershey Racquet Club on Friday. They downed Paige Cincinnati and Christine Noecker of Wilson 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4.

Julia Darkey and Emily Garvin of Manheim Township were their next opponents. The Darkey/Garvin twosome stopped Jackson and Donnell with 6-1, 6-2 scores and went on to claim the district championship.

Though the Knights won't send a doubles pair to the PIAA Class 3A state championships per se, they will be competing in the states tournament nevertheless. In the team championships which concluded on Thursday, Hempfield claimed third place with a 4-1 defeat of Central Dauphin in the consolation match.

In that match, Donnell teamed up with Sophie Granbois for a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles. Amanda Hagino, who had claimed the singles district championship the previous week, won 6-1, 6-1 and Jackson won the second singles 7-5, 6-3. Caroline Ulrich took the third singles 6-2, 6-1.

The only team point for Central Dauphin was a 6-4, 3-6, 10-4 win against Annie Sue Mondock and Tierney Cantwell at second doubles.

Township had topped Hempfield 3-0 in the semifinals on Wednesday, forcing the Knights to play in the consolation match. In the previous round, the Knights had beaten Dallastown 3-0 on Monday. Hagino (6-0 6-0) and Ulrich (6-2, 6-2) had singles victories while Donnell and Granbois posted a 6-0, 6-0 doubles victory.

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Hempfield Booters Cap Perfect League Record October 16, 2017

The Black Knights took care of business before rolling up their sleeves and taking care of more business.

The first business at hand, or afoot, if you will, was finishing off the team's regular season schedule. Hempfield stayed unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon League boys' soccer matches by beating arch rival Manheim Township on Tuesday and recording a decisive victory over Lebanon in the regular season finale.

Hempfield carried that momentum as well as a 12-0-0 L-L League record into the league playoffs, posting a 6-0 victory over Elco in an opening-round match at Conestoga Valley.

"We were fortunate enough to keep the momentum going," said head coach Mark Ashley. "The guys had a good week of practice and we felt good about the way we played in those final two games. I think we're playing some of our best soccer right now."

Tuesday night's match was at Manheim Township for a battle with a Section One rival. The Knights topped the Streaks 4-1.

"They're our neighboring school and have similar demographics as we do," Ashley began. "It's always going to be a tough, close match."

In their first meeting, the Knights edged the Streaks 2-1 in overtime, speaking of close matches.

"We anticipated the same, but made an adjustment in our strategy - decided to play more balls behind their defense," Ashley explained. "We were able to put a lot of pressure on their backs. Their goalie was under a lot of pressure."

With the pressure constantly coming, Daniel Hester finally scored for Hempfield in the 23rd minute of the match. Jake Suchar doubled the lead 10 minutes later and it remained 2-0 until the 67th minute, when Ryan Hepler added another goal. Nebryu Bekere's goal made it 4-0 before Andrea DiSomma helped Township avoid a shutout with a late goal.

Cameron Graybill had an assist for Hempfield. Brady Ross made three saves.

"We had a good showing and that was part of the momentum we talked about," Ashley said.

In the Lebanon match, others found their way onto the pitch and recorded their names in the scoring columns. Other than Suchar scoring twice and Ryan Hepler adding two more goals, the Knights were aided by a Cedars own goal plus one goal by Drew Johnson, a late goal by Dagmawi Bogale plus assists by Christian Benedict, Jesse Gutierrez and Suchar.

There was an injury to junior Nate Leach in that game, adding to the list of injuries with which the team has been coping.

"Nathan had a shoulder separation," Ashley explained. "He was in quite a bit of pain. I think we will get him back - not soon but perhaps for district playoffs.

"Austin Goodling might be able to come back for the playoffs," the coach added. "Daulton Loose is also close."

The injuries have created opportunities for younger players, which has been valuable in terms of late- or post-season experience.

"The guys stepping in to play for us has been a positive thing," Ashley remarked. "We did bring up a couple of guys from junior varsity for the Elco game.

"A couple of freshmen - Mark Lutz and Ethan Keitel - scored for us in the Elco game," Ashley added.

In fact, Lutz scored two early goals - both within the first 10 minutes. A third goal in the first 10 minutes was an own goal by the Raiders.

"We were able to score early and took the wind out of their sails," said Ashley. "It turned into a pretty easy game for us after we got things going. Our keeper had to make only one save."

In the second half, the Knights added three more goals by Johnson, Keitel and Jacob Edmonds. Also, Guiterrez had an assist as did Johnson and Zach Wilson.

The Knights will face Elizabethtown in the semifinals. The two teams have some history from last year's post-season.

"We faced each other once in the league championship game and once in the district championship," Ashley recalled. "We won the district championship. They beat us in the league championship and they return most of their players. They're a good team."

FOOTBALL

Following back-to-back comeback wins with an aggregate winning margin of less than seven points, the Black Knights tried something different - scoring over 50 points and not allowing the opposition to get too close.

That was the case on Friday night in a Section One football match between the Knights and the Red Tornado as McCaskey visited Landisville. It was also the first home game after having won those aforementioned Section One games on the road.

The win improved the Knights' record to 5-2 (3-1 in league) while McCaskey fell to 1-6, 0-4.

Quarterback Mark Himmelsbach was outstanding on Friday, rushing for 98 yards on 14 carries, while throwing for 86 yards (5-for-7).

David Martin-Robinson was unstoppable as he ran for 158 yards on just eight carries and scored four touchdowns. Stephen Wenzel had 43 yards on 23 carries and scored twice.

Himmelsbach did throw a pair of interceptions. The Red Tornado scored one of their touchdowns on defense with Richard Scarborough picking off Himmelsbach and returning it 75 yards for the game's first score.

Martin-Robinson capped a Hempfield drive with a 14-yard rushing TD in the first.

Though the Knights' defense gave up a touchdown in the second quarter, a pair of Wenzel TD's, a two-yard rushing TD by Martin-Robinson and Curtis Johnson's 40-yard field goal kept the points piling on.

McCaskey got a second-half TD on a big kickoff return - an 83-yarder by Isiah Speller. However, Martin-Robinson added a 77-yard dash to the end zone to the scoring repertoire of the Knights in the second half.

GIRLS TENNIS

Amanda Hagino claimed the District Three Class-AAA singles championship at Hershey Racquet Club on Saturday, defeating a familiar foe - Manheim Township's Taylor Kopan by scores of 6-2, 6-4.

Hagino went into the tournament on Friday as the top seed. She blanked Paige Cincinnati of Wilson 6-0, 6-0 and did the same to Sophie May of Donegal before facing MT foe Julia Darkey in the semifinals. She squeaked by Darkey 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 to earn a match with Kopan.

Hagino had also won the singles championship in the L-L League Flight Tournament on Monday, beating Kopan in that one too, 7-5, 6-3.

Also in the league singles championships, the Flight Two title went to Hempfield's Caroline Ulrich, who beat Cara DiCiano of Cocalico in the semis and had a strong 6-0, 6-3 victor over Serena Cheng of Cedar Crest in the title match.

Sophie Granbois won the Flight Three singles over Rachel Eby of Conestoga Valley 6-0, 7-6 (1).

In the L-L's doubles championships, Kopan and Livia Jackson bowed out in the semifinals to Darkey and Emily Garvin of Township.

The team championships in districts will begin this week.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team took its 9-2-1 record into the L-L League playoffs and on Saturday afternoon posted a first-round win at Comet Field against Lampeter-Strasburg.

The Knights were unbeaten in their final five regular season league matches, including a scoreless draw with Manheim Township on Tuesday night.

Goalie Ally Rote made eight saves while Township goalie Delaney McKnight snagged seven in the scoreless draw.

Following Thursday night's 1-0 win at Cedar Crest, where Lizzie Yurchak scored off a Kaitlin Deck assist four minutes into the second half and Rote made three saves for a shutout, the regular season drew to a close. Conestoga Valley (10-1-1) became the section champ and Township (8-1-3) finished second. Hempfield played L-S, the second-place team from Section Two.

Val Zawrotuk scored with five minutes left in regulation to give Hempfield its eventual margin of victory against Lampeter-Strasburg. The Pioneers tied the score in the 70th minute - 25 minutes after Deck had broken a scoreless deadlock.

Rote had five saves for the Knights, who'll face Township in the semifinal round. Bella DiCamilla had nine saves for the Pioneers (12-6-0).

CROSS COUNTRY

With Christian Groff's winning time of 17:06 along with third- and fourth-place times of 17:30 and 17:49 by Max Lessans and Justin Rittenhouse, respectively, the Knights held off McCaskey 21-42 and Manheim Township 17-44 in Tuesday's Section One race. They improved to 8-0.

Hempfield runners Ryan Farmer (18:27) and Derek Zeigler (18:28) battled down the stretch and Farmer claimed seventh with Zeigler taking eighth. David Jackson's 18:35 was good for 11th place while the next spot went to Jack Mieszkalski (18:36).

Grayson Dague (18:37) was 14th while Ian Willig was 19th at 19:30.

The girls' team went to 6-2 on the year with a one-point, 28-29 win against McCaskey and a 17-45 loss to the unbeaten Township team.

Siena Gates claimed fifth place, leading Hempfield with a time of 20:55. Gabriella Hollinger (21:51) was 11th.

Taking three consecutive places across the finish line were Hannah Graybill (22:03), Ella Kielmeyer (22:10) and Bronwyn Meldrum (22:30) at 13th, 14th and 15th, respectively. Julia Campbell's time of 23:00 was good for 17th. Bella Hollenbach (23:41) finished 20th.

FIELD HOCKEY

Hempfield suffered a 5-0 loss to playoff bound Manheim Township on Tuesday in Neffsville. The Blue Streaks had 14 shots on goal and Asia Weaver was able to convert three of those for a hat trick.

With the loss, Hempfield wrapped up its L-L League slate of games with a 3-9-0 mark. The Knights improved to 5-14-0 overall by posting a 1-0 shutout at Exeter in Thursday's non-league match.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Hempfield stayed unbeaten in league play thanks to a 3-1 victory over Warwick on Tuesday. Despite the Warriors coming back with a 25-23 win in the second set, the Knights regained momentum and posted 25-15 and 25-21 wins.

Hempfield (10-0) was led by Riley Shelly with 12 kills. Ramsey Mahosky came through with 25 digs while Natalie Virts delivered 24 assists. Julia Givens and Jailene Lugo each registered three blocks. Gracyn Krawizcki poured in six aces.

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Knight Gridders Hold off Warwick 25-21 October 9, 2017

Sometimes you just need to be assured that the players you're counting upon to come through in the most crucial point of the game, actually come through.

It could be a receiver keeping his focus on a ball spiraling toward his hands for a catch he has made dozens of times and to be aware of his footing in bounds. It could be a kicker converting on a late field goal opportunity.

On Friday, it came down to the Hempfield defense denying Warwick's last-ditch effort for a first down in the fourth quarter of a Section One football game in Lititz. Thus, the Knights hung on for a 25-21 win.

The defense had held Penn Manor on a fourth-down play in the previous week's 16-14 road victory. On Friday, the Knights improved their Lancaster-Lebanon League record to 2-1 (4-2 overall).

Hempfield had to regroup early in the game. Warwick scored on Alex Lawrence's 93-yard return of the opening kickoff. Later in the first quarter, Carter Forney caught a nine-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

Curtis Johnson's 31-yard field goal put Hempfield on the scoreboard later in the period.

Quarterback Mark Himmelsbach helped Hempfield battle back. On the Knights' next drive, he scored on a 10-yard keeper. Himmelsbach finished the night with 136 yards rushing on 16 attempts and that one touchdown. He also completed 10 of 15 passes for 114 yards.

Nick Fucci's 35-yard touchdown pass from Adam Ricketts took the wind out of the Black Knights' sails. It sent the game into halftime with Warwick ahead 21-10.

Stephen Wenzel, who was a true work horse with 80 rushing yards on 16 carries, wrapped up the Knights' next scoring drive with a four-yard TD run. The Knights went for two points and Himmelsbach connected with Colin Wodarczyk, making it a three-point game at 21-18.

Wenzel's second touchdown of the game was at the end of a long offensive possession. He scored from nine yards out to give Hempfield its first lead of the game.

Warwick outgained Hempfield 341 to 261 in total yards. But the Black Knights' defense shut things down for much of the second half.

FIELD HOCKEY

It was a week packed with a great deal of field hockey action for Hempfield. The Knights had three Lancaster-Lebanon League games in a span of five days.

In Monday night's match at Conestoga Valley, the home team edged the Knights by a 2-1 margin. All of the scoring came in the first half.

Brandy Troutman scored for Hempfield at the 22:33 mark of the first half. The Buckskins' goals came off the sticks of Theodora Dillman and Bella Silvaggio. The loss dropped the Knights' overall mark to 4-10-0 and 3-6-0 in the league.

In a Wednesday night match against league power Penn Manor, the Knights were denied at the offensive end and the Comets won 5-0 at home, improving to 16-0-0 (10-0-0 league).

Emma DeBerdine was an individual scoring highlight reel, scoring four of Manor's goals.

Playing their third league game on the road, the Knights ended the scoring drought thanks to Kiley Yurchak. She scored off an assist by Lauren Loperfido in the second half. Warwick held on, however, for a 3-1 final.

BOYS SOCCER

Two more Section One matches and two more wins for the boys' soccer team.

And that inflated spherical object that can be headed or kicked into a gateway guarded by one of three goalkeepers - Grant Doehring, Brady Ross or Tristan Green - didn't find its way into the netting in either of those matches. In fact, Hempfield has blanked its opponents in seven of its 10 league victories.

They improved to 10-0-0 (12-3-0 overall) with win over McCaskey and Warwick last week and in the process, the Knights secured the Section One title.

"Our win over Warwick clinched it for us," noted head coach Mark Ashley.

"We think of it as a first step toward our ultimate goal," Ashley added, referring to the dream of winning the state championship. "We talk about getting better one game at a time. If you do that, you can win the section and put yourself in position to win the league championship. We have a higher seed for the league playoffs."

In Tuesday's game against McCaskey, the Knights went up 2-0 thanks to early goals by Cameron Graybill and Drew Johnson, the latter of whom also had an assist.

While Grant Doehring had two saves in the shutout, Sam Doehring increased Hempfield's lead to 3-0 with a goal in the 49th minute. Hempfield's fourth goal was an own-goal by the Red Tornado.

Along with Johnson, Jesse Gutierrez and Austin Goodling were each credited with an assist.

Hempfield had eight shots on goal and Green saved five coming his way in the Warwick match. The Knights took a 1-0 win to clinch the section title Saturday. Jake Suchar scored the lone goal.

In between the two league matches, the Knights visited Spring-Ford for a non-league match.

"We had a bye as far as the league schedule," Ashley said. "We went down to play Spring-Ford - a District One opponent. We aspire to play at the state level and District One usually is strong in soccer.

"Spring-Ford was able to do it," he added. "They gave us a good match. We knew they were going to be a formidable opponent.

"We had more corners and shots than they did," continued the coach. "They won 1-0, scoring on a header off a throw-in."

The team has two more regular season games prior to the L-L League playoffs. Included is the senior night game this Thursday against Lebanon.

"We will try to get the younger guys experience if we can," Ashley said when asked about handling the roster in these two games after the section title was already in grasp. "We don't want to have any kind of let-up because we want momentum going into the playoffs."

CROSS COUNTRY

The Knights remained unbeaten in boys' cross country competition, beating Conestoga Valley on the road Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to performances like Christian Groff's first-place finish (16:50) and Max Lessans (17:00) finishing second, the Knights downed the Buckskins 15-49.

After CV's Nathan Grucelski (17:34) took third place, the Knights placed a runner in each of the fourth through 10th positions. Justin Rittenhouse was fourth at 17:42 and Ryan Farmer (17:43) was one second behind in fifth place.

Also claiming top-10 positions were Ian Willig (6th, 17:48), Jack Mieszkalski (7th, 17:49) Derek Zeigler (8th, 17:50), Grayson Dague (9th, 17:55) and David Jackson (10th, 18:03).

The boys' team went to 8-0 while the girls improved to 6-2 with a 15-52 win at CV.

Siena Gates had the winning pace of 19:47 in the race with Gabriella Hollinger (20:56), with Hannah Graybill (21:01) and Lily Williams (21:03), finishing second, third and fourth, respectively.

Ella Kielmeyer's 21:13 was good for sixth place. Julia Campbell earned seventh (21:30) with Bronwyn Meldrum (21:57) finishing eighth. Completing the top-10 were Bella Schwalm (22:03) and Isable Smith (22:04).

GIRLS TENNIS

In the L-L League semifinal round, Hempfield topped Lancaster Catholic 4-1 on Monday. Kaite Donell and Sophie Granbois grabbed the first team point, battling to a 7-6 (9-7), 6-2 win at first doubles. Annie Sue Mondock and Tierney Cantwell teamed up for a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles.

Amanda Hagino's 6-0, 6-1 victory at number one singles and Caroline Ulrich's 6-1, 0-6, 6-4 tenacious effort assured the Knights a trip to the league championship match.

The title match was held at Ephrata on Tuesday. The undefeated Manheim Township squad claimed the league crown with a 5-0 win as Julia Darkey, Katie Moore and Taylor Kopan won their singles matches in straight sets.

Donell and Granbois came up short at doubles as did Mondock and Cantwell.

In the L-L Tennis Tournament Flight One Class-AAA singles, Hagino advanced to the finals by beating Darkey of MT in the semi-final match. Hagino came through the brackets with a 6-2, 6-0 win in the first round and downed Garvin 6-1, 6-0 at the second round.

Darkey eliminated Hempfield's Livia Jackson in the second round by a 6-1, 6-1 score. Jackson had won the opening round 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

It was an almost unavoidable oddity in the doubles Flight One where the pairing of Hagino and Jackson squared off against Donell and Ulrich in the second round. Hagino/Jackson advanced with a 6-2 6-3 win but suffered a 6-2, 4-6, 6-10 loss to Darkey and Garvin of MT.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team posted a pair of L-L League shutouts this past week, improving its record to 12-3-0 (8-2-0) with a win at McCaskey and a 4-0 win over Warwick at home.

In Tuesday's game at McCaskey, 15 shots on goal resulted in eight scored. Hempfield won 8-0 with two goals each by Maddie Miller and Kaitlin Deck, who also had a pair of assists.

Lizzie Yurchak, Emerson Coyne, Lindsey Bennett and Lucy McGloshen each scored once.

Ally Rote had a pair of saves to record the shutout.

McGloshen tallied two goals, scoring half of Hempfield's total against Warwick. Bennett and Brianna Mumma each scored once. Yurchak added an assist as did Deck and Miller.

The Warriors had eight shots on goal - all saved by Rote.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

With the volleyball season also coming down to its final few matches, the Knights improved to 9-0 in the league, defeating Penn Manor and Conestoga Valley.

In Tuesday's home match with Penn Manor, the Knights won 25-13, 25-13, 25-22 as Julia Givens registered eight kills.

Natalie Virts and Riley Shelly each notched seven digs while Virts led the way with 32 assists.

Ramsey Mahoskey had Hempfield's only ace and Kylie Ulrich registered two blocks.

On the road two days later, they topped the Buckskins 25-7, 25-17, 25-16. Jailene Lugo and fellow sophomore Rachel Sipling each had six kills with Sipling recording three blocks.

Mahosky had eight digs while Aubry Adams added 21 assists and three aces.

GOLF

Tyler Wassell of Hempfield earned a ticket to the PIAA Eastern Regional Championships when he shot an 8-over-par 72 at Briarwood East in this past weekend's District Three Class-AAA championship. Teammate Austin Glass shot an 85 and missed the cut.

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Knights Earn Come-From-Behind Win Over PM October 2, 2017

The Hempfield football team had suffered a loss to Lancaster-Lebanon League rival Manheim Township in the first league game of the season. So it was important for the Black Knights to bounce back this past Friday in another Section One game at Penn Manor.

The Knights' defense that had given up 56 points the previous week, held Penn Manor scoreless until the fourth quarter.

"Coming back from a shutout by that many points, our captains stepped up and had a team meeting with the rest of the guys," head coach Ron Zeiber explained. "We had one of the best weeks of practice. They recommitted themselves and gave us a tough effort."

Despite a pair of touchdowns by the Comets, the Knights held on for a 16-14 win. Though Hempfield had led for much of the game, this turned into a comeback win because Manor's two fourth quarter touchdowns. Nash Bienhauer caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Mark Himmelsbach to give Hempfield its slim margin of victory, improving Hempfield's record to 3-2 (1-1 in league).

Zeiber spoke of the team's character in not letting up after a fourth-quarter comeback by Penn Manor.

"I think it says a lot about the character of the team," he said. "That's something important we tell them. Character can win games for you in the fourth quarter. Scoring that late to go ahead then stopping them shows a lot of guts.

Himmelsbach finished the game with 17 completions and the one touchdown. He also ran the ball 17 times for 40 yards.

David Martin-Robinson was on the receiving end of nine Himmelsbach completions. He racked up 124 receiving yards and also scored the Knights' first TD of the game - a one-yard carry in the first quarter.

Curtis Johnson's 37-yard field goal later in the first gave Hempfield a 10-0 lead.

Though the team scored only 10 points in the first half, Zeiber saw good things on offense.

"In the first half we were moving the ball well but we weren't finishing," he commented. "The penalties were biting us a little bit.

"In the second half they were shutting us down," he continued. "We had some three-and-outs.

"Our defense did one heck of a job the whole game," Zeiber said. "Manor scored a couple of touchdowns, one of which was on a trick play. Otherwise, the defense stepped up, especially on their last drive."

Manor QB Josiah Edwards (7-for-11, 108 yards) connected with Taraje Whitfield on a 16-yard touchdown toss in the fourth quarter and a 58-yarder to Josh Gibson on the Comets' next drive.

And that final drive by Penn Manor was another instance where the Knights' defense had to step up.

"In only five plays we put it in the end zone, but we missed the extra point," Zeiber pointed out. "Now we had too much time left on the clock and a field goal could win it for them.

"In that series, our defense had two sacks - big plays to keep them from getting the first down," he continued. "Our defense held at a critical time."

Out of timeouts, the Comets had to go for it on fourth down. One of those sacks came on that last-ditch effort.

GIRLS' SOCCER

The girls' soccer team had a pair of crucial league matches last week, splitting the outcomes with a loss to Conestoga Valley and a victory over Penn Manor.

"That was a good game between two really good teams," said head coach Jason Mackey of the match against Conestoga Valley. The Buckskins got a second-half goal to edge the Black Knights 1-0.

"Both teams played well and in the end they were able to capitalize on a mistake that we made - that was the difference," Mackey added. "We certainly had a couple of chances but couldn't score."

Serina Blessing scored in the 65th minute of a match that had both sides record five shots.

The Buckskins improved to 6-1-0 while the Knights fell to 5-2-0 (8-3-0 overall).

Ally Rote stopped four CV shots, keeping the game close for much of the 80 minutes.

"She came up with some big saves for us," Mackey remarked. "She has done that several times this year.

"She did it again against Penn Manor, having to make a couple of key saves to keep the zero on the scoreboard," he added, referring to the 4-0 win at Manor on Thursday. The Knights had 11 shots on goal while Rote saved all four by Comet attackers.

Lucy McGloshen broke the scoreless tie late in the first half, and scored her team's final goal of the game in the 74th minute.

Sophomores Gabi Hollinger and Kaitlin Deck each scored a goal while Deck also dished out an assist. Jess Weinoldt was also credited with an assist.

"We were able to come on really strong in the second half," said Mackey. "That success had to do with a big adjustment we made at halftime. Our level of play was much higher and as a result we scored some good goals."

With Hempfield at 6-2-0 and a close third place in the Section One standings, the team prepares for the home stretch, which involves four league matches.

The team's final non-league game was a 2-0 loss to Cumberland Valley - traditionally a District Three powerhouse.

CROSS COUNTRY

The boys' cross country team ran off with a win at Solanco, improving their league mark to 7-0. Led by Christian Groff's first-place finish, the Knights topped Solanco 17-50 and defeated Ephrata 19-45.

Groff finished with a time of 17:26 and was one of seven Hempfield runners among the first 10 finishers. Justin Rittenhouse (17:31) was third, Max Lessans (17:34) finished fourth while Derek Zeigler's 18:40 earned him sixth place. Taking seventh was Ian Willig (18:42) while Grayson Dague (18:46) and David Jackson (18:51) were ninth and 10th, respectively, followed by Garrett Fuhrman's 19:03 in 11th place.

Jack Mieszkalski (19:33, 15th) and Aaron Wolpert (19:38, 17th) also finished strong.

It was close between Ephrata and Hempfield in the girls' race. Ephrata won 26-32. The Knights dominated Solanco 15-52.

Part of what helped Ephrata was having four runners in the first five places. Hempfield's Siena Gates took second at 20:36. But sixth through ninth had a quartet of Hempfield runners crossing the finish line in consecutive order - Gabriella Hollinger (21:41), Lily Williams (21:55), Hannah Graybill (22:05), and Ella Kielmeyer (22:13).

Registering a time of 22:42 helped Julia Campbell claim 11th place. In 12th and 13th positions were Bella Schwalm (23:10) and Bella Hollenbach (23:16), respectively. Not far behind were Erin Donovan (24:05, 15th) and Bronwyn Meldrum (24:07, 16th).

The final three spots in the top-20 belonged to Hempfield's Isabel Smith (24:08, 18th), Melissa Grube (24:13, 19th) and Rowan Eshbach (24:15, 20th).

GOLF

Ali Schaffer, Sammie Kapushy, Austin Glass, Cory Peck and Tyler Wassell will be going to the District Three Class-AAA Golf Championships, which will be held at Briarwood East Golf Club October 6.

These Hempfield golfers made the cut for district qualification based on their scores at the L-L League Championships on Monday at Honeybrook Golf Course. Glass, Peck and Wassell were among the top 19 golfers in the boys' competition while Schaffer and Kapushy qualified in the girls' championship.

Schaffer shot an 89 and finished in a tie for sixth place with Conestoga Valley's Annie Shand. Kapushy was 13th overall with a score of 102.

In the boys' competition, Warwick's Brock Faasnacht shot an even-par 70 to take first place. Peck's 74 left him in a tie for fourth with Conestoga Valley's Owen Miller. Wassell and Glass both shot 76 and were part of a three-way tie with CV's Noel Veitch.

Hudson Burchstead (89) and Jimmy Dunn (92) did not make the cut for districts.

GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL

Hempfield had a 3-0 win (25-11, 25-14, 25-5) against Township in Section One volleyball on Thursday. It was the third match in as many days for the Knights, who had topped McCaskey 3-0 on Tuesday but lost a non-league match to Bishop Shanahan on Wednesday.

Hempfield, who improved to 7-0 in the league, got nine kills and two blocks from Julia Givens in the Township match.

"We have a good group of seniors back from last year," head coach Andrew Olree stated. "The team has grown as a whole which is a big advantage."

Givens is one of those seniors as is Riley Shelly, who had a match-leading13 digs.

Mallory Wonders added three aces, senior Natalie Virts came through with 20 assists, and Jailene Lugo notched two blocks.

The Shanahan match was a close one with the Eagles winning the first and second sets 26-24 and 25-21 before Hempfield battled back for a 27-25 win. In the fourth set, the Eagles prevailed 25-18.

Kylie Ulrich, Shelly and Givens each had 11 kills. Lugo recorded nine blocks while senior Ramsey Mahosky had 22 digs. Virts racked up 21 assists. Megan Criste added a pair of aces.

Lugo put down eight kills in Tuesday's victory at McCaskey. The Knights posted scores of 25-6, 25-16 and 25-13.

Virts delivered two aces and 14 assists. Rachel Sipling had one block.

BOYS' SOCCER

Hempfield blanked Conestoga Valley 2-0 on the road Tuesday, getting goals from Dan Hester and Jake Suchar while Drew Johnson added an assist.

Suchar, who also had an assist, scored his goal 2:05 after Hester's. The defense allowed only two shots on goal with Brady Ross getting both shots.

Suchar collected two goals and Colin Gallagher added another one early in the second half in Thursday's 3-1 defeat of Penn Manor. Johnson notched all three assists, improving the Knights to 8-0-0 in the league.

FIELD HOCKEY

With two second-half goals by Rachel Gantz and an earlier one by senior Sophia Ramsey the Knights posted a 3-0 win at McCaskey on Monday. The defense allowed the Red Tornado only one shot on goal, which Allison Nikolaus saved for the shutout.

Hempfield fell to 3-5-0 in the league with a 2-1 loss at home to Cedar Crest.

Both sides had six shots on goal. Brandy Troutman's goal at the 19:16 mark of the first half was the lone goal for the Knights.

Nikolaus had three saves and Alexa Pitts recorded one more for Hempfield.

TENNIS

With a pair of 7-0 victories, the Knights improved to 9-1 in the league. On Monday they topped Conestoga Valley with 8-6 wins in both first and second doubles, courtesy of the Sophie Granbois/Annie Sue Mondock pairing and that of Katie Donell and Caroline Ulrich. Amanda Hagino and Livia Jackson won the third doubles 8-2.

Granbois, Jackson and Hagino won their singles matches in straight sets as did Ulrich in a close 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 final.

The win at Solanco featured an 8-0 win by Hagino and Jackson, an 8-1 win by Donnell and Ulrich and an 8-4 triumph for Mondock and Tierney Cantwell.

Jackson, Ulrich and Mondock won their singles matches in straight sets. Granbois won hers via forfeit.

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Knights Prevail in OT Win over MT Booters September 24, 2017

Hempfield stayed unbeaten in Lancaster-Lebanon play, defeating two league rivals to improve to 6-0-0 and finishing the week with a 3-0 shutout win at Central Dauphin, making the team's record 8-2-0 overall.

The week began with a battle against Section One rival Manheim Township. The Black Knights got one of their toughest challenges of the season thus far and came through in overtime by a 3-2 score.

"Too much drama," quipped head coach Mark Ashley. "But we were happy with the result."

The drama referred to how the Knights caught up with the Streaks, who were 4-1-0 in the league coming into the match. Township held a 2-1 lead until the final two minutes of regulation. Christian Benedict scored the equalizer, setting up further heroics for his teammate Jake Suchar, who sweetened the deal with an overtime goal.

Ashley described the equalizer as one of those goals which still amazes a long-term coach after all these years.

"It was a beautiful shot," Ashley said. "Even after all the years I've been coaching, you typically see a shot like that go over the goal because it can be an ambitious shot on the high school level.

"Christian is actually a defender," continued the coach. "We've been working on getting them involved in these settings. He has been practicing on finishing."

How the play itself developed and finished was a testament to the Knights' preparation level for crucial situations as well as their teamwork.

"We were starting to feel that sense of urgency late in the game," Ashley explained. "We had had a couple of lapses, which allowed them to take the lead.

"We had a lot of opportunities we created and we were trying to exploit the flanks," he added. "We got a good switch through the midfield. We got the ball down the right side and Andrew Johnson was able to cross it. Austin Goodling couldn't direct it on goal, so he headed it back to Christian and he was running toward the goal. He volleyed it into the goal directly."

The one in overtime also exemplified these qualities.

Suchar, a junior, scored four minutes into extra time off an assist by Eddie Puhl as the Knights finished with a 12-9 advantage in shots.

"Eddie took a shot from the left side," Ashley described. "It hit the cross bar. It deflected to the right side. Drew played it back to Eddie and he drifted and got the pass from Drew. He played it to the far left post and Jake Suchar was able to get it in."

Before all this late clutch scoring, the two sides exchanged goals early in the match. Hempfield took a 1-0 lead on Daniel Hester's goal four minutes into the game. Two minutes later Matthew Sickler tied it up.

Anderson Velozwong's goal put the Streaks ahead 2-1 with 14 minutes gone in the second half. It stayed that way with Township goalie Joshua Orndorff (nine saves) and the defense continuing to escape Hempfield attacks.

Tristen Green also went the distance on Hempfield's side of the pitch. He finished with seven saves.

"Goalkeeping is very important when the game is that close," Ashley noted. "You can't afford to make mistakes in the back. Tristan made two great plays. He was able to touch a dangerous shot to the side when the score was tied 1-1. He handled another one by hitting it over the crossbar when Township was ahead 2-1."

Brady Ross minded the net in the Knights' next game - a 7-1 victory on Wednesday at Lebanon. He had two saves.

Goodling and Ryan Harper each scored twice for the visiting Knights. Alex Garcia, Zach Wilson and Mark Lutz each added a goal while Drew Johnson assisted on two scores and Sam Doehring on one other.

The Knights were at Central Dauphin for a non-league game Saturday morning. With Zach Wilson scoring two goals - one in each half - the Knights shut out the Rams 3-0. Cameron Graybill also scored while Johnson and Helper delivered assists.

"Grant Doehring earned the shutout with a couple of nice saves in the Central Dauphin game," Ashley noted.

"Central Dauphin has always been a tough opponent from the Mid-Penn League," he added. "We like to schedule them in the midseason to see how we measure up.

"Though this year they may not be quite as strong, the guys played one of their best games of the year," the coach continued. "We had some momentum coming into this game. We were getting some scoring and timely finishes against them."

FOOTBALL

Both Hempfield and Manheim Township came into Friday night's game with identical 2-1 records in their three non-league games played. In a Section One season-opener for both teams, the Knights played host to the Streaks, who came away with a victory on the road.

Grayson Sallade was the star of the game, rushing for 168 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a 56-0 Township win. It improved the Streaks' record to 3-1, 1-0 while Hempfield fell to 2-2, 0-1.

Luke Emge threw for three touchdowns as he completed seven of nine passes for 136 yards. He also had seven carries for 45 yards.

Hempfield will try to get its strong defense ready to take on Penn Manor this week in Millersville.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

The Black Knights came through with a 3-1 victory over Cedar Crest in a Section One girls' volleyball home match on Thursday night. The Falcons opened with a 25-17 win, but the Knights ran the table after that, winning 25-14, 25-13 and 25-15.

The win improved Hempfield's league mark to 4-0.

In this hard-hitting Section One match, both Riley Shelly and Kylie Ulrich, who also had three blocks, finished with nine kills. Natalie Virts delivered seven aces while dishing out 32 assists.

Jailene Lugo tied for the team lead in blocks with three while Crest's Hanna Woefling led everyone with seven blocks. The Falcons' Grace Miller finished with 11 kills.

GIRLS SOCCER

The girls' soccer team suffered its first defeat of the season against Section One rival Manheim Township on the road this past Monday. The Streaks broke a 1-1 tie in the 66th minute of the match as Alison Heckman, who had assisted on the team's first goal, put Township up 2-1. It stayed that way as Delaney McKnight got four saves for the Streaks.

Anna Gurdack put Township ahead 1-0 four minutes into the second half. Kaitlin Deck evened the score three minutes later and it stayed tied until Heckman's goal.

Ally rote made four saves in goal for Hempfield. The loss dropped the Knights' mark to 4-1-0 in the league and 8-1-0 overall.

The Knights bounced back by shutting out Cedar Crest 4-0 on Wednesday at Hempfield. They had 16 shots on goal to only two for the Falcons. Rote grabbed both saves.

Hempfield took a 2-0 lead before the midway point of the first half. Lucy McGloshen scored the first goal of the game. Lizzie Yurchak doubled the lead at the 19:00 mark. Cameron Hukill's goal eight minutes into the second half and McGloshen's second goal of the day midway into the second half made it 4-0. Jess Weinoldt added an assist.

FIELD HOCKEY

It was a busy week and one filled with heartbreaks for the field hockey team. The team suffered two Section One losses by one goal each. After losses to Warwick and Manheim Township, the Knights fell to 2-4-0 in the L-L League (3-7-0 overall).

On a penalty stroke at the 4:54 mark of the second half, the Warriors got the lone goal of Tuesday night's game. It was the lone shot that got past Alexa Pitts (six saves). The Knights out-shot the Warriors 9-7 and had nine corners.

Pitts had 14 saves in Thursday night's game, playing on her home turf. Rachel Gantz got a goal for the Knights, but two goals by Asia Weaver, who got assists from Lexi Smith and Sophia Rockwell, turned the result in the visitors' favor. Township didn't allow a shot on goal other than the goal by Gantz.

The week ended with a 5-0 non-league loss to Wilson, dropping Hempfield's overall mark to 3-8-0.

GOLF

Conestoga Country Club was the site of the Section One battle this week in golf. Manheim Township finished on top, defeating Warwick, Conestoga Valley, Penn Manor, Hempfield, Cedar Crest and Lebanon.

Township's team finished at 307, which was 25 strokes better than second place Warwick. The Knights shot 349 and took fifth.

Tyler Wassell had a terrific day on the links, shooting the third best score of the day, a 75. Township's Jacob Macinati won with a 68 and Logan Hess of Penn Manor followed at 71.

Austin Glass (87) and Cory Peck (89) also led the way for the Knights while Ali Schaffer had a 98.

GIRLS TENNIS

Going up against Manheim Township, the girls' tennis team suffered its first league loss of the year on Monday. The Streaks got winning doubles performances from Julia Darkey and Emily Garvin as well as Kate Moore and Taylor Kopan. All four came out for singles matches as well, but Hempfield's Amanda Hagino stopped Kopan 6-4, 1-6, 11-9.

The Kopan/Moore victory over Hagino and Livia Jackson was a close one at 8-4. Evne closer was Nicole Honrade and Lizzie McBride getting by Caroline Ulrich and AnnieSue Mondock of Hempfield 8-6.

The Knights got back on the winning side with a 7-0 win at Penn Manor two days later. All three doubles matches ended in an 8-0 victory with Tierny Cantwell and Brighid Cantwell winning the first one, Donnell and Ulrich taking the second match and Hagino teaming up with Sophie Granbois at third doubles.

Mondock won the first singles 6-1, 6-1. Ulrich and Granbois won the next two singles both by 6-0, 6-0 scores and Livia Jackson finished off her opponent 6-0, 6-1 at fourth singles.

Hempfield played host to Altoona in a non-league match on Friday. Despite some strong efforts, the Knights came up short.

Strong efforts included Hagino's first singles set where she won the opening set 6-4 but lost the next two by scores of 6-1, 6-4.

Also, Ulrich fell just short in the third set, winning the opener 7-5 before losing the next two with the middle set going into a tiebreaker too.

Granbois and Donnel won their doubles 7-6, (7-3) 6-4 while Mondock and Tierney Cantwell were on the losing end of 6-4, 6-3 sets.

And in a 4-1 loss to Holidaysburg on Saturday morning, Hagino's 6-0, 6-2 singles provided the lone Hempfield point.

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Lady Booters Top McCaskey, Warwick September 18, 2017

In a high school soccer season, as in most other sports too, there are achievements to be attained at various intervals. There is a league or section championship. There is the qualifying for district playoffs that assures you of a season extended beyond the league's post-season games. If you do well in the districts, you'll end up somewhere in the brackets for states.

The Hempfield girls' soccer team was coming off three straight non-league games when it went up against Section One foe McCaskey on Monday at Hempfield.

According to head coach Jason Mackey, however, the approach is to focus on the season one game at a time.

"We don't look at the games as league or non-league," Mackey explained in a phone interview. "Our focus is to get better with each game.

"With our training sessions and what we put in game-by-game, we look to get better each day," he added. "We have been fortunate enough to have favorable results so far."

And favorable they have been. The Knights brought a 6-0-0 record into this match. They added to their Lancaster-Lebanon League winning ways also, beating McCaskey 7-1 as three different players scored multiple goals. The victory improved the Knights' league mark to 3-0-0.

Hempfield held a 4-0 lead by halftime with senior Cameron Hukill having scored twice already. Kaitlin Deck's first goal of the game was sandwiched between Hukill's two scores. All of this scoring, however, happened after freshman Emerson Coyned put the Knights on the scoreboard in the 16th minute.

That 1-0 advantage didn't last long as McCaskey tied it on Brianna Allen's goal less than three minutes later.

Both of Gabi Hollinger's goals and Deck's second goal of the game came within a 10-minute span.

Hukill had a huge day for Hempfield. Not only did she score two goals, she also assisted on three more. Deck also had an assist as did Jess Weinoldt while Maddie Miller assisted on two goals.

"Jess is a very tough and very smart player," said Mackey. "She comes every day with that blue collar mentality and a very high soccer IQ. Her hard work and vision are a good combination - the kind you normally see from a kid a couple of years older."

Ally Rote grabbed three saves to keep McCaskey from making the game any closer.

The Warwick defense was stingier as the home team out-shot the visitors 6-4. Hempfield got great production from those four shots, namely a first-half goal by Deck and another by Weinoldt in the 45th minute. Warwick didn't get on the scoreboard until the final minutes when Talia Bertrando put one in the Knights' net.

Rote finished with five saves.

FOOTBALL

With the Section One slate of games set to begin this coming Friday, the Hempfield football team will be going in with a winning record.

The Knights topped Central York 24-21 in their third non-league game of the year thus far, improving to 2-1 on the year. In Friday night's road win, the Knights outscored the Panthers 10-7 in the fourth quarter to pull off the three-point win. Hempfield had a touchdown in each of the first two quarters and held a 14-6 halftime edge. The Panthers electrified their home fans with a 94-yard third-quarter scoring pass and added a two-point conversion to erase that eight-point deficit.

Hempfield opened the scoring in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Curtis Johnson. Mark Himmelsbach capped another scoring drive with a seven-yard rushing TD. Johnson's PAT made it 24-14.

CY's second touchdown pass of the night was not enough to overtake the Knights.

Hempfield had 340 yards of total offense on the night, gaining 254 of those on the ground. The Knights did not turn the ball over and were only penalized for 20 yards.

The scoring opened with Himmelsbach running it in from 37-yards out for the first TD of the game. David Martin-Robinson took it in from one yard out in the second quarter. Johnson converted both PAT kicks.

The Panthers did not cross the goal line the entire first half. Nick Basile's field goals from 29 and 26 yards out were their only points of the first 24 minutes.

Hempfield hosts Manheim Township in the first league game of the year for both teams.

GOLF

Playing against L-L League rivals Manheim Township, Conestoga Valley, Penn Manor, Cedar Crest, Warwick and Lebanon, the Hempfield golf team was in the middle of a tightly contested match. Though Township finished atop the standings of Wednesday's competition at Four Seasons, the third- fourth- and fifth-place spots were over five strokes. Township won with a 296 team score followed by CV (312), Warwick (321), Hempfield (325) and Penn Manor (326). Cedar Crest (367) and Lebanon (524) rounded out the rest.

The Knights got a tremendous effort from Tyler Wassell, who finished tied for second with a 72. CV's Owen Miller had the best score with a 71.

Austin Glass shot a 79 and fellow senior Cory Peck had an 82 with Hudson Burchstead finishing at 92.

"I have six seniors on the nine-player roster," Hempfield coach Jon Chronister pointed out. "Three of them have been playing with us since their freshman year - Wassell, Glass and Peck.

"They're very experienced," Chronister continued. "Outside of the high school, they play a lot of competitive golf.

"I know they've fully embraced what I want them to do out there," he added. "It doesn't mean they shoot the greatest of scores or ones they're always happy with. But if they don't, it isn't for lack of understanding or competitiveness."

TENNIS

Hempfield continued its winning streak, posting two more L-L League wins this past week plus a 3-2 victory over Hershey in a non-league match. The tennis team improved its record to 6-0 in the league (12-0 overall).

In Monday's defeat of Garden Spot, the Knights swept the singles matches on their own home court.

In doubles, Amanda Hagino and Katie Donell won 8-0 while AnnieSue Modock and Brighid Cantwell came through with an 8-3 victory. The Spartans got their lone team point in third doubles.

Tierney Cantwell got a 6-2, 6-1 win at number one singles. Sophie Granbois won 6-0, 6-1 with Caroline Ulrich (6-1, 6-2) and Livia Jackson (6-0, 6-1) taking care of the third and fourth singles.

Another home match followed the next day with Hempfield defeating Hershey. It was Hagino winning a singles match 6-0, 6-0 while the duo of Cantwell and Modock posted a 6-3, 6-1 win and the Ulrich/Granbois twosome won 6-3, 6-2.

Thursday's match at Lebanon was a 7-0 win for the Knights. Securing all four singles by 6-0, 6-0 straight sets were Jackson, Ulrich, Granbois and Modock. In the doubles competition, Hagino and Granbois won 8-0, which was the same margin of victory for Cantwell and Cantwell.

Modock and Karlin McHugh won via forfeit.

FIELD HOCKEY

Hempfield fell to 3-5 and lost its first two league games in field hockey action last week. On Friday, the Knights suffered a 9-0 loss to Penn Manor, the first place team in Section One. Two days earlier the visiting Conestoga Valley squad escaped Landisville with a 4-3 overtime victory. The defeats put the Knights at 2-2-2 in the L-L League.

Theodora Dillman's goal at the 8:33 mark in overtime was the game winner for CV. The Knights, who were out-shot 12-10 in the game, scored twice in the second half to force overtime.

Trailing 2-1 at intermission, Hempfield got goals from Rachel Gantz and Julia Sears to outscore the visitors 2-1 in the second half. Brandy Troutman had Hempfield's first-half goal at the 7:31 mark. Paige Basler provided an assist.

Alexa Pitts got seven saves in goal.

CROSS COUNTRY

On Tuesday, Hempfield hosted a race against league rivals Elizabethtown, Lebanon and Warwick. The Knights topped Warwick 21-39, tied Elizabethtown 29-29 and outscored Lebanon 15-55.

In the girls' race, Hempfield won by the same score over Lebanon while topping Warwick 21-42. The E-town Bears edged the Knights 25-33.

Christian Groff came out strong and finished first overall, running the course at 15:43 and Max Lessans ran a 16:37 to take fifth overall.

Justin Rittenhouse (8th, 16:49) and Ryan Farmer (10th, 17:10) and Brady Lausch (11th, 17:11) rounded out the top five.

Also finishing in consecutive order were Derek Zeigler, Grayson Dague and Garrett Fuhrman whose respective times of 17:25, 17:38 and 17:42 earned them 16th, 17th, and 18th.

For the girls, Siena Gates took third at 18:57 while Lily Williams claimed seventh at 20:09.

Hannah Graybill's 20:10 was one stride behind Williams, giving her eighth place.

Hempfield packed it in after that with Gabriella Hollinger (20:19), Ella Kielmeyer (20:24), Isabel Smith (21:05), and Julia Campbell (21:07) placing 10th through 13th with Bella Schwalm (15th, 21:48), Bella Hollenbach (16th, 21:54), Bronwyn Meldrum (18, 21:55) and Melissa Grube (19, 22:22) close behind.

BOYS SOCCER

With three saves by Grant Doehring on Monday and four more saves by Tristan Green in Friday's home match against Warwick, the Knights netted two more Section One wins. On Monday at McCaskey, the team claimed the match 1-0 thanks to Drew Johnson's goal in the second overtime period, using an assist from Christian Benedict. It was the only one of 10 shots that got past Tornado goalie Noah Bergey.

In the 3-0 victory at home, the Knights out-shot the Warriors 8-4, getting an early goal by Zach Wilson and another late in the first half by Jake Suchar to make it 2-0 at intermission. Mark Lutz added a goal in the 72nd minute. Cameron Graybill added an assist.

Hempfield improved to 4-0-0 in the league (5-2-0 overall) and stayed atop the Section One standings.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Hempfield had a key victory over Warwick on Thursday, improving its record to 3-0. The Knights edged Warwick in two of the three sets in this road match, winning 25-16, 25-22 and 25-22.

Lindsey Heisey led the squad with nine kills. A trio of players, Heisey, Natalie Virts and Gracyn Krawizcki, who also tallied 31 assists, had two aces each.

Jailene Lugo added two blocks and Ramsey Mahosky racked up 19 digs.

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Tennis Team Dominates En route to 8-0 Record September 11, 2017

Hempfield has not lost a match yet this season. In fact, the girls' tennis team has not so much as lost a set.

The Black Knights improved to 8-0 with a pair of non-league victories over the weekend at the Keystone Cup Tournament. Earlier in the week the team topped McCaskey and Cedar Crest in Lancaster-Lebanon League matches, improving to 4-0 in league play.

In Tuesday's 5-0 victory at home over McCaskey, the Knights got an 8-2 victory by doubles partners and sophomore twin sisters Tierney Cantwell and Brighid Cantwell.

In singles action, Katie Donell, one of the returning seniors on this squad, cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 win. Livia Jackson won her singles match 6-1, 6-0 and fellow junior Amanda Hagino took the number three singles 6-0, 6-0.

Caroline Ulrich, another senior and one of the team's co-captains, claimed the fourth singles match 6-0, 6-1.

Head coach Mindy Bell remarked on the spread of talent over three different classes in this roster.

"We are mostly led by juniors and seniors," she noted, in a phone interview. "We also have some sophomores who are playing well, which gives us a solid team for the next couple of years."

Playing at Cedar Crest on Thursday, the teaming of Ulrich with returning senior Sophie Granbois proved successful. They stopped Hallie Koslowski and Olivia Hitz by an 8-3 margin at number one doubles.

"We will try a few combinations throughout the year for doubles, especially in getting ready for the post-season," explained Bell, pointing out the post-season formats are usually three singles and two doubles matches with neither player being able to participate in both.

Hagino and Jackson got an 8-1 victory at second doubles while Annie Sue Modock and Tierney Cantwell came away with an 8-3 win at third doubles.

Granbois claimed a 6-1, 6-2 victory at number one singles. Ulrich had a quick straight set win at 6-1, 6-0. Jackson (6-1, 6-2) and Hagino (6-0, 6-0) were also straight set winners at the next two singles matches.

"Amanda Hagino is back and she's one of the top players in our league," Bell noted. "It's always nice to have her at the top of our lineup. It helps knowing that you have someone who's going to get a point for you."

In Saturday's matches, the Knights defeated both Dallastown and Governor Mifflin by the score of 5-0 in a tournament, which featured the format similar to the post-season.

In the Dallastown match, the Cantwells were 6-4, 6-4 winners in doubles while Granbois and Ulrich took the second doubles 6-1, 6-2. Singles winners were Jackson (4-6, 6-4, 7-5), Donell (4-6, 6-1, 6-1) and Hagino, who won 6-0 6-0.

"Dallastown is always a good match for us," Bell stated. "A good test for us to play them and see how we match up."

Against Mifflin, the Cantwells took the second doubles match 6-2, 6-1 after Ulrich and Granbois won the number one doubles 6-0, 6-1. Donnell was a 6-1, 6-1 winner followed by Jackson (6-2, 6-3) and Hagino (6-0, 6-1) for straight set victories in singles.

"It was a four-team tournament," Bell explained. "We beat Dallastown and played the winner of the other match."

GOLF

Hempfield is in a tight race with Manheim Township and Warwick so far in the Section One golf standings. On Tuesday, the Knights played at Lebanon Country Club, facing Township, Warwick, Lebanon, Cedar Crest, Conestoga Valley, and Penn Manor.

The Blue Streaks improved their record with a win, recording the best team score (149) on the course. It was a close battle between the top five teams on the day with the Knights (170) finishing fifth followed by Cedar Crest (192) and Lebanon (200).

On a day that resulted in the golfers not playing the entire 18 holes, Township's Jacob Macinati had a 35 and tied Manor's Logan Hess for the best score on the course.

The Knights were led by senior Tyler Wassell, who was tied for fifth with CV's Owen Miller at 38. Austin Glass had a 42 and fellow senior Cory Peck a 43. The Knights got a 47 from Jimmy Dunn.

The Blue Streaks improved to 30-0 while Hempfield stays in second place at 21-9.

BOYS SOCCER

The Knights won their second straight league game by beating Penn Manor on the road Thursday evening. The victory gave them a 2-0 record in Section One, keeping them tied for first.

Hempfield out-shot Penn Manor 11-4, getting two goals from Drew Johnson. His second goal came with only a minute left in regulation, giving Hempfield a 2-1 victory. Johnson had scored early in the first half off a Christian Benedict assist. Liam Hart tied it for the Comets only seven minutes later.

Mark Lutz assisted on Johnson's second goal of the game.

Brady Ross had three key saves for the Knights. Blake Martin had nine saves in Penn Manor's net.

The Knights (3-2-0 overall) were coming off a 1-0 Labor Day victory over Conestoga Valley. In that Section One match, Zach Wilson scored off a Sam Doehring assist in the first half - one of eight shots the Knights had against Buckskins goalie Carter Lam.

Ross and Tristen Green each recorded two saves in Hempfield's shutout.

In a non-league match at home on Saturday, the Knights needed extra time to defeat Dallastown in a wild match. When the whistle sounded to end 80 minutes of regulation play, the Knights and the Wildcats were tied 2-2. A minute into extra time junior Jake Suchar scored the game-winner.

Johnson had a goal and an assist in this one. Austin Goodling scored the game's first goal and Johnson made it 2-0 with an assist from Dan Hester. Colin Gallagher also had an assist.

In the second half, the Wildcats got two goals from Cade Curran, tying it up in the 65th minute.

Green went the distance in goal for Hempfield, making three saves.

Lower Dauphin topped Hempfield 2-0 in the second match of the day. Jackson Beacher scored both goals for the Rams.

FOOTBALL

Hempfield suffered a 27-20 defeat at Exeter Township on Friday night in non-league football action. The Eagles came back from a 20-13 deficit and scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns for the win.

The loss drops the Knights to 1-1 while the Eagles, coming off a win over the Boyertown Bears, improve to 2-0.

Quarterback Mark Himmelsbach, who carried the ball 25 times and compiled 174 yards of real estate at Exeter's Don Thomas Stadium, scored the Knights' first touchdown. He ran it in from 15 yards out early in the second quarter. Curtis Johnson's extra point kick made it 7-6 Hempfield.

Nick Sarangoulis, who scored the Eagles' fourth touchdown of the game in the final period, got the home team back on top with a one-yard push across the goal line. The Knights tied it up before halftime on a 12-yard scoring connection from Himmelsbach to David Martin-Robinson. Martin-Robinson grabbed three of Himmelsbach's six completions. The Hempfield QB finished with 86 yards in the air.

Himmelsbach's 12-yard touchdown run broke the tie in the third quarter. Johnson's kick made it 20-13.

Doing the heavy workload on the Eagles' offense was quarterback Brandon Unterkoefler. He ran the ball 21 times for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 37-yard scamper to the end zone in the fourth quarter, tying the score at 20-20. Sarangoulis added his second TD of the game later in the fourth.

Hempfield has one more non-league game this Friday at Central York.

FIELD HOCKEY

In Section One field hockey action, Hempfield blanked McCaskey 6-0 on Wednesday, getting two goals each from seniors Rachel Gantz and Brandy Troutman. Two more seniors got into the scoring as Julia Sears and Sophia Ramsey got first-half goals in the win.

Hempfield got assists from Paige Basler and Leah Finch. Gantz had one of her goals in the first half along with Sears and Ramsey's goals. The Knights doubled their 3-0 halftime lead by game's end while the defense denied the Red Tornado any shots on goal.

Troutman had two more goals in the 2-1 victory at Cedar Crest on Friday. Alexa Pitts made four crucial saves with Emma Holzman's second-half goal the only one to get past her.

In a match at Governor Mifflin Saturday morning, the Knights came up short against Dallastown. The Wildcats won 2-1 despite 16 shots on goal by the Knights. Troutman scored Hempfield's only goal.

GIRLS SOCCER

Hempfield stayed unbeaten with its slate of games played last week, improving to 6-0-0. The Knights had a tournament at home and swept through the competition, defeating Governor Mifflin, Dallastown and Lower Dauphin - all by shutouts.

Earlier in the week, they edged Conestoga Valley on the road by a 1-0 score Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, the Knights gave up their first goals of the season but outlasted Penn Manor 3-2 in another Section One match.

Aly Rote had 24 saves in the four shutouts the Knights' defense recorded. She had four more saves in the Penn Manor match.

Cameron Hukill had a goal and an assist. Sophomore Ashley Hollinger scored two more and assisted on Hukill's goal as Hempfield took 11 shots on goal.

Val Zawrotuk's 35th minute goal was the difference in the Conestoga Valley game. It was one of only two shots on goal by the Knights, so Rote's six saves may have also been the difference there.

Sophomore midfielder Kaitlin Deck had both goals in the victory over Dallastown. Maddie Miller's goal off a Hollinger assist in the 56th minute was the only score in the defeat of Lower Dauphin.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Hempfield posted two 3-0 victories against Section One opponents in girls' volleyball action. On Tuesday, the Knights topped Manheim Township 25-16, 25-20, 25-13, getting 11 kills from senior Julia Givens and three aces from Megan Criste.

Hempfield also got 10 digs by Ramsey Mahosky while Natalie Virts led the team in assists with 33. Jailene Lugo registered three blocks.

Against Penn Manor, the Knights posted scores of 25-18, 25-16, and 25-15.

Lugo led the team in kills with eight. She also had one block. Virts drilled eight aces and compiled 17 assists while Riley Shelly led the team in digs with 15.

Hempfield improved to 2-0 in the league.

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Hempfield Volleyball Bows in PIAA Playoffs June 5, 2017

The Hempfield volleyball team's run in the PIAA Class-AAA state playoffs started with a valiant effort against North Allegheny on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, despite the Black Knights taking the District Seven champs to five games, the Tigers prevailed 3-2. The Knights' season ended with an 18-5 record.

"Prior to the game, I told the guys, 'this is the one where you'll need to have your best match,'" said head coach Mike Vogel said in a phone interview.

And many of the Knights did play up to, if not beyond their potentials. They gave the perennial state tournament contenders a great battle in the opening-round game at Greensburg.

"They're a tough team," Vogel said of No. Allegheny. "They were far more physical than our team. They're one of those teams that every few years is in the state finals."

The Knights won the opening set 25-21 and were in it for most of the second set before the Tigers registered the winning points in a 25-22 final. No. Allegheny took a 2-1 lead in games before Hempfield came back for a 25-23 victory, forcing the tiebreaker.

"We played well in that first game and won," Vogel commented. "We were in control the whole game. We had a chance at winning the second game.

"In the fifth game it was tied 6-6 but we only scored two points the rest of the way," added the coach.

The Tigers claimed the match with that 15-8 victory in the fifth game.

According to Vogel, senior Matt Sheerin was one of those players who turned in the performance of his life.

"Matt played an outstanding match," Vogel said. "The entire match was the best of his career. This was his last as a high school player. He had 37 swings and 19 kills. That's impressive for an outside hitter to hit over .400.

"It was Matt's offense, defense and serving," continued the coach. "He served 19 times for us and had three aces - the only service aces we had.

"Mason Scott ended up with 18 digs," Vogel added. "He had a phenomenal match with his defense."

Sheerin also ended up with 12 digs and Jon Lawrence finished with 10.

The Knights have been without Gavin Hanzelman, the junior who has been out with injured knees, and Shawn Weidman, the senior who suffered a concussion in the district playoffs.

"Ian Willig was filling in for Shawn," Vogel pointed out. "Every contact he had was positive. He only played a few minutes of each game. The guys that weren't given a lot of opportunities because of the players ahead of them got in and contributed."

Elliott DeLaTorre finished with five blocks. Freshman Colson Hunt distributed 16 assists.

"Elliott had six kills and led the team with five blocks." Vogel noted. "This was against a good team's big middles. He will be back next year and he'll be a force. He's only a sophomore.

"Zach Wilson was our other middle," he added. "He didn't put up the numbers, but had some incredible defensive plays.

"Ian Flood had a pretty good match," Vogel continued. "His serve kept us in many of the games. He ended up with eight kills and two blocks."

Logan Smiley finished with 15 kills. He was one of the team's top contributors for much of the year.

"We wouldn't be where we are without him," said Vogel.

Vogel described the match as "a microcosm of our season.

"It was up-and-down," he added. "You're playing well and sometimes the wheels come off. When you have two or three key injuries, that's a big deal. We hadn't had a team with multiple injuries over the years. I guess the percentages caught up with us.

"We were the fifth seed from District Three and we took the District Seven champion to five games - it shows how our district has come along," Vogel added.

"I told the kids after the match that it's understandable that they're disappointed," continued the coach. "That'll make you work harder next year. They worked through a lot of adversity. I told them that there is only going to be one team that isn't going to experience what you're going through.

"I'm proud of them for how hard they fought," he concluded.

BASEBALL

The Knights faced a familiar foe in the District Three 6A baseball playoffs. They traveled to Penn Manor to play the Comets.

In the final two innings of that quarterfinal game, which was rescheduled for Friday May 26, the Knights outscored the Comets 5-2. But it wasn't enough to overcome a 5-1 deficit from the first five frames. The third-seeded Comets held on for a 7-6 victory, improving their record to 16-7 while sixth-seeded Hempfield's season ended with a 12-9 record. Both teams had a first-round bye in districts.

Penn Manor built a 4-0 lead after three innings. Ryan Witmer and Dylan Frey each drove in runs in the first inning. A couple of Hempfield errors helped Manor plate two more in the third.

Greg Gambler got an RBI single for the Knights in the fifth.

It got the visiting Knights' offense going as they eventually tied the game 5-5. Mark Peterson stroked a two-run double. The rallying Knights kept coming after the Comets with sophomore Justin Lichtenwalner's sacrifice fly RBI evening the score.

Penn Manor went up by two with an RBI from Grant Gale and a bases-loaded walk. Hempfield's final push was on C.J. Saylor's RBI single, driving in Gambler.

SOFTBALL

The District Three 6A softball quarterfinal game at Landisville was put on hold for 24 hours. The Black Knights got to host Chambersburg on Friday, May 26. It was a close game that the Trojans won 3-2.

It was yet another close game for a team which had lost in the Lancaster-Lebanon League semifinals by a 4-3 score 10 days prior.

"We finished the season 18-5 and four of those five losses were by a run," head coach Terry Shreiner pointed out. "The last few games were close and when you get to this point in the season, that's what you expect."

The Black Knights got both of their runs on the long ball. Sophomore second sacker Gabbi Tuner slugged solo homers in support of senior starter Kara Cook.

"Kara Cook pitched one heck of a game, holding them to five hits and not walking any," Shreiner remarked. "One of their runs came on a ball that got into the gap with our center fielder trying to make a great play.

"We had opportunities to score, but didn't," he added. "They put runs together and we didn't. For example, we had a bunt we popped up for a double play."

The Knights will say goodbye to Cook, and three other seniors, including Lexie Unangst.

"We lose four seniors - three of them everyday players," Shreiner said. "I do have seven players coming back and some kids from jayvee ball that'll slide right in. Some sophomores.

"We'll be young," he added. "We will have a lot more team speed next year, so we'll be looking to do some more small ball."

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Knights' Volleyball Wins Consi-Semis May 26, 2017

Sports, especially team sports, is one of those things that has so many intangibles and variables, it is easy to say that nearly anything is possible.

A baseball team who manages only a pair of singles against the opponent's dominant pitcher and fails to score, comes back the next day and scores 15 runs against the same team.

The basketball team that lacked defense one night, plays excellent the next night.

And a volleyball team that was on the edge of having its season end, has key players injured, comes back to win a consolation match decisively and thus extends its season.

That is what happened with the Hempfield boys' volleyball team this week. The Black Knights' hopes of winning the District Three Class-AAA championship were broken up by the Central Dauphin Rams, who topped Hempfield 3-0 in Monday's district quarterfinals.

With the top five teams from the district qualifying for states, the Knights' chance for the PIAA's had not yet ended. Two days later, on the Manheim Township High School court, they defeated Daniel Boone 3-0 in a consolation semifinal match.

Meanwhile, Lower Dauphin defeated Cumberland Valley in the other consolation match, setting up the fifth-place match between the Falcons and the Knights.

"We are playing for fifth place," head coach Mike Vogel stated. "We played Lower Dauphin in the first week of the season and beat them in a tournament. If we beat them again, we make it to states.

"Just making it there with the adversity we've faced, will be a pleasant surprise," Vogel added.

The adversity was compounded with Shawn Weidman suffering a concussion in the Central Dauphin match.

"He is lost for the season," said the coach. "He had a severe concussion in the third game and was disoriented. He and another player collided on an aggressive play.

"Gavin Hanzelman is also done for the season," continued the coach. "He tried to play through the pain of the knees he injured early in the season."

The Rams topped Hempfield 25-11 in the first game of Monday's match. In the second one, the Knights made it close, falling eventually 25-23. Central Dauphin won the third 25-12.

"We went up there with a lot of confidence," said Vogel. "We just weren't ready. We did start off playing well, but that only lasted a third of the way into the first game. We were playing well, but not scoring. They took over and we couldn't do anything.

"In the second game, we put a scare into them, getting into the 20's and making them call a timeout," Vogel added.

The Knights had beaten the Rams earlier in the season at the Kohler Classic semifinals.

"We stole that match from them," Vogel recalled.

Both Weidman and Logan Smiley had seven kills in Monday's match. Smiley had a dozen assists, and Jon Lawrence added a dozen digs. Ian Flood and Elliott DeLaTorre each had two blocks.

Thursday was a match between the eighth-seeded Knights and the number four seed Indians at Township. Hempfield won 25-16, 25-22 and 25-14, getting eight kills from both Flood and Smiley. Mason Scott contributed with 17 digs, Colson Hunt distributed 14 assists and Zach Wilson added a pair of blocks.

"Mason Scott is back," Vogel said. "He makes our passing game a lot better. We are getting new people back and I had to bring in people that had minimal playing time this year.

"Colson Hunt, who now has been setting for the past four weeks, has gotten more responsibility each week," said the coach. "Cayden Musso will be setting in two rotations.

"Lawrence is back at his normal position," Vogel continued. "He's a defensive specialist. Lawrence and Scott being back in their rhythm makes us better."

BASEBALL & SOFTBALL

Due to holiday deadlines, results for the baseball and softball district second round games will appear in the June 7 edition.

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Knights Top Comets in Lax 3A First Round May 22, 2017

Hempfield topped visiting Penn Manor in the first round of the District Three 3A playoffs by a 12-8 score on Tuesday. But the Knights' season came to an end two days later with a 10-9 loss at Central York. The Knights finished the year at 12-7.

Against Penn Manor, the score was tied 6-6 at the half thanks to the Comets scoring six times in the second quarter. The shots on goal were pretty even (28-27 Hempfield)

Matt Heuston and Rob Griffith each had a hat trick while Bryce Witmer, Kohl Wesner and Cameron Aksu each scored twice. Aksu and Grayson Dague each had an assist.

Goalie Tanner McAlpine snagged 11 saves.

In the loss at Central York, the Knights, out-shooting the Panthers 27-17, trailed 9-5 after three quarters.

Aksu had a hat trick with Heuston scoring twice and assisting on three more. Witmer added two goals and one assist. Dague and Brandon Gearhart each scored once.

McAlpine had seven saves.

SOFTBALL

Hempfield's next game won't be until May 25 when the fourth-seeded Knights play fifth-seeded Chambersburg in the second round of the District Three Class 6A playoffs. Both teams earned a first-round bye.

The Knights bring a 17-4 record into districts after a 4-3 loss to Solanco in the league semifinals on Tuesday. The Mares kept the Knights from returning to the league title game thanks to a strong game by Hanna Phillips, who escaped the Knights' late rally. It was part of a twin bill at Willow Street's Garrett Park. Penn Manor topped Donegal in the nightcap.

Abby Heidelbaugh hit a two-run homer for Solanco. Hempfield hurler Kara Cook helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly RBI. She and Gabi Turner each stroked RBI singles in Hempfield's final try in the seventh inning.

The Knights advanced to the semis with a 6-4 nod over Section Four champ Pequea Valley. Tied at 1-1 after two innings, Hempfield scored one in the third, four in the fourth and gave up three in the seventh.

Cook and PV's Sabrina Ryan each struck out 12 batters and Ryan gave up nine hits.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

The Hempfield girls' lacrosse players can look back on its 2017 campaign and see themselves as a team that never let up steam and almost always found a way to rebound from setbacks.

"We had to do a lot of rebounding this year - that was the theme of the season," head coach Elizabeth Erb observed. "We got knocked down and got back up."

In fact, the only two losses the team suffered were the regular season finale - a non-league loss to Susquehannock - and a Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff defeat three days later.

The team rebounded and defeated Red Lion 17-12 in the opening round of the District Three Class-AAA playoffs. The Knights, seeded sixth, improved to 13-6 with the home turf victory on Monday.

The head coach was asked about the team making the most efficient use of scoring opportunities in this game.

"We definitely did," Erb replied. "We hadn't seen or heard much about what Red Lion could do. We were happy the way we played as a unit, especially coming off a loss in the league playoffs. We had to figure out a way to rebound. The girls certainly showed they could do that."

The Knights got five goals from freshman midfielder Lizzie Yurchak, who also dished out an assist.

"She has a spitfire personality on the field," said Erb. "She is tenacious and doesn't give up. She surprises you time and time again."

Seniors Paige Diminick and Kathryn Kline each recorded a hat trick while Livia Jackson and Natalie Ciepiela each scored twice. Lauren Dague had a goal and two assists. Samantha King netted one goal.

"It was very nice to see her career end on a high note," Erb said of Kline. "She is a nice attacker, who has improved over the four years."

As for other seniors, Diminick and Sammy Helgeson will be taking their skills to the NCAA with Diminick playing at St. Joseph's University and Helgeson at Penn State.

"We have a large senior class," said Erb. "We are graduating players all over the field - our goalie, defenders, midfielders and attackers. We're looking to fill holes skill-wise and for leadership.

"We have some sophomores and freshmen who played a big role in our success this year," Erb added, referring to Dague, Yurchak, Jackson, Lindsey Drukota and Hope Schoelkopf.

The look ahead to next season started with Wednesday's 15-12 loss at Exeter Township. Earlier in the year the Knights had edged the Eagles 14-13.

"It was a really well-fought game - back and forth," said Erb. "We put our best out on the field and we were unfortunately the team that didn't come up with the win."

The game was tied 7-7 at the half.

Diminick scored four times and Jackson added a hat trick. Kline scored two and assisted on another. King assisted on two goals while Dague and Yurchak each added one goal.

Kiaira Sumrall saved nine shots.

"It's not an easy position," Erb said regarding the goalies' role. "Nobody beats down your door to say 'I wanna be your goalie.' Kiaira improved her game and cared a lot about her position - how she could help her teammates."

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

The volleyball team got their District Three Class-AAA playoffs started on the right foot, posting a 3-0 victory at Cumberland Valley High School on Thursday evening. The opponent? Section One rival Manheim Township, fresh off its Lancaster-Lebanon League championship triumph.

It was a meeting between the eighth-seeded Knights and the ninth-seeded Streaks, ending in Hempfield (16-3) posting scores of 25-19, 25-19 and 25-15.

"I'm happy for Manheim Township winning the league title," said Hempfield head coach Mike Vogel in a phone interview. "They had a great match against Central. One day later they turned around to play us. It was an emotional letdown, I think.

"It was the luck of the schedule - having a huge match one day and a bigger one the next night," added Vogel. "It was bigger because if you lose, you're done."

As for Township winning the league championship, the Knights' quest for that title ended on Monday when Manheim Central stopped them 3-2 in the league semis.

That match was played at Lancaster Mennonite High School. The Knights opened with a 25-22 victory but saw the Barons come back for 25-13 and 25-20 victories. Responding with a 25-21 win in the fourth set, the Knights forced a tiebreaker, which went to Central, 15-10.

Logan Smiley had 11 kills, a pair of aces and 37 assists. Jon Lawrence racked up 23 digs and Elliott DeLaTorre registered five blocks.

In the district playoff match with Township, the Knights got another 11 kills from Smiley, who also had 11 assists, three blocks and one ace.

"They're a very tall and athletic team," Vogel said of the Township squad. "We were just virtually flawless. Everybody played a great match.

"Logan Smiley led the team in hitting," added the coach. "He hit over .400. In fact, we hit over .400 as a team and our serving was spot on. So, you're not beating yourself. We only had six errors out of 75 serves."

Gavin Hanzelman chipped in with eight kills while Shawn Weidman added seven more.

"Shawn Weidman can be the best offensive player on the court when he's on his game," Vogel said. "He is very good and has great form. He's an asset to the team.

"Gavin got hurt in mid-April," Vogel noted. "He is one of those kids who could be a lot better, but he has had issues with his knees."

DeLaTorre and Ian Flood each added four kills with Flood also serving two aces. Dan Hester also had a pair of aces while freshman Colson Hunt led the team with 21 assists.

"That's nearly unheard of," said Vogel, referring to Hunt's contribution in serves and assists. "He served 23 times and also led the team in assists. And Dan Hester ended up with 19 serves."

Jon Lawrence led the team with 12 digs.

"Jon played one of his best-ever matches against Township - if not his best match to date," commented the coach. "He served aggressively enough that we were taking the opponent out of their offense."

The Knights' next opponent will be Central Dauphin, the top-ranked team in the district.

"We were flawless against Township and we will need to be that way against Central Dauphin," said Vogel.

"But if we lose, we will still have a shot at states," he explained. "The four teams that lose in the second round will have their semifinals and finals for fifth place in the district."

BOYS TENNIS

District Three champion Hempfield headed to the state championships and faced District One foe Strath Haven in the opening round. The Panthers edged the Knights 3-1 on Tuesday, ending Hempfield's season with an overall record of 18-2.

Jake Curtin won his first set 6-3, but fell in the next two sets of number one singles. The Panthers posted straight set wins in the other two singles matches.

In doubles, sophomore Nishant Balepur and senior Matt Mieszkalski claimed a team point for the Knights, winning 6-3, 6-2.

The duo of Jake Curtin and Jack Hessinger were not only part of a District Three Class-AAA championship team, they also won the gold in district doubles. They'll begin their quest for a state doubles championship on Friday, May 26.

TRACK

Carena Nottoli, Steph Laudien, Zach Thomas and David Martin-Robinson will be competing at the PIAA Class-AAA state championships along with the 4x800 relay team of Christian Groff, Dylan Roeder, Bailey Titter and Patrick Willig next week.

These Hempfield athletes qualified for states based on their times and distances in the District Three 3A track and field championships, which were held on Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, at Shippensburg University.

Nottoli, who practically owned the pole vault event during dual meets throughout the regular season, finished second at districts with a 12-foot effort. Laudien, who also competed in the 300-meter hurdles at districts, was second in the triple jump and qualified for states with a 37-10.75.

In the long jump, Robinson was third with 21-04 while Thomas tossed the discus 156-09 to take seventh. Also on Friday, Thomas competed in the shot put and finished 12th at 45-02.5

In Saturday's 4x800 relay, Groff, Titter, Roeder and Willig posted a 7:58.26 for sixth place.

In the 300-m hurdles, Nate Tadesse finished ninth at 40.95. The foursome of Groff, Roeder, Titter and Jack Mieszkalski finished 13th (3:30.59) in the 4x400.

Groff grabbed 16th place (4:38.43) in the 1,600-m.

Also notable in long distance events were the times for Nick Norton and Siena Gates, who ran on Friday. Norton's 9:44.50 in the 3200 was good for 11th place while Gates was 15th with her 11:42.90.

Freshman Ava Hostetler was eighth in the long jump on Friday, getting a 17-05.25.

Also on Friday, Darien Ressler triple jumped 42-01.25 to earn 11th-best on the day. Ethan Dionne's 12-9 pole vault earned him 10th place.

0

Knights Defeat McCaskey on the Track May 15, 2017

Many of the Hempfield athletes who ran, jumped or threw against McCaskey's track and field team in a home dual meet on Monday, returned to the same track on Friday and Saturday for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championship meet.

In Monday's Section One clash, the Hempfield boys' team defeated McCaskey 82-68, improving to 4-2. The McCaskey girls' team stayed unbeaten (6-0) with a close 84-66 win.

Juniors Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli were multiple winners for the Hempfield girls, who fell to 3-3. Benedict swept the hurdles, winning the 300's in 46.0 and the 100's in 15.6. Nottoli dashed away with the 100 in 12.4 and took the 200 in 25.6 before capturing the pole vault with an 11-foot effort.

Steph Laudien won the triple jump (36-11) and Ava Hostetler took the long jump at 17-5.

In the boys' meet, Hempfield won the 4x800 with Bailey Titter, Patrick Willig, Dylan Roeder and Andrew Landis posting a time of 8:52.3

Zach Thomas and Nate Tadesse were multiple winners in individual events. Tadesse won both hurdles - 42.5 in the 300 and 15.7 in the 110 high hurdles. Thomas tossed the discus 143-2 and the shot put 48-4.

Nick Norton won the 3,200 in 10:11.3. The javelin went to Chris Loose (149-6) while Darien Ressler won the triple jump at 42-6. Also coming through in field events were Ethan Dionne, who won the pole vault at 13-2, and David Martin-Robinson with his 6-1 high jump.

Both the boys' and the girls' teams finished fifth in the league championships' team standings. The boys finished with 54.5 points while the girls scored 55.

Ressler finished second (44-0.75) in the triple jump on Saturday. Christian Groff, who finished sixth (4:26.57) in the 1,600, was part of two relay teams. He joined Roeder, Titter and Willig for a second-place time of 8:10.79 in the 4x800 relay. In the 4x400 relay, it was Groff, Roeder, Titter and freshman Jack Mieszkalski teaming up to take fourth (3:31.90).

Tadesse took third in the high hurdles (15.56) and fourth in the 300's (40.56). Martin-Robinson was second (22-2) in the long jump on Friday.

In the girls' competition on Friday, Nottoli won the pole vault, clearing 12 feet while Laudien's 36-2.25 triple jump was second.

Benedict and Laudien finished third and fourth, respectively, in Saturday's 300 hurdles with times of 46.20 and 47.12. Hostetler was second (17-5) in long jump.

In the 4x100 relay, Alexa Pitts joined Nottoli, Benedict and Hostetler for a winning time of 49.32.

The foursome of Kavita Bushong, Siena Gates, Isabella Hollenback and Ella Kielmeyer took sixth (10:09.33) in the 4x800 relay.

BOYS LACROSSE

Hempfield came up just short in Thursday nights' L-L League boys' lacrosse championship match at Conestoga Valley. The Knights, who had finished the regular season with a league record of 10-1, had reached the title game after a 13-3 victory over third-seeded Cocalico two nights earlier at Warwick.

Both the girls' and boys' championship matches were played at CV on Thursday as a doubleheader. The Township boys' defeated Hempfield 9-6 in the opener. The MT girls' team won the nightcap over Lancaster Country Day.

The Knights' 9-6 loss was closer than it appeared.

"We were ahead at halftime," head coach Jeremy Adams pointed out in a phone interview. "Manheim Township did a better job with their possession in the third quarter."

The Streaks trailed 4-3 at the half but put up four unanswered goals in the third quarter.

"They took the lead in the second half," Adams remarked. "But both teams played a much closer match than the first time (17-4 Township win). It was a well-played game between the two goalies too.

"When it came down to the end of the game, Township had made better decisions with their possessions," Adams added.

The Streaks' scoring was distributed among seven players. Hempfield got hat tricks from Matt Heuston, who also had an assist, and Kohl Wesner, who finished the season among the top-five in league scoring.

"Kohl Wesner had a very solid season," Adams said. "He is a very important offensive contributor in every game. All season long, it didn't seem to matter if we were playing one of the top teams in the state- like Manheim Township - or a team that's struggling to find its way; he finds a way to score.

"He makes a lot of good decisions," continued the coach. "He hustles really hard when the other team is trying to clear the ball and he gets possessions back for us."

Speaking of the goalies that Adams commended earlier, Tanner McAlpine had 11 saves for the Knights and Caton Johnson recorded nine for the Streaks.

Hempfield was coming off that 13-3 first-round victory in which Wesner scored four times and McAlpine was up to the challenge in the form of 13 saves.

This match was also close early on with the Knights leading 3-2 heading into the second quarter and by a 6-3 margin at intermission.

Heuston and Cameron Aksu each scored twice with Heuston also assisting three times. Robert Griffith, Jackson Shand, Cole Fuller, Dom Polidoro and Bryce Witmer each scored once.

Hempfield will head into the District Three Class-AAA playoffs as the sixth seed and will host 11th seed Penn Manor on Tuesday. The Knights topped the Comets (9-7 league) by a 12-4 margin in early April l.

"It's a must-win situation," Adams remarked. "It's good for our team and should give us the experience to build on the skill that we have. We can continue to build on a championship culture."

TENNIS

The Hershey Racquet Club may have been close to home for the Hershey Trojans as they prepared to face Hempfield in Wednesday's District Three 3A team championship match, but the Knights came through with a 3-1 victory with some tenacity.

Some of that tenaciousness came from Jack Hessinger, who won 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 (7). His victory made it unnecessary for the number three single match to finish.

In the doubles, Damon Deck and Ben Cooke had already won 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 and in another marathon match, Matt Mieskalski and Nishant Balepur had earned another Hempfield point, winning 2-6, 7-5, 6-1.

Hempfield was coming off a 3-0 defeat of Manheim Central in Tuesday's semis. Deck and Cooke won their match 6-2, 6-2 while Balepur and Mieszkalski were ahead 4-6, 6-3, 5-2, not needing to finish thanks to wins in the singles competition.

In singles play Rishi Pandey won 2-6, 7-5, 6-0 while Jake Curtin won 6-2, 6-2, thus making Hessinger's (6-0, 1-6, 5-3) match not necessary to complete.

SOFTBALL

The Black Knights suffered a 3-2 loss to Section One rival Penn Manor in a strange game Monday afternoon. In a pitchers' duel at Landisville, the game went into extra innings tied 1-1. Extra, extra innings that is. In inning number 10, the Comets plated two runs and managed to hold off the Hempfield comeback for a 3-2 win. With the win, the Comets managed to clinch first place in the section with a 15-1 league mark while the Knights fell to 13-3.

Kara Cook went the distance for Hempfield, striking out 11 batters and allowing only two earned runs on two hits.

Brittany Hook also pitched a great game, allowing two runs on two hits while fanning 13 Hempfield batters and walking two.

Bree Wingett and Serena Felix drove in the two Hempfield runs. Skylar Constable and Asaysha Raihl, who also stole a base, scored the two runs. Singles by Felix and Anastasia Berardi were the lone Hempfield hits.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Hempfield's 9-2 league record placed the team in third place for the regular-season standings. Hence the Black Knights faced number two seed Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday evening.

In what would be a semifinals doubleheader in Ephrata, the Knights' game was followed by Manheim Township facing Lampeter-Strasburg.

The Cougars outscored the Knights 9-4 in the second half and won 19-7. They outshot the Knights 22-16 with their goalie Emma Stover making nine saves.

Paige Diminick had a hat trick plus an assist for Hempfield. Natalie Gillisse had a pair of goals while Livia Jackson and Lizzie Yurchak each netted one.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Before closing out the regular season, the Knights suffered only their second loss in league play, falling at Conestoga Valley on Monday in a 3-2 match. The Buckskins won the first and third sets by respective scores of 25-18 and 25-20. The second and fourth sets went to the Knights (25-16 and 25-19) before CV won the tiebreaker 15-8

Matt Sheerin was tops for Hempfield with 13 kills. Zach Wilson got three aces on the night while Jon Lawrence tallied 18 digs and Logan Smiley had four blocks.

Hempfield improved to 10-2 and clinched second place in Section One after blanking McCaskey on Wednesday, 25-18, 25-15, 25-20.

Shawn Weidman stepped up and drilled 13 kills, Smiley dished out 24 assists, Sheerin collected 12 digs and Elliott DeLaTorre registered two blocks.

The league playoffs got underway on Friday with the Knights winning their first-round game at Manheim Central, beating Garden Spot 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-19).

Smiley had eight kills and DeLaTorre added six more. Smiley also led the way with two aces and 19 assists while Colson Hunt racked up 14 assists. Gavin Hanzelman chipped in with two blocks and Lawrence registered 17 digs.

As it stands right now, the Knights are seeded eighth in the district and will face Manheim Township in the District Three Class-AAA playoffs first round on May 18.

0

Lady Knights Battle Streaks in League Play May 8, 2017

The Hempfield girls' lacrosse team traveled to Manheim Township as the two arch rivals squared off in a Lancaster-Lebanon League match on Tuesday. The Knights went into this much anticipated game with a 7-1 league record, having lost only to Lancaster Country Day by a one-goal margin three weeks earlier.

Township came in unbeaten in league play and stayed that way following a match in which Hempfield got out to an early lead and stayed close into the second half.

"We came out pretty strong in the first half and had a two goal lead," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "It was about 11 minutes into the half until they scored a goal. It was 5-4 Manheim Township at halftime."

The Streaks came out stronger in the second half and outscored Hempfield 10-3 to win by a 15-7 score. Township improved to 10-0 in the league while Hempfield fell to 7-2.

"I definitely think our defense worked hard trying to keep them from getting good shots," she said. "We did a good job on possession early on. I think that was part of the reason for how things went in the second half - in our possession game we weren't winning as many draws."

The offense that the Streaks cranked up included a six-goal performance by Sklyar Dorenkamp.

Paige Diminick finished with four goals for Hempfield while freshman Lizzie Yurchak, and sophomores Lauren Dague and Natalie Gillisse each scored one. Kathryn Kline added an assist.

"This gave us a big push as we head to the post-season," Erb stated. "I think it proved that we can do it - how we came out strong in the first half and gave the competition a run for their money. I think the girls felt that way too - that we can do it."

The very next day, the Knights hosted Lampeter-Strasburg and came away with a 16-6 victory.

Diminick was on fire, scoring six goals and dishing out two assists. Yurchak added a hat trick to go with her assist while Samantha King and Dague each added two goals.

Kline was instrumental in getting the scoring opportunities as she dished out three assists plus one goal. Livia Jackson and Natalie Ciepiela each scored once.

Kiaira Sumrall had eight saves for the Knights.

"Paige Diminick had a nice behind-the-back shot," Erb added. "It was icing on the cake for our win."

The Knights improved to 9-2 in the league, beating Conestoga Valley on Friday in the regular season finale. They poured in 20 goals, including five by Diminick and four by Gillisse, who also had two assists.

"Natalie Gillisse has a lot of spark and hustle on the defense," said Erb. "She also did a good job in the midfield, taking the draws. She stepped up and helped in an important role."

Kline had three more assists and scored a goal. Yurchak had a goal and an assist. King added one goal as did Madison Morabito. Jackson and Dague each had a pair of goals.

Sumrall needed to make only four saves in this win. The Knights outshot the Buckskins 25-8.

"It was nice having an easier win in a week like this," Erb remarked.

Susquehannock was the Knights' final opponent of the regular season. On the road Saturday, the Knights lost 19-9.

They weren't able to stop Diminick, however, as she scored five times and added an assist.

"Paige definitely had a big week for us," Erb commented. "She was a threat against everybody."

Yurchak had two goals. Gillisse and Laura Morrison each netted one. Kline added an assist.

"They're a strong program," Erb said of Susquehannock. "They're ranked number one in our district in 2A. They're polished. Their stick skills are really good. They are great in passing."

SOFTBALL

Hempfield had a strong week despite suffering only its second L-L League defeat.

The Knights opened with a 5-2 defeat of Section One rival Manheim Township on the road.

It was a close 2-0 ballgame until Hempfield scored three in the top of the sixth. The Streaks chipped away at that lead with a two run rally, which fell short.

Skylar Constable got the only extra-base hit (a double) off MT pitcher Casey Martin. Kara Cook struck out seven, walked two and allowed four hits. She also went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored a run.

Cara Mahone and Bree Wingett each drove in a run. Constable drove in two with a double. Serena Felix went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI.

Of the seven Hempfield hits, Anastasia Berardi had three of them. She also scored two of the team's runs.

Berardi had another three-hit game against Cedar Crest in a 15-0 win on senior night. She slugged a home run and knocked in five runs. Felix drove in six more runs, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Constable and Lexi Harelson each had two hits with Constable hitting a double and scoring three runs. Cook and Mahoney also doubled.

Cook needed to only pitch three innings in this mercy rule shutout win, getting six strikeouts and allowing only one hit.

Cook, who went the distance and struck out five, gave up a two-run home run to Warwick's Amanda Herr in a 2-1 loss at home on Thursday. Due to an error, both runs on the homer were unearned. Hempfield's lone run was on a Harelson RBI, chasing home Felix. The Knights managed four hits, including a double by Cook.

TENNIS

Jack Hessinger got by Tom Chairs of Manheim Township in the District Three Class-AAA singles championships at Hershey on Friday. He defeated Chairs 6-4 6-2 but fell 6-3, 6-2 against Ben Clary of Palmyra in the quarterfinals.

Jake Curtain was a 7-5, 6-0 winner against Vik Patel of Wilson but was on the losing end of a 6-3, 6-1 match versus Dante Falcucci of Hershey.

Earlier in the week, Hempfield won the L-L League Team Championship on Wednesday with a classic 3-2 defeat of Manheim Central. The duo of Damon Deck and Ben Cooke claimed their doubles match with a gutsy performance, outlasting Central's Trey Martin and Trent Bury 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Teammates Nishant Balepur and Matt Mieszkalski won their match 6-0, 6-2.

In singles action, Curtin came up short in a 7-5, 6-4 final but Hessinger earned a key 6-2, 7-5 team point at second singles. Pandey bowed out 6-4, 6-3.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Manheim Township gave Hempfield a bit of a scare, winning the first two sets in a Section One clash on Tuesday at Landisville. The Streaks won 25-23 and 25-19 before the Knights pulled it together and won three straight - 25-22, 25-14 and 15-9.

Hempfield's Matt Sheerin led the match with 14 kills. Jon Lawrence had 21 digs while Logan Smiley distributed 28 assists. Shawn Weidman added five blocks and Zach Wilson served two aces.

Staying on their home court, the Knights improved to 9-1 in the league with a 3-0 shutout of Warwick on Thursday, winning 25-17, 25-14, 25-14.

Sheerin had eight kills. Smiley, Ian Flood and freshman Colson Hunt each had two aces. Elliott DeLaTorre put up five blocks. Smiley also recorded 17 assists and Dan Hester finished with eight digs.

TRACK

In Saturday's Blue Streak Relays, the Hempfield boys finished fifth with 42 team points.

The distance medley team of Patrick Willig, Dylan Roeder, Bailey Titter and Christian Groff won with a time of 10:46.58. Taking second in the pole vault were Ethan Dionne and Chad Zeamer with a 22-7 effort.

Manheim Central had 97 points to win the boys' team competition while Palmyra (77) won the girls' competition with Hempfield (73.5) second.

In the 4x200, the Hempfield girls' won thanks to Kara Benedict, Ava Hostetler, Alexa Pitts and Carena Nottoli posting a time of 1:46.39.

Nottoli also won the pole vault (22-0) with Lauren Loperfido and was on the sprint relay winning foursome with Hostetler, Pitts and Steph Laudien (1:54.4) In the triple jump, Laudien and Trinity Sumrall's combined for a 10-2.5 effort.

In Monday's league meet at Conestoga Valley, Titter, Mieszkalski, Groff, and Roeder won the 4x400 relay in 3:30.6 plus the 4x800 relay in 8:47.8.

Roeder went on to win the 400 (53.5) and Groff won the 1,600 in 4:42.1.

Zach Thomas was a multiple winner in the discus (150-11) and shot put (44-4.5) while Dionne won the pole vault (12-0). Chris Loose took the javelin (140-11), Michael Cunningham claimed the triple jump (44-4) and David Martin the high jump at 5-11.

Hempfield improved to 3-2 as did the girls' team with its 89-61 victory.

Siena Gates was a multiple winner, claiming the 1,600 (5:41.4) and 3,200 (12:22.8) while also helping Kavita Bushong, Ella Kielmeyer and Isabella Hollenbach win the 4x800 relay (11:55.3)

Nottoli took the 100 (12.4) and the pole vault (12-0) while Laudien's 94-11 won the javelin.

BASEBALL

After splitting the week's two games, Hempfield is 9-5 and tied for second in Section One. The Knights held off Cedar Crest 3-1 on the road Wednesday - two days after a 6-1 loss to Township at home.

Justin Lichtenwalner was the winning pitcher on Wednesday with Cole Houser coming on for the save. Lichtenwalner didn't allow a walk and scattered five hits with five strikeouts on the day.

The Knights scored three in the sixth, loading the bases on two walks and a single, setting the table for a bases-clearing triple by Tanner Seitz.

Joey Rudzinski limited the Knights to only three hits in Monday's loss.

BOYS LACROSSE

The Knights suffered their first league loss of the year as the Streaks posted a 17-4 win on Monday.

Cameron Aksu, Kohl Wesner, Matt Heuston and Bryce Witmer each scored for Hempfield, which fell to 8-1 in the L-L League.

In Wednesday's 18-8 win at Lampeter-Strasburg, the goals and assists totals featured Wesner (5, 3) Heuston (4, 3) as well as two each by Bryce Witmer, Grayson Dague and Tyler Blew. Single goals were scored by Jackson Shand, Rob Griffith and Tyler Gearhart.

In hosting Conestoga Valley on Friday, the Knights' 18-2 win featured four goals and three assists by Wesner plus a hat trick by Heuston while Blew and Witmer each tallied two.

Dague, Shand, Griffith, Aksu, Cole Fuller and Colin Wiest each scored one as did Tanner McAlpine, who had five saves in goal. Colin Kaiser added two assists.

The Knights suffered an 8-6 non-league loss on Saturday at home. The Bayard Rustin Knights from West Chester (District One) outscored Hempfield 4-2 in the third quarter of a match that was even at the half, 3-3.

McAlpine made five saves.

Scoring for Hempfield were Wesner, who had a hat trick, plus Heuston (2, 0) and Witmer (1, 0).

0

Hempfield Softball Suffers First League Loss May 1, 2017

The softball team that ended the week tied for first place in the Section One standings actually opened the week with a 7-2 loss to the first-place team in Section Two. That was what happened on Monday when the Knights visited Solanco in a Section One and Two crossover game.

Hempfield came into Monday's game with a 9-0 league record. The loss dropped the Knights to 13-1 overall. They went on to win their next two games by a cumulative score of 34-11, improving their record to 15-1 (11-1 league).

Lexie Unangst slugged a triple and drove in Lexi Harelson with one of Hempfield's runs. Harelson went 2-for-2 with a double plus a walk. Kara Cook also had two hits and drove in the other Knights' run.

Hempfield scored one in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. But Solanco answered quickly with two in the home half of the inning. Though the Knights tied the score, the Mules came right back with a four-run fourth.

Cook suffered the loss, allowing five earned runs in six innings pitched. She struck out six and did not allow a walk.

On Wednesday the Knights hosted Ephrata in another crossover contest. Hempfield won it 15-11, stopping a seventh-inning rally by the Mountaineers.

Ephrata got on the board early and often, scoring five times in the first and three more in the second. Hempfield's batters chipped away at the lead, getting back three runs over those first two frames and adding three more in the third to make it 8-6 Mountaineers after three. It was 11-9 Hempfield after four.

What hurt Hempfield the worst was the team's fielding. The Knights committed 10 errors, making only three of the 11 runs allowed by Gabi Turner earned runs. She struck out six and walked three in her eight-hit complete game.

The big offensive weapon for the Knights was Sarah Hill. The junior slugged a home run and a double, finishing the day with six RBI.

The Knights had 16 hits in the game, three of which came from Cook. She went 3-for-5 with three RBI and three scored. Cook, Hill and Anastasia Berardi each doubled. Julia Rhoads went 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI's while Serena Felix also had two hits, two runs and two RBI's. Harelson finished with three hits. Leadoff batter Bree Wingett had a RBI single. She walked twice, stole a base and scored twice. Turner, who earned her third victory, had a RBI single and scored two runs.

In Friday's 19-0 rout of McCaskey on the road, Cook went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four runs scored. She struck out 10 and walked just one in a three-hit shutout that lasted only five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Skylar Constable also slugged two doubles (3-for-5) and scored twice. Harelson led the team in RBI's with four and also had a three-hit game. Wingett came through with three hits, one RBI and scored four times. Hill, with a double and a sac fly, added 3 RBI. Felix came through with three base hits and three RBI's. Turner drove in a pair and touched the plate four times.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Following only their third loss of the season - a non-league 22-9 setback at Cumberland Valley on Monday - the Knights won a tough L-L League battle with Warwick on Wednesday night. Hempfield improved to 7-1 in the league (10-3 overall) with the 18-12 win at home.

Paige Diminick scored eight of her team's goals and assisting on one more. She was coming off a six-goal performance in the loss at CV.

"Even in a game where we were getting beat, she was continuing to put the ball in the net," said head coach Elizabeth Erb. "They were unable to shut her down at Cumberland Valley too.

"I'm happy for her to have had this kind of week - not just the numbers but the hustle and the shot selection," continued the coach. "Her percentage in the Warwick game was 8-for-9. That's fantastic."

The Knights, who outshot the Warriors 31-22, took a slim 8-7 halftime lead and outscored the visitors 10-5 in the second half.

"It felt like we were going back-and-forth, goal-for-goal in the first half," Erb said. "It took us almost half of the second half to make our mark. The girls started working more as a unit toward the end. Even they realized how much better they played.

"To rebound from that tough loss on Monday was a challenge," Erb added. "CV is a good team and their offense is quick and fast - lots of inside passes. They shoot from different locations, which can be a challenge for a goalie. We also struggled with the draws. So, when possession isn't in your favor, you can't score. It was not our best day."

Senior Kathryn Kline had a hat trick plus one assist. Seniors Natalie Ciepiela and Samantha King each had two goals.

Livia Jackson got one goal and assisted on another as did Lauren Dague and Lizzie Yurchak.

Kiaira Sumrall stopped 10 Warwick shots in this high-scoring match.

Erb also gave credit to the defense for holding off Warwick's attack in the second half.

"Natalie Gillisse, Erin Mathews and Taylor Keyser are the seniors we have on defense," she remarked. "They provide strong leadership. That leadership and their experience are what you want to have back there."

In addition to Diminick's six goals against Cumberland Valley, King and Ciepiela and Natalie Gillisse each netted one goal.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Sure, Penn Manor and Hempfield had memorable post-season battles a year ago in both the L-L League and District Three playoff matches.

This year, with only seven matches remaining on Hempfield's schedule - five of which were against league rivals - the Comets landed at Landisville for a Thursday night Section One clash.

In early April the twain had met at Millersville and the Knights had prevailed 3-2 in a match that included a 32-30 Comet win in the opening set.

That one loss was the only league loss for Manor. Thursday, the Comets edged the Knights, handing Hempfield its first L-L loss in return.

In each of the first two sets, the teams needed to go the distance and then some. The Comets won 28-26 and followed with a 27-25 win.

"We had game points in both of those first two games," noted head coach Mike Vogel. "We just didn't execute. If you execute, you'll do well. It's that simple. Hats off to Penn Manor."

The kill attempts and services found Hempfield hands in the third set as the home team came back for a 25-11 win and evened things up with a 25-19 victory. The Comets regained momentum and won the tiebreaker 15-9.

"We came out quick and got a win in that third game," Vogel went on. "I really thought we had a shot at winning."

Gavin Hanzelman, Zach Wilson and Logan Smiley each poured in a dozen kills for Hempfield while Dan Hester and Ian Flood each added 10.

"Zach Wilson was nearly flawless in attacking the ball," Vogel remarked. "He had 12 kills on 14 swings."

Smiley, with 32 assists, and Flood each served up two aces while Mason Scott again led the team in digs.

BOYS TENNIS

The tennis team, which wrapped up the regular season with a 9-0 record in league competition, won the L-L League team semifinals on Wednesday with a 5-0 victory against Cocalico.

In a five-set format, the Knights won both doubles while Jacob Curtin, Jack Hessinger and Rishi Pandey won their singles matches.

Damon Deck and Benjamin Cooke paired up to win the first doubles 6-3, 6-0. Matthew Mieszkalski and sophomore Nishant Balepur won their doubles 6-2, 6-3.

Curtin posted a 6-3, 6-0 victory at first singles followed by Hessinger's 6-0, 6-4 win and Pandey's 6-4, 4-6, 10-8 victory.

The championship match is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2 against Manheim Central. The Barons edged Cedar Crest 3-2.

The L-L League individual championships were also taking place this past week. The Knights were represented by both Curtin and Hessinger in the Class-AAA Flight One semis, which were held at Conestoga Valley on Saturday.

As anticipated, the competition is tough at this level. Cedar Crest, which finished 8-1 on the year - just shy of tying Hempfield for first place in Section One, was represented by Jackson Muraika and Dylan Tull. They each prevailed, with Tull topping Hessinger 6-2, 6-1 and Muraika getting past Curtin 6-3, 6-2.

Curtin had a 6-0, 6-0 victory in the opening round on Thursday at CV. Hessinger trumped Tyler Trump of McCaskey 6-0, 6-0.

In Flight Two Deck advanced to the semis where he posted a 6-1, 6-2 victory.

Muraika and Tull punched their ticket for the doubles championship after topping Manheim Township's Tom Chairs and Carson Schreiber 6-0 in Saturday's semis. Trump and Tyler Coder were their victims in the quarterfinal round. Mieszkalski and Nishant Balepur were first-round and quarterfinal round winners in Flight Two doubles.

BOYS LACROSSE

The Knights improved to 8-0 in the L-L League with a 13-2 win at Warwick on Wednesday night. Hempfield scored seven in the first half and outscored the home team 6-1 in the second half, outshooting Warwick 28-19.

Cameron Aksu found the most scoring opportunities, scoring six times. The Knights got two goals each from Jackson Shand, Kohl Wesner and Matt Heuston (1a).

Robert Griffith had three assists. Tyler Gearhart and Brandon Witmer notched one assist each while Grayson Dague netted one goal.

Tanner McAlpine got seven saves in goal.

BASEBALL

The defending Section One champion Black Knights won three more league games this past week, including a 6-1 victory over section rival McCaskey. The wins improved the team's record to 8-4 - only one game behind Warwick and Penn Manor, who are tied for first.

The week began with a Section One and Two crossover game with Solanco. The Knights held off the Mules as they got key relief pitching from Thomas LaBarbera and Justin Lichtenwalner. The former got the victory and Lichtenwalner the save.

The Mules got an early lead, scoring four in the first.

The Knights got three back in the home half thanks to a Cole Houser triple, Nick Boulanger's sacrifice fly RBI followed by a Lichtenwalner walk and Angel Colon's RBI double. Colon later scored to make it 4-3.

Colon stroked another double and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the score in the third. After his teammates loaded the bases, Houser clubbed a three-run double. Boulanger added a RBI double to make it 8-4.

Nick Fiore's solo home run and Mark Peterson's two-run double gave Hempfield more cushion.

The Knights overcame a 1-0 deficit in the Ephrata game on Wednesday thanks to Boulanger's two-run single in the fifth. The Knights added three more unearned runs and got one more thanks to Peterson taking one for the team and driving in a run on a bases-loaded hit by pitch.

Lichtenwalner performed well in relief again, coming on in the third and striking out four. He was the beneficiary of the Knights' comeback as he earned the victory.

Houser got a win in his first start of the year on Friday. The Knights had runs in five of the innings. Boulanger, Tanner Seitz and Greg Gambler each had multi-hit games. Seitz and Boulanger each had a sacrifice fly.

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Volleyball Team Improves to 9-0 Overall April 24, 2017

Hempfield's volleyball team opened the week at McCaskey for a Lancaster-Lebanon League match. The Black Knights topped the Red Tornado 3-0 and went on to top another Section One foe on Thursday night, improving their league record to 7-0 and 9-0 overall.

"McCaskey really gave us a fight," head coach Mike Vogel said in a phone interview. "They have improved dramatically as a team."

After a 25-12 win, the Knights won the next two sets 25-19 and 25-18. Logan Smiley was an all-around leader on the court, registering two blocks and giving out 20 assists while getting 10 kills of his own. He also served up two aces. Mason Scott led the way in digs with 14.

"Mason Scott is just a phenomenal player," Vogel commented.

"Logan Smiley has transitioned from an outside hitter last year to setting in four of the six rotations we have this year," Vogel said. "It is a brand new position. It was going to be our Achilles heel this year. But he is doing very well."

Hempfield downed Cedar Crest on the road Thursday, 25-18, 25-13 and 25-5.

Smiley recorded 10 kills plus a whopping five aces. He had nine digs and 15 assists. Smiley and Shawn Weidman each notched one block.

Vogel's excitement wasn't just about beating two Section One rivals this past week; he was elated about Hempfield winning the Koller Classic at Central York on Saturday.

"We were in the toughest pool and ended up winning it," Vogel said. "We lost to Dallastown and turned around and beat them in the finals. We beat some quality teams such as Central Dauphin and Central York. These are teams that are ranked in the state. They have teams from the Pittsburgh area like North Allegheny, which is number one, all the way to the Lehigh Valley area with Emmaus.

"We beat three of the ranked teams in the state," continued the coach. "There is probably more competition at this tournament than there is in the state finals."

Smiley was named the Most Valuable Player in the tournament.

TRACK & FIELD

The girls' team won 98-52 at Penn Manor on Tuesday while the boys' team lost a very close one to the Comets 76-74. Both the girls' and boys' teams are now 2-2.

The boys' 4x100 relay team of Stephen Wenzel, David Martin-Robinson, Dashawn Edwards and Nate Tadesse claimed their race in 46.4 seconds. Ethan Dionne and Martin-Robinson were multiple winners with Dionne winning the pole vault at 12-6 while Martin-Robinson won the long jump (20-11) and the high jump (6-1)

Michael Cunningham won the triple jump at 42-2.

Back on the track, Nick Norton's pace of 9:59.1 was good for first in the 3,200-meter run. Christian Groff won the 800 in 2:01.9.

Edwards finished second in the 200 (23.8) and Wenzel was second (11.4) in the 100. As close as this meet ended, Tadesse was also a close second-place finisher in the 300 hurdles with a personal best 39.2.

"Can't get any closer," head coach Curt Rogers commented. "This was a tight meet from the very beginning and continued that way all the way through. Tough loss.

"Bright spots included David Martin-Robinson finishing first in three events," he added. "Christian Groff, who is one of our 'go-to-guys,' had quite a meet."

In the girls' meet, Hempfield won two of the relays, including the 4x100 as Ava Hostetler, Alexa Pitts, Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli posted a 50.1. The 4x400 relay went to Benedict, Trinity Sumrall, Isabella Hollenbach and Steph Laudien at 4:34.0.

Laudien, Benedict and Nottoli were multiple winners with Benedict also grabbing the 300 hurdles in 47.0 while Nottoli claimed the 100 (12.7) and 200 (26.6) meter sprints with Pitts taking second (27.2). Nottoli also won the pole vault with a 12-foot effort.

"Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli placed in all four of their events," Rogers noted.

Laudien's other wins came in field events where she took the triple jump (36-10) and the javelin (96-6).

Ella Kielmeyer's 12:56.2 time was best in the 3,200 while Siena Gates got first (2:26.8) in the 800 as well as the 1,600 (5:43.9)

"Siena employed some race tactics to win the 800 and 1600," Rogers said "She entered the 800 with a concrete goal and communicated it to the coaches. Goal-setting and pushing yourself will help you get to the next level."

Alexa Niederer, whose 88-5 discus throw was second-best on the day, won the shot put with a distance of 30-11.75. In that event, the Knights took all three top spots with Anne Loose (29-1) and Hannah Boyd (28-6.5) taking second and third, respectively.

BOYS' LACROSSE

The Knights stayed unbeaten (7-0) in the league following their 17-3 defeat of Ephrata on Wednesday. Hempfield's 42-shot attack included eight first-quarter goals.

Kohl Wesner and Bryce Witmer each had four goals and an assist to lead the way. Matt Heuston added a hat trick and an assist while Cole Fuller scored a pair.

Coming away with one goal each were Tyler Blew, Grayson Dague, Jackson Shand and Robert Griffith, who also had an assist.

Holding off the Mountaineers' attack were Tanner McAlpine (9 saves) and Anthony Tran (2 saves).

In a non-league game at Carlisle on Saturday, the Knights came up short, dropping their overall mark to 7-3. The Thundering Herd scored five goals in the first quarter, making it hard for Hempfield to catch up.

Wesner had a pair of goals while Griffith, Blew and Shand each had one as did McAlpine, who finished with 10 saves in front of the Hempfield cage.

SOFTBALL

Kara Cook pitched a no-hitter as Hempfield blanked Garden Spot 6-0 on Friday in a Section One and Two crossover game. Cook struck out 10 Spartan batters and didn't allow a walk.

Hempfield scored one in the first and added four more in the second to give Cook more than enough offensive support. Cook herself drove in two runs.

The offensive highlights included a solo home run by Anastasia Berardi and an RBI double by Lexie Unangst while freshman Asaysha Raihl went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two more scored.

The victory improved Hempfield's record to 9-0 in the league and 13-0 overall. Garden Spot fell to 6-3, 7-3.

In their prior crossover contest, the Knights blanked Lebanon 20-0, getting not only another no-hit performance, but a memorable day at the plate from Gabi Turner. The sophomore struck out eight and didn't issue a walk in her no-no. She also doubled and homered, going 3-for-3 with three RBI's. The offensive highlights also included a three-hit game (all doubles) from Raihl, who drove in four runs. Cook also had a three-hit game, driving in two and scoring three times.

Brandy Troutman had a hit and two RBI's. Bree Wingett and Sarah Hill each drove in two runs out of the top two spots in the batting order. Skylar Constable scored four runs and drove in two more in a two-hit afternoon. Lexi Harelson doubled and drove in two more.

Though not a shutout, the Knights downed Conestoga Valley 10-1 on Monday. Their victories against CV and Garden Spot were against the top teams in Section Two.

Cook allowed a run on three hits while striking out nine. She also went 2-for-3 with two runs.

Unangst and Serena Felix each had one double and a home run. Felix finished with five RBI's while Unangst drove in three. Wingett scored two runs.

BASEBALL

In an L-L League game that got away from them, the Knights lost 3-2 to Lampeter-Strasburg on the road this past Friday.

The Knights were ahead 2-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth with starter Tanner Seitz having struck out three and allowed only one run over five innings. The Pioneers got a rally going and pushed two runs across in the home half of the sixth against reliever C.J. Saylor.

Kris Pirozzi went the distance for the Pioneers, recording eight strikeouts in a four-hitter.

The loss dropped Hempfield's league mark to 5-4 (8-5 overall) and into second place in Section One.

Two days prior to this loss, the Knights were home against Donegal in another crossover. The Indians banged out 12 hits in a 4-1 victory. Kyle Hess got the win for Donegal.

Hempfield opened the week with a 13-2 victory over Conestoga Valley. Seitz got the win in this one, going five strong innings. He struck out six batters until the game was called in the sixth due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Nick Fiore hit a solo home run in the second inning. Angel Colon also hit one over the fence in the same frame.

The Knights got RBI's from Justin Lichtenwalner, Cole Houser, and Nick Boulanger as well. Colon drove in a run in addition to his homer. They all had multi-hit games.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Scoring 19 goals at Ephrata showed Hempfield's strength as the Knights downed the Mountaineers 19-5 Wednesday.

Hempfield used its scoring opportunities efficiently, scoring those 19 goals on 26 shots. Leading the way were Lizzie Yurchak, Paige Diminick and Samantha King.

Yurchak poured in four goals and assisted on two more while Diminick added three goals and three assists. King also had a hat trick.

The Knights got two goals and three assists from Livia Jackson while Kathryn Kline had four assists and two goals. Lauren Dague also had two goals while Natalie Ciepiela, Natalie Gillisse and Paige Basler each netted one goal.

Kiaira Sumrall was steady in goal, making four saves.

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Knights Battle Warriors in Pitchers Duel April 17, 2017

Hempfield hurler Tanner Seitz pitched a shutout into the fifth inning of Monday's home game against Warwick. The Warriors broke the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth thanks to back-to-back two-out hits by Nate Hess and Justin Byler, plating a pair of runs.

The Knights committed a two-out error which opened up the flood gates. Hess doubled and Byler singled to drive him and Bryce Zimmerman, who had reached on that error.

The Knights got one back in the home half of the fifth inning - also aided by an error. Seitz singled and his courtesy runner Owen Snyder eventually scored on a Warwick error. But that would be the only scoring in this pitchers' duel. Warwick's Zach Peters went on to pitch a complete game five-hitter. He struck out six and walked one in the 2-1 victory.

Sophomore C.J. Saylor relieved Seitz in the fifth inning and got the final out. He went on to pitch two scoreless innings in relief. Each pitcher recorded three strikeouts.

Two days later, the offense had a different story for Hempfield in another League game at Landisville. The Knights improved to 7-1 (4-1 in league) with an 11-2 defeat of Penn Manor.

The Comets got an early lead against Justin Lichtenwalner. However, the sophomore starter settled down and pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits. One of the two first-inning runs was unearned. Lichtenwalner had five strikeouts and did not allow a walk.

Hempfield cut that lead in half in the third inning on a Cole Houser single, which scored T.J. Biondolillo. But it was the fifth inning that helped Hempfield put the game away. The Knights scored eight runs and added two more in the sixth. Angel Colon stroked an RBI single with the bases loaded and Greg Gambler drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-2 Knights. Two batters and two more runs later, Seitz singled for two more runs and the rally continued.

In their third league game in a four-day stretch, the Knights hosted Elizabethtown, who came into Thursday's game as the top team in Section Two. The Bears recorded 15 hits in a 7-5 win, improving their league mark to 6-0 while Hempfield fell to 4-2.

The loss was a heartbreaking one for the Knights, who rallied from a 5-1 deficit to even the score in their final at-bat. That rally was ignited by a Seitz lead-off triple. After Peterson's RBI single, the Knights cut the deficit to 5-3 when Lichtenwalner, who had scored a third-inning run, got the second triple of the inning.

The Bears loaded the bases and yielded two more runs on a fielding error.

BOYS LACROSSE

Hempfield opened the week on the road, improving its L-L League record to 5-0 with a decisive 16-2 defeat of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic.

The Knights had 28-9 advantage in shots on goal. They scored six in the first quarter and three more before halftime for a 9-1 lead at intermission.

Tanner McAlpine made seven saves for the Knights.

"Tanner has had starts every year," said head coach Jeremy Adams. "He was sharing starting duties with Cole Simmons in previous years. This year he has been doing well," Adams added. "He has played some great games."

Offensively, the Knights were led by Matt Heuston, who scored five goals and assisted twice. Kohl Wesner had a hat trick and one assist.

The scoring responsibility was also shared by Cameron Aksu, Robert Griffith, Jackson Shand and Grayson Dague with two goals each. Cole Fuller, Bryce Witmer and Tyler Blew each netted one goal. Fuller, Witmer and Jonathan Morrow each chipped in with an assist.

"We share the ball well," Adams said. "We have a lot of young, but very talented players on offense."

With five saves in goal, McAlpine had a shutout in the Knights' next contest - a Thursday evening clash with league rival Cedar Crest. McAlpine and the Knights blanked the Falcons 15-0.

Wesner had five goals plus an assist while Heuston poured in four more.

"Kohl Wesner has been having a nice sophomore season," Adams said. "He played the role of a left-handed attacker in a man-up situation. This year he has been making an impact on the offense in every game.

"Heuston is our biggest scoring threat in the midfield," added the coach. "He runs the field well and passes well."

Blew (1a) and Witmer each scored twice. Griffith had a goal and two assists while Dague had one of each.

The Knights wrapped it up with a non-league Saturday day game at Germantown Academy. The Patriots won a close one, handing the Knights (6-2) their first loss of the season in a 7-5 final.

"Germantown is a tough team playing in the toughest league in the state," said Adams. "We could have won that game if we had taken care of the ball better."

Hempfield got a hat trick from Witmer plus one goal each by Wesner and Heuston.

"Tanner McAlpine, with nine saves, played a fantastic game," Adams remarked. "He kept us in the game."

TRACK

The boys' track and field team improved to 2-1 by beating Section One rival Manheim Township 83-67 on Monday. The Knights won two of the relay events and took first in five other running events plus three field events.

The 4x800 relay team of Patrick Willig, Bailey Titter, Dylan Roeder and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:30.0. Groff also went on to take second in the 800 with a personal best and L-L League qualifying time of 2:01.7. Roeder took first in the 400 in 53.1 seconds.

Nick Norton kept a pace of 10:28.0 to win the 3200 and was second (4:44.8) in the 1,600.

"The distance runners had a good day," said head coach Curt Rogers. "The other winning relay was the 4x400 where Titter and Roeder joined Nate Tadesse and Jack Mieszkalski. Tadesse captured the 300 hurdles in 42.1 - good for a league qualifier. Racing to a first in the 100 was Stephen Wenzel (11.4).

"The sprinters gave it their all," said Rogers. "Stephen Wenzel also had a close third in the 200. He fought for the line in the 100 and finished first. Nice efforts."

Ethan Dionne's 12-7 pole vault effort and Michael Cunningham's 42-11.75 triple jump were both good for first place as well as league qualifying measures. David Martin-Robinson, whose 6-foot high jump was good for second, won the long jump (20-0.25) while Zach Thomas finished second (44-9) in the shot put and discus (138-11).

"The jumpers took advantage of the nice weather and battled for some crucial team points," said Rogers. "This team is comprised of athletes from all four classes. Underclassmen need to realize that they're just as important to the team as upperclassmen. There are some good things happening."

The Township girls' team edged Hempfield 79-71. The Knights fell to 1-2 on the year.

The Knights got first in the 4x100 relay thanks to Megan Grube, Alex Pitts, Kara Benedict and Carena Nottoli with a time of 50.2 seconds.

Benedict's speed got her a first-place time of 48.0 seconds in the 300 hurdles as well as first in the 100 hurdles (17.0). Grube took second (61.1) in the 400 as well as the 200, getting a league- and district-qualifying time of 26.1.

In the field events, the Knights were impressive, particularly with Nottoli's 12-4 school record pole vault effort.

"She did it again," said Rogers. "She broke her own outdoor school record. Plus, she anchored the winning 4x100 relay."

Steph Laudien won both the javelin (93-3) and the triple jump (36-4.5), Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (30-10), Anne Loose won the discus (85-0), and Ava Hostetler came through in the long jump (15-8.75).

SOFTBALL

Kara Cook slugged two home runs and two doubles in leading Hempfield's 17-hit attack against Governor Mifflin on Saturday. The Knights topped the Mustangs 13-4 with Cook driving in five of those runs.

Freshman Asaysha had a three-hit game, including two doubles. She came around to score twice. Lexie Unangst (2-for-2, 1 run) and Lexie Harelson also doubled for the Knights, who scored two in the first inning and four more in the second. The Mustangs, who had charged out of the gate with two in the top of the first, cut Hempfield's lead to 6-4 with a two run third. But that was as close as they got.

Gabi Turner went the distance for the Knights, striking out seven and allowing only three earned runs on eight hits.

Thursday's league game at Elizabethtown was a day of big innings. The Bears got five in the home half of the first inning. The momentum shifted back-and-forth over the following two frames as each team scored two runs. With the Bears ahead 7-2 after four, the Knights got six in the fifth and four more in the sixth on their way to a 14-7 win.

Turner was not only the winning pitcher, she hit a home run and drove in four of the Knights' runs.

Anastasia Berardi was 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Freshman Skylar Constable also tripled and drove in two. Serena Feli was 2-for-4 with two runs.

Unlike their high-scoring games, the Knights played a big Section One game on Wednesday at Penn Manor, defeating the Comets and their fireball throwing ace Brittany Hook 3-1.

After each team scored a run in the first inning, the Knights (9-0 overall) took a 2-1 lead in the fourth and gave starter Kara Cook an insurance run in the sixth. Cook struck out 10 in this three-hitter.

All three Hempfield runs came on solo homers. Felix, Raihl and Berardi each jumped on a Hook pitch they liked. Raihl and Berardi each had two hits.

It was Penn Manor's first loss of the year.

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Victories over Conestoga Valley and Warwick helped Hempfield up its record to 7-0 on the year. Tuesday's 3-1 win at Warwick and Thursday's 3-0 defeat of CV improved the Knight's league mark to 5-0.

The Warriors, after a 25-14 loss in the first set, came back to top Hempfield 27-25 in a gutsy effort. But the Knights won the final two sets by the same score - 25-12.

Shawn Weidman registered 12 kills and two blocks. Logan Smiley also had a pair of blocks and matched Mason Scott for the top total in service aces (four each). Scott also racked up 18 digs.

The Buckskins got close a couple of times, but couldn't stop the Knights on Thursday night. Hempfield won 25-14, 25-20 and 25-23.

Smiley had 21 assists and two blocks. Scott added 18 digs while Shawn Weidman registered two blocks. Ian Flood led the way with nine kills and served up three aces.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Hempfield suffered a tough 8-7 loss at home on Monday at the hands of Lancaster Country Day/Lancaster Catholic. Though Hempfield out-shot the opposition 15-11 and went into halftime trailing only by a 6-5 margin, the equalizer just wasn't there down the stretch.

Lizzie Yurchak scored four goals on the day. Sammy Helgeson added two goals and two assists, Livia Jackson netted one goal and Kiaira Sumrall recorded three saves.

On Saturday the Knights dropped an 18-5 result against Governor Mifflin but picked up a 16-5 win over Lower Dauphin. Paige Diminick finished with eight goals on the day and Kline added four, all against LD.

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Knights Top Comets in League Volleyball Play April 10, 2017

The roster for the Hempfield boys' volleyball team may be without some of last year's cast. Senior leaders like Tyler Buterbaugh, Ethan Williams and Nick Oleksa helped forge a path to the state championship.

Other leaders have stepped into to such roles and helped Hempfield get out to a 5-0 start, which includes a 3-0 record in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

"The kids are finding out how good they really were - how good their legacy was," said head coach Mike Vogel regarding those 2016 graduates. "But we have a lot of kids with experience even though everybody is playing different positions.

"We have a new middle in Zach Wilson and Mason Scott is our new libero," the coach explained. "Ian Flood moved to the outside position."

Regardless of where the Knights are playing, they're posting victories, including a couple of intense games that had 30-plus points scored this past week.

The Tuesday match with league rival Penn Manor was the only match Black Knights did not win by a 3-0 score in this strong start. The Knights and Comets played an intense match in Millersville with Hempfield coming back from a 2-1 deficit to win the fourth set and the tiebreaker.

The first set was a classic battle between two teams whose rivalry carried well into the post-season, including the District Three Class-AAA title match. On Tuesday, Hempfield's attempts to come back against the home team worked well enough to have the set go beyond 25 points. The Comets prevailed 32-30, only to have Hempfield even it up with a 25-20 victory in the second set.

"Those first two games set the tone for the match," Vogel said. "When you have one like that 32-30 game, it means nobody made two mistakes in a row, until the end of course."

The third set was another close one with Manor posting a 25-22 win. The Knights, with their perfect record on the line, came back for a 25-21 triumph and went on to win the deciding set 15-9.

"They were up 2-1 in games and they were beating us 19-15 in the fourth game," Vogel recalled. "Next thing you know, we come back and beat them.

"I think that if you come from behind and win that fourth game to force the fifth, you're elated and ready to win game five," he said. "The other side of the coin is that your opponent is disappointed. So you ride the momentum."

As expected, for a match that was high in scoring, the numbers for each team's leaders were also high.

The match-leading total in assists went to Manor's Reuben Kemrer with 48. The Knights' Logan Smiley racked up 44.

Scott finished with a game-high 22 digs. Teammate Matt Sheerin served up three aces while Gavin Hanzelman led the team with 13 kills and topped everyone with five blocks.

Hempfield headed to Manheim Township on Thursday for another Section One battle. The Knights defeated the Streaks 3-0, posting scores of 25-18, 25-15 and 25-16.

It was Ian Flood serving up the aces for Hempfield with three. Hanzelman's 10 kills were tops on the team as were the two blocks he registered. Mason Scott tallied 18 digs and Smiley dished out 35 assists.

In a non-league match against Pennridge on Friday, the Knights coasted to wins by 25-18 and 25-9 margins. But the Rams surprised the Knights with a tenacious effort in the third set. Hempfield needed several extra services to post the 3-0 victory, finally defeating Pennridge 33-31.

"We could've cracked, but we didn't," Vogel said. "The one bad thing to come out of it was that Matt Sheerin hurt his ankle on the final point of the game. We don't know yet how long he'll be out."

BOYS' LACROSSE

The boys' lacrosse team has kept pace with the other first-place team in the L-L League. Both Hempfield and Manheim Township are 4-0 with the Knights' lone loss coming in the season opener to non-league opponent Wilson.

It was a packed week for Hempfield as they faced three league rivals. After hosting Elizabethtown on Monday, they were at Cocalico the following afternoon. In both of those games, Hempfield's offense put up 14 goals.

Friday found the Knights back home against Penn Manor. They topped the Comets 12-4 with four goals from Kohl Wesner, who also assisted on a goal, and a hat trick by Cameron Aksu. The team scored multiple goals in each of the four quarters, including four in the opening period, while out-shooting the Comets 34-24.

Matt Heuston came through with two goals while Bryce Witmer, Robert Griffth and Grayson Dague each had one goal. Cole Fuller, Dague and Witmer each notched an assist.

On the defensive end, Tanner McAlpine grabbed eight saves in the victory, and had a total of 23 saves over the two games earlier in the week.

Wesner had four goals in each of those games, including a four-goal, two-assist game against Cocalico.

Aksu also had four goals and two assists in that game as the Knights outscored the Eagles 6-2 in the first quarter as well as the third. They outshot the Eagles 25-19.

Witmer tallied two goals while Heuston and Griffith each dealt one assist and one goal.

Also scoring one each were Colin Wiest and Dylan Kostelich.

The E-town game not only had Wesner scoring four goals but also Heuston, who had an assist. Aksu came away with a hat trick.

Griffith was busy giving out four assists and scored two goals. Dague added one goal and Witmer and Mark Himmelsbah each dished out one assist.

SOFTBALL

The runs kept coming and the Hempfield softball team added three L-L League wins and improved to 5-0 overall. The Knights blew away their opponents by scores of 16-1, 15-0 and 18-1.

The team put up six runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth in the 18-1 win at Cedar Crest on Friday. The 16-hit attack included two doubles by senior Serena Felix, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI and one run scored.

Gabi Turner was an all-around star of the game. She not only pitched the team to victory, recording two strikeouts in the four innings of a mercy-rule shortened game, she also got the most out of her times at the plate. Turner came through with runners in scoring position, driving in six runs on four hits, including two triples and a double. She also scored two runs.

Lexie Unangst slugged a triple and drove in two more. Bree Wingett, Asaysha Raihl, and Skylar Constable each scored two runs. Constable also doubled as did Lexi Harelson, who also knocked in a run.

The Knights beat Manheim Township 15-0 at home on Wednesday, stroking 14 hits. Wingett had a tremendous day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a walk, a double and a triple, driving in three runs and scoring all three times she was on base.

Unangst went 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Turner and Raihl each had two base hits, with the latter scoring three runs and Tuner driving in two and scoring one herself.

Out of the number nine hole, Kara Cook went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in. Felix also had a double and an RBI.

Hempfield scored six runs in the first and third frames. Cook only needed to face 15 batters. She allowed three hits and struck out two.

Getting out of the gate with an even bigger offensive burst (11 runs in the first inning), the Knights topped the Red Tornado 16-1 on Monday. Hempfield added another run in the second and four more in the fourth.

Wingett had four RBI and scored three more. Her 4-for-4 day included a triple. Turner, who had three hits and two runs, got a double and a RBI. Cook had a pair of doubles on her two-hit, two RBI afternoon.

Turner got the win with Raihl pitching two innings in relief and striking out three.

Raihl also had two hits and two runs plus a RBI. Felix drove in a pair and Anastasia Berardi went 2-for-2 with a double, a run and two RBI's.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

The girls' lacrosse team doubled up Cocalico on Tuesday with a 22-11 score. The victory improved the Knights' league mark to 2-0 (4-0 overall).

Hempfield held a 10-5 lead at intermission on its home turf and outscored the Eagles 12-6 in the second half.

Lizzie Yurchak and Paige Diminick each scored four goals with Diminick also contributing three assists.

The Knights got hat tricks from Lindsey Durkota (3a) and Sammy Helgeson (5a). Hempfield, who out-shot Cocalico 29-15, got two goals each from Livia Jackson, Natalie Gillisse and Samantha King. Lauren Dague scored one as did Natalie Ciepiela.

Kiaira Sumrall grabbed three saves in goal.

TRACK

The boys' track team evened its record at 1-1 with a 98-52 victory over Warwick on Monday. The team's victory was helped along by the relay squad that claimed the 4x800 event. Bailey Titter, Patrick Willig Brady Lausch and Christian Groff combined for a winning time of 8:24.2.

Doing his own 800-meter run, Titter claimed first in 2:05.8 while Groff won the 1,600 in 4:44.2.

Max Lessans was the 3,200 winner (10:31.8).

Stephen Wenzel sprinted to a first-place finish in the 100-meter dash at 11.4 seconds.

In the hurdles, it was another sweep by Nate Tadesse who won the high hurdles in 15.8 seconds and the 300-m hurdles in 41.7.

David Martin-Robinson was a two-event winner in the field events, clearing 6-0 in the high jump and going 20-3.5 in the long.

The discus toss by Zach Thomas went 136-02 while Ethan Dionne's 13-01 pole vault effort was also good for first.

The Hempfield girls put up a 96-54 win, evening their record at 1-1 as well.

Kara Benedict and Siena Gates each had two victories on the track. Gates won the 1,600 in 5:39.6 and the 3,200 at a 12:26.1 pace. Benedict took both hurdle events with a 16.5 time in the high hurdles and 47.8 in the 300.

The 400 went to freshman Megan Grube with a time of 60.9.

The Knights claimed all but one of the field events. Alexa Neiderer took the shot put (19-05) and the discus (84-05) while Steph Laudien was tops in the javelin with a 91-11 throw and got the victory in the triple jump (34-01).

Ava Hostetter's 16-04 long jump was the best in that event and Carena Nottoli's 11-06 pole vault was first.

BASEBALL

Hempfield improved to 6-0 on the year after defeating Section One rivals McCaskey, Manheim Township and Cedar Crest this past week.

The Knights scored a total of 32 runs on the road in the first two games of the week and edged Cedar Crest 5-4 in extra-inning walk-off fashion on Friday. Justin Lichtenwalner, who came on in relief in the seventh inning of that game, got the win. Starter Eric Sipling had two strikeouts in three innings of work. Sophomore C.J. Saylor added three innings of middle relief.

The Knights are in sole possession of first place in Section One.

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