Chargers Improve to 6-0 in Conference Play January 19, 2019
The Chargers split their results last week, adding both a win and a loss to their 9-4 record, but the win came at the right time, preserving the teams unblemished 6-0 record in conference play.
Tuesday's home court, 55-21 triumph over the New Covenant Flames belonged to the Chargers from the tip off through the final buzzer. MC rocketed ahead on an unanswered 15-0 run in the opening quarter.
"We were working on several of our offensive sets and concepts," explained head coach Kory Pruner. "We asked the guys to focus on setting good screens, making hard cuts, and doing things that go beyond just knowing where to go."
The cushion allowed the Chargers to give all players ample playing time and try new rotations, resulting in nine different players to contributing to the score count.
Tyler Masters led the offensive charge with 11 points accompanied by five steals. Sophomore Sam Robinson notched eight second half points matched by an additional eight from Jack Hilsher.
"Sam Robinson made a big impact in the game off the bench," credited Pruner. "He played really well on defense, and was able to get a lot of transition opportunities as well."
Another sophomore with a big contribution was Evan Barnes, who knocked down one of the Charger's three buckets from beyond the arc, bringing his total point count to seven.
Hunter Stewart and Chip Stambaugh controlled the boards pulling down a combined 18 rebounds, and Stewart also snatched up four steals.
The Flames made a resurgent effort in the final quarter, tallying double digits-their strongest frame of the contest, but the teamwide effort of the Chargers still allowed them to stay ahead, responding with 14 points of their own to squelch the comeback attempt.
The previous Friday, the Chargers went on the road to face the Millersburg Indians, and came up short, 59-41.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle displayed by a tight scoreboard reading 23-21 Millersburg advantage at the break, but from there the Indians put together two strong frames to extend their lead before the final buzzer.
"We had a good first half," acknowledged Pruner. "We played with them, but never really gained control."
Giving up position under the basket coupled with too many shooting fouls were MC flaws that led to second chance buckets and free throws for Millersburg. Capitalizing on these errors, Millersburg nailed 10-of-12 from the line and pulled down 36 rebounds collectively.
Recognizing areas of weakness provides opportunity for growth, as Pruner pointed out.
"I was proud of how the guys reacted to the environment. My hope is that we can take our downsides and improve for the next time we have a close game," he added.
Sophomores Aidan Masters and Hunter Stewart led the offense netting 13 and 10 points respectively. Stewart also pulled down eight rebounds extending his influence the span of the court.
T. Masters had a quiet day with only two points, but his energy was displayed in other efforts accumulating five steals, four assists, and four rebounds.
The Lady Chargers experienced a similarly mixed bag of results last week, picking up a conference victory and slipping behind in a non-conference match.
Tuesday, the MC girls edged out the New Covenant Flames by a final score of 39-24, led by 17 points from sophomore Kara Locker.
Locker turned on the heat in the first and third quarters, accumulating 14 of her points in those periods. Naomi Ewing balanced Locker's efforts, dropping in all 10 of her points in the second and fourth quarters to propel the Charger offensive through all four frames.
"We definitely are getting closer," acknowledged head coach Phil Ferrari, when discussing the team goal of putting together four consistent quarters of solid basketball. "We knew they would make some adjustments and come out strong in the third quarter. The key was that we only allowed them to cut two points off of our lead."
The contest held a bit of redemption for the Lady Chargers, who had previously fallen to the Flames in a December loss.
"The key for us was to make them beat us from outside by not allowing them to get easy baskets in transition or by driving the ball into the paint," explained Ferrari.
Ewing and Haley Witmer each went two-of-two from the line, and Brie Lehman knocked in a triple to round out the scoring efforts.
"We played really well defensively, both individually and as a unit," praised Ferrari, referring specifically to the first half where the Chargers held the Flames to only six points.
A few days earlier, Columbia got the best of the Chargers in a 52-24 loss on the road.
The Crimson Tide built a substantial lead in the first half (26-6), but the Lady Chargers, known for their second half comebacks, refused to quit, and chipped away at the formidable lead in the second half but were ultimately unable to overcome the deficit.
Witmer had a big night for the MC club, netting 10 points along with nine rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal.
"To watch the girls go out in the second half against most of their starters and fight their way to a 26-20 score really showed us a lot," pointed out Ferrari. "We always talk about competing until the end, no matter what the score. It continues to point to how much the girls have grown since early in the year."
Freshman players Kacy Robinson and Ruth Hynum both got on the scoreboard with a field goal from each.
"We are very pleased with the progress of all of our freshman, each player has grown immeasurably in their knowledge of the game and their role on the team," encouraged Ferrari. "All of them have been instrumental in helping us win games and that has been a positive development to watch as they step up in key moments and confidently make plays."
The week brought the Charger overall record to 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the CCAC. Without much time to regroup, the team expects to take on four additional competitors in the upcoming week, first hosting Christian School of York before three consecutive away contests.
Lady Chargers Improve to 6-4 Overall January 11, 2019
In the thick of the mid-season, the Lady Chargers took on three straight CCAC opponents last week notching a pair of victories and a loss, which brings their conference record to 3-2 and overall, 6-4.
What looked like it might be another comeback win for the Lady Chargers ended in disappointment as they suffered a 33-30 setback against Covenant Christian last Thursday.
A rattled Charger squad got behind in the early minutes, plagued by turnovers and fouls, and found themselves trailing 8-4 after the first quarter.
Settling into a rhythm in the second quarter, MC worked their way back into contention sparked by some offensive success from Naomi Ewing who scored five of her 10 points in the second. Yet the Chargers still faced an uphill battle with the scoreboard reading 20-12 at the half.
Kara Locker and Haley Witmer began to find the net, posting nine points apiece, and the combined efforts narrowed the gap until the comeback was within reach. Locker nailed a jumper setting the scoreboard at 31-30 with one minute left to play, but both the lead and the win proved to be elusive. Covenant capitalized on a pair of free throws to bump their total to 33 and the final buzzer sounded before the Chargers could connect again.
Three days prior, the Chargers had another come-from-behind opportunity, this one ending in their favor. After trailing Lancaster Mennonite Hershey 9-2 in the first, the MC squad fought their way back to claim the contest, 52-42.
"We called a timeout and simply told the girls to take a deep breath and that there was a lot of time left in the game," explained head coach Phil Ferrari of the first quarter comeback.
The timeout recalibrated the MC club, who returned to the court to close the quarter on a 6-0 run, and trailed by a slim 9-8 margin headed into the second quarter.
Gaining their footing before the half, Mount Calvary overtook the lead and went into the break with a 26-18 advantage.
"We knew shots would start falling, and defensively we cleaned up some communication issues," explained Ferrari.
Pressure defense, including a half-court trap, flustered the Blazers, creating turnovers and transition buckets for the Lady Chargers, allowing them to extend their lead to 44-29 in the third.
The Blazers weren't done yet though, rallying for some back-to-back scoring possessions and cutting the lead to single digits again before the fourth.
"We challenged the girls to get back to playing the kind of basketball that built the lead," added Ferrari. "We've been through several games this year where we had to stay calm during hectic circumstances, so we were able to rely on those prior experiences."
Diversified offense helped MC maintain control, with four Lady Chargers posting double digits on the scoreboard. Witmer and Locker led with 12 apiece, while Julia Martin and Ewing each netted eleven.
Martin's energy spanned the length of the court adding 13 rebounds, six assists, and two steals to her contribution.
The previous weekend, Mount Calvary took down the West Shore Bobcats 46-19, dominating the game in all four quarters.
"Still a lot of work to do. We want to be more consistent within each quarter so we can try to avoid the wild swings that result in high peaks and low valleys," explained Ferrari encouraging his team to push for consistent gameplay and fewer turnovers.
Locker once again led the team with 13 points, and Martin chipped in with 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals.
"We are starting to settle into our roles especially on offense," credited Ferrari. "The girls are beginning to feel comfortable with the number of shots they are taking as well as where on the floor, and where within the flow of our offense, they are taking them."
Scoring surges were contagious for the Chargers last week, as the boys club picked up three victories against three conference opponents, improving their flawless CCAC record to 5-0.
Wrapping up the three-game win streak with a 76-22 home court win over Covenant Christian last Thursday, the Chargers sought to put their mantra of "Expect Excellence, Earn Everything" into action on the court.
Ten different Mount Calvary players added to the point total, with Chip Stambaugh leading all scorers with 14.
Sophomore Evan Barnes knocked down three buckets from beyond the arc for a total of nine, and fellow sophomore Leighland Olsen netted another two from downtown.
On Monday, the Chargers were on the road for their fourth conference win, a 77-61 success over Lancaster Mennonite Hershey.
"We did a good job to pull off a road win against an improving team," credited head coach Kory Pruner. "Their defense made us work and make adjustments."
One of those adjustments was sending the ball inside to break up the Blazer's zone, getting the ball into the hands of Stambaugh (19 points) and Hunter Stewart (13 points).
In their highest scoring contest so far this season, the Chargers nearly hit triple digits in their 97-47 triumph over the West Shore Christian Bobcats.
Ten different players contributed to the point accumulation, with Jack Hilsher leading all scorers with 24, followed closely by Stewart's 20-point effort.
"Jack and Hunter both did a great job of finishing shots near the basket," acknowledged Pruner. "Harrison Crick also had a role in getting a lot of guys open. His unselfish play is very significant."
Stewart was a threat on both ends of the court, pulling down 13 rebounds and snagging three steals.
Brothers Tyler and Aidan Masters were responsible for setting up multiple successfully plays, dishing out five assists apiece.
"We wanted to push the ball more off of defensive rebounds and try to get easy baskets before the defense could recover. Friday was an example of what can happen when we work hard to push the ball and finish with made shots," elaborated Pruner.
Chargers Win Shoot Out Tourney Title January 4, 2019
Charger basketball got off to a strong start in December, breaking into the new year with an overall record of 5-3, and sporting an unblemished 2-0 showing in conference play.
Among the early tests for the squad was the MCCS Varsity Shoot Out Tournament, hosted by the Chargers in mid-December. Following victories over New Covenant and Conestoga Christian, the Chargers were crowned tournament champs.
"I was really impressed with our attention to detail and execution," praised head coach Kory Pruner after the Chargers claimed the tournament.
Sophomore Aidan Masters tallied a two-game total of 38 points and nine steals to lead the charge and earn himself tournament MVP recognition.
Brother and teammate, Tyler Masters, a senior, chipped in with 13 points, 12 steals, and 14 rebounds over the course of the tourney and received All-Tournament team honors.
In the Championship showdown against the Conestoga Christian Cougars, the Chargers overcame a weak second quarter by outscoring the Cougars in the other three quarters, accruing an 18-point advantage before the final buzzer, 57-39.
"Against Conestoga, we saw a complete team effort to take away our opponent's strengths while at the same time selflessly sharing the ball until we got a good shot-and it also helped that we made those shots," Pruner pointed out.
Sophomore Hunter Stewart was another vital component in the victory over the Cougars, hitting five-of-six free throw attempts as a part of his 11-point contribution.
In night one's 56-10 overcoming of New Covenant, Jack Hilsher and A. Masters posted matching 13's to lead all scorers.
Chip Stambaugh and Harrison Crick each boosted the squad with 100 percent efforts from the line, both going two-for-two, and Stambaugh's performance also included five rebounds and two blocks.
"I challenged the team to do better defensively, and each player did that," noted Pruner. "Everyone played that night and everyone did well with a lot of the defensive principles we have worked on," he added.
In a preceding conference win on the road, the Chargers captured a 62-47 triumph over Christian School of York, with three MC players producing double digit figures. A. Masters' 18 points led the night, followed by Stewart's 14, and an additional 12 from Hilsher.
The trio combined for a successful 16 points accumulated at the line, spearheaded by 86 percent free throw shooting from Stewart, who nailed six-of-seven attempts. A. Masters nailed five-of-six, and Hilsher went five-for-ten.
The Chargers first loss of the sesason came at the hands of the Schuylkill Haven Hurricanes. The 71-47 defeat came during the championship game of the Upper Dauphin Tip-Off Tournament.
MC earned their admittance to the championship game by toppling the Upper Dauphin Trojans 54-45 the previous evening.
The Chargers were trailing the Trojans by nine at the half, but rallied for a third quarter comeback, spurred by defensive pressure, to take the lead.
"We decided to make a switch defensively to press during the second half," noted Pruner.
The changeup paid off, as pressure from the entire team lead to a game-high eight steals from T. Masters, who also led the team on the offensive end with 15 points.
Limiting Upper Dauphin's chances at easy buckets became a key factor and Charger center, Stambaugh, came up big on the boards, pulling down 11.
Heading into the heart of the season, the team knows that a balance of both skill and effort will be required for a truly successful season.
"Our theme is focused on how we can strive for more," explained Pruner. "Improving as a team on and off the court in strength, trust, reliability, integrity, victory, and excellence."
No one can say the Lady Chargers haven't provided their fans with an exciting early season, accruing a 4-1 record heading into Christmas break, characterized by thrilling, come-from-behind, final minute triumphs.
All four of the MC squad's victories were registered with only one- or two-point differentials, and in each case the Lady Chargers found themselves trailing, at times substantially, but through tenacious efforts fought their way back for the win.
On their final opportunity before the holiday hiatus, the Lady Chargers took down non-conference opponent York Country Day, 29-27.
The scoreboard looked bleak heading into the final quarter, reading 25-18, advantage York. No strangers to late-game success, the Lady Chargers refused to quit and dominated the final eight minutes, outscoring York 11-2 to take the game by two.
Holding their fragile two-point lead for the final 90 seconds tested the team's defensive gameplay, but despite several last-minute efforts from York, the Lady Chargers walked away with another one-possession triumph.
Naomi Ewing netted five of her 11 points during the fourth quarter push to lead the offensive charge, with fellow junior, Haley Witmer, tacking on an additional eight points. Witmer also dominated the boards grabbing 17 rebounds.
"The girls are taking to heart our challenge of competing hard until the end," explained head coach Phil Ferrari. "We have been able to find a way to score enough in the second half, while getting key stops on the defensive end."
Midway through December, the Lady Chargers placed third in the Varsity Shoot Out Tournament hosted at Mount Calvary.
After being bumped into the consolation game due to a 22-15 first round loss to New Covenant Christian, the girls fired back with a 29-28 win over Conestoga Christian.
Sophomore Kara Locker was named to the All-Tournament team for her contributions, tallying a total of 21 points, five steals, and five rebounds.
"Kara has been a huge offensive threat and is shooting the ball really well," credited Ferrari. "Our captains, Haley [Witmer] and Naomi [Ewing], have stepped up their leadership this year and have really played a huge role in our early success."
Early in December, the team kicked off their season on the road, with similar score victories over Harrisburg Academy (31-29), and Christian School of York (33-31).
Against CSY, the Chargers were forced to work their way out of a nine-point deficit, finding themselves behind 20-11.
Led by Brie Lehman's 11-point game, including three buckets from downtown, the Chargers worked their way back into contention. Sophomores Locker and Julia Martin chipped in with eight points apiece.
Getting the job done on the boards, Witmer pulled down 10 rebounds for the Chargers, and Martin's defensive efforts, including eight steals played a huge roll in turning the tide.
"Defensively, Julia [Martin] has been a real spark as she leads the team in deflections and steals and wreaks havoc flying all over the floor," praised Ferrari.
In their season opener against Harrisburg Academy, Locker blazed the way with a game high 15 points accompanied by four rebounds and three steals to help the Chargers hang on for the two-point victory.
Heading into the mid-season, the Lady Chargers look to convert their come-back pattern into a complete 32 minutes of excellence.
"We have struggled with playing four quarters of consistent basketball which is always a goal of ours," explained Ferrari. "We want to focus on cutting down unforced turnovers and look to be more consistent in shutting teams down and making them take the shots we want them to."
Along with their on-court goals, the team is focused on a spiritual emphasis of being "All-In".
"We're exploring what it truly means to be committed in our daily life," explained Ferrari, pointing the team's attention on the Old Testament book of Ruth and the lessons on commitment. "Our word for this season is 'compete' and we are certainly embracing the idea of competing no matter what the score and no matter what the circumstance."
With plenty of competitive opportunities on the horizon, the Lady Chargers head into 2019 with big goals and exciting potential, facing a lineup of four CCAC opponents this week.
Mt. Calvary Ends Season With PIAA Semis Loss November 4, 2018
In a disappointing twist, the Mount Calvary girls' volleyball squad was knocked to an early exit from the PIAA District Three 1A tournament after a 3-0 loss to Covenant Christian in the semifinal round.
Thursday's determining game was held at Lower Dauphin with MC, the one seed, expected to advance to the championship match over fifth seeded Covenant Christian, but in an intense game with high stakes, Covenant got ahead early and held onto their momentum for the sweep (25-12, 25-23, 25-16).
The loss brought the Chargers' 2018 season to a halt, finalizing their overall record at an impressive 18-3.
Entering the week of the district playoffs as the top seed, the Lady Chargers were under pressure to deliver, and had to dig deep to hang on to their quarterfinal victory over Veritas Academy on Tuesday.
After handily claiming sets one and two, triumph appeared to be a sure thing for the Mount Calvary squad, but Veritas regrouped for a comeback surge and knotted the set score at two apiece, forcing a determining fifth set in which the Chargers prevailed (25-20, 25-8, 23-25, 5-25, 15-10).
In the early minutes of the contest, the teams traded points and gathered their bearings, but after the initial 3-3 scoreboard, Rachel Green stepped up for a four-point service run to help the Chargers pull away 7-3, a lead they held on to for the remainder of the set.
All was going well for the Chargers after two sets, including a dominate second game win where Kami Mummau was an offensive force. Mummau fired over a powerful kill to extend the MC lead to 11-5, catapulting the Chargers on a 4-0 run capped by a Mummau ace at 19-5.
The lopsided second set ignited a spark in the Monarchs, and a different Veritas team took the floor in the third. MC serving inconsistency coupled with a few Veritas rallies allowed the Monarchs to work their way back into contention and clinch the third set after a back-and-forth battle.
"We knew Veritas was going to come out with their best because it would be their season if they didn't win," acknowledged head coach Kate Ferrari. "They're a great team and we knew they would come out strong. That's just what we got."
Momentum was clearly churning in favor of the Monarchs, and the Lady Chargers faced a dismal game four in which Veritas ran away with the first nine points and ultimately took their second set 25-5 to level the playing field.
"After the second Veritas win, we told them it wasn't over and we needed to keep fighting," added Ferrari. "We told them to forget what happened in set four. The score was back to 0-0 and they needed to go out and play their game."
All the pressure was riding on the final 15 points, and after squandering their two-game lead, refocusing and reigniting the Charger momentum was a steep task, a leadership role that fell to upperclassmen such as Haley Witmer and Brie Lehman.
"Haley and Brie really tried to rally the girls. They encouraged them to play like they've never played before and to encourage each other in it all," credited Ferrari.
The efforts paid off, and winning the first two points of the final set was a huge confidence boost for the Chargers as they worked their way back into a rhythm.
Midway through the game Kara Locker helped propel MC ahead with one of her three blocks, giving the club a surge of adrenalin and the 8-4 advantage.
Locker continued her contribution, rotating to the service line when the scoreboard read 12-10, and fired over an ace to bring the Chargers within two points of victory. Locker remained at the service helm for the duration of the contest and the team fought for every dig and pass to win the final two points and earn their ticket to the semifinal round.
Mummau finished the contest with 18 digs, 11 kills, and 4 aces, and Witmer provided 29 setter assists.
"We've been trying to really work on that mental side of the game. Moving on past mistakes, speaking positively to ourselves despite mistakes," explained Ferrari.
Speaking of positive achievements, three Lady Chargers, Witmer, Mummau, and Grace Hilsher, were named to the CCAC first team all-star list for their season long efforts.
Though the season has reached its conclusion, reflecting back on 18 wins includes plenty of highlights to demonstrate the squad's growth. With no senior players on the roster, the entire team looks forward to returning and building on their successes.
Lady Chargers Enter Playoffs With 16-1 Record October 22, 2018
The last three regular season games are in the books for the Lady Chargers, which meant an additional trio of victories to accrue an overall record of 16-1 headed into the post season.
Wrapping up their regular season schedule with a home court clash against Dayspring Christian last Friday, the Lady Chargers came out on top after three (25-14, 25-13, 25-19).
"The girls came pumped tonight, and the energy could be felt prior to the game," celebrated head coach Kate Ferrari after the sweep. "The girls were able to focus and get a good lead in the first set."
Contributing to that excitement from the start, Brie Lehman stepped up with a block to register the very first point of the contest, setting the tone for the Charger triumph.
Molly Bert and Haley Witmer provided four aces apiece to keep the Dayspring defensive line scrambling. Witmer also offered 18 assists and Grace Hilsher was there to finish attacks with six kills.
Defensively, Hilsher and Kara Locker supplied six digs apiece and Locker added a block to the effort.
"In the end, I am so proud of their efforts, not only tonight, but throughout the season," praised Ferrari.
The night before, the Chargers visited Fairfield High School and again took the contest in straight sets (25-14, 25-21, 25-20).
Witmer had an outstanding all-around game dishing out 7 aces, 23 assists, and 12 digs.
"I think one of the greatest highlights was Haley's ability to mix up the offense. She had a great setter/hitter connection with all of our hitters," elaborated Ferrari. "Being able to move the sets around to various places makes our offense more dynamic."
Kami Mummau and Locker were a tandem offensive force, trading off kills and racking up nine apiece.
Hilsher matched Witmer's ace count, firing over seven of her own to further spark the Charger offense.
In a previous weekend matchup at New Covenant Christian, the Lady Chargers set the tone with a dominate first set and never looked back, winning (25-2, 25-10, 25-12).
Witmer was nearly unstoppable from the service line, going on an opening run that secured all but two of the Chargers first set points.
Witmer amassed a total of 19 aces, 9 setter assists, and 5 digs.
Kami Mummau and Kara Locker combined for six kills apiece.
The lopsided contest allowed the MC underclassmen plenty of court time, gaining valuable experience in the win.
"Haley [Witmer] was a strong serving force, and freshmen Kacy Robinson and Grace Elder stepped up and made some good plays," noted Ferrari.
After the three-win week, the Lady Chargers face their first post season test this week, competing in the CCAC playoff tournament.
"They have shown what it means to run the race with endurance," credited Ferrari. "The race isn't over yet, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the girls continue on."
After four consecutive years of claiming the CCAC post-season tournament championship, in a heartbreaking twist, the Mount Calvary Chargers were bumped out of the tournament in the semifinal round and unable to defend their title in the championship game.
Hosting Harrisburg Christian in Tuesday night's semi, the contest came down to the wire, extending into overtime and ultimately a 4-3 advancement for the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
Regulation was a high intensity battle of strikers as the Knights' leading scorer, Anna Cardillo, notched all three Harrisburg goals while MC's top gun, Julia Martin, knocked in all three for the Chargers.
Mount Calvary was the first to strike, but Harrisburg produced a one-two punch response, going up 2-1 before the half, and seemed to be running away with the contest, netting another goal just after the break to make it 3-1 with 37 minutes left to play.
"We opened the door for Harrisburg by not stepping hard to loose balls and the result is clearly disappointing," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Momentum began to shift when Martin netted the second Charger goal off a direct kick from well outside the 18.
The clock continued to wind down, but the Chargers weren't finished yet. Teagan Akers worked the ball up the right wing, creating space in center field for Martin to break free of her defender.
A well-placed cross from Akers found an open Martin who converted the equalizer with 20 minutes left to play.
"I was very encouraged by how the girls gritted it out even when they were behind and came back to tie the score. They competed with more intensity in the second half," credited Schmitkons. "The mentality, effort, and unity needed to do that is something we have been building throughout the season."
Riding their comeback surge, but unable to find the go-ahead goal, the Chargers were faced with heartbreak less than one minute into the sudden death overtime.
On their first possession down the field, the Knights earned a corner kick opportunity that rattled around in the box before ending up in the netting, and abruptly halted both the extended period and the Chargers' CCAC tournament run.
"We are constantly striving for excellence and have not yet achieved it. I am looking to continue building on these three aspects of our game; mentality to deal with whatever happens in the game, being able to give 80 minutes of consistent effort, and unity between players that enhances our ability to play the game and lift each other up," concluded Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers will have more opportunity to achieve those goals, as they continue to hone their skills in a brief break before the start of PIAA District III post-season competition.
Calvary Girls Tally 14 Goals With 2 Wins, 1 Tie October 14, 2018
There was no lack of scoring last week for the Lady Chargers, as they collectively netted 14 goals over the course of two shutout victories and one draw, and emerged from the week with an overall record of 11-3-1.
Mustering up the endurance needed for a third straight day of competition, the Lady Chargers blanked Harrisburg Christian, 5-0, on Wednesday.
"This week has been challenging in terms of game pace and being mentally prepared for the specific difficulties of each game," reflected head coach Kim Schmitkons. "With such a busy week and not having subs, we are trying to rotate players through positions and just take care of injuries as best we can."
Five different Chargers supplied the tallies against Harrisburg Christian, with Olivia Yordy, Elena Hatfield, Gabby Frost, Brittney Taylor, and Julia Martin each getting in on the scoring action.
Martin's goal marked her 25th of her sophomore season.
Tuesday's home clash with Lancaster County Christian reached an impasse at 1-1, giving the Lady Chargers their only draw thus far on their record.
Each team succeeded in notching a goal in the second half, but despite double overtime extensions neither club was able to repeat their success for the clincher.
"In overtime, we played some of our best minutes as a team," acknowledged Schmitkons. "Everyone was working defensively and trying to push offensively together. Unfortunately, we just couldn't find the net again."
On Monday, the Lady Chargers took down Christian School of York, 8-0, and again the MC offense displayed diversity, this time with seven Lady Chargers contributing to the goal count.
Yordy put in two of the goals while Ambria Good, Naomi Ewing, Frost, Taylor, Martin and Hatfield were each responsible for one.
"With playoffs less than a week away, I want the girls to really enjoy playing each game, keep striving for 80 minutes of intense play, and recognizing opportunities to support each other," concluded Schmitkons.
In addition to the slew of contests, the squad took a moment to honor their three senior players, Leah Hawryluk, Ambria Good, and Brittney Taylor for their contributions both on and off the field.
"My three seniors have very different personalities that compliment each other. They are leading with words and actions not only on the field but in building team relationships and focusing us spiritually," explained Schmitkons.
Hawryluk, the MC keeper, has spent a lot her time in goal, but has managed to gain enough field time to notch at least one goal on the offensive end each year of her varsity career.
"Leah [Hawryluk] leads by example, and is always looking for a way to contribute to the team," pointed out Schmitkons. "On the field she demands focus and our best effort, but is also consistently encouraging her teammates' efforts."
When not playing soccer, Hawryluk is active on student council, is the senior class president and has been involved in multiple school drama productions.
Hawryluk plans to attend Clarks Summit University to major in elementary education and Bible, with a minor in special education.
"I would love to teach first grade or in a special education classroom, travel the world, and seek God in my daily life," explained Hawryluk of her future aspirations.
Ambria Good has been attending MCCS since her sophomore year, and reflects back on her deep relationships forged, specifically through her experience on the soccer team.
"This team has been like a family to me ever since my first day at MCCS, and I couldn't ask for a better one," Good explained while reminiscing on three "unforgettable" seasons.
Schmitkons describes Good as a servant leader, someone who is constantly watching out for the needs of others, and a quick learner.
"She [Good] reads her teammates well and quietly comes alongside them to build them up," Schmitkons said of the defensive anchor.
Good has also been involved in student council, media, National Honor Society, and plans to pursue accounting at Grove City College.
Brittney Taylor has been attending Mount Calvary since she was in pre-school, and is currently class vice president, a member of National Honor Society, praise team, and a teacher's aide. She strongly desires to follow God's guiding in her life and pursue elementary education.
Taylor has been a part of the team for each of the past three consecutive CCAC championship wins.
"A favorite team memory is being a part of winning the league championship for the past three years-specifically last year when all our fans stormed the field," reflected Taylor.
"Brittney lifts our team energy and intensity. She set a goal to lead this team physically and spiritually, and she is achieving that goal," commended Schmitkons.
The boys' soccer team didn't have a great deal of success on the field last week, only fitting in one contest and falling 8-1 in Tuesday's road trip to Conestoga Christian.
Junior Sam Robinson tucked in the lone Charger goal, his first of the season.
The club will lose two seniors at the culmination of this season, Jesse Rutt and Ethan Niedwick.
Rutt has attended MCCS since pre-k, has been a band member, and plans to study meteorology in college.
"Jesse has grown every year as a soccer player, and this year has been no different," noted Myers of the four-year forward. "He has always shown a servant attitude and understands how his role can help the team succeed."
Ethan Niedwick, the MC keeper, will also be leaving a lasting impact for his sacrificial actions and exemplary attitude on the field.
"Ethan started goalkeeper his sophomore year when we needed to fill a void in that position," explained Myers. "It is a big accomplishment to go from a novice to someone the team relies on to stay in the game. Ethan's biggest strength is his attitude as he always put the team first," continued Myers when describing Niedwick as a servant leader.
Niedwick is also a member of the National Honor Society and the Charger baseball team. His post-graduation plans included Mechanical Engineering while participating in ROTC and serving in the US Army.
Facing their final match of the 2018 season hosted by High Point Baptist Academy, the Charger golf club did not notch a victory in the tri-match but focused on ending strong and reflecting on their growth over the course of the year.
Tuesday's nine-hole showdown with High Point and Lancaster County Christian took the Chargers to French Creek Golf Club where High Point came out on top with a 189, followed by LCCS' 217, and the MC club shooting a collective 260.
Danny Smullen carded the best Charger score of the day with a 52. Tyler Masters and Hunter Stewart contributed 66 and 69 respectively, and David Ellis rounded out the top four with a 73.
Scorecards can be deceiving, as they don't always reflect the growth of an individual, a concept the Chargers have learned over the year.
"The team has made improvements in consistent contact, playing out of the bunkers, and putting," encouraged head coach Matt Owlett.
And with even farther-reaching effects, the team's character growth outweighs their golf statistics.
"These young men showed tremendous perseverance even though this season was a struggle at times," pointed out Owlett. "They never gave up and maintained great strength in the face of adversity. Even on the golf course they were able to model our team verse in Ephesians."
The verse reads, "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might." (Ephesians 6:10 ESV).
With two graduating seniors, David Ellis and Tyler Masters, the team will feel the loss of their leadership.
"David Ellis has been a great addition to the golf team. He has been a great leader and sets a great example for others to follow," described head coach Matt Owlett.
Ellis had only recently picked up the sport, playing golf on the varsity squad his senior year, but adding much to the team dynamic. Ellis' other extracurricular activities have included baseball, soccer, basketball, band, tech team, and class chaplain.
After graduating, Ellis feels God's call on his life to enter full-time ministry and will attend Lancaster Bible College to pursue Biblical Studies.
Masters, the team's other senior, will also leave a memorable imprint on the team.
"Tyler always brings life and energy to the team. He adds a large element of fun, always brightens up practice, and has grown so much as a person," elaborated Owlett.
Masters has also been a part of media, student council, athletic council, soccer, basketball and baseball.
When reflecting on golf memories, Masters and Ellis had many favorites to pick from, but the lasting impact of their coach was a standout for them both.
Masters described Owlett as "a coach that I can look up to as a spiritual leader and advisor", a sentiment echoed by Ellis.
Lady Chargers Post Mixed Results in Soccer October 7, 2018
MC faced a bit of a heartbreak early last week, dropping their first conference matchup all season in a 5-4 slip to the New Covenant Flames, but ended the week on the upswing overcoming High Point by a score of 2-1.
The two conference games bumped the Lady Chargers to a CCAC record of 6-1 (9-3 overall).
The high scoring clash held at New Covenant last Tuesday displayed double digit shots on goal fired from both teams, 13 for the Flames countered by 12 from the Chargers.
All four MC successes came in the first 40, giving the Chargers the 4-3 advantage headed into the second half.
Earning nine corner kick opportunities, the girls made the most of them, converting three into goals.
Julia Martin supplied two goals, Naomi Ewing curved one corner kick directly into the net, and the fourth Charger goal came after ricocheting off a New Covenant defender.
"We were dangerous getting the ball down to the end line and aggressive on corner kicks," acknowledged head coach Kim Schmitkons.
But the tide turned in the second 40, and the Flame defense proved to be impenetrable.
After finding the back of the Charger net two more times for a total of five, regulation ended with the Flames pulling out the win.
"We fought hard, but in the end, New Covenant wanted the win more and worked as a stronger unit to secure it," credited Schmitkons.
"This will definitely be a defining moment as we face the mental disappointment of the game," continued Schmitkons. "We have to regroup and remember the purpose of why we play the game-to give our best effort, support our teammates, and give God the glory. We want to give our best in our next competition."
Putting that mental tenacity to the test, the next CCAC showdown on the Charger schedule was Thursday night's trip to High Point Baptist where MC rebounded with a 3-1 win.
Martin secured a hat trick, supplying all three Charger goals.
"Julia Martin has been consistent in finding the back of the net, but we have definitely had others stepping up on the score sheet also," credited Schmitkons. "Naomi Ewing has dug deep to win the midfield battle, and Ambria Good has been a vocal leader both in directing players on the field and supporting them emotionally off the field."
The win over the Eagles came at a pivotal time, boosting morale and rejuvenating the squad as they head closer to post-season play.
"It was good to be able to come back and win," acknowledged Schmitkons. "We had moments of excellent play along the side and in the corners. We are still working on connecting the final pass in the box and playing the whole 80 minutes with intensity."
With plenty of opportunity to work on those team aspirations, the Lady Chargers enter this week with four consecutive days of conference competition to put them to the test, facing a lineup that includes Christian School of York, Lancaster County Christian, Harrisburg Academy, and Lebanon Catholic.
After a brief hiatus in their schedule, the Lady Chargers volleyball club was back at it last week, taking down another three consecutive opponents, to emerge with an overall record of 12-1.
The squad capped the week with a win on the road, outplaying Lebanon Catholic in four sets (25-13, 25-10, 18-25, 25-8).
"Our team played well together and we were able to try some new things with our offense-things we've been practicing were able to be transferred into our game," reflected head coach Kate Ferrari.
Kami Mummau was all over the court scrambling for 13 digs defensively and turning the ball back on the Beavers, firing 13 kills and 6 aces over the net. Haley Witmer also produced some impressive numbers, putting up 23 assists and matching Mummau's ace count with six of her own. Working new formations gave Brie Lehman the opportunity to be a force at the net, making her presence known with two momentum shifting blocks.
On Tuesday, MC visited Covenant Christian Academy and triumphed over the Falcons in three sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-12).
Despite the sweep, the match was highly competitive and a redemptive game for Mount Calvary as their first meeting with New Covenant resulted in the single loss marring the Chargers record.
"Covenant battled hard tonight with some great offensive plays," acknowledge Ferrari. "They are definitely a great competitor we always look forward to a great athletic game."
After claiming the first set, the Chargers found themselves floundering in the second, but a service run by Mummau helped turn the tide back to MC, and the rest of the team rallied with strong defense to regain control.
"Molly Bert, Grace Hilsher, and Haley Witmer were an essential part of our defense," pointed out Ferrari. "Grace and Kami [Mummau] did a phenomenal job of covering their hitters and blockers, so when Covenant went to tip over the block they were right there to dig it up."
Witmer produced 19 setter assists along with 10 digs, and Mummau powered an impressive 11 kills and 9 aces over the net.
Reflecting back on their earlier season clash with the Falcons, the squad felt as though they had a bit of unfinished business to resolve in this second meeting.
"We have been anticipating this game, and the ladies came ready to play. They felt as though they hadn't left it all on the court the first time we met up and so they were ready to show them a different side to our team," elaborated Ferrari.
Twenty-four hours earlier the girls hosted Berks Christian School and once again went for the three-set sweep (25-12, 25-14, 27-25).
Working off some rust from a six-day stretch without a match, the Chargers started out slow, but found their rhythm quickly to easily secure sets one and two.
Sophomore Kara Locker was a dominate force at the net, registering two blocks and 10 kills, while defensive efforts by Hilsher (eight digs) also kept the Charger squad on top.
"Kara had consistent net play and was able to position the ball in open spots on Berks side of the court. Grace Hilsher covered her hitters and blockers, picking up some shots that helped us stay on top," commended Ferrari.
Mummau complimented Lockers' work at the net with 10 kills of her own, and Witmer supplied a well-rounded effort of 19 assists and five aces.
Berks showed some fire in the third set, rallying to make things close, and giving some of the younger Charger players some valuable game-time experience.
"We had put in some of our younger players, and they stuck it out and persevered, managing to pull out the win. Great lessons for them to learn," praised Ferrari.
Packing in four contests in five days proved to be a test of stamina for MC boys' soccer, a challenge they embraced, but resulted in one win and three losses.
A 2-1 victory over the Covenant Christian Falcons last Tuesday was a boost to the Charger morale as well as validation of the hard work they have been putting in on the field.
Coming on the heels of the previous day's 2-0 loss to Lancaster Country Day, the Chargers applied lessons learned to advance their cause against the Falcons.
Making strategic formation adjustments, head coach Marc Myers utilized the midfield to promote offensive success and safeguard defensive action.
"We moved a midfielder to link up play with strikers out wide. This allowed both center-mids to help protect the back three defenders," explained Myers.
The adjustments paid off for the Chargers, and opened the field for sophomore Dane Kelley to give the Chargers the upper hand 11 minutes into the contest, converting his first varsity goal.
Holding the slim 1-0 advantage heading into the second half, the MC club was relentlessly seeking a second goal to establish their lead.
Freshman Isaac Good's quick footwork made him elusive to the Falcon defense as he set stage for the second Charger goal dishing a well-placed cross to Damian Rutt to finish into the back of the net.
"Isaac beat his defender and laid the ball into open space right in front of the goal for Damian to slot home," described Myers.
Though the Falcons were able to retaliate with a goal of their own, Charger defense was strong enough to thwart all their attempts at finding an equalizer.
"I am glad we limited their chances to score by doing a few things well, but our work rate and physical play was a step up that helped us get the win," praised Myers.
The day before the Chargers started the week with a 2-0 loss to Lancaster Country Day, where the Cougars got ahead early, notching two first half goals and holding on for the win.
MC cranked the intensity in the second half, registering six shots on goal, but were unable to connect with the netting.
The week concluded with double disappointment, back-to-back losses at home 4-0 to Harrisburg Christian followed by a heart wrenching 2-1 fall to Dayspring Christian.
In the final game of the week, the Charger boys left every bit of endurance they had on the field, and for a time appeared to have the advantage after Rutt received a dish from Leighland Olsen and tucked in the first goal of the game to lead 1-0 at the half.
Despite the promising start, things took a downward turn in the second half when Dayspring countered with not one, but two goals, while closing down the Charger offense.
Weather Forces Schedule Changes For Soccer September 30, 2018
Weather postponements continue to jumble the Chargers soccer schedule, creating a frustrating week of rescheduling and delays and leaving the MC boys with only one contest last week, a 3-0 home field loss to New Covenant.
"Our team needs to make sure we get back to playing with heart," noted head coach Marc Myers. "We have had some low performance in the past few games-we need to give 100 percent."
The break in the action affords the team with a bit of valuable rest and prep time as they gear up for a four-game week that will both test their stamina and determine their playoff potential.
This week the team will use every bit of endurance they can muster, facing a non-conference opponent followed by three CCAC games, each holding a great deal of weight when it comes to the post-season.
"We will use the non-conference game to prepare for the rest of the week and try out some new things," explained Myers. "These games are close to must-wins if we want to have a chance to make playoffs. We will prepare the players to be at their best, but it will be a tough challenge."
Mount Calvary girls soccer was able to only get one game deeper into their season last week, but made the most of it blanking the High Point Baptist Eagles, 3-0.
It was another dismal night as far as weather was concerned. Playing in a constant drizzle on a saturated field, the Lady Chargers got the job done securing their first goal in the first half, followed by a pair in the second to seal the conference win.
Brittney Taylor knocked in the first MC goal, and supplied both assists for Julia Martin's second half pair.
Taylor capitalized on a loose ball rattling around the Eagle box to give the Chargers the 1-0 advantage in the first half.
Martin's first-of-two came at the conclusion of a passing sequence between Martin and Taylor that allowed them to work the ball from end to end.
"We were pushing to attack together and recover together," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons. "I think we did that well, although it is something we can continue to grow in."
Charger intensity kept most of the action on their offensive end, evidenced by the team earning 14 corner kicks in the contest.
"The girls are starting to understand each other better on the field which improves our passing and movement and leads to a more intense game all around," elaborated Schmitkons. "We were able to press high, getting to the end line frequently."
Though High Point kept pursuing opportunities and managed a few good looks at the Charger goal, freshman Marlie Niedwick continues to build her resume as a keeper, snatching up five saves.
One of the team themes has been giving full effort for the entire 80 minutes, and the Mount Calvary club display that determination down to the final seconds.
With less than half a minute on the clock Martin nailed her second goal of the contest from outside the 18 and into the back of the Eagle net.
"The girls didn't let down, achieving the mental goal that we set for ourselves before the game. Overall, I am proud of how the girls continue to step up to meet the team's needs every game," concluded Schmitkons.
Lady Charger volleyball only had one contest last week, but they certainly made it an exciting one, picking up their ninth victory of the season in the 3-2 win over Dayspring Christian Academy.
The contest might have looked like a lock for the Chargers after they claimed the first two sets, but the Warriors rallied for a comeback taking the next two and forcing the match into a determining fifth set where the Chargers prevailed (25-22, 25-15, 18-25, 23-25, 15-7).
Sophomore Kami Mummau's offensive prowess helped propel the Chargers to their first two set victories as she collected 19 kills.
Though rattled by the first two set loses, the Warriors were on their home court and stabilized midway through the match. Beginning to churn some momentum their direction, Dayspring slowly began to creep back into contention.
With defense being paramount, the Chargers had to quickly implement some changes to stifle the Warrior comeback. Brie Lehman and Kara Locker both stepped up at the net, creating a formidable line and each earning two blocks to stem the Warrior surge.
"Brie Lehman and Kara Locker were an integral part of tonight because they shut down Dayspring's best hitter a couple times with momentum shifting blocks," pointed out head coach Kate Ferrari. "Getting a block has the power to really ignite a team, and Kara and Brie did just that."
Turning the tide back in their favor was a full-team effort that sometimes isn't clearly reflected by stats alone.
"Rachel Green and Grace Hilsher both had consistent play through all five sets," praised Ferrari. "Though they weren't top leaders necessarily in stats they were a constant force."
Hilsher did top one stat category, firing six aces at a scrambling Warrior defense.
Haley Witmer also got the job done, consistently setting up offensive opportunities by suppling 32 setter assists.
With the set count even at 2-2, the teams headed into the final set.
"Our girls were definitely discouraged to lose the middle sets, but they came out in the fifth set with sheer determination," acknowledged Ferrari. "They were ready to defend and once they caught fire they didn't let up. It was a well-fought game by both teams and we are grateful to have come out on top."
Lady Charger Volleyball Collects Two Shutouts September 23, 2018
After an intense string of matches, Lady Charger volleyball had a slower-paced schedule last week with only two games, but their tempo on the court couldn't have been much more intense as they toppled both competitors in decisive 3-0 sweeps.
Capping the week with a home court victory over New Covenant Christian, the Lady Chargers took control from the onset and never let up (25-7, 25-9, 25-8).
"What I really liked about this game was that our girls came together and pulled out aggressive offensive plays even when we were out of system," explained head coach Kate Ferrari. "If the setter was taken out of the play by taking the first pass, we had girls who stepped right up to set up the aggressive attack at the net."
Heading up the attack was sophomore Kami Mummau whose 11 kills ignited the Charger offense, and Haley Witmer was pivotal in setting up the plays and doling out 14 assists.
Service was also key in the takedown with Kara Locker leading that charge firing eight aces to a scrambling New Covenant defense. Freshman, Kacy Robinson, also stepped up big from behind the line, taking the Chargers on a scoring run in the third set and delivering three aces of her own.
"I was really proud of our freshmen who stepped up in this game, it was another great night," celebrated Ferrari.
Kicking off their week in a dominate fashion, the Lady Chargers claimed their first victory of the week in three quick sets on a trip to Christian School of York (25-3, 25-4, 25-5).
The contest was all about the serve, led by Haley Witmer's outstanding 27 aces, the team never allowed CSY to gain their footing long enough to contend.
"I think the key here was that the girls played their game," noted Ferrari. "Lately we have been giving up runs in games because we get comfortable and let up. Today we played more evenly."
Witmer complimented her serving with five assists, and Kara Locker got on the board with three kills.
Their overall record reads 7-2, but last week's magic scoring combination seemed to be 6-1 for Lady Chargers soccer, as they took on three separate opponents and conquered each by the exact same count.
Saturday took the Lady Chargers on a trip to Halifax, where they claimed their third set of six goals while only allowing one.
Sophomore Julia Martin powered in an impressive four goals, bringing her 2018 goal count up to 15 only midway through the season.
Shuffling up player positions, Olivia Yordy, typically a defensive player, got her opportunity on the offensive end of the field and capitalized with two goals against Halifax.
Marlie Niedwick, a freshman, gained more experience in goal, collecting seven saves.
Twenty-four hours earlier, the Mount Calvary team took down Hershey Christian. This time five different players supplied the six goals. Yordy again claimed two, while Martin, Leah Hawryluk, Brittney Taylor, and Naomi Ewing each had one.
On Tuesday night, the Lady Chargers got off to a slow start, but an explosive second half allowed them to claim the first of their three 6-1 victories, this time over the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
After a relatively quiet first half, the Chargers were leading 1-0 thanks to a deep shot rocketed off the foot of Ewing, but stamina became the name of the game heading into the second 40.
In the opening minutes of the second half, the Lady Chargers were awarded a free kick from well-outside the 18. Ewing sent the ball soaring overhead dropping directing behind the HC keeper for her second goal and igniting a scoring surge for the Chargers.
Three minutes later it was Brittney Taylor who capitalized, maneuvering the ball through center field traffic and placing a low ball into the bottom right corner of the net, giving Mount Calvary a 3-0 advantage.
With 20 left to play, it was Julia Martin's turn to outwit her defender with some fancy footwork giving her space in the center of the goalbox which she finished with a high-powered shot to the left for the fourth MC goal.
Though in a deep deficit, the Knights retaliated with a charge of their own, taking advantage of their next possession to find the net, putting the score at 4-1.
Gaining momentum, Harrisburg Christian carried the ball down field again, seeking a repeat of their success, but defender Ambria Good stepped up to stop a Knight striker on a break-away, returning the action to the Charger offensive end of the field.
"Ambria Good and Olivia Yordy in back did a great job of preventing open shots and covering some fast breakaways," praised Schmitkons.
MC freshman, Elena Hatfield, found the ball at the right place and right time and placed a shot out of reach of the Knight keeper to knock in her first varsity goal.
To their credit, the Knights did not give up, though facing a 5-1 uphill battle, and continued to create offensive opportunities. On one attack the Knight striker collided with Charger keeper Hawryluk, resulting in an injury for Hawryluk that removed her from the game.
Niedwick stepped in to fill Hawryluk's position and a desperate HC team sought one more opportunity earning a corner kick.
After the Harrisburg corner flew into the goal box, Taylor gained possession. Taylor and Martin worked in tandem to take the ball coast to coast catching the Knight defense off guard and Martin slipped in the final goal of the contest minutes before time expired.
"It is exciting to see some of our younger players getting more involved in the last few games," explained Schmitkons. "All in all, this was one of our best full team efforts!"
Rain postponed one of the boys games last week, but in the three remaining contests the Chargers treated their home fans to two exhilarating wins, and dropped one match on the road.
Sophomore Damian Rutt had a week of great success, registering six goals in the two wins.
Capping the week with a 3-2 sudden death overtime win over York Country Day, Rutt picked up a hat trick scoring all three MC goals.
Though the Chargers held the majority of possession, York capitalized on an early breakaway and were the first to score to lead most of the game. Rutt's first goal came after the ball rattled around the Greyhound goal box. Leighland Olsen dished to Rutt who connected to even the score.
York struck again and sought to hold onto their slim lead as the clock wound down, but Rutt knocked in the equalizer with 12 minutes left to play. Gaining momentum in the final minutes, the Chargers continued to rocket shots at the Greyhound keeper, but the buzzer sounded with no success.
Ignited by the urgency of a sudden death overtime period, it took Rutt just 53 seconds to drive the ball home and put an end to the contest.
Thursday night the Chargers tasted defeat at Lancaster County Christian, suffering a 5-0 loss to the Lions.
In Tuesday's 4-3 triumph over Christian School of York, a scoreless first half gave little indication of the slew of goals to come in the second half of the clash between the Chargers and the CSY Crusaders.
The Chargers broke the goal line first, when sophomore Damian Rutt netted the first goal of the contest 14 minutes in by utilizing a corner kick opportunity and curving the ball into the goal.
CSY retaliated hard, knocking in two goals within 60 seconds of each other to turn the advantage temporarily in favor of the Crusaders.
Hansen Crick chipped a shot into the goal to even the tally at two apiece, but neither team was close to done yet.
CSY struck next notching their third and final goal with 11 minutes left to play, but the Chargers had plenty of fight still in them-collecting a pair of goals, both supplied by Rutt, in the final five minutes of regulation to seal their victory.
"Overall, the game was quite exciting for the fans, nervous for the coaches, and a memorable one for the players," reflected head coach Marc Myers. "There were many things that we want to improve on, but we never gave up and kept pushing."
Though the golf team came in fourth in last Tuesday's quad-match held at Four Seasons Golf Course, two Mount Calvary golfers claimed their own personal bests to give the Charger morale a boost.
Dayspring Christian Academy claimed the match followed by Lancaster County Christian and High Point Baptist. Though the Mount Calvary club came in last, they continue to keep focusing on team encouragement and personal improvement.
Danny Smullen led the team with the best carded score of the day, shooting a 93.
"Danny played very well, 93 is his personal best in a match," pointed out head coach Matt Owlett. "I'm hoping he will qualify for districts."
Also rising to a personal best was Hunter Stewart's 122 stroke game.
"Hunter [Stewart] continues to improve and seems to elevate his game in matches," added Owlett.
David Ellis (132) and Tyler Masters (139) contributed the other two top four scores to the team total of 486.
Wednesday, the Charger club got a chance to compete against Schuylkill Valley in a nine-hole match at Willow Hollow Golf Course.
Though collectively bested by Schuylkill, the team continued to encourage each other to compete. Smullen again carded the days lowest score for the Chargers with a 43. Ellis supplied a 51-stroke effort, Stewart a 53, and Hayden Merrick rounded out the top four with a 57.
Young Chargers Battle and Look to Improve September 16, 2018
Despite two losses last week, the Mount Calvary boys' soccer team saw reasons to be encouraged, as the young squad battled through each contest.
In a 4-0 loss at home to Brandywine Heights, the team might not have netted a goal, but instead chose to focus on some valuable defensive lessons learned.
"It's encouraging to our team to continue to push towards a common goal of playing team defense," explained head coach Marc Myers. "Though there were a couple errors, the team can see and believe that if they work together to be disciplined they have a chance against every team they play."
The young team only has two seniors, with most starting players seeing a lot of varsity minutes for underclassmen.
Two freshman players, Wyatt Lamb and Noah Butler, make up two-thirds of the Charger back line of defense anchored by third member, junior Dakota Lamb.
"Dakota is continuing to grow in his leadership on the field by working with the entire team in helping to keep them organized," pointed out Myers. "Our freshman backs have stepped into a very important team role and have shown their willingness to work hard and be disciplined in order to try to stop the opposition from scoring."
The defensive lineup is completed with keeper, Ethan Niedwick in goal.
"Ethan is doing well as a goalkeeper, and when we limit the chances of the other team, he is able to make the saves need to keep us in the game," added Myers.
Heading into Saturday's conference match against West Shore Christian Academy, Myers laid out some expectations for areas the team hopes to improve.
"Our goal against West Shore was to continue to posses the ball more on offense and create opportunities to score. We have shown small sparks of possession in our few games, but we need to execute simple passes and keep the ball," he explained.
Taking the coaching to heart, the Chargers implemented much of that in their game against West Shore, resulting in a hard-fought 4-3 outcome.
After going down by one early in the contest, Mount Calvary rallied and sent not one but two shots into the Bobcat net to take a temporary advantage 2-1.
The Bobcats evened the score by tucking their second goal in just before the break, and then continued an aggressive attack with two quick goals in the second.
"We played with heart and all the players kept their heads up and battle hard," encouraged Myers. "We made the last minutes interesting by getting one back and pushed for a fourth, but weren't able to find the equalizer."
Damian Rutt and Hansen Crick each knocked in a first half goal for the Chargers, and Rutt supplied the final Charger goal with eight minutes left to play.
"Though we are all disappointed with the loss and allowing four goals, I'm very proud of the effort and fight of all the players," concluded Myers.
The only Mount Calvary team not greatly affected by the continually damp weather is the Lady Charger volleyball squad-and they are taking advantage of every opportunity to get on the court, improving their record to 6-1 with the addition of three wins and one loss last week.
Wrapping up the exhausting four-game week at West Shore Christian, the Chargers secured their third victory of the week in a four-set exchange (25-4, 24-26, 25-8, 25-17).
Haley Witmer served the first rotation, going up 13 points before surrendering the serve.
Passing errors and inconsistencies caused the Chargers to falter in the second set, but they regained control in the third.
"Haley was able to connect with both outside hitters, Kami Mummau and Kara Locker, to earn us a good lead," explained head coach Kate Ferrari.
A fourth set included more of the same great energy for the Lady Chargers with Witmer finishing the contest with 27 assist and 9 aces, Mummau nailed 28 kills and 9 digs, and Brie Lehman came up with two blocks.
Friday night's 3-0 loss to the Covenant Christian Falcons marked the first defeat for the Lady Chargers this season (25-23, 25-23, 25-13), and was a tough evening as the team played without two of their starters.
The Chargers narrowly lost set one after a back-and-forth battle of lead changes. Coming out hungry for redemption in set two, the Lady Chargers went on a 6-0 run with Witmer serving. After such a strong start, they managed to hold the lead until the Falcons fought back to even the score at 17 before going ahead to take set two by the same score.
"We struggled to get in a rhythm. When we got the ball back and had an opportunity to capitalize we struggled to keep our serves in the court," explained Ferrari.
Tuesday's 3-1 win over Veritas Academy was a highlight for the week, with both offense and defense clicking for the Chargers the more they communicated as a team (25-19, 25-20, 24-25, 25-13).
"Our offense was on in this match. Kami Mummau was smart with her plays, and we had strong defense with Gracie Hilsher and Kara Locker digging up the back line," noted Ferrari.
After dropping the third set, the Veritas momentum was building, but the Lady Chargers kept cool and amped up their communication, finishing the contest in four sets.
"Our girls truly play best when they communicate on the court," she added.
Key to turning the tide back to Charger favor was sophomore Rachel Green who dished out 10 aces over the match.
"Rachel's serves were just proving to be a challenge for the Veritas team to play back. She was an important part of the fourth set," acknowledge Ferrari.
Mummau fired 15 kills over the net, Witmer supplied 16 assists, and Locker contributed 15 digs.
Last Monday, the team kicked off their marathon week with a decisive 3-0 triumph over Fairfield (25-21, 25-17, 25-21).
"Our attacking game was strong and our serving game was as well," noted Ferrari.
Mummau was influential in multiple aspects racking up 11 kills, 8 digs, and 9 assists. Intense serving was contagious as Grace Hilsher, Kara Locker, and Molly Bert slammed three aces apiece.
After the whirlwind week, the team looks to catch their breath before next week's challenge of two more conference games and meanwhile seeks to continue growing as a team.
"Our leadership is strong; the upperclassmen have been so supportive. They keep in mind the big picture and know how important it is to encourage," summarized Ferrari.
Soggy fields and endless rain put a damper on soccer schedules, so the Lady Chargers experienced a five-day stretch of postponements before getting back into the action for back-to-back wins over the weekend.
Saturday, the Lady Chargers overcame the West Shore Bobcats, 3-2, with all three Charger goals coming from different players.
Brittney Taylor was first to strike, driving forward with the ball and sailing a shot past West Shore's keeper in the first half.
Minutes later, Taylor once again had the ball within striking distance and dished an assist to Julia Martin who finished with a well-placed shot.
The Chargers headed into the second half with a two-goal advantage, but having played an intense 80 minutes less than 24 hours before, fatigue became a factor and West Shore capitalized with back-to-back goals to level the score.
"We knew we need to maintain focus-we also knew we were tired," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Digging deep to finish strong, Naomi Ewing pressured a West Shore possession, came up with the ball, and fired a shot from the top of the 18 to give the Chargers the golden goal with 14 minutes left on the clock.
Heading into Friday's clash with Lancaster County Christian, Schmitkons set the tone for what she expected to see from her players.
"I wanted to see us playing with passion and desire the whole 80 minutes. We have emphasized our need to communicate consistently with each other and become passing options to support each other. We played both games with low numbers, so every player needed to be giving their best effort," explained Schmitkons.
The Friday night contest ended up being a high scoring affair, with Mount Calvary rising to a 5-4 victory.
The Lady Chargers came out strong against the Lancaster County Lions, racking up a trio of unanswered goals in the first half, but the Lions found their footing and came roaring back with four second half goals.
The Chargers first two goals mirrored each other; Martin carried the ball up the flank before delivering a cross to the center of the field-both times finished by Taylor.
Martin complimented her two assists with a first-half goal of her own to give the Chargers a 3-0 advantage before the half.
"In the second half, LCCS pressed us hard and we lacked communication and energy in the back of the field," described Schmitkons.
Though the Lions succeeded in netting four goals in the half, the Chargers weren't done, and Martin secured two additional goals to complete a hat trick, as well as put the Chargers back on top before the final buzzer.
"All in all, both these games turned out to be the physical and mental challenge that we were expecting, and the girls gave their all to squeak out both wins in two very intense, well-played matches," summarized Schmitkons.
Moving forward, the team will take both impetus and lessons learned from the two wins and they head into the middle of their season.
"During each practice I try to be clear about what game aspect we are focusing on. Putting our practice into context helps motivate the girls to work harder. We are constantly drawing the parallel between that practice attitude and our Christian lives - maintaining focus on the prize of Jesus and ever striving to be more Christ-like," concluded Schmitkons.
Charger Volleyball Opens With Three Wins September 9, 2018
Three up, three down-that was the rhythm of the Lady Chargers volleyball squad racking up three consecutive victories to open the season.
"Everyone is playing healthy and our girls have really come together as a team unit," explained head coach Kate Ferrari regarding the surge of momentum the Lady Chargers are experiencing.
Key to igniting that momentum has been freshman Kami Mummau, who has been a driving offensive force, firing double digit kills in all of the Chargers games thus far.
"Kami Mummau and Haley Witmer really seem to be in a zone in terms of setter/hitter combo," elaborated Ferrari. "If we're in a bit of a slump, heading to Kami with the set has made a huge difference. When she gets that kill it ignites the team."
Against West Shore Christian last Friday, Mummau nailed 15 kills over the course of the 3-0 contest (25-15, 25-14, 25-15). As demonstrated by the similarity of the set scores, the Chargers steadily held control of the contest.
Grace Hilsher's 15 digs were accompanied by four aces making her an all-around threat.
"Grace was hitting the center of West Shore's defense which really helped us to capitalize. Our girls were covering our hitters and blockers, and digging up plays that were close to the net," added Ferrari.
The night before, the Chargers hosted Linville Hill Christian School, and dropped their only set of the week, but still rose to a 3-1 triumph (25-23, 25-22, 21-25, 25-18).
"Linville was a tough competitor-they had some intense servers who challenged our passing game," acknowledged Ferrari. "We had to make adjustments to be effective."
The adjustments paid off, as the Chargers toppled Linville, a team they have narrowly lost to in the past.
Mount Calvary struggled most in the first and third set making hitting errors that converted to Linville points, but the Chargers still managed remain on top for the first.
The third set loss was a setback the Chargers turned into incentive to close the game after set four. Using strong service, led by Kara Locker's four aces, the Lady Chargers worked their way back into control.
"Our girls have been really practicing various zones in serving and tonight it paid off," celebrated Ferrari. "After winning against Linville we really gained a morale boost and that sent us into West Shore's match ready to execute."
The team's first victory of the season came on the road with a visit to Columbia High School where they took down the Crimson Tide swiftly in three (25-7, 25-19, 25-15).
Molly Bert dished out eight aces, while Witmer used her 12 assists to provide a variety of attacks that kept the Tide defenders scrambling.
"Haley Witmer was able to mix up the sets in order to get everyone involved in the offense. Even when we had an off pass, Haley was able to set up the play and turn it into an aggressive attack in the back row. The girls did a nice job of covering and closing up any open spots on the court," summarized Ferrari.
Lady Charger soccer picked up a win and two losses, but provided plenty of positives to build on in the upcoming season.
"We've had a high player turn over this year, and many of our returners are in new positions as well," commented head coach Kim Schmitkons starting her second season at the helm.
Saturday's trip to Brandywine Heights resulted in a rainy 7-0 setback to end the week, but came on the heels of a shutout of their own less than 24 hours earlier.
On Friday night the Lady Chargers treated their home crowd to an exciting 4-0 victory over the New Covenant Christian Flames.
Mere minutes after the contest began, the teams were forced to take an unscheduled and lengthy break due to thunderstorms.
Rather than lose their focus, the Lady Chargers took advantage of the extra downtime to loosen up and subsequently owned the field in both halves, netting a pair of goals on both sides of the midway break.
"We started the game playing kind of panicky," noted Schmitkons. "We were able to regroup during the lightning delay and went back out to support each other on the ball and play each minute with intensity."
Brittney Taylor scored twice, while Julia Martin collected a goal and two assists, and Naomi Ewing chipped in both a goal and an assist.
The Flames didn't give up under the constant pressure, and managed to break away for several good looks at the Charger net, but MC keeper Leah Hawryluk was ready and waiting and scooped up six saves to stop the Flames from getting on the board.
In the first game of the season, Mount Calvary was paired against Susquenita, and resulted in a 4-3 loss. But the Chargers showed promise as they came from behind and nearly evened the score in the final minutes.
"We struggled with our intensity," acknowledge Schmitkons. "Naomi Ewing put in the effort to cover ground and held us in the game until we found a spark in the last 20 minutes."
The spark Schmitkons refers to was ignited by a pair of goals from Taylor and a penalty kick opportunity successfully converted by Julia Martin; all taking place in the latter end of the second half.
While it wasn't enough to overcome the four goals already secured by Susquenita, it proved the Lady Chargers have a lot to offer on the field.
"Going forward we will be looking to start with that intensity and keep everyone involved for the whole 80 minutes," added Schmitkons.
Taking down York Country Day 6-0, in a pre-season scrimmage gave the Lady Chargers a glimpse of what they are capable of-and now they are looking to implement that same work in their regular season schedule.
"We have been focused on maintaining our shape and communicating. Brittney Taylor and Julia Martin stepped up against York Country and gave us some creative offense. Olivia Yordy stepped into the central back position and took ownership there," reflected Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers are emphasizing a team mentality as they approach their season, working together as a unit instead of as individuals.
Their team verse puts it this way, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
Continuing with a nine-year tradition, the MC boys' soccer team kicked off their season with the Agape Cup, an annual matchup held against Lititz Christian emphasizing sportsmanlike conduct that brings honor and glory to the Lord.
While the score ended 1-0 in favor of Lititz, the competition still allowed the team to gain valuable experience heading into the heart of their season.
"The Agape Cup provides an opportunity for the teams to call attention to the Christian character they demonstrate on the field," noted head coach Marc Myers.
Agape is a Greek word meaning "love", and when used in the New Testament very specifically is referring to the type of love demonstrated by God Himself. This love is not merely a feeling, but an action and commitment, the type of love required for the Creator of the world to die for mankind-His creation.
Each year the dedication of this game serves as a reminder that while the athletes are opponents on the field, beyond the 80 minutes of competition, they are truly brothers in Christ serving their Savior.
"It is important to instill in players the principles of hard work, playing with heart and desire, discipline, sacrifice, and a team-focus," elaborated Myers. "Throughout the season they will be pushed and pulled, tackled and yelled at, both fail and succeed. Helping them learn how to compete in a Christ-like way will help them on their journey to become men of God."
Charger golf club is attacking each match with a purpose-and it turns out, the biggest lessons don't always come from the final score.
Three matches into the season, the MC squad found themselves outshot by Dayspring Christian Academy 246-183, and fell to third place in a tri-meet against Millersburg and Pine Grove. Heading into that third match still seeking a victory, it was important to the team to keep their focus on the big picture of playing to the best of their abilities while honoring the Lord in their conduct.
"Golf is a great picture of life with its many challenges and struggles," explained head coach Matt Owlett. "Even when things are going well, it doesn't take much for them to turn south quickly. At times it is easy to quit, but the Lord provides strength-this important lesson is our focus for golf this year."
Refusing to quit, they showed a fighting spirit in their most recent match, and four-team event held at the Highlands of Donegal and were rewarded with a third-place finish.
Hosting Dayspring Christian, High Point Baptist and Lancaster County Christian for the nine-hole round, the scorching temperatures were hard to ignore. With a heat index reaching above 100 degrees, the Charger team plugged away and encouraged each other to a 207-stroke count, behind Dayspring's 187, High Point's 197, but enough to edge ahead of LCCS' 209.
"The team played great overall, and were happy to finish just ahead of LCCS for our first win of the season," celebrated Owlett.
Danny Smullen carded a 46 to led the team while David Ellis' 49, Tyler Masters' 55, and Hayden Merrick's 57 rounded out the team total.
"Hayden came up big for us, shooting a personal best," pointed out Owlett.
Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, the Charger club hopes to continue to climb the ranks in golf standings, but also plans to use the opportunities for personal growth.
"Varsity golf at MCCS operates with some basic tenets," elaborated Owlett. "Honor God in what we do, have fun, and improve in a game these students can enjoy for the rest of their lives."
Mt. Calvary Baseball Falls in District Opener May 23, 2018
Mount Calvary baseball battled to the final inning of their 2018 season but bowed out of PIAA District III playoffs after a high-scoring, 9-7 showdown against Millersburg High School in round one.
The loss ended the Charger's playoff run and capped their season, giving them an overall record of 8-9.
"Finishing the season at 8-9 might not seem like a great accomplishment. However, for a team that only collected four wins in the previous season, it was a marked improvement," noted head coach Jim Sintic. "Our players developed and progressed nicely throughout the season. There were highs and lows but as a team we continued to communicate and focus on getting better," he continued.
Millersburg jumped out to an early lead in the final contest, racking up six unanswered runs by the end of the third inning, but the Chargers weren't done yet, and fired back with a five-run frame of their own in the fourth.
"In the fourth inning we were able to get things going, taking advantage of a Millersburg error and collecting three hits," pointed out Sintic.
Millersburg responded in kind, crossing three more to give them nine, and while the Chargers continued to churn momentum to gather another two runs, they ended up just short.
Hunter Stewart led the Charger attack at the plate with three hits, and defensively also picked up two strikeouts during his time pitching in relief.
Aidan Masters was tagged with the loss after two innings pitched but continued to contribute with his work on offense gathering two hits and an RBI.
"We battled as a team and hit the ball extremely well," praised Sintic.
David Ellis and Tyler Masters each supplied a pair of hits, and Dakota Lamb and Scott Lane each drove in two RBIs apiece.
Continuing to connect, Damian Rutt, Lamb, Lane, and Evan Barnes each supplied an additional hit to bring the Chargers to a season-high total of 13 hits in the loss.
"We know we need to improve defensively next season," noted Sintic. "We believe that as a team we can be successful if we continue to grow and improve."
The young team was comprised solely of underclassmen this year and have the advantage of returning and adding to their numbers next season.
"Our focus this season was building our knowledge of baseball and our relationship with the Lord," elaborated Sintic. "It is wonderful as a coach to see your team encouraging each other and building each other up spiritually. John the Baptist explained 'He [Christ] must increase, and I must decrease", and we are learning how that pertains both in life and being a part of a team."
Chargers Fall Short in CCAC Playoffs May 17, 2018
Charger baseball faced the Lancaster County Christian Lions in the semi-final round of the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs last Monday and displayed tenacity and resilience but came up just short in the 3-2 clash that ended their conference run.
The two clubs faced off twice in the regular season, with each team claiming one of the contests, making the teams that much more eager to break the tie with this third meeting.
The Chargers struck first, with a run during their first turn at bat.
Lead-off batter, David Ellis singled, then worked his way around the bases on a steal and wild pitch to put himself on third. Tyler Masters grounded out to the second baseman giving Ellis the opportunity to cross the plate.
The Lions had a strong bottom of the second, bringing home two to runs push ahead, but strong pitching and good defense kept both teams in contention and Mount Calvary evened up the score with a run in the fourth.
With bases loaded, Scott Lane took one for the team and advanced after being hit by a pitch, pushing Aidan Masters home to level the scoreboard at two.
Still tied in the bottom of the seventh, the Lions took advantage of runners on second and third and produced a single-enough for the walk-off run to end the contest.
"We knew going into this one that it was going to be a tough game versus a good opponent," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "We had a solid all-around game and played hard, we just came up a little short in the end."
Pitching was a highlight for the Chargers as, once again, the two freshman aces combined for a total of nine strikeouts. Hunter Stewart started on the mound, striking out five over four innings pitched. A. Masters pitched in relief, striking out an additional four.
Ellis and A. Masters supplied the two runs scored, while T. Masters and Lane were responsible for the teams two RBIs. Chip Stambaugh added a double to the team's batting resume.
Despite the disappointment of the loss that halted their CCAC playoff run, the Chargers keep their heads up with more baseball to play as they head to PIAA District III playoffs this week.
In the interim, the club is honing their skills and reflecting on all they've learned through the season.
"We have focused on communication, our attitudes, and our responsibilities," noted Sintic. "With communication, we need to be a step ahead at all times. With our attitude, we need to be an example of the Savior that we serve. Our responsibilities need to be taken care of on and off the field so that our team is as effective as possible."
The team has been studying John chapter three over the course of the season, taking note of how John the Baptist's role was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.
On the baseball diamond, that same emphasis of reflecting Jesus Christ can have far reaching effects-much more lasting than the final count on the scoreboard.
"We know that as followers of Christ, our role and calling is to show people the love of Christ in our attitudes and the way that we play. At times this can be difficult and we all make mistakes, but we are encouraging each other to this goal. I'm thankful for the heart and attitude of this team, and I'm also proud of the progression we've shown in many areas of the game," concluded Sintic.
Chargers Post Split Results, Prepare for Playoffs May 11, 2018
"Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical," - Yogi Berra.
In their final week of the regular season schedule, the Mount Calvary Chargers faced back-to-back conference clashes on the road and split the results.
After a disappointing 8-0 loss on Monday to High Point Baptist, the Chargers had to dig deep to turn things around for their 4-0 triumph over Christian School of York just 24 hours later.
A messy first inning led to a High Point scoring surge as they crossed five runs over the plate all with two outs against them.
"We are a young team still learning to play and communicate the right way," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "Giving up five runs in the first inning was obviously deflating and tough to come back from."
Tyler Masters was on the hill for the Chargers, throwing just over four innings and scattering two hits and striking out one.
"Defensively we must do a better job backing up our pitchers," noted Sintic. "After the game we talked about what is necessary for us to improve and grow as a team."
David Ellis, Aidan Masters, Evan Barnes, and Hunter Stewart each supplied a Charger hit in the loss.
Regrouping and looking for redemption the following afternoon, the Chargers flipped the script and it was their turn to deliver a shutout, taking down the CSY Crusaders 4-0.
The Mount Calvary intensity was evident from the first at bat. Coupling patience and teamwork, the Chargers worked as a unit to cross three runs.
"At times, as a team we have displayed a selfish attitude, but this game was a great way for us to turn that around and play for each other," explained Sintic. "I was impressed by the way our team communicated and encouraged each other throughout."
Taking their first turn in the field, the MC club backed up their offense with the defense they have been lacking.
"The first inning was one of the best we've played this season," praised Sintic. "Pitching and defense wins games and we did both well."
A. Masters earned the win on the hill throwing six and a third innings, scattering four hits and allowing zero runs, while striking out an impressive 10 batters.
Stewart pitched two thirds of an inning in relief, and did his job efficiently, striking out both batters he faced to end the contest.
"Over the course of the season, Hunter Stewart and Aidan Masters have combined to strikeout an incredible 105 batters in just 67 innings pitched," Sintic pointed out regarding the talented freshman duo. "Their individual performances have allowed us to compete any time they are on the hill."
At the plate the Chargers celebrated several noteworthy performances. Ellis reached twice on walks and scored two runs. Stewart highlighted his two-for-three day at the plate with an RBI and a run scored, and Barnes picked up a hit.
"I was extremely proud of our execution and communication," elaborated Sintic. "If we continue to play like this we can compete with anyone."
The MC club's 6-4 conference record places them as the number three seed heading into this week's Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs. Their first test will be a showdown against Lancaster County Christian having split results in their two regular season meetings.
Overall, the Chargers hold an 8-6 record, good enough to send them into PIAA District III playoffs to take place the week after the CCAC tournament.
Chargers Jostling for Playoff Berths May 4, 2018
"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are," - John Wooden, legendary NCAA basketball coach.
Last week's three-game lineup was packed with action for the Chargers as they split results in their two conference contests and stumbled in a non-conference loss, still jostling for a position in both Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs as well as the PIAA District III post season.
Thursday evening's clash with the Lancaster County Christian ended 9-3 in favor of the Lions and marked the final home game of the regular season for the Chargers.
Fielding mistakes plagued the Chargers throughout the contest and the Lions capitalized when it mattered and out-hit the Chargers 11-4.
"It's tough when you beat yourself at times," commented head coach Jim Sintic. "We feel like we're a team that can compete against anyone, but if you can't make plays in the field it's nearly impossible to have success."
David Ellis had a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-4 to collect three of the team's four total hits.
"David hit the ball well, and as a team we put the ball in play. The difference was LCCS played solid defense and we struggled," summarized Sintic.
Hunter Stewart was saddled with the loss after four innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.
Earlier in the week, the club took a Monday trip to Greenwood High School to take on the Wildcats and came up short, 16-6.
Despite taking the early lead with a three-run first frame, the Chargers allowed the Wildcats to methodically edge ahead, registering runs in all innings but the fifth, finalizing the game with a two-run sixth that clinched the double-digit lead and halted the contest.
Things were looking promising for the Chargers when they were first to cross home in the top of the first, with a run batted in on a single from Tyler Masters.
Freshman Damian Rutt stepped up and sent a line drive double into centerfield pushing across two more Charger runs.
The Wildcats retaliated with two runs in the opposite frame but extended the damage with a five-run second and a four-run third to put the Chargers at an insurmountable deficit.
"Greenwood made us pay for our many defensive mistakes," reflected Sintic. "When you have errors in the field against a tough opponent they take advantage and that's what happened."
T. Masters took the loss for the Chargers, but it was his offensive performance that was the highlight, going 3-for-3 at the plate, including three RBI and a run scored.
In spite of the loss, the infectious Charger hitting evidenced they were in contention if they were able to eliminate fielding errors. Gathering a collective eight runs, other offensive highlights included Ellis' 2-for-3 day with two runs scored, a double from Chip Stambaugh, and a hit followed by a run scored from Nathan Lerro.
"Moving forward we know what we're capable of," elaborated Sintic. "If we play good defense and get timely hitting, we are confident we can compete.
"After the game we focused on being more team-oriented," continued Sintic. "It's easy at times to focus on your own personal mistakes and challenges, but with baseball you have to be able to learn and move on quickly."
The previous Friday, the Chargers treated their fans to a come-from-behind, 4-3 victory over the Conestoga Christian Cougars.
This time, it was the Chargers who found themselves behind early in the contest, with an error in the first frame allowing two Cougar runs to cross the plate, putting the Chargers at a deficit before their first at bat.
"After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, I was proud of the way we continued to battle," praised Sintic. "We never panicked or got down on ourselves but showed a great team spirit and never quit."
The scoreboard didn't reflect a Charger response until the bottom of the second. After Dakota Lamb reached on a walk, Rutt powered a sacrifice fly into right field to send Lamb home.
Still playing catchup, the Chargers allowed another Cougar run in the third, and the score read 3-1 Cougar advantage for the next three innings.
Aidan Masters' work on the mound limited the Cougar's offensive changes, throwing seven innings and collecting an impressive 12 strikeouts.
"Aidan pitched extremely well and commanded the strike zone," acknowledged Sintic. "He had Conestoga off balance and guessing throughout the game."
With opportunities starting to dwindle the Chargers made their move in the bottom of the sixth. The Masters brothers were the first two Chargers to bat with T. Masters leading off with a single and propelled home by the subsequent double from A. Masters.
Still trailing, it wasn't until the bottom of the seventh that the Chargers evened the score. This time, aggressive base running by Stambaugh allowed him to score on a Cougar error.
Advancing into extra innings, the Charger defense held strong, not allowing the Cougars to gain an edge. Pitching in relief, Stewart stuck out the final Cougar batter to end the inning.
Pressure was on to make their move in the bottom of the eighth, score knotted at three, having never held the lead in the game.
Lamb got things moving reaching on a walk. Scott Lane took one for the team got on base after being hit by a pitch. Meanwhile, Lamb's heads up baserunning allowed him to steal his way to third.
Once again, it was a freshman pulling through in a high-pressure moment for the Chargers as Rutt took his turn at the plate and with a 0-1 count crushed a single up the middle for a walk-off win.
"Damian Rutt has been a clutch player for us," noted Sintic. "He never seems to let the situation overwhelm him."
The Chargers continue their intense schedule with a three-game week to complete their regular season, each game holding playoff implications in both CCAC and district standings, as they currently sit with a 7-5 overall record.
"Getting a conference win like this was huge for our confidence," explained Sintic. "We're a very young team and to be in situations like this and have success is great for us moving forward."
With a three-game road trip to cap the season, a lot can happen before playoff time.
"We're hoping to get back on track this week," concluded Sintic.
Mt. Calvary Baseball Wins Two, Now 6-3 April 27, 2018
"There are only two seasons-winter and baseball," Bill Veeck, late MLB general manager.
Now that winter has finally released its hold on the area, baseball season is truly in full swing. Mount Calvary baseball took advantage of every opportunity in their two contests last week, making quick work of both opponents and improving their overall record to 6-3.
On Monday, the Chargers picked up their second consecutive win with a 12-3 triumph over the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
In their first at bat, Mount Calvary had two outs and had yet to score, when freshman Aidan Masters sparked some contagious hitting. Masters' single was followed by one from fellow freshman Hunter Stewart, pushing in the first run. Charger backstop, Dakota Lamb, sent another shot into left field to drive in Stewart putting them up by two.
In the opposite frame, the Knights put together some solid base running to score a run of their own.
It was the third inning in which things really came together for the Chargers, collecting five runs with two outs.
This time, Stewart started the rally of singles, followed by one from Lamb, Scott Lane, Damian Rutt, Evan Barnes, and Chip Stambaugh, who methodically pushed in run after run across the plate.
"When you get two quick outs against you in an inning it has a tendency to effect you as a team," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "We showed a great deal of resilience, doing a lot of our damage with two outs."
A. Master's was on the mound for the Chargers, keeping the Knights from working their way back into the contest, striking out seven, walking one, and allowing zero earned runs in his four innings of work.
Stewart pitched in relief, striking out five, walking none, and giving up just one earned run.
The Knights managed to secure a third run in the bottom of the fifth and started to string together some momentum in the fifth but was squelched by a fine defensive stop by second baseman, Rutt.
Lamb finished the day with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate in addition to a pair of RBI. Rutt and Stewart both scored three times, and Barnes produced a 3-for-4 contribution, picking up a RBI and scoring twice.
"Our pitchers threw well and had HCS off balance most of the day," noted Sintic. "Moving forward, we need to improve defensively. We know that to compete with the top teams in our conference and district we need to continue to get better."
The previous Friday's 13-3 win over Christian School of York sent the Chargers into their weekend on a high note.
Tyler Masters had a standout performance, going 3-for-4 at the plate, including four RBI and three runs scored.
Though the Crusaders were able to cross the plate once in their first at bat, their lead was short-lived.
T. Masters got things started for the Chargers in his first at bat with a double that drove in David Ellis who had reached on a walk.
With two outs against them, Lamb and Rutt displayed patience at the plate reaching on walks and setting the stage for Lane's subsequent at bat.
With a 2-2 pitch count, Lane saw the pitch he liked and soared a double into the left-centerfield ally pushing across both Lamb and Rutt to give the Chargers their first lead, 3-1.
The Chargers doubled their score with another three-run frame in the second. Once again Ellis was on base having reached on an error, when T. Masters crushed his second double of the game picking up another RBI.
"We consistently capitalized on CSY's mistakes throughout the game," noted out head coach Jim Sintic.
Accumulating runs during every at bat, the Chargers methodically extended their lead, but had their biggest advancement with a five-run bottom of the third.
Again, playing their best with two outs against them, singles from Hunter Stewart and T. Masters produced three runs. With bases loaded, A. Masters sent a line drive into center for a two RBI double.
As the Chargers approached the necessary double-digit lead required to end the contest in five, defensive play became critical.
Stewart was on the mound, earning the win while only surrendering two runs on three hits, and striking out nine.
"Our pitching and defense were excellent," commented Sintic. "When you throw strikes and play good defense, you give yourself a chance to win against any opponent."
First to bat in the bottom of the fourth, Lane crushed the ball over the left field fence putting the Chargers ahead 12-2.
"Scott Lane broke out today with his first home run and a clutch double," pointed out Sintic. "It's exciting to see hard work pay off with different players, and Scott has put in a lot of time improving his skills-this was a great example of that."
After the Crusaders managed to send a player across the plate in the top of the fifth, the Chargers needed one additional run to end the game in five innings.
Stewart got the sequence going with a single, and Lamb reached on a walk. Rutt managed to connect, sending a line drive into right field, plating Stewart and ending the contest.
Looking ahead, the Chargers face a three-game week, taking on Greenfield High School, and conference opponents Conestoga Christian and Lancaster County Christian.
Mt. Calvary Baseball Sits at 4-3 April 20, 2018
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." - Babe Ruth, legendary MLB player
Mount Calvary baseball couldn't have faced more diverse settings for their two conference contests last week, and the results were also spilt, earning them a tally in both the win and loss column to currently sit with a 4-3 record.
With temps climbing into the mid-80s, the Chargers entered their weekend on a high note, topping the Lancaster County Christian Lions 11-6 on Friday, April 13.
Freshman Dakota Lamb set the tone for the contest powering a home run over the centerfield fence to drive in three runs in his first at bat, giving the Chargers an early 3-0 advantage.
"As a team we were able to jump out to an early lead which allowed us to play with confidence," noted head coach Jim Sintic.
The Lions were able string together some momentum of their own in the opposing frame, scoring on an error and a RBI single, but the scales began to tip in Charger favor as the innings progressed.
The Chargers matched their first inning run count with another three-run frame in the second. After initial batters patiently loaded the bases, pitcher Hunter Stewart stepped up to supply a RBI single.
A hit batter and a walk later, two more Chargers had made it safely across the plate to give the Chargers the upper hand, 6-2.
A noteworthy defensive inning in the bottom of the second allowed the Chargers to silence any retaliation efforts from the Lions.
Stewart struck out batters one and two, and shortstop Aidan Masters threw the subsequent batter out at first to make quick work of the inning.
"Hunter was extremely efficient. His command was great and 1-2-3 innings are huge to gaining momentum for the team," commended Sintic.
After four innings on the mound, Stewart earned himself the win with seven strikeouts, two walks, and five scattered hits. A. Masters pitched in relief, picking up four more strikeouts and two walks.
"Both Hunter and Aidan made LCCS swing the bat which kept our defense engaged," pointed out Sintic.
The Lions brought the game within two (7-5), after a two-run bottom of the fifth, scoring on a double and wild pitch, but the Chargers squelched any further advancement.
Picking up a run in the sixth, followed by three in the final frame, the Chargers capitalized on a Lion error for two runs and Tyler Masters powered a RBI single in the seventh to put the game away.
T. Masters total of three RBIs and two hits led the day at the plate. David Ellis and freshman Damian Rutt also picked up two hits apiece.
Lancaster County's Seth Stoltzfus was saddled with the loss, allowing eight hits and striking out nine.
"We put constant pressure on their defense, putting runners on base every inning," elaborated Sintic. "It's always good to get a conference win, and this was a nice momentum boost for us."
Four days later, the setting couldn't have felt much different, as temps had plummeted over 40 degrees and instead of dealing with sunburns, the players were dodging snow squalls, in a 5-1 showdown that went in favor of last season's CCAC and District III champs High Point Baptist.
Mount Calvary took the early lead, with Ellis reaching on a walk and scoring on an error to provide a 1-0 score that held through the first two innings.
The third inning proved to be the catalyst in which High Point pounced on three Charger errors and crossed four over the plate.
Taking the loss for the Chargers, A. Masters pitched 2.2 innings, striking out three, and allowing 1 earned run. Stewart collected five strikeouts during his 4.1 innings pitched.
"Aidan and Hunter pitched very well which has been a theme for them both this season. They kept us in striking distance all game; we just struggled to get the bats going," summarized Sintic.
Stewart had a good showing at the plate going two-for-three, and T. Masters picked up one RBI for the Chargers.
"At the end of the day, it's not about winning and losing, it's about winning and learning. We learned a lot from this game about ourselves and what we as a team need to improve on," added Sintic.
Chargers Open Season With 3 Wins, 2 Losses April 14, 2018
"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried." -Stephen McCranie, American author.
Charger baseball faced an array of opponents in their opening week of competition experiencing rain, snow, triumph, and defeat while they accrued three wins and two losses to kickstart their season.
The biggest showdown of their early season came in their first conference win, in which the Chargers took down the Harrisburg Christian Knights in an exciting 7-6 walk off victory thanks to a single from Tyler Masters in the bottom of the seventh.
Rocketing out to a 5-0 first inning lead, the Chargers appeared to have the game in hand, maintaining that score through three innings.
T. Masters was the first Charger on base, reaching on a walk, and was driven home by a double from Hunter Stewart. Dakota Lamb followed up with a RBI single, and an additional first inning single off the bat of Scott Lane earned him two RBIs.
"As a team, we took the field with confidence and it showed. Our hitting was contagious and we managed to jump to an early lead," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "I was impressed throughout the game with the way that our team encouraged each other."
T. Masters and Lamb led the team at the plate with two hits apiece.
Stewart was at the helm for the initial four innings, throwing seven strikeouts, scattering two hits, and giving up zero runs.
Late game walks coupled with fielding errors allowed the Knights to work their way back into the contest, leveling the game at six in the sixth inning.
"We know as a team we need to be more active and focused on defense," acknowledge Sintic. "We let HCS back into the game, but I was proud of our fighter's attitude. After surrendering a large lead, we battled in our last at bat and put the game away."
In the bottom of the seventh, game tied at six, the Chargers had one last opportunity to reignite their early game intensity.
Freshmen Evan Barnes drew a walk and managed to advance to second on a wild pitch. Lane put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Barnes to third, and Nathan Lerro patiently drew a walk and then capitalized on an opportunity to steal second.
The Knights chose to intentionally walk Aidan Masters, loading the bases and setting the stage for T. Masters' final at bat. Masters connected with the third pitch and sent a scorching line drive down the left field line for the walk-off victory.
"Walk-offs are always exciting, and as a team this was a big moment for us in our young season," celebrated Sintic.
David Ellis was on the mound after the Knights knotted the game, earning himself the game win for one and a third innings pitched, striking out two, allowing zero hits and one walk.
The Chargers dropped their only other conference contest in a 3-0 loss to Conestoga Christian.
Though the Chargers held Conestoga to four hits, the Cougars were able to convert three runs, while 11 Charger runners ended up stranded on base.
"We did a good job getting runners on base and in scoring position, but we just were not able to execute in the clutch," reflected Sintic.
A. Masters and Stewart shared control of the mound, throwing for a combined seven innings and eight strikeouts with A. Masters getting the tough loss.
Barnes supplied two of the Chargers three total hits in the contest, going two-for-three at the plate.
Rewinding back to their long-anticipated season opener, the Chargers methodically worked their way to a 12-3 triumph over Columbia High School.
A. Masters made the most of his varsity debut, striking out two batters in his first inning on the mound, followed by lining a double into center field to pick up the Chargers first hit of the season, and was the first of four Charger runs to cross the plate in their first at bat.
Gaining momentum, the Chargers brought home all 12 runs in the first four innings before Columbia was able to respond with a three-inning top of the fifth.
Young talent was evident from the mound, as all three pitchers for the Chargers were freshmen. A. Masters was awarded the win as he picked up seven strikeouts, walked two, and gave up one hit and zero runs over his three innings of work.
Stewart pitched in relief racking up six strikeouts, and Damian Rutt threw for one inning and struck out an additional Columbia batter.
"Our pitching was a highlight, as our three freshmen struck out 14 batters and gave up zero earned runs," commented Sintic on the collective effort.
A. Masters also led the team at the plate going three-for-three and gathering three of the teams 11 total hits. Ellis and T. Masters each produced two hits, and Stewart collected two RBIs.
"We had a balanced attack of offense, defense, and pitching," commented Sintic. "We are a team focused on getting better. After every practice and game, we concentrate on what we need to do to improve."
The Chargers faced a reverse outcome in their 10-0 loss to Millersburg High School, taking their first black mark on the overall record.
"We came out a little tentative as a team, this affected our play significantly early on," noted Sintic.
Neither club got on the scoreboard in the first inning, but Millersburg was first to strike, crossing a single run in both the second and the third. Millersburg steamrolled through the fourth and fifth amassing an additional eight runs to end the game by run rule after five.
"After a few defensive miscues, along with our offensive struggles we found ourselves in a hole that was too much to overcome," recalled Sintic.
A. Masters produced a solid showing from the mound throwing three frames to post four strikeouts, zero walks and zero earned runs.
T. Masters had the Chargers best day at the plate coming up with a hit and a walk.
A 12-3 win over Steelton-Highspire marked another highlight for the Charger club.
"We came out with intensity. Our energy was infectious and helped us get our offense going early on," Sintic recalled.
That offense was sparked by multiple hits from a variety of players. A. Masters and Ellis had three hits and three RBIs each while Lamb collected two hits and a RBI.
T. Masters earned the victory after four innings of work, striking out two and allowing only five hits and three walks.
"Tyler pitched extremely well, managing to get ahead of hitters and scattering walks and hits" added Sintic.
Chargers Fall in District 3 1A Opener February 23, 2018
The Mount Calvary basketball season was brought to a halt in the first round of the District III playoffs after a clash between the 10th seeded Chargers and the 7th seeded Conestoga Cougars resulted in a Cougar advancement, 62-51.
"I was really impressed that our team did not give up," encouraged head coach Jared Griest. "We were down 10 points or more four different times, and each time we closed to gap to less than five."
Despite their valiant comeback attempts, the Chargers were unable to gather enough momentum to overtake the lead.
"Credit should be given to Conestoga, who answered every one of our runs with a run of their own," acknowledged Griest.
Jack Hilsher, a dominate offensive force for the Chargers all season, put up a game-high 21-point effort to lead the Charger cause.
"He [Hilsher] didn't settle for three-point shots, and drove to the rim with a tenacity that I hope he keeps moving forward," Griest said of the sophomore.
Tyler Masters, a junior, continued to embrace his position as a team leader, a role he has played for the team with both intensity on the court and mature emotional leadership off-court.
Wyatt Hawthorne, the team's lone senior, encouraged his teammates at the conclusion of the game, signaling a passing of the mantle to future players. While Hawthorne's presence will be missed, the team already sees an exciting potential developing in the underclassmen.
Wrapping up their season with an overall 12-11 record, claiming the second seed in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference, and earning themselves an appearance in district playoffs are just a few of their season achievements.
Growth in areas such as teamwork, leadership, and unity are harder to measure, but the effects are far-reaching.
"We were a young group, but the spiritual growth of our players was very evident," Griest reflected on the squad. "The on-court leadership development during our season will carry into the future."
Chargers Fall Short in CCAC Playoffs February 16, 2018
The Chargers entered the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs as the number two seed, but were forced to an early exit at the hands of the third seeded Lancaster County Christian Lions on Monday night, with a final score of 55-45.
Fueled by the energy of their home crowd, the starting five came out hot from downtown, building an early 9-2 lead after three-point buckets from Jack Hilsher, Tyler Masters, and Aidan Masters. Hanging on to their advantage through the quarter, Mount Calvary was up 16-12 headed into the second.
It didn't take long for the Lions to retaliate. They knotted the game at 16 in the first minute of the second. The teams traded possessions, going bucket for bucket for the next two quarters.
Late in the third, Charger freshman Damian Rutt nailed a three pointer to give the Chargers their final lead of the game 36-34. Unfortunately, Mount Calvary hit a scoring drought, and the Lions seized the opportunity, surging ahead with 15 unanswered points.
"Lancaster wore us down physically," acknowledged head coach Jared Griest. "As the game progressed, we struggled to stay in front of our man in one-on-one defensive and rebounding situations."
Hilsher broke the famine with a strong take to the basket, accompanied by another two points from Hunter Stewart to spark some fourth quarter momentum, but by then the Lions were up by 11 with less than two minutes to play.
A. Masters collected 14 points to lead the Chargers, while Hilsher and T. Masters each chipped in another 12.
"We also didn't have a balanced attack," continued Griest. "Tonight, we had three in double digits. As we move into districts, we need that fourth player to step up and make additional contributions."
Prior to their short CCAC playoff run, the Chargers celebrated a 68-33 victory over Harrisburg Academy that secured them a spot in the upcoming District III post-season competition.
Battling illness and fatigue, the Chargers entered the contest down five players with only nine players healthy enough to make the roster. Only half the team was well enough to practice in the days leading to the final game of the regular season.
Down in numbers, but full of determination, the small squad got the job done.
"There was a lot on the line going into this game," pointed out Griest. "We were able to disrupt Harrisburg Academy's offensive flow and we shot the ball better than we have all season."
Three-point shooting created distance between the teams from the get-go, as the Chargers nailed five shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter alone, three from Hilsher.
Freshmen A. Masters and Rutt stepped up big for the Chargers on the offensive end, with 22 and 10 points respectively.
While their quarterfinal departure from the CCAC playoffs leaves them with a few days break, the Chargers now turn their focus to getting healthy and preparing for a District III playoff appearance this week, entering as the 10 seed and facing their first test in the seventh seeded Conestoga Christian.