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.
Chargers Rebound With Victory Over Hershey February 9, 2018
Charger basketball got knocked down twice, forced to swallow back-to-back losses, but fired back with a 61-17 conference win at home over Hershey Christian to keep district playoff hopes alive.
"After two tough losses it was good to see the guys come out and take care of a game that we knew we needed," explained head coach Jared Griest after the Hershey contest.
Tyler Masters was tasked with the challenge of stifling Hershey's top scoring guard, Matthew Musser, who averages 20 points per game. Master's intense defense held Musser to seven points and ignited several offensive transitions for the Chargers.
Jack Hilsher cranked up the offensive attack netting 19 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc, while also supplying four rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
The Chargers sole senior, Wyatt Hawthorne, was honored before the contest, and in turn put up big numbers for the team, dropping in 13 points, grabbing four rebounds, and picking up two steals.
"Wyatt has been a steady part of our program for four years and has committed himself to improvement on the court and in leadership skills," reflected Griest. "He is averaging nearly double-digit rebounds, and has significantly improved his shot blocking and defensive abilities. We look forward to seeing what Wyatt can do as God leads him to further his education and basketball at Lebanon Valley College," concluded Griest.
A few days earlier, the Chargers had to taste defeat in a 55-26 loss to Delaware County Christian, and again 46-38 at the hands of Lancaster Country Day.
Against Delaware County the Chargers fell behind early and were unable to overcome DELCO's heavy hitting offense with three players scoring double digits.
In the loss to Lancaster Country Day, the Chargers battled to stay close throughout all four quarters, but turnovers plagued their progress and were converted to baskets on Lancaster's end.
Hawthorne had another notable contribution to lead the team with eight points and nine rebounds.
Hoping to build upon their upward turn, the Chargers shift their focus to their final game of the regular season and then to the CCAC playoffs, entering as the second seed in the CCAC West. Lancaster County Christian will be their first test in their quest for the conference championship.
Lady Charger's basketball bounced back after two hard-hitting non-conference losses, to take an at home CCAC victory over Lancaster Mennonite-Hershey Christian on Tuesday.
Mental focus and a rejuvenated energy helped the Chargers to break out of their losing streak with a 47-29 triumph, supported by an enthusiastic crowd ready to honor the team's four seniors in the final home game.
Still missing a key starter with Haley Witmer out due to injury, the Chargers honed in on establishing an early lead and limiting Hershey Christian's opportunities.
"We new we would need a great team effort," reflected head coach Phil Ferrari. "Our focus was to come out and score early and often in transition."
A 13-6 first quarter demonstrated the Chargers achieving their goals, but the Warriors battled back with an even 9-9 in the second.
"Our focus at halftime was just getting back to our original game plan, and after some really good defense, we slowly began to build the lead," elaborated Ferrari.
Freshman Kara Locker led the offensive attack with 12 points, giving a nod to the future potential of the Charger program, and fittingly all four senior players, Jayln Maulfair, Emily Wolfe, Madison Martin, and Jenna Romberger got in on the scoring action in the celebratory contest.
Taking time to acknowledge the seniors, Ferrari thanked each for their contributions in front of the supportive fans.
"I will miss all of the seniors. I truly appreciate the time and energy they gave to our program," noted Ferrari.
A 35-26 loss to Delaware County Christian and a 53-14 loss to Lancaster Country Day preceded the home court rebound.
Locker again led the Chargers with 11 points against Delaware County, and Maulfair knocked in seven against Lancaster Country Day.
Closing the books on the season, the Lady Chargers finished with a 5-7 conference record and were 7-14 overall.
"We definitely have seen a lot of growth and maturing from all of the players. I'm already excited to start over again next year, looking forward to building off of the knowledge we've gained this year," added Ferrari.
"As coaches, we are excited to see how God is going to use each of our players to further His purposes. No matter what we faced all year long, we never gave up and continued to fight through all of the adversity that came our way," he concluded.
Lady Chargers Stumble Twice February 2, 2018
The Lady Charger's basketball team hit a few bumps in the road last week, falling first to Covenant Christian and then to Steelton-Highspire.
In the pairing against the Covenant Christian Falcons, the Lady Chargers had a rough first half and found themselves trailing by double digits at the break, 16-4, but battled back to a close 25-22 final score.
"We had several open shots that we couldn't get to fall, and a couple of possessions on defense where we gave up offensive rebounds and follow up baskets," acknowledged head coach Phil Ferrari regarding the first half.
Turning the contest around, the Lady Chargers rallied to get back into contention.
"We challenged the girls to come out and fight hard. We knew we would eventually start to make some shots," explained Ferrari of the halftime pep talk.
Baskets from Kara Locker, who finished with seven points, Madison Martin, six, and Haley Witmer, five, brought the Lady Chargers back into contention making it a one-possession game in the fourth.
"It was a close game as we battled hard to come back, but ultimately we couldn't make enough plays down the stretch on offense or defense," said Ferrari. "We were proud of our effort but we told the girls that we have to start playing consistent good basketball for all four quarters if we want to win close games."
Emily Wolfe pulled down 12 rebounds and Witmer grabbed another eight.
Thursday's contest at Steelton-Highspire went quickly in favor of the hosts and remained that way until the 67-21 final.
"We battled all game long and even though the score was ugly, we played hard and fought together through it all. We were proud of our effort and our attitude," concluded Ferrari.
Locker once again led the Chargers with 13 points.
The Chargers looked to secure their post season spot in the Commonwealth Christian Athletic Conference playoffs last week, and with Tuesday's 50-26 win over Covenant Christian they are that much closer to their goal, currently sitting in the second seed of the CCAC West.
In the first half against Covenant Christian the Chargers struggled to get their shots to fall, shooting just 26 percent from the field and going 3-of-10 from the line, but in spite of that found themselves up by 18 at the half.
"This win was about finishing and some resilience," noted head coach Jared Griest. "The guys battled through it, and we came around in the second half."
That second half saw the shots begin to fall and the distance stretch between the Chargers and the Falcons.
Eight Charger players knocked down baskets in the win. Jack Hilsher led the charge with 16. Hilsher was supported by a well-rounded attack as Tyler Masters netted nine and Aidan Masters seven. Hunter Stewart paired six points with seven rebounds to promote the Charger cause.
"We built a cushion and could finish out the game with some of the younger guys playing together," added Griest.
Making the most of their minutes, several underclassmen contributed buckets to add to the team total. Sophomores Chip Stambaugh and Harrison Crick chipped in five and three points respectively, and freshman Leighland Olsen went 2-of-2 from the line.
With an 8-3 conference record, 10-7 overall, the Chargers have aspirations for a playoff run both in the conference and also at the district level.
"For districts we are currently ranked at number eight, and ten teams go. We have some work to do to make sure we qualify," pointed out Griest while considering the remainder of their schedule."
The next test toward those district goals was last Thursday's home contest against York Country Day which resulted in a role reversal, and it was the Chargers turn to suffer defeat 67-40.
Heading into the pairing, Griest had several goals for his players.
"We need to limit our turnovers and control the oppositions athleticism with quick, sharp passing. We need players to step up defensively throughout the game," elaborated Griest.
The contest came at a tough point for the Chargers, down several players due to illness. Missing their usual point guard, the Chargers struggled gaining a rhythm.
Despite facing a formidable uphill climb of 45-20 at the half, the Chargers took the court with energy and secured the first four points of the second half, but were unable to gather enough impetus to close the gap.
T. Masters spurred several bursts in Charger scoring, leading the team with 14 points, and three-point shooting from Hilsher served to cut the deficit in the fourth with back-to-back shots from downtown. Hilsher finished with 13 and Stewart dropped in another five.
Without time to dwell on the loss, the Chargers will be back in action with three pivotal matchups coming their way this week.
Chargers Post Back-to-Back Victories January 26, 2018
After a 71-50 loss on the road to West Shore Christian, the Chargers were eager to get back on the court and rebounded with back-to-back wins over New Covenant and Christian School of York.
In the disappointing second clash of the season against the West Shore Bobcats, the Chargers kept pace for the initial two quarters, but a second half of missteps coupled with fatigue opened the door for the Bobcats to extend their lead and take control.
"We continue to learn that we need to play four complete quarters of solid basketball in order to have success against top tier teams," elaborated head coach Jared Griest.
West Shore's team, laden with experience, starts four seniors and was ready to pounce on any errors made by the Chargers.
"West Shore is athletic, experienced, and feasts on opportunity," acknowledged Griest. "Unfortunately, we provided them with opportunities in the second half and the game got away from us."
Despite shortcomings, the Chargers have reason to be encouraged. Presenting a well-balanced offensive line up, they had five scorers with similar contributions to collect their 50 points. Jack Hilsher and Tyler Masters led the team with 11 apiece, Wyatt Hawthorne added 10, and young talents Hunter Stewart and Aidan Masters chipped in nine and seven respectively.
Hilsher also converted six assists, further demonstrating the teams' unselfish mentality.
Eager for redemption, the Chargers came out hot in their subsequent matchup, and after a relatively close first quarter turned up the defensive intensity to widen the gap and conclude with a convincing 55-21 triumph.
"The night's theme was 'take care of business'," reflected Griest. "We went out and accomplished that goal."
The loud fan base in the New Covenant gym was enthusiastic about the close 16-10 first quarter scoreboard, but then the Chargers locked down on defense only allowing 11 total points Flames over the remaining three quarters.
The defensive end of the floor doesn't always get the attention the offensive side enjoys, but the contributions made on the back end of the court make all the difference to the outcome.
"Harrison Crick and Dimere Williams are two guys who have helped recently, and both are natural defenders," pointed out Griest. "Harrison had a great run against Harrisburg Christian and again against New Covenant.
"Dimere had foul issues during the early part of the season that he has corrected in recent weeks," elaborated Griest.
Headed into their third league pairing of the week, the Chargers knew the critical nature of their matchup against Christian School of York.
"We are in a battle to make our league playoffs," Griest said referring to CSY. "A win goes a long way in securing that spot."
In addition to its impact on league playoffs, the game also held weight in PIAA District III standings.
"We have nearly identical league and overall records. We are rated in the district beside each other and are fighting for one of the last spots in the postseason," recognized Griest.
Knowing the immense implications of the home match, the Chargers took the court with determination. Having previously bested CSY 58-46 early in January, the Chargers goal was to repeat and improve that performance-and they succeeded, treating their fans to a 58-45 victory.
Striking early the Chargers shot out to an initial 7-2 lead, and made sure the Crusaders earned each basket thwarting their first three possessions with blocks by Chip Stambaugh, Hawthorne, and A. Masters.
The Crusaders gathered their composure and came back to tie the game at 14 in the early minutes of the second quarter, but before they could build too much momentum, Hilsher buried a three to put the Chargers back in the lead.
Trading baskets and possessions, the teams stayed even throughout the second quarter.
T. Masters put the Chargers up by two, 27-25, just before the half. Carrying that energy into the third, Masters got things moving with a steal converted to another two points. Hilsher tacked on another downtown bucket creating a 5-0 scoring run to set the tone for the second half.
The remaining minutes displayed the Chargers continuing to put distance between themselves and the Crusaders and comfortably claim the contest.
T. Masters led all scorers with 18, Hilsher finished with 13, and A. Masters knocked in 12.
"It was a good team win with contributions from multiple players off the bench," summarized Griest.
While it might be tempting to celebrate the triumph, the Chargers won't dwell too long on the achievement, but instead look ahead to their next challenges.
"Three games this week and three the week after; there's a lot of basketball ahead of us," concluded Griest.
The Lady Chargers kicked off an intense three-game week on a high note, collecting a win over West Shore Christian before falling to New Covenant and Christian School of York.
Saturday's 32-23 triumph at West Shore displayed a well-rounded Charger team utilizing every angle to gain an edge on the Bobcats.
"We just continue to play good team basketball, getting contributions from everyone that gets in the game," explained head coach Phil Ferrari.
Offensively, those 32 points were gathered by an impressive spread of nine Charger scorers. Freshman Kara Locker led all scorers netting nine, while five-point contributions came from Naomi Ewing and Haley Witmer.
"It is exciting to see the growth of so many players as they gain more confidence in their skills," praised Ferrari.
The team effort transferred to the defensive end as they held the Bobcats to only 12 first half points.
"The defensive effort is a team one as well," pointed out Ferrari. "We have been working hard to get better at communicating and trying to figure out how offenses are trying to attack us."
Emily Wolfe played a quiet offensive role, netting two points, but nothing was quiet about her presence on the boards as she pulled down 13 rebounds. Witmer seconded the effort with grabbing nine more Charger boards.
The outcome was reversed in the Chargers subsequent game, falling 38-29 to the New Covenant Flames.
The first two quarters were neck-and-neck with traded possessions and lead changes, but the Flames entered the half with a three-point advantage, 20-17.
Turnovers and lack of offensive opportunities proved to be a detrimental combination for the Chargers in the third, their weakest quarter of the contest.
"At the time we were struggling offensively, they continued to attack the basket hard and get layups or free throws," acknowledged Ferrari. "By the end of the [third] quarter they had built a 12-point lead."
Unable to gain back that lost ground during the fourth, the Chargers finished nine points shy of the Flames.
Witmer produced a solid performance on both ends of the floor, leading the Chargers in scoring with 10. She also pulled down six rebounds, snatched three steals, and dished out three assists.
Jaylyn Maulfair topped the rebound stat line with seven, while Locker and Brittney Taylor supported the offensive efforts with six and five points respectively.
Looking to make improvements with the lessons learned, Ferrari honed in their focus on several key aspects.
"We definitely continue to stress the importance of taking care of the basketball, when we don't turn it over it gives us a chance to end possessions with good shots," he pointed out. "The other focus is that we have to continue improving our defense and make teams beat us from the outside," he concluded.
Wrapping up the week, the Chargers hosted Christian School of York and ended up on the wrong side of a 39-16 scoreboard.
Struggling to get any offensive momentum, the Chargers regrouped for a stronger second half netting 12 of their 16 total points, but were unable to rally enough for a comeback. Witmer produced seven points.
Without much time to concentrate on the loss, and eager to get back into the game, the Lady Chargers face a three-game week that will provide plenty of opportunity for improvement.
Lady Chargers Split With Harrisbug and Hershey January 19, 2018
The Lady Chargers' two games last week were split both in outcomes as well as separated by a five-day hiatus due to weather conditions.
Thursday's contest against the Harrisburg Christian Knights started out promising for the Chargers, who led by as much nine in the first half. Unfortunately they finished on the wrong end of the 33-29 final score.
Freshman Kara Locker put the Chargers ahead early and defensive efforts kept the Knights in the single digits until they hit a jumper at the halftime buzzer putting the scoreboard 16-11 in Charger favor with one half remaining.
The Knights created a momentum shift in the third when they hit back-to-back three pointers to bring the game within one. With two minutes left in the third, the Knights hit a jumper to give them their first lead of the game at 21-20.
Four lead changes later, the Knights finished a three-point play to give them the boost needed to go-ahead the final time.
Down by five, with seconds remaining, the Chargers looked to Locker for shot from downtown. Fouled on the shot, Locker stepped up and hit 2-of-3 from the line, but the Knights were able to hold onto their slim lead nailing two free throws of their own and running out the clock.
Locker finished with nine and Haley Witmer added seven.
Consistent scoring from a variety of players worked to the Lady Chargers advantage in their 42-28 triumph over Hershey Christian.
In six out of 11 games, the Lady Chargers have relied on a different lead scorer, baffling their opponents' efforts to shut down offensive threats.
"We are clearly embracing the dynamic of having a different leading scorer each game," commented head coach Phil Ferrari. "We like the fact that on any given night, anyone on the team can step up and contribute in a big way on the offensive end."
The high scorer of the evening was Hershey's Ruthanna Eckert with 13, but four Lady Chargers hovered close to double digits, giving them a depth that Hershey could not match.
This time, Naomi Ewing led the Chargers with 10, Locker added nine, while Jaylyn Maulfair and Brittney Taylor netted eight apiece.
"Defense was key for us," elaborated Ferrari. "We forced a lot of turnovers, over 30, and used that to spur our transition game which resulted in a lot of easy layups."
Emily Wolfe was a big factor in that defensive prowess, snatching up five steals. Haley Witmer pulled down 13 rebounds, and Julia Martin provided a well-rounded contribution dishing out four assists while grabbing five rebounds and four steals.
Entering the final quarter with a comfortable 30-13 advantage, the Chargers' intensity started to wane, opening the door for a potential Hershey comeback. After holding Hershey to only 13 points over the course of three quarters, allowing a resurgence of 15 points during the fourth is a weakness Ferrari intends to address.
"We did not play very well on the defensive end in the fourth quarter," acknowledge Ferrari. "We want to work on finishing the game strong and not allowing a team to come back."
Still comfortably taking the victory, the Chargers look to make improvements and celebrate their growth as they head into the latter half of the season.
"Leadership on our team has been solidified as the captains have stepped up and continued to lead the way. We continue to bond as a team and I'm excited to see how we finish our season as we look to make a push for the playoffs," summarized Ferrari.
Missing practices and rearranging schedules did not hurt the Chargers record as they picked up a pair of wins in the two contests they were able to get in last week.
In the first full day of school after a week of interruptions, the Chargers displayed a bit of rust in their opening half against the Harrisburg Christian Knights, but an explosive third quarter turned the tables and led to a 52-43 Charger victory.
Turnovers and poor defense plagued the first half, leaving the Chargers trailing by 12 during the second quarter. Just before the half, Chip Stambaugh netted back-to-back buckets to give the Chargers a boost, but they still entered the second half at a 25-17 disadvantage.
The third quarter changed everything, as the Chargers rocketed ahead on a 16-1 scoring blitz to open the quarter, including three downtown buckets from Jack Hilsher and a pair from Aidan Masters.
"The second half was ignited by a few key changes made at halftime," explained head coach Jared Griest. "Wyatt Hawthorne stepped up and guarded Harrisburg's big man, putting us into a more natural guarding rotation. The defensive unit stepped up forcing turnovers and poor shots, which led to transition baskets."
The energy was contagious. Tyler Masters exploited the Knights' weakness with four consecutive backdoor layups, and Harrison Crick came up with a steal and took the ball coast to coast for another two points.
After entering the quarter with an eight-point deficit, the Chargers ended the third clearly in control 42-30.
The fourth quarter involved some back-and-forth jostling from both teams, but the Charger's maintained control of the contest with T. Masters scoring eight of the Charger's 10 fourth quarter points.
T. Masters finished with 16 points, followed by Hilsher's 12, and Crick with nine.
Prior to stretch of bad weather, the Chargers squeezed in a contest against Hershey Christian, coming up with a 55-18 win.
"Offensively we shared the ball well, found holes in their 2-3 zone defense and got easy shots," recalled Griest of the 19-2 first quarter.
Getting the second string in early during the contest was an exciting aspect of the game, giving younger players the opportunity to get game-time experience.
"It's always a lot of fun to get all of the bench in early in a contest," explained Griest. "For these younger, developing players, this time is a reward. It's also invaluable because as we continue into the later part of the season, when other teams tighten down on rotations and legs start to wear down, we hope we have some bench guys who can step up and contribute."
Ten different Chargers contributed to the team total with brothers T. and A. Masters leading the charge with 13 and 11 respectively.
Freshman Evan Barnes netted in his first varsity basket and fellow freshman Leighland Olsen added a bucket along with three rebounds and two assists. Sophomore Sam Robinson picked up a pair of field goals in addition to two rebounds and two assists.
Lady Chargers Earn Two Conference Wins January 12, 2018
The Lady Chargers jumped into the New Year in search of their first conference victory, and last week they secured two.
Taking down West Shore Christian on Tuesday by a 21-point margin the Lady Chargers are beginning to find their roles and reap the benefits of their efforts.
After a low-scoring first quarter (4-3), the Chargers caught fire in the second going on a 16-4 scoring blitz to extend their lead to 13 heading into the second half.
"We are playing more consistent team offense, cutting down on turnovers and making better passes to put our teammates in good positions to score," pointed out head coach Phil Ferrari.
Free throw shooting also proved to be a factor. The Chargers shot over 60 percent from the line, netting 12-of-19 attempts, contrasted with West Shores 2-of-10.
Brie Lehman took her turn leading the Chargers in scoring gathering a total of 10 points, including going three-of-three from the free throw line. Emily Wolfe collected the bulk of her points at the line with a four-of-six performance.
Julia Martin and Haley Witmer knocked in eight points apiece to boost the Charger advantage.
"We played well on defense, limiting their best player to six points, and we rebounded the ball very well," summarized Ferrari referring to the Charger's collective 56 rebounds, compared to West Shore's 36.
Witmer brought down the most boards with 11 and Jaylyn Maulfair was close behind grabbing nine.
The Mount Calvary victory over Covenant Christian also started out slowly, but Julia Martin got the Chargers on the scoreboard after five minutes transpired, netting a pair of free throws. Both teams struggled to gain an edge, finishing the first quarter with the game tied at six, but ultimately it was the Chargers who succeeded in the 29-27 final.
Good defense is often the catalyst for kickstarting offensive momentum, and that proved true for the Chargers and the Falcons as they started to gain rhythm. Madison Martin picked off two steals early in the quarter to ignite some Charger offense, and Maulfair added a pair of buckets on the ensuing possessions.
"We played much better on the defensive end, forcing 28 turnovers and making them shoot contested shots," acknowledged Phil Ferrari.
Reacting to the Charger success, the Falcons answered with jumpers of their own and edged ahead 14-12 at the half.
Evenly dispersing their scoring attack, the Chargers gained points from five different players in the third quarter alone, but Covenant continued to retaliate and sunk a buzzer beater to end the third with a 24-23 advantage.
"This is how we have played all year long, we have extreme breadth of scoring," noted Ferrari.
In a low-scoring contest, every bucket makes a huge difference, and Wolfe came up big for the Chargers when they needed it most, driving for a layup to tie the score at 27 before adding the game-winning jump shot.
"Emily [Wolfe] couldn't have timed her contribution better, scoring four points all in the fourth quarter," added Ferrari.
Maulfair was the Charger's high scorer with 10 for the evening, while Witmer and Taylor joined Wolfe with four.
Witmer dominated the boards grabbing 14 rebounds, while Naomi Ewing picked up four steals and dished six assists.
In a third conference matchup prior to their back-to-back successes, the Chargers fell 50-22 to Christian School of York. The Lady Chargers refused to quit but were unable to climb their way out of the deficit created by a 25-9 first quarter.
Brittney Taylor led the offensive efforts with nine points, while Maulfair hauled in 11 rebounds.
"We have had five different players lead us in scoring in our ten games so far," noted Ferrari. "We are still working through learning our roles and we have a lot of youth playing big minutes for us this year."
Experiencing a triple dose of conference competition, the Chargers topped Christian School of York and Covenant Christian just 24 hours apart to boost their conference record to 3-1, before they suffered a defeat at the hands of West Shore Christian.
The final scoreboard at CSY registered 58-46 in favor of the Chargers, with Jack Hilsher blazing the way with 21 points. Twelve of Hilsher's game-high total came from beyond the arc.
Freshman Hunter Stewart also stepped up to make major contributions, netting 12 points including 2-for-2 from the line. Stewart added seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists to his resume for the night.
Tyler Masters was the third Charger player to hit double digits, netting 10 points in the victory.
Wyatt Hawthorne made his presence known, particularly on the defensive end, snatching up 15 rebounds in addition to four blocks.
"It was impressive to see the guys come together as a group," commented head coach Jared Griest. "The biggest thing was ball movement throughout the game. The team was often getting good dribble penetration then kicking out to open shooters."
In their 55-37 win over Covenant Christian, the Chargers held the lead from start to finish, but didn't pull away until the second half.
Sophomore Chip Stambaugh had a standout first quarter, making himself available under the basket for several early layups, and an offensive rebound put back from Wyatt Hawthorne made the score 8-2 in favor of the Chargers midway through the first quarter.
"Playing our two big men has really given us an advantage on the boards, and puts us in a size advantage most nights," Griest noted referring to Stambaugh and Hawthorne. "Chip's been on the verge of a breakout game for about a month now. He shows glimpses of excellence, and last night it came together for him," praised Griest.
Tyler Masters continues to lead with intensity for the Chargers coming up with three steals in the first quarter to give them additional offensive opportunities to pull ahead.
Capitalizing on those opportunities was Aidan Masters, who buried four from three-point range and totaled 15 points in the contest.
"Aidan stepped up and shot the ball extremely well. He recognized a need and took advantage," commented Griest.
As Covenant gained their footing and began to create some offensive prospects of their own, that three-point shooting became a determinant to the Charger success. Collectively the Chargers hit seven baskets from downtown.
Registering a nine-point lead at the half, the Chargers needed to make some second half adjustments to ensure victory.
"The guys stepped up and forced 20 second half turnovers, only allowed 13 second half points, and started finishing around the rim," Griest pointed out regarding the dramatic second half dominance.
A. Master's 15 points led all scorers, with Stambaugh close behind knocking down 14.
After two great successes, the 55-51 loss to the West Shore Christian Bobcats was a tough hit to the Chargers, but not without valuable lessons.
Getting out to a strong start, the Chargers established a double-digit lead heading into the second half of play, but the Bobcats chipped away at that advantage and overtook them in the final minutes of the game to claim the victory at the end of 32 minutes.
"We learned from this contest that little things matter. Some inconsequential early fouls became a major problem for us down the stretch," acknowledged Griest. "We need to learn to continue to attack when we have a large lead."
Hilsher and Masters collected 17 and 12 points respectively, with Hilsher going five-of-five from the line, but despite their efforts, the Chargers were unable to recapture the lead before the final buzzer sounded.
Chargers Win Christmas Tourney, Top Falcons January 5, 2018
Winning the annually held Mount Calvary Christmas Tournament resulted in a big boost to Charger momentum, as they looked to turn the tide after an uphill start to their season.
The two-day holiday event culminated in the Chargers claiming the title game 51-31 over the Faith Christian Falcons of West Virginia.
Entering the championship after toppling Linville Hill in the first round, the Chargers channeled their impetus into an energized start. In the opening minute, sophomore Chip Stambaugh earned an 'and one' to put the Chargers on the scoreboard first.
The Falcons took a moment to gain their footing, but then surged into contention keeping the score balanced until deep in the second quarter. With the scoreboard reflecting identical 17s, and less than a minute before the half, freshman Hunter Stewart delivered a strong take to the basket resulting in the layup and the foul, to give the Chargers the three-point lead.
Winding down the clock on their final possession of the half, fellow freshman Aidan Masters, buried a shot from downtown to stretch the Charger advantage to six at the break.
The second half displayed a confident Charger squad immediately setting out to take control of the contest. Rocketing ahead with 11 unanswered points, the Chargers were led by aggressive offense from Tyler Masters, who produced 12 of his 15 points in the second half. Stewart collected six additional points to bring his total to nine for the night.
Jack Hilsher's leadership role and 16 points, including three buckets from beyond the arc, also contributed to the Charger's dominant conclusion.
While points may win the game, it's often the effort on defense that enables those points, as was evidenced by the Chargers progression through the contest.
"We gave up 15 points in the first quarter, and then only 16 points the rest of the game," noted head coach Jared Griest emphasizing the importance of the defense. "Our success in the Christmas Tournament actually started the week prior. All of the players on the team have exponentially increased defensive effort," he added.
The previous evening's triumph over Linville Hill was marked by a well-rounded attack, again led by T. Master's 13 points and Hilsher with 11. A. Masters knocked in 10 points, while Stewart and Wyatt Hawthorne chipped in eight apiece. Six of Stewart's points came from the line, where the freshman displayed composure maintaining 86 percent free throw shooting. Hawthorne also added five blocks to his performance.
T. Master's two-day contribution of 28 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals earned him tournament MVP honors.
"Tyler is showing on-court and in-practice leadership. We challenged the players to work harder in practice-to make things as game like as possible. Tyler has done that, and others are following," commented Griest.
Hilsher was also named to the All-Tournament team with two-day totals of 27 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, and five steals.
"To see him mature as a sophomore has been fun to watch," said Griest.
Earlier in December, the Chargers experienced their only two conference games thus far this season taking split results, falling to Harrisburg Christian 54-41, before overcoming New Covenant 70-28 twenty-four hours later.
"We are a little disappointed to have a split conference record to start the year," acknowledged Griest. "New Covenant was a great win to get some confidence going, but we know that we'll need to be more competitive against teams like Harrisburg."
With plenty of league competition on the horizon, the Chargers will have ample opportunity to apply the lessons learned from their early season, facing three league contests next in the schedule.
A home court win on homecoming night was just the boost the Lady Chargers were hoping for before heading into the Christmas break, as they secured a 49-39 triumph over Millersburg High School.
Freshman Kara Locker had a huge night for Mount Calvary, with 16 points, five rebounds, two steals, and an assist.
"It was a huge performance for us, as it was an important game," noted head coach Phil Ferrari, currently in his third year at the helm of the coaching staff. "Kara is a freshman and still trying to learn her role and where she fits. She showed a lot of courage and determination."
Rebounds and second chances played a big role in the triumph. Haley Witmer's 12 boards and nine more from Emily Wolfe kept the Chargers a step ahead, giving them a 22-17 edge at the half.
Millersburg attempted to regroup for the second half, but the Chargers continued to thwart their comeback attempts. Jenna Romberger pulled up for deep jumper at the buzzer to end the third quarter with a comfortable 35-24 advantage.
"I always love playing at Homecoming because there is a packed house and the crowd is loud and supportive," explained Ferrari. "We were excited to play Millersburg again because we had scrimmaged them two weeks earlier and did not play particularly well, but felt we had gotten better. Playing our best all around game on offense and defense was very important," he added.
Additional contributions from players such as Naomi Ewing with seven points, four assists, and two rebounds, in addition to six points apiece from Witmer and Wolfe, supplied the Chargers with the depth they needed to pull off the win.
Earlier in December, the Lady Chargers kicked off their season with split results in the Tip Off tournament, getting an early season taste of both ends of the scoreboard. The loss on day one bumped the Chargers into the consolation game, but their continued efforts granted them the triumph on day two.
In the tournament opener, the Lady Chargers took on New Covenant Flames and got off to an encouraging beginning, holding a 11-5 lead at the conclusion of the first period.
"I couldn't have been more pleased with how the team played in the first quarter," commented Ferrari.
The Lady Chargers stretched their advantage to a double-digit lead in the second, going up 17-7, before the Flames began to make adjustments and crack the Charger defense.
"They beat us deep several times for easy layups, and they closed the first half on a 10-3 run," pointed out Ferrari.
A Charger scoring drought in the third gave the Flames the momentum and the 27-22 upper hand heading into the final quarter.
Witmer stepped up big for the Chargers tallying 12 points while pulling down four rebounds, snagging two steals, and dishing a pair of assists.
On the boards, Jayln Maulfair led the team securing nine rebounds. Sophomore Brie Lehman gave the Chargers a glimpse of success beyond the arc, sinking two-for-two from three-point range.
"They were definitely the better team on this night, but we look forward to playing them again in January to see if we have grown as a team," encouraged Ferrari.
Turning the page to their second game of the tourney, the Lady Chargers got off to a rocky start, only scoring three points in the first half against Harrisburg Academy, but flipped the switch to come roaring back for a 31-21 victory.
Finding themselves outscored 15-3 at the half, the Lady Chargers headed into the break facing an uphill battle.
"Nothing could have prepared us for how poorly we shot the ball in the first half," admitted Ferrari. "We didn't need to panic because we felt like we were doing some good things on offense, and that the shots would eventually start to fall."
Focusing on what they could do to spark that comeback, Ferrari reminded his team to keep up the defense and continue striving towards their goal.
"Keep doing the same things we were doing in the first half, and we would eventually begin to score some points. If you continue to do the right things long enough, the results usually take care of themselves," encouraged Ferrari.
As Ferrari predicted, the shots began to drop, spurring the Lady Chargers into a 28-6 second half run and resulting in the win by a double-digit difference.
"As a coach, I love to see when our players respond to adversity, but honestly, I cannot take any of the credit for what they accomplished on the court," praised Ferrari. "Maybe something we said at halftime inspired them or encouraged them, but the bottom line is, they were the ones on the floor making game-changing plays and all of the credit goes to them for stepping up."
Witmer's contribution of nine points, eight rebounds, and three steals earned her All-Tournament recognition.
Locker, in her debut weekend of varsity competition, was another influential factor, totaling nine points, seven of which came in the win over Harrisburg.
The Lady Chargers were tested in two subsequent losses to opponents Veritas Academy and Harrisburg Christian, before they rallied for the Millersburg homecoming win. They enter the new year with the goal of securing their first league competition win.
"We have already shown great strides in many areas, mainly in our never give up attitude during games where we have come back and fought hard till the end to give ourselves chances to win," summarized Ferrari.
Over the Christmas break, the team took some time to focus their efforts on causes other than basketball. Receiving a list of needed items for the Elizabethtown non-profit homeless shelter (ECHOS), the players shopped together for items to donate.
"It has been fun to watch is how the team is bonding together and having fun while still working hard and serving our community," explained Ferrari.
Lady Chargers Cap Season With 14-3 Record October 30, 2017
The Lady Chargers' capped their season with a PIAA District III playoff run that advanced them as far as the quarterfinals before they bowed out against Fairfield High School.
In order to earn their way into the quarterfinals, the Lady Chargers were first paired against Millersburg High School and prevailed 3-0 last Monday.
A previous meeting with Millersburg during the regular season ended 4-0 in favor of Millersburg, but the Lady Chargers turned the tables and caught the Indians off guard to oust them in the first round.
Two first half goals put the Lady Chargers in command of the home field contest, and they rode that momentum surge right through the final minute.
"It definitely helped to have played them earlier in the season and to know what their attacks looked like. We were much more prepared to cut off through balls and for the speed they have up top," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Precise defensive execution enabled the Lady Chargers to get the ball upfield and create scoring opportunities.
"Our defensive line knew the importance of double teaming Millersburg's strikers to prevent shots. Our center backs did a great job of stepping up to win the ball," praised Schmitkons.
Going on the offensive was something the Chargers struggled to do in their first meeting against the Indians, but that presented no problems this time around.
Brittney Taylor struck first, powering an unassisted shot into Millersburg's net midway through the first half.
"The biggest difference in this game was our mindset. We had to be challenging balls together and supporting each other consistently," elaborated Schmitkons. "In the first five minutes we started controlling the ball and attacking forward. The girls embraced that initial success and used it as momentum."
Just before the half, an illegal contact whistle awarded the Chargers with a free kick from well outside the 18. Emma Moore stepped up sail the ball into the Millersburg box, and after it rattled around, Naomi Ewing dished the ball to Julia Martin who finished the play to put the Chargers up by two.
Knowing Millersburg was capable of a comeback, the Lady Chargers faced a critical task of maintaining control for the second half. As expected, Millersburg went on the attack directly after the break. One of their strikers made a move at midfield to shake a Charger defender, and earned an open look at the 18, but Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk held her ground for one of nine saves.
Switching back to their offensive end, the Chargers' third goal came from yet another source, this time Ewing received the ball from Martin and used her quick feet to create space inside the box and sent the ball home.
"Our variety of attack has been very important. We really play better when we are looking to attack in different ways through different players," said Schmitkons. "In addition, we are constantly working on following up each other's' shots, not giving up on the play, and putting the second or third ball into the net."
Their quarterfinal match against Fairfield resulted in a resounding 10-0 Fairfield triumph and also brought the Lady Chargers' season to a halt. Despite the lopsided final, Mt. Calvary has a vast amount of accomplishments and success to their credit.
"Winning the CCAC championship, finishing atop the league, and making it to the second round of districts are great accomplishments," acknowledged Schmitkons. "More than that, I will boast in the unity in this group of girls who worked to support each other on and off the field," she continued.
Referencing Romans 12:4-5 "All members do not have the same function, so we being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one body." Schmitkons noted how the spiritual concept of believers in Christ working together to fulfill the will of God was an ideal picture of how the team sought to put that sort of unity into their play.
"Whatever challenges came-injuries, physical exhaustion, mental fatigue, big games-it was great to help the girls face them together. We will sorely miss the leadership brought by our seniors, and the joy they bring to practices and games with their work ethic and positive attitude," continued Schmitkons.
Completing their 2017 season with an unblemished 12-0 league record, a fourth consecutive CCAC championship title and a 14-3 overall record is quite the feat, but that won't stop the Lady Chargers from pushing for more next season.
"Each player has grown through the season in how they play and their awareness of each other on the field. We look forward to building on this next year," summarized Schmitkons.
Lady Chargers Win 4th Straight CCAC Title October 22, 2017
The Mount Calvary girls' soccer had plenty to prove in search of their fourth consecutive CCAC championship, and they proved they still deserve it, taking home the title with a 2-0 win over Harrisburg Christian.
Before heading to the championship, their first post-season test came in a pairing against West Shore Christian in the semifinal round of the CCAC tournament last Tuesday, and though it took 33 minutes before the scoreboard registered a change, the Charger offense erupted for a 5-0 victory.
"The girls knew how important this game was and were determined not to start slow. Our plan was to attack West Shores' weaker defensive side, get ball through into the corner and then into the box," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons.
Executing that game plan flawlessly, the Lady Chargers worked their way down the sidelines before propelling the ball into the centerfield for ideal shooting opportunities. Brittney Taylor was the first to complete the play, connecting with the back of the net seven minutes before the half.
"The midfield did a great job of linking passes to work the ball up the field. Our passing was vital to controlling the game," noted Schmitkons.
Taylor and Naomi Ewing finished with two goals apiece and Julia Martin supplied the other. Taylor and Abby Bert each picked up an assist in the attack.
The win advanced the Lady Chargers into the CCAC championship game against the Harrisburg Christian Knights. Pressure was high for the Lady Chargers to defend their title, having claimed the championship each of the past three years. Looking to keep their streak alive, they prepared knowing not to underestimate their opponent.
"We want to see the same level of intensity and controlled passing on Friday night," explained Schmitkons in the days leading up to the championship. "We know how Harrisburg Christian plays, and knowing that we have beaten them before, it is a challenge to not come into the game overconfident."
"We are trying to keep a balanced mindset of playing intense and with confidence in ourselves, and at the same time respecting Harrisburg Christian and all that they have been able to accomplish this season," she added.
The Lady Chargers came out ready to play in Friday night's championship held at In the Net, but did not notch a goal until six minutes before the half, when Naomi Ewing carried the ball between the Knight defenders and slipped in a low shot for the go-ahead goal.
Opening the second half, the Chargers found themselves on the defensive as the Knights came out hot and started creating options on their offensive end. Several loose balls rattled around the Charger box dangerously close to the line, but time and again a Charger defender was able to clear the ball.
"Julia Martin and Emma Moore alternated in a vital role in cutting off Harrisburg's primary striker," pointed out Schmitkons.
It was obvious the Knights would not go down easy. At the 58th minute mark, a Knight shot sailed over Charger defense and ricocheted off the upper left goal post, narrowly missing the equalizer the Knights were desperately seeking, and keeping Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk (8 saves) on her toes.
"Leah continues to step up her game and be aggressive off her line to pick up the long balls and through balls on the turf," praised Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers began to resettle and take control, using passing sequences to push the action back to the opposite end of the field.
"Katelyn Esbenshade and Naomi Ewing worked the center of the field with Katelyn providing a constant defensive presence and Naomi attacking aggressively," said Schmitkons.
With 13:00 left to play, freshman Olivia Yordy worked her way down the left sideline and placed a cross directly in front of the Knight box. Fellow freshman Ruth Hoffman was in the right place at the right time and redirected the ball into the net, all but sealing the fate of the contest.
The Knights did not give up, sailing a breakaway shot just wide with 27 seconds left, but to no avail.
The sound of the final buzzer was sweet as the Chargers celebrated their title for the fourth year running.
"Like every one of our tough games, this win took a team effort," acknowledged Schmitkons. "I am proud of our girls for playing with great determination and a team mentality. They have accomplished a tremendous amount this season, but I am most proud of their support for each other and willingness to work hard in any role for the team."
Worn thin by an intense schedule and team injuries, Mount Calvary volleyball dug deep to battle out three games in four days, and ended their season with a mixed bag of results. In their final week of play the Chargers experienced being on both sides of a sweep in addition to a back-and-forth five game contest.
Facing their first opponent of the week in Linville Hill, the Lady Chargers suffered a loss in three 25-21, 25-13, 25-21.
Serving and passing errors quickly put the Chargers behind 2-0 in the set count.
"Our passes on serve receive and on defense were pushed too tight to the net," noted head coach Kate Ferrari. "Essentially with these tight passes we set up the opponent to attack right back at us."
Rallying in the third set, Grace Hilsher churned some Charger momentum, nailing two aces during her service turn. Hilsher paired with Molly Bert to boost defensive play, giving the Chargers a much-needed shot at a comeback.
"Grace and Molly were all over the back line digging up attacks and making it possible for us to set up our offense," said Ferrari.
Unfortunately, the surge came a little too late, and Linville recovered to close the window of opportunity and the match.
Highlights for the Chargers included Kami Mummau's 11 kills and a block; Hilsher's 9 digs and 4 aces; and Kara Locker's 14 assists.
Twenty-four hours later, it was the Chargers turn to dole out a 3-0 defeat, and they swiftly overcame Columbia High School 25-4, 25-6, 25-16.
"The ladies played really well tonight and did a really nice job of not letting up; making sure they communicated throughout the entire set," pointed out Ferrari.
Mummau's game-high 15 aces set the tone for the match, not only racking up points but inspiring an abundance of aggressive serving. In set two, Mummau nailed four aces, McMahon and Locker each fired two, and Carley Herndon provided one.
Mummau added 4 kills and 5 assists to her performance, Hilsher delivered 4 kills, Locker chipped in 5 assists, and Rachel Green came up with 5 digs.
Thursday night, the Charger season came to a close after a five-game battle that tipped in favor of Veritas Academy 25-20, 11-25, 25-21, 25-15, 16-14.
Serving errors continued to plagued the Chargers, making set one a relatively easy snag for Veritas.
Set two display a revamped Charger squad that used the serve to secure the win as Mummau, Locker, and Bert each fired five aces to account for 15 of the set points.
"They were unstoppable and made very few errors in this set," praised Ferrari.
The following two sets were almost exact replicas of the first two, with Veritas claiming the third, but the Chargers dominating the fourth.
"They pushed hard. Grace provided 5 digs, Kami was aggressive at the net, and Kara and Grace had key serves," elaborated Ferrari regarding the fourth set. "There was so much energy on the court, it was amazing! The girls were pumped to get this win."
The fifth was neck-and-neck as the two even teams battled to the final points. Veritas crept ahead to an 11-7 lead, but Locker delivered three aces to bring the Chargers right back into contention. With the game knotted at 14, Veritas lined up two consecutive attacks to go ahead at the right moment and claim the final set.
The loss signified the end of the Charger season, finalizing their record at 7-9, but certainly not the end of their potential.
"I was truly encouraged by this game. We have a bright future ahead," summarized Ferrari of her young squad. "Lady Charger volleyball has a lot to look forward to."
Chargers Cap 4th Straight Unbeaten League Mark October 15, 2017
Last Monday's 3-2 win over Lancaster County Christian might have appeared to be just another exciting overtime victory for the Lady Chargers, but the event signified much more.
The contest, played at home, marked the Lady Charger's final league contest of the regular season, and by grasping the grueling double overtime win, they earned a flawless CCAC league record of 10-0.
In addition to that achievement, the senior players on the team celebrated the feat of four consecutive perfect league records.
Racking up a history of 46-0, the Mt. Calvary Lady Chargers have not dropped a league contest in the past four years, giving this year's seniors the distinction of having never lost a league match in their varsity careers.
Monday's faceoff against the Lions did not start out in favor of the Lady Chargers, and they were forced to take nothing for granted, when they found themselves trailing 1-0 at the half.
"We were really struggling to play our game," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons. "LCCS was beating us to the ball, and we were playing very defensively."
With so much riding on the contest, Schmitkons spent the break inspiring her players to raise their level of play.
"Coach Pruner and I talked to the girls about playing our game, and attacking instead of just defending," added Schmitkons.
Linking their defensive work with connecting passes, the Lady Chargers tweaked their tactics in order to launch methodical offensive attacks.
"We shifted some girls around, and we earned corners by playing to our outsides and making diagonal runs," explained Schmitkons.
Sixteen minutes into the second half, the adjustments paid off, and Julia Martin and Naomi Ewing paired for the Charger equalizer. Ewing propelled a corner kick into the goal box finding Martin, who headed the ball into the net.
The Lions refused to bow out early, and retaliated 14 minutes later to once again hold the edge 2-1.
Time was not on their side as the clock wound down, and the Lady Chargers looked like they might fall one game short of an unblemished league season. Refusing to not quit, it was freshman players Martin assisting Olivia Yordy, that got the job done, notching the second equalizer with less than three minutes on the clock.
"High pressure and aggression from Brittney Taylor, Olivia Yordy, and Julia Martin is what helped create our second goal opportunity," commented Schmitkons.
Riding their momentum surge into two overtime periods, the Lady Chargers controlled the tempo of the game and it was only a matter of time until their constant pressure provided an opening for Martin to power an unassisted goal into the back of the Lion's net.
"We've been in an overtime situation before, so the girls knew what they needed to do. We stayed strong defensively and just kept taking opportunities as they came," acknowledged Schmitkons. "It was a tough mental game to work through, and we are very proud of the way the girls kept fighting to pull out the win," she added.
Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk grabbed eight saves, robbing the Lions of any further attempts to claim the contest.
On the heels of their big win, it was fitting that Tuesday night marked Mount Calvary Senior Night, a moment to honor the contributions of the senior players who have been a part of such a great run. Melissa Martin, Jenna Romberger, Emily Wolfe, and Katelyn Esbenshade are a group of defenders that have anchored much of the success the Lady Chargers have enjoyed over the past four years. Abby Bert is a welcome recent addition to the team, adding an extra spark to the team dynamic on and off the field.
Taking a moment to reflect on the unique attributes of each senior, Schmitkons shared her thoughts.
"Katelyn is an inspiring servant-leader. She is most often seen after a game carrying balls or the water jug to the shed. She plays selflessly on the field, giving 110% while also demanding that everyone stays focused in our huddles," said Schmitkons.
"Abby jumped right into a game and started running through balls in offense and defense. Her energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement came at just the right time in the season," Schmitkons noted of their newest player.
"Missy helps keep us all energized and fired up with her positive attitude, music playlists, and dance moves. On the field she may be constantly critiquing herself, but she has shown more and more aggression each game. Her vocal encouragement makes every game and practice more enjoyable," the coach continued.
"Emily is the leader we can all fall back on. On the field she will make the extra sprint, the extra challenge, the extra switch of field. Her example of hard work through every practice and every 80-minute no-subs game is invaluable to our team.
"Jenna has helped lead our team with her work ethic and dependability. Whether in the center or on the side, we rely on her defensive aggression and consistent play to keep the ball out of our net. We appreciate her example of commitment and hard work," concluded Schmitkons.
The volleyball team experienced a heartbreaking loss to start last week, but rallied for an end of week triumph.
Initially the Chargers looked strong, going up 2-0 against High Point Baptist before succumbing to a 3-2 loss.
"Our biggest issue was communication," explained head coach Kate Ferrari. "As soon as we give up two or more points, our communication takes a big hit. Unfortunately, communication is the key to getting out of a lull," she elaborated.
The first two sets displayed the Chargers reading their opponents and capitalizing on High Points' mistakes, but the team faltered in the remaining three.
"In addition to communication, we struggled in consistency," noted Ferrari.
Despite the disappointment, Ferrari encourages her girls to move forward and learn from the tough loss.
"Grace Hilsher did a nice job attempting to defend the back line with 12 digs," she pointed out.
Hilsher also supplied seven aces. Kelsey McMahon put down 10 kills, and Brie Lehman provided two blocks.
During Senior Night, Ferrari took the time to note the contributions of the two senior players, Carley Herndon and Kelsey McMahon.
"Carley is always so willing to work to better her skills and never lacked effort. One of the things I admire most about Carley is her selflessness and her ability to encourage her teammates, she lives out Philippians 2:3, 'Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself'," shared Ferrari.
"Kelsey has strong leadership skills and a great ability to get the girls pumped during a game. She has a great awareness of her other teammates feelings and encourages them in their endeavors. A great verse to attribute to Kelsey is Proverbs 17:17, 'A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity'," summarized Ferrari.
Regrouping after the early week defeat, the Lady Chargers showed their heart and tenacity toppling Fairfield High School in three well-earned sets 26-24, 25-23, 25-18.
Freshman Kara Locker set the tone firing an ace for the first point of the game. From there, Fairfield was forced to scramble adjusting to the Charger attack.
Unfortunately, the Chargers suffered a setback when Lehman injured an ankle midway through set one. Forced to alter their game plan, Rachel Green, another freshman, stepped in to fill the void.
"I was very pleased with how the girls adjusted to changing up our lineup. Rachel ended up playing all the way around holding her own," praised Ferrari.
Though the score remained tight, the Chargers held out for the set win.
Set two was critical to the outcome of the game, with Fairfield finding their rhythm and the Chargers reeling from the injury, the game could have easily gone either direction, but the Chargers dug deep to hang on.
"I reminded them that they needed to communicate and keep up the intensity," said Ferrari. "I wanted them to keep pushing every single point. They took that advice and ran with it."
After claiming the second set, the girls headed into set three with revitalized enthusiasm.
"Confidence was high. They were determined to pull out the win in three," acknowledge Ferrari.
Not only did the Chargers claim the match in three, but improved their consistency, taking the third set with their largest lead, 25-18.
Kami Mummau was all over the court with 4 aces, 3 kills, and a block. Hilsher guarded the back line with 10 digs, and Locker dished out 3 assists.
Victory was elusive for the boys' soccer team last week, falling 4-1 to High Point on Monday, and 4-0 to Antietam on Friday, but despite the losses, they celebrated the season long effort of the team, and most specifically the senior players.
The Chargers graduate two seniors this year, Matt Kark and Aaron Shambaugh, both have been four-year starters for the team. Head coach Marc Myers took the Senior Night opportunity to explain why each of them will be missed.
"Matt is passionate, motivates others, and is a strong leader on this team. He is versatile and he could play any position on the field," commended Myers.
"Aaron is a hard worker and quiet leader. He has been a big asset to our team and has given us consistency in our defense," noted Myers.
The senior night honors came during the tough home loss to High Point Baptist. Despite the scoreboard reading in favor of High Point, the Chargers focused on the positives and the bigger picture as they acknowledged their seniors.
David Ellis supplied the Chargers' goal, assisted by Kark.
Wrapping up their season with a record of 3-12, might not be the outcome they were hoping for, but the young team can choose to use it as incentive to build toward future improvement.
Chargers Top New Covenant In Four Game Week October 8, 2017
Playing a tight schedule last week, the Lady Charger volleyball squad kicked things off on a high note, securing a 25-10, 25-12, 27-25 victory over New Covenant on Monday, but had to handle three losses after that.
Though the Chargers initially struggled finding their serve, they made up for it in effort and communication and quickly took the first set.
"We were able to overcome by keeping a never give up attitude when a pass may have gone off course. The girls hustled to the ball, and a key factor was our ability to communicate effectively on the court," commended head coach Kate Ferrari.
Heading into set number two, the Chargers looked to clean up a few areas of play to capture another set.
"Kara Locker and Molly Bert both had serves that proved to be tough for New Covenant to return," pointed out Ferrari.
Another duo that began to fall in sync was Kelsey McMahon and Kami Mummau, as Mummau provided the assists for five of McMahon's eight kills.
In the third set, the Chargers began to falter on the attack, allowing New Covenant to grasp their largest lead of the game 19-12.
"During a time out, we talked about having court awareness; knowing that when the set is off you have to adjust to keep the ball in play," explained Ferrari.
Point-by-point the Chargers climbed back into contention and recaptured the lead 23-22.
Bert rotated back to the serving line and produced the points necessary for the Chargers to capture the match win after three sets.
"At this point, one error meant we were going into game four," said Ferrari. "I was extremely proud of the girls' efforts. They never gave up and faced each play with determination. It was great to watch them come from behind and persevere," she added.
Twenty-four hours later, the Chargers headed to Dayspring Christian and succumbed after battling through four sets (25-19, 25-18, 15-25, 25-14).
Trouble on both ends of service placed the Lady Chargers trailing at the start of each set, giving Dayspring the edge they needed to claim the match.
The third set was a highlight, overcoming an early deficit and pulling out the win.
"We were able to turn the momentum around in this game. The girls never let up, everything was coming together. We passed better, had less serving errors and completed plays," encouraged Ferrari.
The Charger squad had another rough night Thursday, slipping to Lititz Christian 26-24, 25-15, 25-23.
Despite the loss, the Charger coaching staff noticed much improvement from their play just 48 hours prior.
"We took a lot of time in practice to work on serve receive, and it paid off. The girls did a much better job of moving to get into position to make good passes," pointed out Ferrari.
Sets one and three proved to be extremely close, but just did not tip in favor of the Lady Chargers.
"Set three was very much like the first. The score remained close the entire match," said Ferrari. "We did a good job of changing up offensive play and making good decisions at the net."
McMahon nailed 8 kills and a block, Locker and Bert fired 9 aces apiece, Mummau supplied 8 assists, and Grace Hilsher had 5 digs.
Wrapping up the marathon week with match number four at home, the Chargers were bested by Conestoga Christian, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20.
Despite facing a third straight loss, the Chargers had plenty of positives to focus on. After handing Conestoga a relatively uncontested first set, the Mt. Calvary squad regrouped and presented a united front in the remaining two sets.
"They came out determined to show Conestoga their better game. They were talking and covering their hitters. Grace Hilsher played great defense all night," commented Ferrari.
With these improvements the Chargers captured a 7-2 lead, but Conestoga started to chip away and capitalized on each Charger error, overtaking them at 23-22, and then ultimately taking both the set and match.
Mummau produced 5 kills, 2 aces, and 3 assists; Locker supplied 2 aces and 3 assists; Bert chipped in 2 aces and 6 digs; and Brie Lehman provided 6 blocks.
"We didn't pull out the win, but we are encouraged by the improvements we see in the girls. Our key for improvement is to work on consistency. We have great shining moments, and if we can just keep that consistency, we'll be winning these matches," encouraged Ferrari. "We're a young team. I know it will come, and I'm very excited for the future," she concluded.
Lady Charger soccer has been dominating the competition this season, but proved they are not immune to defeat as they were dealt a 6-0 loss by Oley Valley last Monday.
Demonstrating their ability to regroup after a loss, Mt. Calvary responded with back-to-back victories to end the week.
Thursday night the girls blanked the High Point Baptist Eagles 3-0.
Though the scoreboard clearly displayed the dominance of the Chargers, they did experience some struggles in claiming the contest.
"The game was a mental challenge," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons. "We struggled to connect passes as we have throughout the year. We did manage to pull through that challenge and won with determination."
The Chargers' lead scorer, Julia Martin notched two goals, and Naomi Ewing chipped in the third.
Taking charge of the defensive end of the field, keeper Leah Hawryluk continues to prove her value, snagging nine saves to preserve the shutout.
"Leah has stepped into a very tough position in goal this year to fill our need. She continues to improve with each game," praised Schmitkons.
With only 15 minutes remaining in the contest, Hawryluk charged forward to challenge an Eagle attack at the top of the box. After winning possession of the ball, Hawryluk needed a minute to recover from the collision. She shook off the confrontation and not only finished out the game in the goalbox, but produced some of her most dynamic play.
"We were nervous as she was slow to get up and really did not want to see her injured," said Schmitkons. "We were surprised and excited with how she bounced back and played some of the most aggressive minutes of the season."
Capping their week, the Lady Chargers took down New Covenant Christian 3-1.
Martin and Katelyn Esbenshade worked as an efficient duo on the offensive end of the field, with Esbenshade feeding Martin a pass that resulted in Martin's first goal of the night after only two minutes had transpired.
New Covenant responded twelve minutes later to keep the game even, and the scoreboard remained tied until Ewing and Martin paired for a passing sequence that led to Martin's second tally just before the half.
Martin completed her hat trick with an unassisted second half goal to assure the Chargers of their victory.
Martin, a freshman, not made a notable difference in the outcome of this week's games, but as the teams' leading scorer, racked up an impressive 21 goals after only nine games in her debut varsity season.
"Julia is an extremely talented player and intense competitor. She has helped push other players to improve the level of their play, particularly as we work to build passing combinations," noted Schmitkons. "Whether on offense or defense, Julia will find the ball and make something happen."
The boys' soccer team experienced mixed results last week, picking up an early win, followed by two losses.
Monday night, on the road, the Chargers pulled out a 2-1 victory over York Country Day.
Freshman Damien Rutt sparked the effort with both Charger goals. Rutt's first goal was a well-placed PK. He elevated his effort with a second goal, striking from just inside the 18.
The Crusaders responded with a goal of their own in the second half, but their resurgence was too little too late, and the Chargers pocketed the win.
"Though we were able to create possession we did not execute enough in the offensive third to put the game away. In the second half we gave YCD life with a goal, but hung on to win," summarized head coach Marc Myers.
Tuesday evening the Chargers headed to Dayspring Christian and came home a 3-1 loss.
Playoff implications were high in the faceoff with Dayspring. The Chargers knew that upsetting the favored team would mean a bump to their post-season standings. Unfortunately, the Dayspring squad prevailed.
"In the first half we held strong defensively and kept the score at 0-0," said Myers.
All the scoring action was found in the second half. Dayspring netted a goal in the early minutes for the first lead, but Mt. Calvary responded. Sophomore Harrison Crick delivered his first varsity goal to put the Chargers back in the mix. Dayspring, however, retaliated with an additional two goals to put the game away.
"With us needing a win, we pushed for a goal but fell apart in the back, giving Dayspring the win," elaborated Myers.
Despite the loss, the up-and-coming leadership shown in younger players is an encouraging sign.
"Harrison not only bagged a goal this week, but has worked hard learning a central midfield position," commended Myers. "He is one of the hardest workers on the team. Through his hard work and his communication, he is becoming a leader on the team," he added.
In Friday's home against the Conestoga Christian Cougars, the Chargers were disappointed with a 1-0 loss.
Despite firing 13 shots on goal and maintaining possession a good portion of the contest, the Chargers were unable to break the goal line. In contrast, the Cougars registered 19 shots on goal, and all they needed was the one that broke through.
Four minutes before the completion of the first half, the Cougars sailed a cross from the outside edge between several Charger defenders finding a Cougar foot to redirect the ball into the Charger net.
Keeper Ethan Niedwick scooped up 15 saves in the loss.
"In the second half, we pushed hard to find an equalizer, and the defense, along with our keeper, Ethan, had even more responsibility," noted Myers. "They did well to not allow Conestoga to score, but unfortunately we couldn't find the back of their net."
Mt. Calvary Booters Battle But Fall Short October 1, 2017
"Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You must simply study it, learn from it, and try hard not to lose the same way again. Then you must have the self-control to forget about it." - John Wooden, legendary NCAA basketball coach.
The boy's soccer team was dealt a difficult week, slipping behind in both of their contests.
Monday the club competed at the field of the Harrisburg Christian Knights, and fell 3-0, followed by a home loss of 2-0 to Covenant Christian.
Much preparation took place before the matches as both contests counted toward league competition and held post-season implications.
"Our players worked hard to prepare for these games, and overall they played well together as a unit," encouraged head coach Marc Myers.
Goalkeeper Ethan Niedwick held is ground under fire, gathering 10 saves against the Knights and five against Covenant.
Despite the scoreboard reading the opposite of their desired results, the team can choose to use these hurdles as strengthening moments. While they were unable to control the outcome, they do have the opportunity to determine their attitude when facing a loss, and seek to use this as a time to demonstrate character growth.
"The results were disappointing, but I was proud of every player for the heart they showed," commented Myers.
Focusing on what the team did well, Myers commended the positives.
"They worked hard to move together up and down the field minimizing the opposition attempts. We maintained more possession than before, and even though we didn't get on the scoreboard, we put the other teams' defense and goalkeeper under pressure," he concluded.
Playing back-to-back games last Monday and Tuesday, the Lady Chargers outlasted both of their opponents, adding two more wins to their record.
Monday night the Lady Chargers battled it out and triumphed in a 5-4 in double overtime against the West Shore Christian Bobcats.
The Bobcats were the first to strike, notching a goal just 2:30 into the contest. Two minutes later, Julia Martin retaliated with a goal for the Chargers to level the score. Neither team was willing to back down, trading possessions and alternating scoring, but neither breaking away.
Brittney Taylor netted goals number two and three for the Chargers, both times assisted by Naomi Ewing. The Bobcats also secured two additional goals in the first half knotting the scoreboard at three apiece headed into the halftime break.
"We went back and forth with scoring and were under a lot of pressure from West Shore," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons. "We changed our lineup to try to control more of the midfield play, and that definitely helped us be more aggressive, and we had better combinations in our passing."
Second half adjustments led to a more defensive half, as 34 minutes passed without an alteration to the score. With six minutes remaining in regulation, Ruth Hoffman netted a pivotal goal in her debut game for the Chargers.
The Chargers were unable to rest in their lead for long, as the Bobcats seized a free kick opportunity to score in the final minute of regulation, propelling the game into overtime.
"The late goal off a free kick was very disappointing, especially when we had controlled more of the second half and had really limited their attack," said Schmitkons.
Attempting to shake off the blow, the Lady Chargers had to stifle the Bobcat momentum surge in the first overtime. At the next buzzer, the score still remained 4-4.
Headed into double overtime, Schmitkons admonished her exhausted squad, playing with minimal substitutions, to dig deep for the win.
"I told the girls that each one of them had to want the ball and want the win. We could not depend on any individual to finish the game, it had to be every player working together," she explained.
The final Charger attack demonstrated that cohesive team effort as the squad worked a passing sequence up the side of the field drawing Bobcat defense, before Taylor powered the ball to the opposite side of the field to find Olivia Yordy who finished with the Chargers game-clinching goal.
Another aspect of the team unity was the formidable defense supplied by the back line.
"Emily Wolfe, Jenna Romberger, and Ambria Good were fully engaged and stepped hard to every ball," praised Schmitkons.
Keeper, Leah Hawryluk snatched 10 saves to further thwart the offensive Bobcat attempts.
Twenty-four hours later, the club again took the field, this time for an explosive 8-0 victory over the Christian School of York Crusaders.
In a game the Chargers controlled from start to finish, they displayed a wide variety of talent and distributed the ball evenly around the field demonstrated in six players combining to supply the total of eight goals.
Julia Martin provided a hat trick of unassisted goals, while Ewing, Taylor, Hoffman, Katelyn Esbenshade, and Romberger each chipped in a goal apiece. Teagan Akers, Melissa Martin, and Brittney Taylor each supplied an assist.
A testament to their well-rounded play, 11 of 14 Lady Chargers have secured at least one goal in the season, and all players have contributed to the grueling schedule, which has resulted in an undefeated league record of 7-0 and overall 8-1.
Wrapping up their golf season this week, the Charger club competed in the qualifying round for post season district play at Crossgates Golf Course. Though none of the Charger team members carded qualifying scores, they ended their season unified as a team.
"The golf season has been a growing year. Each individual player strived to improve," explained head coach Matt Owlett. "We certainly learned to "press on" just as the Bible encourages us to do. We pushed through adversity and became truly united as a team," he continued.
The Charger golf team will say goodbye to three senior players, and will certainly miss their presence and unique contributions to the group.
Sam Firestone has been a four-year member of the golf team, and has stepped up to a leadership role this year both in talent and character.
"Sam will be greatly missed not only for his skill on the course, but his sense of humor and great spirit off the course," noted Owlett.
Mike Lane has been referred to as "the nicest kid in the world"-even by opposing teams. He is known for his upbeat personality, and his encouragement was always a vital component of his role on the team.
"Mike set the tone in interacting with other schools, which ultimately led to enjoying the competition in every match," pointed out Owlett.
Hunter Crick is relatively new to the sport of golf, but did not let that hinder him from being a leader on the team.
"Hunter has a keen desire to excel in all areas of life, and that includes golf. His hard work and great attitude will be sorely missed," added Owlett.
The Lady Chargers only had one game last week, but they made it count, taking down Berks Christian in three swift sets (25-17, 25-21, 25-20).
Jumping out to an early lead, the Lady Chargers immediately set the tone for the away contest.
"Our passes were a big part of our success, keeping the play alive even among some scrambling, and our communication," noted head coach Kate Ferrari. "When the girls talk on the court, their level of play is elevated," she added.
Service errors plagued the Chargers in the second set, sending several points Berks' way, and allowing the score to remain close. Making plays at the net became pivotal to hanging on to their lead and claiming set number two.
"The girls came into the game wanting to finish in three, with the goal of improving their serving," pointed out Ferrari.
Sophomore Grace Hilsher stepped up to kick start some service momentum, firing four aces in the third and final set.
"We were able to set up our offense a little more. Kami Mummau made smart plays tipping the ball to some of the open spots on the opposite side, and they were able to pull together and get the win," concluded Ferrari.
Lady Chargers Topple Harrisburg Christian September 25, 2017
In Monday's contest, the Lady Chargers' soccer team broke out to an early lead and eventually secured a 5-2 triumph over the Harrisburg Christian Knights.
The first 40 was all about the Chargers. Naomi Ewing and Brittney Taylor netted two goals apiece to spearhead the offensive surge, and put them up 4-0 before the break.
While the scoreboard only calculates goals, a lot more goes into the team effort that cannot be displayed on the screen. Defensive unity and team communication were vital to the effort.
"We had a solid defensive performance, every player contributed despite many of them being in new positions," explained head coach Kim Schmitkons. "Our goal was to step to every ball and limit their shots," she added.
Holding the Lady Knights to 14 shots on goal, the team accomplished their mission, and when a shot did get through, Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk, was there to grab 12 saves.
Also providing pressure was Emily Wolfe, anchoring the defensive line.
"Emily held the back line solidly for the whole 80 minutes. Her positioning cut off many of their through balls, and she was always ready to support the play," praised Schmitkons.
Shutting down the Knights offensive attacks was a strategic effort on the part of the Chargers, assigning Emma Moore to mark up on the Knights center striker in an effort to stifle their offensive game.
"Emma had a spectacular game. Her goal was to shut down their top scorer and primary distributor in the center. She was able to cut her out of the game completely in the first half, which really frustrated Harrisburg's whole team," noted Schmitkons.
In the second half, Katelyn Esbenshade stepped up to knock in a fifth Charger goal. Though the Knights started to wear on the Chargers, slipping in two goals in the final 15 minutes, it was not enough to overcome the Charger-controlled scenario.
With a small roster and combating injuries, the Lady Chargers have been forced to perform without substitutions. Teamwork and smart play become crucial when you do not have the luxury of extra breaks. With tactical coaching and perceptive game-time decisions, the Lady Chargers are making it work.
"We have repeatedly talked about creating options, we also had some good passing sequences to control the game. We had players moving off the ball and getting in the right places to be options for each other offensively and defensively," remarked Schmitkons.
In their second match of the week, the Chargers traveled to take on Lancaster Mennonite Hershey campus, and succeeded in an 8-0 victory.
Julia Martin racked up four goals and two assists in the attack. Ewing, Melissa Martin, and Olivia Yordy each netted a goal, and Charger keeper Hawryluk was giving the freedom to take a turn on the offensive end of the field and successfully tucked in a goal herself.
"We tried to focus on connecting passes and moving the ball around the field. We emphasized having players make themselves options to receive passes, and getting good touches on the ball," said Schmitkons.
This week's schedule includes three games in four days which will be another stamina test for the Lady Charger squad.
Monday night the Lady Chargers took the court against Lebanon High School and came up short in a close match decided in four sets (25-22, 17-25, 26-24, 25-23).
Both teams came out demonstrating hesitation, neither commanding the floor, and both giving up errors, but Lebanon snuck ahead at the end and captured the first set.
The second set showcased a rejuvenated Charger team playing with authority. Haley Witmer got the game rolling with a 4-0 service run, and the Chargers were headed for a set victory.
"The girls came out to really improve their play. There were fewer hitting errors, and they were definitely coming into their zone of better play," noted head coach Kate Ferrari.
The scoreboard read 22-16 in favor of the Chargers when Witmer dove for a dig, resulting in a knee injury. Ignoring the initial pain, Witmer remained composed and continued the volley, setting the ball for a kill.
Despite winning the point, the Chargers suffered the greater loss of Witmer having to leave the court. Now sitting at 23-16, the remainder of the squad kept things together for the 25-17 set win.
Being forced to continue without one of their role players, the Chargers had to reshape their strategy.
"Freshman Kara Locker stepped up in a big way to take on the job of setting. She did a really nice job transitioning into the position," commented Ferrari. "They were still shaken by the loss of their teammate and struggled to find a rhythm."
Both remaining sets were decided by a difference of only two points, but both sets fell in favor of Lebanon, despite the rallying efforts of the Chargers.
In her limited amount of play, Witmer provided 17 assists and 4 aces. Kelsey McMahon supplied 9 digs and 5 blocks, and Kami Mummau added 7 kills.
Friday night the team traveled to New Covenant to take on the Flames and after going down for the first set, the Chargers rallied to take the next three and claim the contest (20-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-8).
In the first set, the Lady Chargers struggled to settle into a fluid rhythm still missing Witmer from the lineup.
"With the lack of communication, we just couldn't get our offense going. We made a lot of unforced errors in serve and attacking," noted Ferrari.
Cleaning up their game for set two, the Chargers started to show their characteristic spark. Grace Hilsher provided a timely momentum shift during her service turn, dishing seven aces to help them claim their first set.
"With momentum behind us, we came out even stronger in the third set. We had improved in communication which helped our offense get into a groove," explained Ferrari.
Once again Hilsher came up big, firing eight aces in the set.
Gaining confidence, the Lady Chargers continued to excel into the final set of the match, this time integrating players into new roles and rising to the challenge.
"Brie Lehman had consistent net play and was able to score two kills for the team," praised Ferrari. "Consistency shown by all of them helped pull out a win for the set and overall."
Hilsher racked up a total of 23 aces in the contest, McMahon supplied 11 kills and 2 aces, Locker added 10 setter assists, and Molly Bert provided 4 digs.
Participating in one three-way match last week, the Charger golf squad may have lost the match, but showed individual improvement against opponents Schuylkill Valley and Annville-Cleona.
Schuylkill Valley walked away with the team win, shooting a collective 172, followed by Annville-Cleona's 189, and Mt. Calvary's 203.
Sam Firestone produced the lowest Charger count, firing a 46. Danny Smullen was close behind with a 48. Brothers Mike Lane and Scott Lane qualified for the team score as well, carding a 51 and 58 respectively.
"I encouraged the guys after our last practice that we need to minimize mistakes and avoid costly penalties," explained head coach Matt Owlett. "In our match, we were greatly improved, and most of our golfers shot their lowest tournament rounds of the year-I am very proud of my golfers," he concluded.
This week the Chargers will participate in a head-to-head match against Dayspring Christian on Tuesday at Four Seasons Golf Course.
The Chargers soccer club experienced a rough week, with a 2-0 loss on the road to Covenant Christian, followed by a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to New Covenant, and ending with a 5-1 loss to Fairfield High School on Saturday.
"We are continuing our work on playing smart and playing with heart," noted head coach Marc Myers. "These two aspects of our game need to improve from our Monday's match in order to compete for a playoff position."
Friday night the Chargers battled it out from coast to coast on the field of the New Covenant Flames. After over 70 minutes of traded possessions neither team had successfully completed an offensive attack and the game appeared to be headed into overtime.
With five minutes remaining, the Flames pushed a desperate effort up the field and took a long shot from outside the 18 managing to slip a goal past the Charger keeper to clinch the game.
"In our game against New Covenant, the team played much smarter by moving together up and down the field, creating chances while still playing tough defensively," encouraged Myers. "The boys showed they have the aggressiveness and heart to compete as they took the game down to the final minutes."
Saturday's contest against Fairfield got off to an encouraging start for the Chargers. After 12 minutes, Damian Rutt soared a corner kick inside the Fairfield box. The ball rattled around inside the box as players from both sides jostled for position. Sophomore Jack Hilsher got the job done and redirected the ball into the net for the first goal of the game.
Just before the half, a Fairfield striker finished a cross from the right side of the field to net the equalizer.
Though the teams started the second half on even ground, Fairfield went on a scoring surge and rapidly built a substantial lead and remained in control to clinch the 5-1 finish. Charger keeper, Ethan Niedwick had his hands full facing a barrage of 30 shots on goal, and came up with 25 saves.
The team will have two opportunities this week to reach for a better outcome, facing Harrisburg Christian and Covenant Christian.
Lady Charger Volleyball Blanks WS Bobcats September 18, 2017
Lady Charger volleyball grasped their first victory last week, putting their practice into action to overcome the West Shore Bobcats in three sets (25-6, 25-7, 29-27).
Taking the court with determination, the Lady Chargers jumped out to an early lead in their first set, led by veteran players Haley Witmer and Kelsey McMahon. Witmer and McMahon combined for 10 first set aces. The duo led the team in converting momentum into Charger points, capturing the first set by a dominate 19-point difference.
"The team seemed to really come together in their fundamentals, and were able to set up a more offensive play," head coach Kate Ferrari noted of the set.
The second set was all about the youngest Charger players. Freshman Rachel Green worked her way into the rotation and provided pivotal passes to set up offensive plays. Fellow freshmen, Kami Mummau and Kara Locker, jumped in on the action, slamming seven aces apiece over the net.
The Bobcats regrouped for a more competitive third set, improving their passing and offensive plays, but were unable to overcome the Chargers for a lead. Defensive play became a critical component for the Chargers with Grace Hilsher and Molly Bert anchoring the defensive efforts, digging the back line and covering their hitters.
"Errors in our attacks made it a close match, but they persevered and pulled out the win," praised Ferrari.
The young squad takes both encouragement and impetus from the win, hoping it will propel them into further achievement as they grow as a team.
"I have been emphasizing with the girls that they have only been playing together for a few weeks, and gelling as a team can take a little bit to get used to new players and new rotations," elaborated Ferrari. "On Monday, it was evident that the girls were really starting to gel and become more cohesive. They give their all in practice, and Coach Rutt and I have already seen the fruit of their labor," she added.
With mounting team confidence, the Chargers went on the road to take on the Christian School of York Crusaders, and came out on top once again in three sets (25-12, 25-7, 25-7).
The first set showed an exemplary Charger squad putting together all the components they have been seeking to improve; offensive completions, minimal errors, strong service, communication, and active substitution-to name a few highlights.
McMahon led the attack with three kills in the first game, and the team combined for 10 aces. Green and Yuri Takanashi worked together to demonstrate excellent communication and passing sequences.
In the second set, Witmer was a major contributor, picking up eight assists and seven aces. Quality serving was contagious, and Hilsher also pounded seven aces in the set.
Set three was more of the same, which in and of itself was an accomplishment in sustained intensity.
"We didn't let up in the third game, and came out with the same intensity from the previous two," noted Ferrari. "This is another area that they have shown improvement in-finishing off the match strong and not letting up," she summarized.
Mummau led in kills with five, and Witmer topped two categories with 14 assists and 10 aces. Molly Burt and McMahon had three digs apiece.
"I'm really proud of the girls. It's a privilege to be their coach and watch them develop as players," concluded Ferrari.
The Charger golf team was unable to lock in a win during their sole match last week, but they showed several positive areas of improvement in their head-to-head loss to Dayspring Christian.
Highlands of Donegal golf course and a balmy 75 degrees set the backdrop for the nine-hole competition, in which Dayspring combined for a team effort of 189 to outshoot the Chargers' collective 218.
Sam Firestone, the consistent front-runner for the Chargers all season, once again carded the best individual score with a 50. Not far behind, Danny Smullen and Scott Lane matched each other stroke-for-stroke, each firing a 54, and Mike Lane registered a 60.
Having a young team, and focusing on the theme of perseverance, head coach Matt Owlett is quick to point out the encouraging development of the team.
"Scott Lane continues to improve as the golf season progresses. I see improvement in each match and he is growing in confidence," noted Owlett. "I hope to see continued improvement for the whole team throughout the season."
After a slow start to their season due to weather postponements, the Charger boy's soccer team packed a lot of action into last week, competing in four games and splitting the results with two wins and two losses.
It only takes one goal to win and on Monday, the Chargers got it done in their 1-0 victory over West Shore Christian Academy.
Formidable defense and younger players stepping up to fill big roles were two of the components the Chargers coupled to sustain the shutout.
Freshman Damian Rutt stepped up in a big way, providing the lone goal of the contest. After battling up and down the field, Rutt seized possession of the ball well outside the Bobcats' 18, and before defenders could converge, Rutt launched a shot out of reach of the Bobcat keeper and into the net.
With only the slimmest of leads, it was vital that Charger keeper Ethan Niedwick hold his ground, and he rose to the challenge providing an impenetrable guard, collecting 12 saves while being supported by a cohesive defensive unit.
"We were well disciplined in keeping our defensive shape to minimize the amount of opportunities we gave West Shore. Our goalkeeper came up big when called upon inside the box to help keep the first clean sheet of the season," explained head coach Marc Myers.
The following night, the Chargers hosted the annual Agape Cup, a yearly event against the Lititz Christian Eagles in which the teams emphasize their common bond of faith in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, providing them a brotherhood that reaches beyond the field. The word Agape is a Greek word referring to love, the type of unconditional and sacrificial love that God demonstrates for us, His creation.
While focusing on the larger picture of being brothers in Christ, the teams strive to demonstrate that love and respect for each other while still bringing their best competition and skill to the match. This year's match ended 2-0 in favor of the Eagles.
"Being competitive and upholding Christian character are two things that work together. Unfortunately, there are many examples in sports where being competitive and Christ-like seem like opposites," elaborated Myers. "Hard work, playing with heart and desire, discipline, sacrifice, and teamwork are just some of the principles we try to instill in the team; striving to do it with a Christ-centered attitude," he concluded.
Thursday, the team took a trip to Christian School of York and prevailed in overtime 2-1.
A scoreless first half, characterized by messy possessions, provoked a renewed sense of urgency in the second half of play.
Haruto Saito was the first to break the goal line, as he powered the ball past the Crusader keeper to put the Chargers up by one. With only 19 minutes left to play, the Crusaders answered with the equalizer, forcing an overtime determination.
Knotted up at one apiece, the Chargers knew timing was vital as they took the ball down the outside of the field to set up their attack. Utilizing the space on the right sideline, the Chargers earned a corner kick, taken by freshman Damian Rutt.
Rutt's well-placed kick sailed into the Crusader goal box and found Charger forward, David Ellis who headed the ball past the Crusader keeper and secured the golden goal.
Saturday's contest against the Milton Hershey Spartans left the Chargers on the wrong side of a 4-1 final score.
The Spartans struck first, and held a 1-0 lead going into the second half. Though the Chargers were able to retaliate with a goal of their own, they allowed three additional Spartan goals that sealed the outcome of the contest.
The Chargers' single goal featured a familiar duo, as Rutt once again delivered an assist to Ellis who connected with a header into the net.
After a hectic early season schedule, the Lady Chargers soccer team had a few days breather before they took the field for back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, picking up both a win and a loss to put their current record at 4-1.
Friday, the team traveled to take on Lancaster County Christian and prevailed 1-0.
In a game with very little ground gained for much of the time, the Chargers pressed on with no reflection of their effort registering on the scoreboard until late in the second half.
"We challenged the girls to play stronger with the ball, communicate, and to not back down," explained assistant coach Kory Pruner.
Capitalizing on their only corner kick of the game, Naomi Ewing powered the ball to the perfect location inside the goal box, and Julia Martin was there to complete the play for the winning goal.
"We turned up the pressure, the girls kept it up, and when the opportunity came Naomi played a great ball and Julia finished it perfectly," summarized Pruner.
Back on the field a mere 16 hours later in a Saturday contest at Camp Hill, the Lady Chargers were force to swallow a difficult 8-0 loss.
"Playing Camp Hill on their own field was quite a challenge, especially with such a quick turnaround between games," noted head coach Kim Schmitkons. "The girls gave their best effort and we will keep pressing on to improve our game."
Looking ahead, the Lady Chargers will take on Harrisburg Christian and Lancaster Mennonite this week.
Lady Chargers Earn Three Easy Wins September 11, 2017
The Lady Chargers got out to an explosive start to their season, easily handling their first three competitive tests, notching a 9-2 victory in their home opener over Lebanon Catholic, before taking down New Covenant Christian 5-1, and closing the week with a shutout against High Point Baptist.
The initial first half against the Beavers was controlled entirely by the Chargers. Julia Martin was the first to score, rocketing an unassisted shot to the back of the net after only five minutes of play. Brittney Taylor connected next, with an assist from Naomi Ewing, followed by back-to-back goals from Olivia Yordy to give the Chargers a comfortable 4-0 lead before halftime.
Three minutes into the second half, the Chargers stretched that lead with a second goal from Martin.
The Beavers regrouped and collected some momentum, responding with a goal of their own, but the Charger resurgence was too great as Emma Moore retaliated, adding another tally to the Charger scoreboard.
Three additional Charger shots broke the goal line before a desperate final push from the Beavers allowed them to slip in their second goal seven minutes before the final buzzer.
Martin and Taylor each finished with a hat trick of goals, and Martin and Ewing collected two assists apiece.
Despite the majority of game play occurring at the opposite end of the field, Charger keeper Leah Hawryluk, held her ground with 13 saves, stifling the Beavers offensive attempts.
This year, the Lady Chargers are taking their inspiration from First Corinthians 12, applying the concept of the whole team being one body in Christ, but each individual having a unique role. Head coach Kim Schmitkons elaborated on how the girls put that into practice during their first victory.
"The girls came out with a team mentality and did a great job of working together to get a lot of chances in front of the goal," explained Schmitkons. "Once we got the ball in the 18, they were persistent in following up shots and deflections until the ball was in the net," she added.
Last Thursday, the squad hosted the New Covenant Flames and initially the teams played a back and forth possession battle keeping the score close as Martin tucked in a single unanswered goal for the Chargers before the half.
"We talked at halftime about needing to play with urgency and supporting each other in the play," pointed out Schmitkons.
Less than a minute into the second half, Ewing powered a shot into the back of the net to put the Chargers up by two, but the Flames were not defeated yet. Responding with a goal of their own, followed closely by a penalty call in the Charger box, the Flames had the opportunity to tie the score at two.
The high-pressure PK sailed just wide, but ricocheted off the post, allowing for a second chance. A Flames striker reacted and propelled the ball into the net, but was called offside, voiding the goal.
From that point, the Lady Chargers gained the impetus to pull away. Martin, Ewing, and Yordy secured the three additional Charger goals.
"After some good plays from Leah in goal, and almost getting two goals against us, the girls found the fire they needed to pull out the win," summarized Schmitkons.
The Lady Chargers capped their week with a 6-0 home field triumph over the High Point Baptist Eagles.
Controlling the ball for the majority of minutes, the Chargers attacked the Eagles with a barrage of shots on goal, outshooting the visitors 35-6, and well-rounded scoring made the victory that much sweeter. Martin accounted for two goals, while Ewing, Moore, Taegan Akers, and Taylor each registered a goal and an assist.
Hawryluk and Ambria Good shared goalkeeper duties in the shutout with Hawryluk snatching up five saves and Good grabbing one.
The recent tumultuous weather delayed the Charger boys soccer season from getting underway until this past Friday where they headed to the field of the Lancaster County Christian Lions and suffered a 2-0 defeat.
The majority of the first half the Chargers held strong on the defensive end, keeping a unified formation. Charger keeper Ethan Niedwick collected seven first half saves to limit the Lions' scoring opportunities.
Just before the half, a Lions striker sunk a shot into the Charger net, and then quickly struck again with a consecutive goal less than two minutes before the halftime break.
In the second half, Mt. Calvary pushed to go on the offensive, but came up short of a goal.
"We were able to create a few quality chances without giving up another goal," noted head coach Marc Myers. "We played smart on the defensive side of the field, and the team can feel proud of their work ethic on the field," he encouraged.
Lady Charger volleyball was forced to face disappointment yet remain unified after back-to-back losses to start their 2017 season.
Getting underway on the road, the Lady Chargers traveled to take on Linville Hill, and suffered a 3-0 defeat, just barely falling short in each set 25-23, 25-21, 25-22.
The young Charger roster, holding only two seniors, took the court timidly, falling behind in the early minutes, but rallied themselves and showed their tenacity, pulling the score within two in the middle of the first set. The presence of the two seniors, Kelsey McMahon and Carley Herndon, was noticeable at the net as the two provided crucial blocks to build Charger momentum.
Despite being unable to overcome the Linville in the first set, the Lady Chargers entered the second set with increased confidence giving them the advantage in several preliminary rallies. Sophomore Grace Hilsher stepped up the pressure and delivered two kills, but Linville pounced on a series of passing errors to recapture control and take the set.
Though the third set told a similar story, it was not without Charger highlights. This time, Haley Witmer took her turn leading the team on a surge with three aces in her first rotation, putting the Chargers up 5-0. Once again, errors proved to be a factor and opened the door for Linville to regain command of the set and end the match.
"The girls fought hard each set, keeping in mind our theme to 'press on', and our theme verse from Philippians 3:14, 'I will press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus'," pointed out head coach Kate Ferrari. "We have a lot of season ahead of us, and our Lady chargers will press on,"
Hilsher and Kami Mummau led the team in kills with two apiece, McMahon had four blocks, and Witmer provided four aces along with four setter assists.
The Lady Chargers second match was held at home against the Covenant Christian Falcons, and ended similarly 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-5).
Having gained experience from their first match, the Lady Chargers came out strong in set one, displaying better transitional defense and team unity.
"Passing was stronger this week, but we struggled to get the kill," noted Ferrari.
Hitting errors proved to be the demise of the second set, keeping the Lady Chargers playing catchup throughout the set.
"Molly Bert and Grace Hilsher did a fantastic job of defending the back line. Haley Witmer had several good reads off the offense, covering tips made towards center court," noted Ferrari.
Despite these efforts, the Chargers struggled to string together enough momentum to claim a set.
Mummau led the way with 6 kills, 1 block, 2 aces, and 4 setter assists. Witmer and Kara Locker each supplied a pair of aces.
"We're proud of the girls and the efforts they give day in and day out. The hard work in practice was evident in their defensive transitioning," encouraged Ferrari. "The team has foundational skills that can really be built upon as the season continues."
Mt. Calvary golf experienced a rough start to their 2017 season, placing fourth in their first golf match at Lykens Valley Golf Course followed by a loss to Dayspring Christian.
In the four-way match, the Charger squad shot a collective total of 461, falling short of Shikellamy, 361; Millersburg, 362; and Pine Grove, 393.
Despite their disappointment, the Charger team encouraged each other and learned from the event. Sam Firestone led the Charger team carding a 106. Other qualifying scores included Danny Smullen with 110, and brothers Mike and Scott Lane registering a 122 and 123 respectively.
"It is very easy to give up when you are not playing well, and walking 18 holes is not an easy thing to do," commented head coach Matt Owlett. "Each player did their best and persevered to finish their respective rounds."
The golf squad is also pulling their team theme from Philippians and talked about the importance of perseverance. Though the biblical concept of pressing on is referring to spiritual life concepts, Owlett hopes to use the game of golf to assist his team in learning to apply this concept to all aspects of life.
"Golf certainly teaches the value of pressing on to the very end even when it would be easy to quit," Owlett encouraged.
Facing their second test last Tuesday, the Chargers were forced to play half of their head-to-head match against Dayspring Christian before postponing the remainder of play due to impending storms. The teams resumed their contest on Thursday, and the Chargers fell 437 to Dayspring's 389.
This time Smullen led with 104, with Firestone just a stroke behind with a 105. M. Lane carded a 110 and S. Lane a 118 to complete the top four.
"We showed great improvement in this match, especially driving the ball," commented Owlett. "Because we avoided penalty strokes, every golfer scored better, and I hope to see continued improvement throughout the season," he added.
Chargers Cap Season With Three Game Week May 15, 2017
"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up." - Babe Ruth
With a collective effort to finish strong, the Mt. Calvary Chargers concluded their baseball season with a three-game week of mixed results. They started their week on the wrong end of a shutout, before reversing roles to claim a shutout victory of their own, and finally succumbed to a one-run loss in their closing contest.
Monday night, the Chargers hosted the High Point Baptist Eagles, and initially displayed a united defense, holding the Eagles to only a run in the first, but it was during an explosive third inning that the Eagles went on a nine-run scoring blitz and never looked back, running up the score 25-0.
"As a team we knew, coming off of a busy week with limited pitching options, that this game was going to be difficult," acknowledge head coach Jim Sintic. "High Point's depth and seniority showed as they handed us our worst defeat of the season. I encouraged my team after the game that tomorrow is a new day and we needed to be ready to play hard."
Despite the lopsided scoreboard, the Chargers collected themselves and honored their senior players after the contest. Seniors Jared Landis, Stephen Leed, Noah Hoffman, and Jack Lachance each added a unique dynamic to the club and will be missed both on and off the field.
Landis, a team captain has played for the team for four years. He added experience in several positions and developed into a leader on and off the field. Over his four-year career, he collected 61 hits and had an average of .374. He excelled at every new challenge.
Leed, also a four-year player, earned his spot as a team captain with marked improvement both offensively and defensively. He had a batting average of .270 and constantly put pressure on opposing pitchers by making contact and rarely striking out.
Hoffman played the game with an aggressive nature and showed the underclassmen how to work hard both in games and practice. He developed into a solid outfielder and hitter.
Lachance, a late-year addition, immediately boosted the team morale and was a notable encouragement to the team. Known for his hard work and good attitude, Lachance was willing to fill in anywhere he was needed and led through positive example.
Tuesday night the team took a trip to Harrisburg Christian to take on the Knights, and found a perfect balance connecting their offensive and defensive game, and were rewarded with a 15-0 triumph.
Though the team has had previous competitions with offensive highs and defensive improvement, they have at times struggled to excel at both simultaneously. That was not the case in Tuesday's match as they demonstrated confidence and secured a well-rounded victory.
"We never let up offensively and never let ourselves down defensively. This is the type of game we were working towards, and we can build off of for next season," encouraged Sintic.
Taiji Fukasawa claimed the win from the mound, throwing consistent strikes, and forcing the Knights to swing the bat. When the Knights managed to connect with the ball, Charger defense was ready and waiting to make the necessary plays to maintain a shutout.
Fukasawa threw four innings, striking out one, and gave up zero runs, zero walks, and only three hits.
Freshman Chip Stambaugh was a key part of the defensive effort, having a standout performance with two game-altering catches in right field to neutralize Knight offensive threats.
At the plate, young players displayed their up-and-coming potential to lead the team. Freshman, Dakota Lamb paved the way for the Chargers, driving in three runs with three hits, including two doubles. Tyler Masters, a sophomore, also went three-for-three and collected three RBIs.
Leed, Landis, and David Ellis each collected two hits in the effort. Lachance and Nathan Lerro each supplied one hit to bring the team total to 14.
"We felt great about our efforts. I was so encouraged by the way we came out and played hard after a difficult defeat," praised Sintic.
Thursday night, dodging rain showers, the Chargers squeezed in their final contest at the Christian School of York Crusaders. Despite holding the early lead and battling through the entirety of the duel, the Chargers slipped to a 5-4 defeat.
The Chargers got off to a strong start, capturing the early lead in the first as Fukasawa reached on a walk and advanced around the bases with heads up base running, and scored the first run on a ground out.
In the third, the Chargers went up 2-0, once again Fukasawa reached on a walk and this time was driven home by a double from Masters.
The Crusaders pushed their first runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to tie the game at two apiece. Both teams produced another run in the fifth to keep the score even at 3-3 heading into the sixth. The bottom of the sixth proved to be the decisive half inning as the Crusaders collected two additional runs.
In the seventh, the Chargers had a last chance to claim the contest as they loaded the bases and earned an additional run. With the tying run a mere 90 feet away from home, the Crusader defense closed the match on a ground out leaving the Charger runners stranded.
Master's once again proved to be an offensive force, collecting all four of the Charger RBIs.
Landis started the game on the mound, giving up three runs, three hits, and striking out seven during four plus innings of work. Fukasawa pitched in relief and was saddled with the loss after surrendering three hits, two runs, and zero walks in an inning.
"I was proud of the way we held our composure and showed a positive attitude even when circumstances weren't going our way," noted Sintic.
The Chargers wrapped up their 2017 season with a record of 4-11.
"I am very thankful for this team and the hard work they demonstrated. We had our ups and downs, but I am proud of the effort we gave this season," elaborated Sintic. "We had goals at the beginning of the season, our main one being to improve individually and as a team. We achieved that goal further than I could have imagined," he added.
"We are also thankful for the opportunity God gave us to play relatively injury-free this season," continued Sintic. "As a team, we focused on the blessing of getting to participate in this game daily. We will miss our senior players, but look forward to continuing to improve and future success for the program."
Chargers Notch Back-to-back Victories May 8, 2017
Finally getting to see the payoff from all their hard work, the Mt. Calvary baseball club started out last week with a loss on the road, but wrapped up the week with back-to-back victories.
Monday, the team traveled to Millersburg High School and played an aggressive seven innings. Though ultimately falling 11-2, they managed to walk away with offensive highlights, but once again defensive errors proved to be their nemesis.
Starting out strong, captain Jared Landis got on base in the first reaching on an error. Tyler Masters drove a double into left center field, to put them both into scoring position, but they were left stranded as the team was unable to produce another hit to drive them in.
Stephen Leed got things going from the mound, and led the team in a clean first inning. Though a Millersburg batter reached base on a single, Charger catcher Dakota Lamb showed off his defensive skills, throwing out the runner as he attempted to steal second. Confidence was contagious and the Chargers quickly put away the next two batters to close the inning.
During the second inning, the Millersburg team began to exploit defensive weaknesses and put together a three-hit inning coupled with two fielding errors to build a 5-0 lead.
Millersburg collected an additional two runs in the third to extend their lead to seven.
"Millersburg is a tough team. They're well coached and have a lot of experienced baseball players," acknowledged head coach Jim Sintic. "They did a good job of capitalizing on every mistake we made."
True to their style, the Chargers did not go down without a fight, building momentum in the sixth, kick-started by a patient at bat by Haruto Saito drawing a walk. Masters once again played his roll notching a single, followed by a single from Lamb plating the first Charger run. Leed followed suit with an additional RBI single to give the Chargers another boost.
Despite their sixth-inning surge, the Chargers were unable to close the gap for a comeback.
"Defensive errors led to a score that was more lopsided than it could have been," reiterated Sintic. "We know what we need to do."
Twenty-four hours later, the Chargers hosted the Harrisburg Christian Knights at In The Net, and battled to a 3-2 triumph.
Pitching was the name of the game for both ball clubs, as the starting pitchers combined for a total of 23 strikeouts and only three walks.
On the mound for the Chargers was Taiji Fukasawa who pitched a gem sending all but three hitters off with strikes throughout his innings.
"Taiji put pressure on their hitters to make contact, and threw a large volume of strikes. It was exactly what we needed," commented Sintic.
With Fukasawa's defensive performance of 12 strikeouts and only one walk, the Chargers needed to accomplish their offensive goals to pull off the win.
The Chargers may have only had three hits on the night, a single supplied by Masters and two doubles from Leed, but they made each of them count. Master's single came in the first inning, driving in the first Charger run, directly followed by an RBI double from Leed to give the Chargers the early 2-0 lead.
The Knights were initially quiet until they retaliated with two runs of their own in the fourth. Keeping their composure, the Chargers worked around their mistakes and did not allow the Knights to do any further damage.
During the sixth, Leed stepped up for his second double of the night, a rocket into left field, driving in the go ahead run.
Entering the seventh, knowing the game was far from over, the Chargers needed to keep their defensive efforts clean, which has at times been a costly struggle for the club.
Leed continued contributing with an excellent stop at first finished by Fukasawa covering the base for the first out of the inning. Fukasawa followed that play by striking out the next batter swinging. The final out of the game was snagged by Jack Lachance with a running catch in left field.
Wednesday, the Chargers played for the third straight day, this time at the home of the Conestoga Christian Cougars, a team that had previously beaten 9-3. This time the tables were turned, and the improved Charger squad secured a 9-7 victory.
"We started the game exactly how we wanted to-putting pressure on our opponents," noted Sintic. "Our base running made the difference," he added.
A wild first inning including three stolen bases, three walks, and two runs scored on errors gave the Chargers a 2-0 advantage early on. The Cougars responded with a run in the bottom half, keeping in contention.
The second inning was a game changer for the Chargers as they collected four runs to put them up 6-1. Chip Stambaugh and Saito each displayed patience reaching on walks and then advancing to scoring position through heads up base running.
Landis and Masters ignited the Charger offense with back-to-back triples propelling the runs across the plate and increasing team confidence.
The Cougars responded in kind, as they came up with a big third inning to bring the score back within a run, 6-5.
Landis controlled the mound for the Chargers, and remained unruffled throughout the Cougar resurgence, effectively striking out the side to stifle the comeback threat.
In the fourth, the Cougars again gained momentum with two more runs crossing the plate, enough to capture the lead for the first time of the contest, 7-6.
"I told my team that they needed to dig deep and show that they wanted it more than the other team. That's exactly what they did from the fourth inning on," praised Sintic.
Leed produced a pivotal at bat in the fifth, reaching on a dropped third strike, advancing around the bases on wild pitches, and scoring on a passed ball to knot the score at 7-7.
Charger improvement on defense sealed the Cougars' fate over the final three innings. Producing a clean fifth and sixth, the Chargers only allowed one Cougar runner to reach base over the course of both innings.
Three consecutive hits in the sixth, supplied by Saito, Fukasawa, and a two RBI single from Landis, was enough to recapture the lead 8-7. Lamb suppled an insurance run on a fielder's choice scoring Fukasawa to finalize the score, 9-7.
The seventh inning displayed a confident Charger team playing together and avoiding defensive mistakes. Masters made a great stop at third base to throw a runner out at first. Charger catcher Lamb, made an explosive throw to catch a runner attempting to steal third, and Landis finished the game on a strikeout.
"I told Jared [Landis] in the fifth that this is his senior year, and probably one of his last outings as a pitcher. We needed him to dig deep and he did just that. I was extremely proud of his performance," elaborated Sintic.
Landis was awarded the win, pitching all seven innings, striking out 13, and only allowing three walks. Landis also led the team in hits, going 2-for-3 at the plate.
"It's been exciting to see my players grow in their skill, but even more than that, grow spiritually as young men. When you have to deal with disappointment in athletics it causes you to appreciate your teammates and grow closer through those times," summarized Sintic.
Following these back-to-back wins, a rejuvenated Charger team enters the final week of the regular season schedule with a record of 3-9.
Chargers Battle But Drop Two One-Run Games May 1, 2017
In a game where a split second can mean the difference between winning and losing, the Charger baseball club experienced two heartbreaking losses last week. They battled hard but ultimately lost both contests by the slimmest margin, a single run.
Thursday the team traveled to Antietam High School to take on the Mountaineers.
Antietam got out to an early lead, putting the Chargers down by five in the first inning, and followed up with an additional two runs in the third, placing the Chargers at a seven-run disadvantage heading into the top of the fourth.
Taiji Fukasawa got the start for the Chargers, pitching well, but unfortunate fielding errors were responsible for the Mountaineers' onslaught of runs.
"Our defense struggled, giving up three errors in the first. Our body language and demeanor was not what I have come to expect from this team," explained head coach Jim Sintic. "I challenged them after the third, and they responded in a big way."
Mustering the tenacity to fight back, Tyler Masters led off in the top of the fourth with a single. Jared Landis stood his ground and got on base after being hit by a wild pitch. Dakota Lamb displayed patience at bat, earning himself a base on balls.
With bases loaded and no outs, the Chargers saw their first opportunity for an offensive surge, this time with Stephen Leed up to bat. Leed was also hit by a pitch, gaining a base and sending in the first Charger run of the contest.
"After that, the Antietam pitchers struggled to find the strike zone and our hitters showed great patience," commended Sintic.
Scott Lane and David Ellis drew additional walks while the bases remained loaded to bump the Chargers' run tally to three.
After making a pitching substitution, the Mountaineer relief managed to strike out two Charger batters before Fukasawa stepped up to the plate and sliced a RBI single, bringing the score to 7-4 before a third strike out closed the Charger at bat.
The Mountaineers responded during their offensive turn, now facing Charger relief pitcher Landis, and collected two more runs to reaffirm their lead 9-4.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the Chargers produced an explosive sixth inning to capture a temporary lead.
Freshman Jonah Rutt demonstrated a discerning eye, drawing a walk, followed by Fukasawa seeing a similar scenario and also reaching on walk. Once again, Masters came up with a single when it mattered, loading the bases for Landis to hit in a run.
With great patience, the Chargers collected the next three runs off two walk-ins and an error, tying the ballgame at nine.
Fukasawa, a presence of consistency, singled to drive in the go ahead run, before the completion of the inning, giving the Chargers the lead, 10-9.
The Mountaineers retaliated with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth, knotting the game at ten. After a quiet top of the seventh in which the Chargers were unable to cross the plate, it was once again the Mountaineers who were able to connect. With two outs and a runner on second, a hard-hit line drive to center that was not secured was the catalyst that sent the final run in for the Mountaineers and produced the walk off win.
"Our determination and heart was evident. We didn't give up and I was proud of our effort. We learned a lot about ourselves through this up and down game," concluded Sintic.
Fukasawa led the day at the plate, going three-for-four including two RBIs, he also pitched three innings striking out one and walking zero. Though he gave up seven runs only three were earned.
Masters took the loss after his one and two-thirds innings of work, allowing two hits, one run, and zero walks. Master also performed well at the plate gathering two hits and two runs.
Leed picked up a pair of strikeouts while throwing one inning of relief.
Landis collected a hit, a walk, a run, and a RBI during his three at bats, and Lamb put the Mountaineer pitchers to work, drawing four walks.
Twenty-four hours later, the Chargers experienced another nail-biting finish again determined by a single run; this time a gut-wrenching 19-18 loss to the Lancaster County Christian Lions.
In a similar fashion to the day before, the Chargers got out to a rough start, once again falling behind by five after an inning.
Quick to recover, the Chargers fired back in the second with their finest inning, collecting seven runs and capturing the lead. The explosive inning came as a result of four walked batters, one hit batter, a single from Landis, and two doubles supplied by Masters and Lamb.
The subsequent inning saw another six Charger runs cross the plate, propelling them ahead 13-6. Landis highlighted the impressive inning with a towering two run home run.
Unfortunately, the Lions weren't finished either, and responded in kind with 11 runs scored over the fourth and fifth.
"We never panicked or got down ourselves. We showed great resilience in the second," explained Sintic. "Defense was our downfall in this one, as we committed a season-high eight errors in the field, giving the Lions multiple opportunities to score runs each inning."
During the fifth, the Chargers picked up three additional runs with a double from Jack Lachance and bases loaded walks from sophomores Nathan Lerro and Ethan Niedwick.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lions recaptured the lead, and followed that by scoring off an error and a home run in the sixth to give them a 19-16 advantage as they entered the final inning.
Down by three, with two outs in their last at bat, the Chargers were keenly aware that they had reached their final opportunity. Lerro reached on a walk, Matt Kruschinsky was hit by a pitch, and freshmen Chip Stambaugh loaded the bases on a walk.
Now at the top of the order, with two outs and bases loaded, Fukasawa once again got it done with a clutch two RBI single. With the tying run just 90 feet away, the Lions third baseman made a fine play and secured the final out, dashing the Charger comeback and concluding the contest.
Landis and Lachance shared the pitching load over the course of the contest. Landis struck out six while walking one. Lachance struck out five and surrendered one walk.
"Both our pitchers did their part, pitching to contact. Unfortunately, our defense was not able to back them up," noted Sintic. "Offensively, it was a different story. We put pressure on the Lions throughout the game. We're a young team and we continued to fight and didn't give up, which is all you can ask for as a coach."
This week, the Chargers will have their stamina tested as they cram four games into a weeks' time with the season's busy schedule and weather postponements colliding for a hectic calendar. Tuesday marks their sole home contest of the week.
Mt. Calvary Falls Short Against CC Cougars April 24, 2017
"I take positives out of negatives all the time." - David Wright, Mets third baseman
With only one game last week, the Chargers stepped onto their home field hoping to secure a victory, but were disappointed as they fell 9-3 at the bats of the Conestoga Christian Cougars.
The first two innings displayed two well-matched ball clubs testing their opponents with no adjustment made to the scoreboard.
Taiji Fukasawa got off to a strong start on the mound for the Chargers, striking out three batters in his first two innings of work. The Cougars retaliated with precise pitching as well causing both teams to jostle for control of the contest.
Unfortunately, the Cougars were the first to crack the opposition's defense, coming up with a big third inning, filing in four runs, and never relinquishing the lead.
Timing and stranded runners told the tale of the day, as the Chargers sparked two separate rallies allowing them to load the bases, but were unable to drive enough runs home to shrink their deficit.
Jared Landis kick started offensive momentum in the fourth with a line drive single. Landis bided his time on base, advancing around with heads up base running, and capitalized on a Cougar fielding error to cross the plate for the first Charger run.
Stephen Leed, who reached on the error, also took a full turn around the bases, scoring on a ground out by Jack Lachance. David Ellis reached on a walk, but was left stranded as the Cougars regrouped for a ground out to end the inning.
The fifth inning brought another slew of Cougar runs, allowing them to extend their lead 9-2. On the flip side of the inning, Fukasawa applied pressure with a single and aggressive base running. Dakota Lamb reached on a walk, and Landis had another successful at bat with a single, but despite their effort the Cougar's consistent defense allowed them register three outs before the Chargers could push a runner cross the plate.
Landis, pitching in relief, threw a solid top of the sixth, striking out two and picking off a runner at second to keep the Charger hope alive.
With opportunities dwindling, the Chargers produced a final spurt of energy in the sixth. Facing two outs, with runners on first and second due to walks, Fukasawa again produced a single, loading the bases.
Tyler Masters sliced a ground ball to the shortstop and reached on an error, driving Jonah Rutt across the plate for the third Charger run. Despite the pressure, the Cougar pitcher remained composed and managed to strike out the last Charger batter and squelch the rally.
"Our guys never quit. We just couldn't break through," commented head coach Jim Sintic.
Fukasawa was tagged with the loss after three innings of work, collecting three strikeouts and allowing four earned runs. Landis tossed four innings, picking up six strikeouts and scattering five hits and five runs.
Landis had a strong showing at the plate, going three for four and supplying a run. Fukasawa collected two hits, and Jack Lachance produced an RBI.
"We learn more about ourselves each game. It's easy to have fun when you're winning, but you learn a lot more when you lose," acknowledged Sintic. "We'll continue to grow and work as a team. There's a lot of baseball left for us to play," he added.
Moving forward, the Charger schedule will give them ample opportunity to display improvement as they hope to balance out their current 1-6 record. Heading into a stretch of games on the road, this week will hold three contests, starting with a rematch against the Conestoga Christian Cougars on Tuesday, this time on the Cougars' home turf.