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Young Tide Matmen Working to Improve

The Young and the Restless is a popular soap opera and can also be used to describe the 2018-19 winter sports season on the hill. Young as in all three sports combined have just one senior, and both restless and competitive in how they play.

There are also a couple of new coaches on the hill and new teams to face.

Here is your weekly Merchandiser sports recap for the winter season at Columbia High School.

WRESTLING

Jordon Halter and Nathan Warner are the new co-coaches for the Tide in wrestling. Both are former Crimson Tide wrestlers and members of the 100 win club. Unlike last year when Columbia had just one wrestler, Halter and Warner have six wrestlers, so yes, forfeits and inexperience will be an issue but not the effort on the mat.

"We are young and inexperienced but we are working hard to get better," Halter said after a recent match.

In their recent matches, the matmen were beaten by Eastern York, 54-24 and Section 3 rival Lancaster Catholic.

Against Catholic, a 48-24 loss, three wrestlers Breanna Murphy, Jaden Moore and Alex Vazquez picked up their first wins of the season while Michaelangelo Stewart continued his dominance with a pin.

The interesting note about the Catholic match is some of the athletes wrestling for the opposition were instrumental parts of the Columbia midget program and are underclassmen at Catholic.

Those wrestlers, who won by forfeit, were Mason McClair, Caden Droege, Jake Hank and Andrew Reese.

In other dual meets, the Tide was beaten by Pequea Valley, 54-16 as Stewart, Derek Nell and Michael Alvardo picked up wins. Next up, another league match with Section 3 newcomer Octorara, which the Braves won 69-3. Stewart was the lone winner. Columbia, forfeiting up to six weight classes, also lost to Section 3 heavyweight Northern Lebanon, 72-6.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

Speaking of young, that describes coach Kerry Glover's boys' basketball team. There are no seniors on the team and the starting five is composed of one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen.

And despite the youth, the Tide got their signature win of the three years ' Glover has been Columbia's coach by beating Lancaster Mennonite, 74-63. In that one, the first half was the difference as the Tide, playing inspired basketball, jumped out to a 44-28 lead after falling behind by 10 points early.

"We are starting to figure things out and understand how I want to play the game," Glover said.

Sophomore Michael Poole was the Tide's top gun with 16 followed by Kerry Glover with 12 and Matt McCleary with 15.

Unfortunately, the momentum did last for the young squad as Columbia dropped a 64-46 result in their next game against Annville Cleona, a team they beat earlier in the season in their Section 5 opener, 50-47. McCleary had 13 in the loss, while Poole had 19 in the win.

The Tide boys have been in two tournaments this year - the Northeastern Tournament to open the season, losing to the host Bobcats in the season opener, 65-51 and to Eastern York, 65-45.

Still on the road, they defeated Schuylkill Valley, 67-59.

In the home opener, Lancaster Catholic, the Tide's former Section 4 rival, was the opponent and the talented Crusaders finished on top, 65-42.

With the non-league, early games out of the picture, the Tide opened Section 5 play with the dramatic three-point win over Annville-Cleona.

Next up Lebanon Catholic and an easy 61-43 win, which was followed by an 89-49 drubbing of Pequea Valley. Over the holidays, Columbia traveled to Hanover for their second tournament where they split games losing to Camp Hill, 76-61 and beating Hanover, 44-36.

Columbia is 4-2 in the new Section 5 of the L-L League but has a tough non-league schedule remaining. Since Section 5 teams play 10 league games, coach Glover and his team have big non-league games with Trinity, Berks Catholic and Eastern York coming up.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

The team with the lone senior player is the girls' basketball team and she is a good one in Janeah Neal, who is over 1,100 points for her career. She will have to carry the load for the Tide this season as freshmen starters Morgan Bigler and MacKenzie Burke mature.

Last week, the Tide split games with Annville-Cleona and Linden Hall, probably one of the best teams they will play this season.

On the home floor, Columbia scored its second win of the season over A-C by a 42-30 score with Neal, Bigler and Burke in double figures.

"We needed that win," said coach Karl Kreiser.

The night before, the Tide was beaten by Linden Hall, 67-32. They were outscored in the third quarter, 27-4.

"We made a lot of mistakes against their press," Kreiser said.

Columbia opened the season splitting games in their own tournament, beating Schuylkill Valley in the opener before falling to an aggressive Big Spring Club in the championship game.

In their final pre-season game, they lost to Donegal.

Columbia then opened league play with a win over Annville-Cleona and followed that with a loss to league newcomer Lancaster Country Day.

Columbia got its second Section 5 win when they beat Lebanon Catholic for the first time in a number of years before returning home for a Section 5 loss to pre-season favorite Pequea Valley, 72-57.

Over the holidays, it was a split of games at the Northeastern Tournament losing to the hosts, 68-54 and beating West Perry, 59-48.

Their first league game of the new year was against Lancaster Mennonite and that was a 65-46 loss.

BOWLING

At 19-23 in league play, the Tide bowling team is doing well.

Last week, they lost to Garden Spot by a 7-0 score as Shane Kinser, the team's top bowler rolled a 540 with a high game of 191.

They also narrowly lost to Cocalico by a 2984-2893 score as Kinser rolled a 500 series, followed by Javon Jackson (418), Amy Reigle (411) and Blake Helton (404).

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