Memories of ’88

By on June 15, 2011

Todd Ruth

Ephrata Review

Sports Editor It seems like so long ago now, but the ride the Manheim Central girls softball team brings up many memories of the State title run by the Ephrata girls in 1988.

Still one of the biggest highlights ever in my 24 years here, I can remember the feeling of hometown pride as the girls blew out State College 9-0 in the finals that day in Shippensburg.

It seems funny but I knew they were going to win that day. You just had that feeling that once they got by a tough Dallas team in the quarterfinals, and then knocked off old nemesis Cedar Crest in the semis, the gold was theirs to win.

Who could forget the team riding back into town on firetrucks, or the great support that team had led by superfans, Brownie and Bots, who are both now gone.

Wow, what great memories. And now the Barons get a chance to make their own. The funny thing about this team is no one expected this late-season run after the team started the season at 4-3.

But somehow they got it together and now are on an amazing 22-1 run with their lone loss coming in a tight defeat at the hands of Donegal in the L-L finals. That seems many moons ago and they now find themselves one win away from a State championship.

It seems fitting that Manheim Central gets to end the school year with a smile on its face after what it’s been through this year, tragically losing five football players to car accidents.

Here’s hoping they get it done…Good luck, Manheim!

Going out with a bang: Here’s a pretty neat story unfolding as we speak…Reading Central Catholic, which closed its doors for good a week ago (it is merging with Holy Name to form Berks Catholic in the fall), has become the unlikeliest of State finalists in baseball.

The Cardinals (11-13), who lost their first seven games of the year and 12 of their first 14, advanced to the title game for the first time in school history Monday night with an 8-4 victory over Muncy in the Class A semifinals.

RCC, which defeated Lancaster Country Day in the District Three finals two weeks ago, will play Serra Catholic for the State crown Friday at 10:30 a.m. at Penn State’s Medlar Field.

What a Cinderella story this would be if the Cardinals prevail. Here’s hoping they do it and cap what has been a pretty nice sports ride at that school over the past few decades.

Lebanon Catholic/A-C: Read recently in the Lebanon Daily News that Lebanon Catholic and archrival Annville-Cleona have agreed to a co-op arrangement in football for the upcoming season.

What it means is any Lebanon Catholic student interested in playing football this fall may do so as a member of A-C’s team. Lebanon Catholic, which was a Class A power when current Ephrata Athletic Director Tommy Long was there breaking records in the 90s, elected to drop football after the 2000 season.

It’s actually a really a good thing for both schools. LC’s kids now have an opportunity to play the sport, and Annville-Cleona will be able to add some depth to its roster.

What are the odds?: The Phillies should offer some sort of discount to fans who get "Kendricked." I mean really?

Nothing against fifth starter Kyle Kendrick, but for those of us who attend just a few games a year, we really want to see one of the Big Four pitch.

Give me Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt or Lee. Period.

I guess we are kind of spoiled. Seems like so long ago the options were Vincente Padilla, Joe Roa, Andy Ashby or Robert Person, to name some of the illustrious few. My have things changed.

But that doesn’t take away the disappointment of getting so excited to attend a Phillies game with the potential to see something extraordinary, and Kendrick trots to the hill.

Last year, I probably went to five games throughout the year and saw Joe Blanton pitch three times and the other two times Jamie Moyer was on the mound. My luck.

I say, give me one of the Big Four, or at least throw in a free cheese steak for my disappointment. Better yet, free Tums for the first 25,000 through the gates. More RUTH, page B-2

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