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Sports Editor The Lancaster-Lebanon League, and Section One in particular, flexed its muscles in the recently completed high school field hockey season which culminated Saturday with Hempfield beating Warwick 2-1 in overtime in the State AAA title game.
All year long, Lower Dauphin and Emmaus were the prohibitive favorites to be playing Saturday, but that all changed when Central Dauphin, a team Warwick handled 4-1 in the semifinals, knocked off LD in the quarters and Hempfield shocked Emmaus, 4-3 in the semis.
That set up Saturday’s All-LL showdown at Whitehall, the fourth game between the two teams this year. Warwick held a two games to one edge, but Hempfield saved its best for last, scoring with 23 seconds left in overtime to win its first State title in thrilling fashion.
How strong was Section One this season? Well, Penn Manor won the section title, Warwick captured the L-L League crown and Hempfield earned the big State prize. Not too shabby.
Section Two was strong as well with Cocalico winning another section crown before getting to within one win of another State berth. In addition to the Lady Eagles, Ephrata and L-S both made the League and District playoffs while Manheim Central, the fourth place team, made a deep run to the State semifinals in AA.
All in all, it was an outstanding year locally, Great job girls!
Taking a quick peak at next year, Section Two should be even stronger top to bottom due to re-alignment. E-town will be coming down to Two while a struggling Lebanon program will be headed to Section Three.
While the L-L was dominant in field hockey, Lancaster Mennonite represented well in boys soccer. The Blazers captured their first State AA crown with a 2-1 victory over Tulpehocken this past week.
I didn’t see a ton of soccer this year, but Mennonite was the one team that I was very impressive with. Their speed and precision passing was a beautiful thing to watch. Congrats to the Blazers as well.
The Early Word
Word on the street is the Ephrata boys basketball team had a ton of players come out for the team while the EHS girls are very low in numbers. From what I was told, the Mountaineer boys performed well over the summer and should win some games this year under first-year Coach Jason Coletti.
The Ephrata girls, on the other hand, will be extremely young and probably will struggle to win games due to their youth and inexperience. Haven’t heard much out of Denver but I look for both hoops programs to be a tough out on most nights.
Eagles live to fight another day
Sunday’s huge 17-10 win over the Giants only means the Eagles will live to fight for another day. Unfortunately, with bad losses to the Cardinals and Buffalo, to name a few, the Birds can’t afford another slip up.
I’m actually banking on a victory Sunday against New England. The one that scares me is a cross country trip to Seattle four days later.
Should they get through those two games, then you might start considering they have a shot at the post-season.
With everything going on at Penn State, it would just be amazing to me if they could hang on and win the Big 10. A win this Saturday at Wisconsin would land them in the title game, and then they’d just need to win that one.
Crazier things have happened. I’d be most happy for the players, who did absolutely nothing wrong but have paid a steep price in this scandal.
It would be a fitting end for those kids and the coaches who remain on staff…I really hope they do it. More RUTH, page B-4