Time to lace ’em up
To me, there is nothing better than the start of the high school football season and fall sports in general, for nothing more than to give myself a kickstart.
Summer’s great, don’t get me wrong. But really there isn’t a whole lot going on. Sometimes, you have to dig pretty deep to fill these pages.
In the fall, the stories just unfold for you. You know the stories will be read and critiqued, and while that does increase the stress, there is no better feeling than putting out a product you know people can’t wait to have.
That is the goal, beginning this week.
I’ve talked to several coaches, looked at what everyone has coming back, and am now comfortable to make my high school football picks for the coming year.
Without further ado…
Section One: 1. Wilson; 2. McCaskey; 3. Manheim Township; 4. Penn Manor; 5. Hempfield; 6. Ephrata; 7. Warwick; 8. Cedar Crest.
Section Two: 1. Lampeter-Strasburg; 2. Manheim Central; 3. Garden Spot; 4. Cocalico; 5. Solanco; 6. Lebanon; 7. Conestoga Valley; 8. Elizabethtown.
Section Three: 1. Lancaster Catholic; 2. Northern Lebanon; 3. Columbia; 4. Donegal; 5. Elco; 6. Annville-Cleona; 7. Pequea Valley.
Not only is football changing it’s section alignments for next year, with Ephrata moving back to Section Two, Catholic up to One and Garden Spot back to Three, but other sports will change things up as well.
Soccer is making the biggest adjustment, going from four sections to three. The move really had nothing to do with evening up the levels of play but more so to do with referees and fields I am told.
With the girls moving to the fall, it was the only way they could work it out with the officials so that there were enough of them to call all the games.
From what I understand, it’s going to work similar to basketball to alleviate some of the field problems. For example, if the Ephrata girls are at Cocalico, the boys will be hosting Cocalico at the same time.
In addition to soccer, I was told just Tuesday evening that Ephrata golf will play up in Section One next year, trading places with Elizabethtown.
That could be tough on the Mounts, who would have had a decent shot to win the Section Two title next year considering they return their entire team.
For the second-straight year, we’ll get a good early indication of the potential of the Cocalico field hockey squad.
The Lady Eagles open up with three monsters prior to the home opener Sept. 8 vs. Ephrata. Cocalico kicks off the season Friday at L-L power Penn Manor. Saturday, they’ll face State semifinalist Hempfield before playing Lower Dauphin, perhaps the top program year in and year out in the state.
Cocalico Coach Krista Page beefed up the schedule last year with hopes her team would get better after facing that kind of competition. Judging by the end result– a trip to the State finals– it worked like a charm.
Ephrata will resume inducting former athletes into its Sports Hall of Fame this year. Not sure when the induction ceremony will take place but kudos go out to former Ephrata Athletic Director Merv Witmer for heading that project. Todd Ruth