Weekend to remember

By on March 23, 2011

Todd Ruth Ephrata Review Sports Editor Spent an awesome weekend I will never forget at the Division One Wrestling Championships held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly this past week. I ve enjoyed wrestling and have always been in awe of these athletes for what it takes to compete in this sometimes brutal sport. Of course, with the success of local wrestlers, I ve been to States many times but had never gone to the NCAA Tournament. This past weekend, I crossed another item off the bucket list. Philly was the perfect setting for this event since there were so many PA guys in the field. One in particular (of course we are talking about Cocalico graduate Steve Fittery) made my trip especially memorable. In going 5-1, he flat-out dominated in all but one match. And it was especially heartbreaking to see his dream of a national title fall just short Friday night in his loss to Penn State’s freshman phenom David Taylor. But to see him shake off that loss and come back to take third place on Saturday was the highlight of my trip. Steve showed the heart of a champion coming back from that, and I was tickled that we had a chance to be a small part of it. In my 20-some years in this seat, it was hands-down the most fun I ve ever had covering an event. And that certainly wouldn’t have been possible without Steve. Ross Buckwalter: I was absolutely thrilled for Ephrata High School graduate Ross Buckwalter, who got his chance to pitch in a Major League exhibition game last Tuesday against the Phillies, no less. If ever there was a person to root for, it is Ross, who I ve known most of his life and once, along with my wife, had the chance to actually baby-sit him (I m sure he’ll be tickled that I included that in print), along with his siblings. Seriously though, he is a quality individual who has always worked extremely hard to realize his dream, and last week it all paid off. When I called him to eagerly find out about his amazing experience that day (see last week s Review), you could just tell he was absolutely thrilled. I m sure the ear-to-ear grin still hasn’t left his face. Think about it. No matter what happens the rest of the way in his career, he can now someday tell his grandchildren that he once played in the same game as potential future Hall of Famers Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, and was sent into the game by former Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen. How cool is that? Turf Update: The Ephrata Area School Board officially gave the go-ahead to the turf project Monday night at its monthly meeting. Work will begin soon on the field (located at the current varsity field hockey field in the Ephrata Middle School complex) with a completion date set for late July, early August. The EHS field hockey team, as well as boys and girls soccer and lacrosse will use the field for some practice time and games. It will be a huge addition for the school. It will definitely free up some much needed field space, and will give the athletes a sense of pride that can only help in building their programs. On top of all of that, all those teams that use the field will now be better prepared for post-season games since the majority, if not all, are played on turf fields. Hats off to the District and the Administration for following through and approving this project. With the beautiful new gym, and now this turf field, Ephrata facilities are now on par with the rest of the bigger schools in the L-L League. More WEEKEND, page B-2

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