This is some of the feedback we received from last Tuesday's fourth installment of "The Greatest Athletes," our 22-week series on the greatest athletes in the history of each YAIAA school.
Nice job. I'm sure it took a lot of work to put together. I was disappointed not to see Sharon Holtzapple (1972), who we thought was the best girl athlete we've seen around here at the high school level, period. And she wasn't even mentioned.
Volleyball, field hockey, softball and track -- and she was far superior to other girls in her time in high school. Possibly overlooked because she was ahead of the time when girls' athletics were looked at like they are now!
First I would like to thank you for taking on such an enormous endeavor in naming the 10 greatest athletes from each YAIAA high school. This is a project where it is impossible to satisfy everyone.
To narrow the list to 10 for each high school is basically impossible. With that said, I do think you have done a commendable job. I cannot recall another sports series that has created this much buzz and controversy.
The number of responses in the Sunday paper is proof of how passionate individuals feel about this. I do feel that many of the responses have been overly negative. Individuals must keep in mind how difficult this process has been.
In reading the lists over the last four weeks, it seems that many individuals are being credited for their success in only one sport. Truly great high school athletes are those that excelled in multiple sports. However, athletes like Michele King and Cimmie Shahan -- who dominated their individual sports at the local, district and state levels -- deserve their high rankings.
There also seems to be a bias toward athletes that participated in the more high-profile sports such as football and basketball.
I will not go into my thoughts on who should or should not have been in the top 10 all-time Spring Grove athletes. All the athletes profiled had exceptional high school careers and even more importantly were for the most part outstanding students and citizens.
I would like to mention a couple of athletes that I thought you failed to mention.
Kelly Bortner ('84): Kelly was an outstanding three-sport athlete. She was a key member of both the volleyball and basketball teams. She played on arguably the two greatest teams for those sports.
She was also an outstanding tennis player who won awards at the local, district and state levels. After college Kelly also was a local club champion in golf.
Emily Foltz ('98): Emily was an all-county selection in field hockey and Athlete of the Year in track & field her senior year. She was a two-time state medalist in the 100 meter hurdles and won multiple county and district medals throughout her high school career.
Emily was awarded a track scholarship to Kutztown University and is still the school record holder in the heptathlon.
-- BRUCE WEAVER
Spring Grove also had some outstanding tennis players that you failed to mention in your article. One of them was Carrie Bentzel Trimmer, who won three consecutive YCIAA titles and two District 3 titles, plus had a 40-0 league record.
Also, she and her mixed doubles partner, Kevin Scott, won three state mixed doubles tennis championships. She received a full scholarship to Syracuse University.
Some other notable Spring Grove tennis players were Craig Diehl, Ken Grove, Glen Shaffer, Bam Landis and probably a few I don't recall. They had all had an outstanding coach in Gary Gault, who would delight in telling you about them if he were still with us.
-- CLAIR BENTZEL
Mel Sterner (Class of 1965) played basketball with George Smith in 1963 and won the county championship. Sterner was second in the county in scoring after Smith and he was the leading rebounder at 14 per game. Sterner was honorable mention all-state
Sterner also played won the 1962 team that won the county championship.
-- GEORGE STERNER
With your criteria for selecting the greatest athletes from each high school, it is amazing that not one former Spring Grove distance runner was even mentioned. Spring Grove dominated cross country from 1966-75, winning 100 straight league dual meets.
The first team in that era was led by four seniors. In the second season of cross country for Spring Grove, the four seniors swept the first four places at the county meet, with the first three runners breaking the course record. This concluded an undefeated dual meet season.
They went on to win District 3 and the 1966 State Class B cross country championship. All four seniors competed successfully in college -- three at Lock Haven and one at Penn State. After college, three of the four seniors coaches high school teams, including two in York County.
I would like to recognize my three teammates from the 1966 cross country team -- the late Harry Smeltz, Dick Geiger and Jeff Kaltreider. The rest of the team coached by Bob Lehr was Tim Weaver, Walt Geiger, Steve Fisher, Warren Stough, Dan Sager and Dennis Myers.
I also want to congratulate the undefeated teams that succeeded the 1966 team and continued the great distance-running tradition.
The coaches of the 100 straight league win streak were Bob Lehr and Harry Smeltz. I would also like to recognize the late Don Nelson, who coached and started the cross country program in 1965 at Spring Grove.
REV. DAVE MOSEBROOK
CLASS OF 1967