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It is official, 2013 is in the books. What a year it was for sports.

It was a year that saw an invisible girlfriend pass away in the Manti Te’o story, the first athlete from a major American team sport announce publicly that he was gay, and arguably the greatest cyclist of all time, Lance Armstrong, admitted to doping.

There was also the Aaron Hernandez drama in which he was charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, accusation of bullying in the Miami Dolphins locker room between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, the lights going out at the Super Bowl and the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

That was just the stuff that happened on the national scene. The Hanover-area was full of highlights in 2013. Here are just a few of them.

Number 700 and the passing of a legend

The Delone Catholic boys basketball team won career game number 700 for longtime head coach Jim Dooley and then one game later an Andrew Austin last second put-back clinched the Squires second District 3 title in as many years with a 58-56 win. It was a magical season for the Squires and one that will not be soon forgotten.

Eight months later, Dooley lost his battle with aplastic anemia. Thousands of people gathered to celebrate the life of an amazing man who impacted more people than we will ever know.

I will never forget the district semifinal game that I covered in which the Squires defeated Camp Hill 69-59 to earn Dooley’s 700th win and earn a trip to the finals. Dooley’s grandson Jake Wiles had the game of his life, nailing six 3’s and the Squires only saw five players get serious minutes. I asked Dooley after the game if fatigue played a factor and this was his answer.

“There is this great rumor that people are tired,” Dooley said. “People weren’t tired in the 1940s. General Patton marched his men 100 miles in a blizzard and put his men in combat for three days in the Battle of the Bulge. Nobody was tired then.”

I will never forget that. It was a one-of-a-kind answer for a one-of-a-kind guy.

Repeat champion

Fairfield golfer Isaiah Logue joined elite company in the fall. He is one of only six golfers in the history of the PIAA to win back-to-back state golf titles. One of the other's to do it....Arnold Palmer (1946, 1947).

Logue's second championship came down to the wire. Logue drained a 10-foot putt to break a tie between him and Northwestern Lehigh's Cole Miller.

One of the things that I will remember most from following Logue for both of his titles is that after winning his second one, the usually stoic senior showed some emotion.

There was a lot of pressure put on Logue heading into the season to repeat, but no one put more pressure on him than he did and to see him pull out the victory was great.

The heart of a champion

Most high school athletes would be pleased to win one district title. Delone Catholic’s Brett Smith closed out his high school career by winning his third District 3 title of the school year. Smith was the starting quarterback/defensive back on the district champion football team (1,153 yards and 30 td’s), the starting point guard (13.8 p.p.g) on the district champion basketball team and the starting infielder/pitcher (.448 avg, 24 SB’s, 3-1 on the mound) on the district champion baseball team.

A legend on the pool deck steps down

South Western’s Bill Sterner stepped down after 40 years on the pool deck. The pool at Emory H. Merkle opened up in the 1973-74 school year and from day one it was Sterner who manned the deck.

In 2005, Sterner was honored in the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame’s South Central Chapter. In December, Sterner earned his 500th career dual meet win.

Revenge tastes good

Almost a year ago to the day, the Delone Catholic Squirette volleyball team found themselves in exactly the same spot with exactly the same foe on the other side of the net.

The foe was Fort LeBoeuf, and the stage was the state championship game at Central York High School. A year ago, the Squirettes fell in four games to the Bison.

The Squirettes were not to be denied as they capped their incredible playoff run with a five-set victory (25-14, 15-25, 26-24, 18-25, 15-9) for the schools first ever state girls’ volleyball championship.

Other highlights

  • Delone Catholic's Victoria Griffin won two golds (220 free, 100 free) in the District 3 Class AA meet.
  • Ian Brown (Hanover), Tyler Shafer (Hanover, Briton Shelton (Bermudian Springs) and Trevor Stover (Biglerville) all won district titles.
  • Bermudian Springs Tristan Sponseller was runner up at the state wrestling tournament.
  • Seven Hanover-area track and field athletes earned district gold. South Western's Lynne Mooradian won the 100 dash, and was a member of the 400 relay team (Kristen Garland, Mackenzie Wall, and Amore' Coleman)  that claimed district gold. Elana Keller (Bermudian, 100 hurdles), Sarah Hunt (Fairfield, triple jump), and Brady Wilt (Biglerville, 1,600 run).
  • Biglerville's Carlee Brumgard captured the Class AA YAIAA tennis crown after finishing runner-up the previous two seasons.
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