Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils
Coach: Greg Cole, 8th year, 84-42-5 (.660).
Last year: 11-6-1 (6-4 Mid Penn Colonial DIvision); lost to Manheim Central in District 3 3A first round.
Returning starters: Jenay Faulkner (sr., goalkeeper, 1 goal, 4 shutouts, P.O. 2nd Team); Sarah Douglas (so., mid, 1 goal).
Other top players: Michaela Kendall (sr., mid., P.O. 1st team at McConnellsburg last year, 4 goals, 14 assists); Riley Gelsinger (so., def); Ashley Noblit (fr., mid); Ellie Furnish (fr., mid).
Outlook: Cole said, "We have only five upperclassmen and only three are potential starters. So we will be young, but competitive, and there is plenty of youthful energy. Moving up in class (to 3A) has brought some new challenges and Northern is now in our division and they are tough. We're still looking to find the starting 11 and get them playing together."
Notes: The Devils graduated 3 P.O. 1st Team players and 2 from the 2nd Team ... Kendall's 14 assists led all area players last fall ... Former G-A star Katie Herman is now an assistant coach and Cole calls her "a valuable resource, because she sees things I do not."
Season opener: Friday, at Cedar Cliff, 3:45.
James Buchanan Rockets
Coach: Terry Appleby, 15th year, 83-141-9 (.380).
Last year: 10-9 (4-6 Mid Penn Colonial Division); lost on PKs to Lancaster Mennonite in District 3 2A play-in.
Returning starters: Sydney Benedick (sr., for, 11 goals, 9 assists, P.O. 1st Team); Mickey Heinbaugh (jr., for, 15, 5, P.O. 2nd Team); Aspen Anderson (sr., mid, 4 goals, 1 assist, P.O. Honorable Mention); Siara Gossert (sr., goalkeeper, 4 shutouts); Maddie Peck (sr., mid, 6, 2); Breanna Dukehart (so., mid, 5, 2); Cass Martin (so., def, 1 assist); Elivia Kipe (sr., def, 2 goals); Veronica Harmon (sr., def).
Other top players: Hannah Kimmel (fr., def); Shania Atherton (sr., def); Kylee Long (fr., mid); Cierra Hartman (sr., mid); Reilly Heinbaugh (fr., mid); Saige Eckert (jr., for); Kristin Eichelberger (fr., for).
Outlook: Appleby said, "I know what we lost was big, and that experience is tough to replace. These girls have played well, but they can see it's different on varsity. I like what I've seen - the possession on offense has been better, but we'll have to see on defense. Sydney and Mickey look better up front. They put in a lot of time in the offseason."
Notes: The Rockets return players who scored 43 goals last year, which is by far the best in the area ... Appleby said two players he expects to help out are currently injured.
Season opener: Saturday, in Chambersburg Tournament vs. Gettysburg, 9 a.m.
Shippensburg Lady Hounds
Coach: Mary Miller, fifth year, 20-50-1 (.289).
Last year: 4-13 (2-8 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Returning starters: Maddie Bender (sr., def); Rachel Morehouse (sr., mid); Sarah Strohm (sr., for, 1 goal, 2 assists); Ashlee Rowles (jr., mid, 2 assists); Kara Newell (jr., def, 1, 1); Hannah Pletcher (so., goalkeeper).
Other top players: Hannah Franklin (so., for (3 goals); Grace Kierzkowski (fr., def); Sam Varner (so., def); Lexi Reese (fr., mid); Negwa Ghani (jr., mid); Amber Orndorff (so., for); Sarah VanHorne (so., mid); Zoe Bender (jr., mid), Julie Nye (so., def).
Outlook: "We want to be more creative off the ball, and we seem to be moving the ball a lot better than we have," Miller said. "What's nice is we haven't to go backward to teach this team, we've been able to move forward. The girls just need a belief that they can play well."
Notes: Miller said that with only 26 players, "We have to stay away from injuries." ... The Lady Hounds scored only 14 goals last year, and players who scored only 5 of them are returning.
Season opener: Saturday, at Mechanicsburg Tournament.
Coach: Brian Fisher, fifth year, 52-20-3 (.693).
Last year: 12-4-2 (8-1-1 Mid Penn Colonial Division); lost in PKs to Dover in District 3-AAA play-in.
Returning starters: Cat Weber (sr., def, 1 goal, 3 assists, P.O. Honorable Mention); Morgan French (sr., mid, 4, 4, P.O. HM); Skyler Lambert (so., for, 8, 3, P.O. HM); Elizabeth Churchman (sr., def, 1, 4); Karly Atkinson (jr., for, 1 assist).
Other top players: Raven Green (sr., mid, 1, 1); Audrey Foreman (so., mid, 3 assists); Taylor Clawson (so., for, 2 goals); Olivia Churchman (jr., mid, 1 goal); Mia Harris (so., def, 1 goal), Lexi Kane (so., mid).
Outlook: Fisher said, "It's really hard to determine what kind of team we'll have with so much turnover and youth. We do have a fight and a willingness by the underclassmen to work hard and push the upperclassmen. It's a tough division and we expect a lot of one-goal games - we just hope we're on the right end of them. I like the makeup of this team."
Notes: Waynesboro graduated 9 seniors and 4 are playing in college - Kennedy Chandler (Shippensburg), Katie Clawson (McDaniel), Monica Beck (Lynchburg) and Megan Shockey (Shenandoah) ... Lambert led all freshmen scorers last year with her 8 goals.
Season opener: Saturday, in Chambersburg Tournament vs. Chambersburg, 10:30.
Coach: Chris Mellott, first year.
Last year: 9-10 (5-3 Sideling Hill League, 3-3 ICC); lost 3-0 to Conemaugh Twp. in District 5-A quarterfinals.
Returning starters: Savannah Kerlin (sr., def., P.O. Honorable Mention); Emma Kendall (jr., mid, P.O. HM); Kellyn Perry (jr., goalkeeper, 6 shutouts); Hannah Brady (jr., mid); McKenzi Garlock (sr., for, 3 goals, 2 assists); Morgan Kendall (jr., for, 2 goals).
Other top players: Morgan Smith (jr., def); Kailey Swope (fr., def); Emma Ott (fr., mid); Izzy Keefer (fr., mid); Jensen Boehme (fr., mid); Kiara Pensinger (jr., for); Rebecca Wenschof (so., for); Maecy Richards (fr.), Carrie Glee (fr.), Meredith Elvey (fr.), Lynneah Brady (fr.), Jule Grosse (sr.).
Outlook: Mellott said, "I think our defense should be strong, but our weakness could be producing a high enough number of goals per game. We have seven freshmen and three or four will start and the rest will get playing time. There's a lot of talent in that class."
Notes: The only coach McConnellsburg had before this year was Toby McGarvey, who in 11 years compiled a record of 126-85-8 (.594) ... Grosse is an exchange student from Germany ... The Lady Spartans have 18 players on the roster.
Season opener: Sept. 9 at Rockwood, 4:15.