H.S. EXTRA NOTEBOOK: It was a strange way to end a long umpiring career
Chip Barger has had a long and satisfying career umpiring high school baseball games.
But he – or anybody else for that matter – could never have come close to imagining how that career was going to end.
On Tuesday afternoon at Greene Township Park, Barger was the home plate umpire for the Waynesboro at Chambersburg game. It was to be his final high school contest after umping games for 47 years.
"I was glad it was Greg's team against Bob's team, because I had umped a lot of games over the years for both of them," said Barger, referring to Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler and Chambersburg coach Bob Thomas, who between them have coached for 79 years (28 for Chandler and 51 for Thomas).
Barger, who lives in McSherrystown, also got to witness, from behind the plate, the first no-hitter he'd ever seen at one of his games, even though he said he didn't even realize it was a no-hitter until well after the game was over. Trojan pitchers Tristan Daywalt and Drew Betz held the Indians hitless, although five reached base on walks.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Betz induced Jake Neterer to bounce to first and Hunter Brindle caught the ball and stepped on first base to end the game.
"Once they recorded the out, I started up the first base line, heading for the car," Barger said.
He didn't get there for a while.
Chambersburg catcher Trent Ebersole had begun his celebration by throwing his glove in the air, and next he sent his helmet flying straight up.
Unfortunately, it came down right on top of Barger's head and knocked him to the ground.
After a few seconds, the celebration dwindled to a stop as players realized that Barger was down. To those who did not see what had happened, some really bad thoughts were going through their minds.
Trainer Chasity Johnson arrived quickly, and eventually – especially after word got around what had happened – everyone's breathing returned to normal.
"I saw the catcher throw his glove up, but I did not see him throw the helmet," Barger said. "I don't remember anything until later laying on the ground. But I'm OK. I appreciate the help I got. And I certainly don't hold anything against the catcher – he was just celebrating.
"But it was certainly the most unusual, unique thing I've ever experienced."
And a most interesting way to go out.
NEW ROCKETS COACH >> When the girls volleyball season begins next fall, James Buchanan will have a new coach in place. Tonya Miller has been named to lead the Rockets.
She takes over for Michelle Rhodes, who was the coach for three seasons and had a record of 19-34.
Miller is a JB graduate who is currently an assistant track coach and was a volunteer volleyball coach last year. Miller was also the head volleyball coach at St. Maria Goretti from 2010-13.
WANT SOME WRESTLING? >> Once again, the CASHS Field House and Auxiliary Gym will be full of wrestling this weekend, when the Pa. Wrestling Federation State Tournament comes to town.
Saturday is the day for freestyle, from youth age groups to open, and including women. Greco-Roman style will compete on Sunday.