Chambersburg's Leah Hunt dominates in all facets of the game and leads her team to the state semifinals to become the Public Opinion Softball Player of the Year. Video by Lizi Arbogast, GameTimePA.com
After making it to the PIAA semifinals last year, the Chambersburg softball team is ready to take it another step forward this year - and made its first move on Monday during the first day of spring practice.
Despite numbers being down this year, coach Chris Skultety is excited for the talent that will return to the field this season.
"We had 34 come out today; I was expecting about 40," Skultety said. "But we have most everyone back and a couple other youngsters looking to step up this year."
Although the team did not practice outside, the Trojans ran infield and outfield drills and look to be outside to scrimmage later this week.
The reigning P.O. Softball Player of the Year, Leah Hunt, will likely move over to third base, and return to her position in the circle as the "Goose," while Sammie Bender and Laken Myers also stack the Trojan pitching rotation.
G-A track & field propelled by indoor success: Greencastle-Antrim took to the track for the first time this spring with a few extra weeks of practice under its belt, thanks to the Blue Devils' first year participating in indoor track.
Freshman Taryn Parks, the reigning PIAA Class 2A cross country champion, and senior Campbell Parker, who competed at nationals last year, start the spring season fresh off of a successful competition at the PTFCA Indoor Track & Field championships, and G-A coach Devin McCauley hopes the team can springboard off of the indoor season.
"We have some nice kids with experience across the board with the past season," McCauley said. "It's nice to get kids competing earlier and get them a better base of fitness level. We had a big group of kids take advantage and they're all working toward the end goal."
Ship softball boasts large sophomore class: The Lady Hounds began the 2017 season with a full slate of drills to evaluate the young crew.
"Our 10th grade class is very strong. We had three play up on varsity last year and we have some room for a few more; the next few days will determine that," Ship coach Mike Peters said. "We return mostly everybody, and we are fortunate to have our pitchers back and an all-state catcher in Morgan Fetter. We had a few injuries through fall and winter sports, but everyone was healthy today."
Shippensburg treated the first day of practice like a true tryout, sending Hound hopefuls through competitive drills to get a good evaluation of the new crop early in the week.
McConnellsburg looking to replace some key positions: With the loss of six seniors last year, McConnellsburg's baseball team looks to replace a few key positions in the first few weeks of practice and is off to a good start early on.
Spartan coach Brian Ramsey said the team will look to replace the starting catcher and second baseman, and needs to add a pitcher to the rotation.
"Some guys have stepped up, and the talent is there, so that's exciting," Ramsey said. "We talked to two kids who have caught before and we gauged their interest level. They're both sophomores and I've seen them catch before and they don't play basketball, so they have some extra time to work."
McConnellsburg is without at least five players for the first week of practice due to the Spartan basketball team competing in the PIAA tournament this weekend.
JB tennis starts off with big numbers: The James Buchanan boys tennis team kicked off the season with 19 players in attendance for the first day of practice, a number that made coach Terri Beegle take a step back.
"It was absolutely crazy," Beegle said. "I really do think that with our success last year, we have a bunch of freshmen who showed up. I have one junior, a couple of sophomores and some seniors. I actually had some seniors that came out who never played, but they just want to be part of a team; it's kind of interesting dynamic."
Last year James Buchanan started the season 9-0 and made it deep into the District 3 playoffs and fell in a narrow margin in the first round of the PIAA tournament.