Cleaning out the notebook and taking a final look back at a state medal-filled weekend for Lebanon County athletes...

• First, we begin with Lebanon County's newest state champs, the Elco tennis doubles team of Adam Bahney and Galen McNaughton.

A few quick thoughts: Bahney and McNaughton's PIAA Class AA doubles championship was not only a triumph of skill and teamwork, it says here it was also a feel-good story of nice guys finishing first for a change.

Although I was on the track and field beat and didn't cover Bahney and McNaughton's run to gold, I feel safe in saying they conducted themselves in the same exemplary manner they did throughout their four-year careers at Elco.

High-level tennis, be it at the high school or pro level, can sometimes lead to jerky behavior from its participants. Minus the high-level stuff, I can speak from experience, having thrown a racket or two and/or stormed around the court during my high school and college playing days. I'll spare you the details.

At any rate, in all the years I covered them I never once saw Bahney or McNaughton engage in behavior that could be considered embarrassing to themselves, their team or their school.

Give their families and coach Zach Cook credit for that, but also give them credit, too, for being worthy champions in terms of behavior as well as skill.

AN EMOTIONAL FAREWELL >> Back on the track and field beat, Saturday marked the end of an era for Palmyra's highly-decorated 3200 meter relay team of Miranda Salvo, Jess Dembrowski, Maria Tukis and Katie Dembrowski, who ended their time together as teammates with a fourth-place medal and a new school record at Shippensburg on Saturday.

Owners of more state and district medals in multiple sports than one can comfortably count, seniors Salvo, Tukis and Katie Dembrowski leave behind an enduring legacy of class and competitiveness at Palmyra as they head off to college.

They've left a lasting impact on sophomore Jess Dembrowski as well, who was emotional as her senior teammates after Saturday's race.

"They just taught me so much," the younger Dembrowski said, fighting back a tear or two. "Being able to train with such a great group of girls, I was just lucky. It made me into a better runner and a better person. It's gonna be so different next year without them."

PING PONG ANYONE ? >> While waiting for Cedar Crest's Evan Horn to receive his state javelin medal on Saturday, yours truly and some fellow media members were playfully speculating that track and field might actually be the multi-talented Horn's fourth-best sport.

A star on the basketball court and football field for the Falcons, Horn was also an accomplished baseball player before giving up the sport when he got to high school.

And apparently, Horn is also quite the ping-pong player as well. So maybe the javelin has a fourth sport to take a backseat to?

"Ping-Pong is actually up there," an amused Horn said with a chuckle, when the subject came up. "Definitely."

PALMYRA'S HOFFSMITH A PLEASANT SURPRISE>> Horn's postseaon success in the javelin — he won the league and AAA district titles before finishing sixth at states —unfortunately overshadowed a stellar postseason from Palmyra junior Alex Hoffsmith.

Not only did Hoffsmith capture the Mid-Penn title in his first season competing in the event, he also came within a throw of upsetting Horn and the rest of a quality field at districts.

Hoffsmith capped his somewhat Cinderella run by qualifying for the state finals en route to finishing ninth.

Should be a lot of fun watching Horn and Hoffsmith battle it out next spring during their senior seasons.

Pat Huggins is a sportswriter for the Lebanon Daily News and He can be reached at or on Twitter @phuggsports

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