Milestones, trash talk and a Dream Team: What we've seen so far
Even with the back-and-forth, flip-flopping, half-spring-half-winter weather wreaking havoc on spring sports scheduling, most sports have managed to get in around five or six games at this point.
Below are a few tidbits and storylines that have intrigued us so far this season in the Hanover-Adams area. Feel free to comment/respond on what has caught your attention.
Young Bolts' squad taking over Division III >> Despite not having any seniors on the roster and a coach who is in his first year at the helm, Littlestown has jumped out in front of Division III. Before falling in a walkoff heartbreaker to a tough Greencastle-Antrim squad on Thursday, the Bolts had won their first four games by a combined score of 51-5.
Juniors Kaitlin Yealy and McKenzie Somers have more than made up for the senior absence by packing the box score each night. Somers has been dominant in the pitchers circle and Yealy has been crushing the ball at the plate. On Wednesday, the duo combined to go 8-for-8 with 4 RBIs and pitched a complete game.
Confidence is sky-high in the Bolts' dugout, according to first-year manager Henry Wardrop, and it should be.
Norton hits 100 >> Another great story to see was Spring Grove's Hayley Norton reaching the 100-career hits milestone in Thursday's win over New Oxford. Before the season, Norton switched her college commitment from University of Pittsburgh to St. Francis University.
How about those new guys - the Gettysburg Warriors? >> The Warriors struggled in a tough Mid-Penn Conference last season before making the move to the YAIAA and bringing just three seniors with them.
Still, head coach Brady Rodgers has Gettysburg at 4-1 - the best overall record in YAIAA Division II right now. A signature win would be nice for the resume, but still the Warriors have handled business and knocked off two Division I teams (Spring Grove and West York) along the way.
Before the season, Rodgers said his main concern was inexperience and youth, but the young guys have held their own. The switch from a five to seven-point system doesn't seemed to have deterred the Warriors, either.
Injuries crippling the Rockets >> After a promising 13-11 win over Northern York to start the season, things have gone downhill for Spring Grove. The Rockets lost 12-10 at York Suburban, then 19-15 at York Catholic.
Injuries started taking their toll on the Rockets and they lost to Red Lion and Dallastown by a combined 24 points. Head coach Cliff Gordon and the young Rockets squad are trying to keep the ship afloat while missing seven starters with injuries.
Raynor way out in front >> A few miles south, Nick Raynor has been dominant in South Western's net. The Mustangs are off to a 1-3 start, but Raynor has made 80 saves in four games. That's an incredible statistic and to put it into perspective, the guy (New Oxford's Jorge Medina) who is in second behind Raynor has 61 saves.
New Oxford's "Dream Team" duo>> After winning a combined eight games in five seasons, New Oxford needed a lift. Enter Braxtin Reddinger. The junior (and University of Maryland-Baltimore County commit) had been a top threat in South Western's offense the last two seasons before transferring to New Oxford this season.
Her arrival has paid immediate dividends for the Colonials and teaming her up with sophomore Raleigh Bateman has resulted in 25 combined goals in three games. Their teammates have taken to calling the duo, "The Dream Team." Throw in a solid complementary cast that includes Aggie Phillips and Katie Wildenstein, and the Colonials are off to a 2-1 start.
A big matchup and possible statement win looms with York Catholic coming to town on Monday.
Delone Catholic expects to compete for a district title. But do the Squires have enough pitching?>> Ask coach Doug Arnold what his expectations are for this year's Delone Catholic team and he'll tell you without hesitation that he expects the Squires to compete for a YAIAA and District 3 AA title.
“We have the arms to do it," he said after a 15-4 win at Bermudian Springs on Tuesday. "Hunter (Keith) has come a long way. Hunter is night and day from last year.”
So far, though, Delone Catholic is 1-2. Keith has been very impressive - he allowed one run in seven innings in a suspended game against Gettysburg (they'll continue it on Wednesday) and allowed one run in five innings against Bermudian Springs - but how about the rest of the pitching staff? Jimmy O'Boyle pitched himself to into multiple jams against Gettysburg and York Catholic by walking hitters and Chase Kint struggled in his first start against Susquehannock.
It's still really early, but other pitchers are going to have to step up because Keith's arm alone will not win a league or district title.
South Western 1B says Mustangs are the team to beat >> South Western players and coaches were excited about Thursday's rally past Dallastown, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that the Wildcats have been one of the premier teams in Division I for the last five years.
“A lot of people say they’re the team to beat," Mustangs first baseman Austin Weaver said. "I think they’re good, but I think we’re the team to beat.”
The win puts South Western (2-2, 2-1 YAIAA) tied with Red Lion and Central York for first place in the division.
“Any team can beat anybody on any given day," Dallastown coach Scott Altland said Thursday. "They just outpitched us, they outhustled us, every aspect of the game they beat us at today."
Spring Grove, New Oxford both off to fast starts>> Don't look now, but the two Hanover-area boys volleyball teams have already matched their combined win total from last season.
The Rockets and Colonials are both off to 3-1 starts (both 1-1 in the YAIAA), already winning as many games combined as they did last season when Spring Grove went 5-11 and New Oxford went 1-10.
Track & Field
Gettysburg boys and girls a force to be reckoned with in Division II>> The Warriors have made their presence known in their first year in the YAIAA, going a combined 6-0 in dual meets so far.
The boys have been especially impressive, with Nate Sharrah (pole vault) and Dan Filler (3,200) each winning individual crowns at the Tim Cook Invitational in Chambersburg over the weekend.