Franklin-Fulton had a season to remember
Every high school sports season brings fantastic games, nail-biting endings and heated rivalries.
There are individual standouts, team victories and moments that will never be forgotten.
But the winter season in Franklin and Fulton counties had all of those things and more. For a quick breakdown of just how many jaw-dropping moments we had in the area:
- Seven basketball players scored their 1,000th career points.
- Three wrestlers earned their 100th wins.
- Two hoops teams celebrated district championships, and five advanced to the PIAA tournament.
- Mercersburg Academy's girls team won its first IPSL and PAISAA championships.
- Five area teams, including Mercersburg, won their conference or division titles.
- Nick Cover brought home a state medal from the diving championships.
- Five wrestlers advanced to states and three placed; six of them were crowned sectional champions and one won a district crown.
To put it simply, we had a season to remember.
We cover 12 high schools, and all of them have boys and girls basketball teams. It's not that unusual for the area to see at least one or two 1,000-point scorers in a season. But seven?! That's basically unheard of, and breaking down those seven milestones makes it even more impressive.
Five of the seven were juniors - Jonah Stains, Mikell McGee, Jenay Faulkner, Dylan Gordon and Olivia Mottern.
Two of the seven - Faulkner and Hannah Crist - played for the same team, Greencastle-Antrim.
Within the seven, another two pairs - Shalom's Lydia Harris and Stains, and Southern Fulton's Gordon and Mottern - were from the same school.
And even more, two of the seven - Harris and Stains - did it on the same night.
Here's the other thing about all those 1,000-point scorers: We have one player - Greencastle's Casey Hoover - who probably needed only another week or so to hit his milestone. He will enter his senior season with a total of 948 points.
This winter season provided one of the most fun - and most strenuous - weekends I've had since working at Public Opinion. McConnellsburg and Southern Fulton met at Pitt-Johnstown on back-to-back days to compete for the boys and girls District 5 Class A championships.
It was the first time since 1983 that there had been an all-Fulton County District 5 boys basketball championship, and the first time in history for the girls basketball title.
The Indians swept the weekend, but both games were thrillers and all four teams earned worthy recognition.
In addition to Southern Fulton's district championships, the boys team also won the Sideling Hill League and Inter-County Conference South. Greencastle-Antrim's girls and Shippensburg's boys won their respective Mid Penn Colonial Division titles, and Shalom Christian's boys team took down Shenandoah Valley Christian in the Mason-Dixon Christian Conference championship.
In the wrestling world, it was also a season of milestones. Three area wrestlers - Chambersburg's Garrett Kyner and Drew Peck and Shippensburg's Chandler Olson - all won their 100th career matches, and once again, the majority of those three were juniors.
Kyner, a senior, got the job done early, winning his 100th match at the Trojan Wars in December. He finished his career with a 129-38 record. Peck (103-28) and Chandler Olson (104-15) needed until the semifinals of districts to hit the mark, but now they enter their final seasons with that monkey off their back.
Like the area's basketball players, there is also a wrestler who shouldn't take long to hit the milestone in 2016-17. Chambersburg junior Aaron Rump currently sits at 99 wins.
The wrestling season also saw a slew of champions. Six area competitors earned sectional crowns, and let's just talk about Shippensburg's Cameron Tinner for a second.
At 220 pounds, Tinner was so close to perfect this season. He finished the year with a 34-2 record and didn't lose until the quarterfinals of states. He also had six tournament titles to go along with that resume. As a junior, he'll also be back for more next year.
Finally, on the second-to-last day of the winter season in Franklin and Fulton counties, Chambersburg's Nick Cover capped off this incredible sports year with a seventh-place medal at the PIAA Class AAA diving championships.
I'll say it one more time - we had a season to remember.