Local spring sports teams soak up the sun
Due to transportation issues, Chambersburg's softball team couldn't take advantage of the beautiful weather on Monday, the first day of spring sports practice.
But that's OK, really. The Lady Trojans have enough on their plates, as they had their first day under first-year coach Chris Skultety.
"The first day, it's OK to be inside a little bit," Skultety said. "We have to break some things down, so the closeness is actually fine. We'll get outside (Tuesday)."
Skultety and the Trojans plan to take full advantage of the weather in the coming days, but for the first day, they focused on figuring out the makeup of their team. Forty-four hopefuls showed up on Day 1, and by Saturday, Skultety will have to whittle that number down to 32.
And this year, Skultety will have to do it on his own. For the last five seasons, Chamberburg has worked under a co-coach system, but that won't be the case this year.
"They've been individualized for a long time with travel ball, and I really have to bring them together as a team," Skultety said. "I think with one head coach, that's where it will be beneficial. There have been some splinters here for awhile, and there are no disconnects now."
Trojan senior Tara Harmon said, "I like his determination, and he confides in us. We've only known him a short time, but I can already tell he believes in us. This offseason was different. A lot more girls showed up, and we all want the same thing."
Skultety's coaching staff will have a few local shoutouts. Doug Stuart, who was the coach at Waynesboro for 15 seasons, will serve as an assistant, and Emily Estep, a 2010 Chambersburg grad and an All-American at Shippensburg University, is the pitching coach.
"I think it's great Emily is coming back," Harmon said. "I watched her growing up, and she was my role model. To be coached by her now is amazing."
Skultety said, "Coach Stuart with all his years of experience, he knows our conference. He knows who we'll be playing against, and I'm already learning from him. The head coach is only as good as his assistants, and you have to surround yourself with people who you trust."
Southern Fulton's baseball team felt the success of its basketball team Monday, but not in a good way.
It had only five players at practice. Technically six players were present, but one was unable to practice due to medical issues.
Eight SF baseball players are currently playing for the boys basketball team that is in the second round of the PIAA Class A Tournament.
"I mean, I'm used to this, but just not to this scale," SF coach Dustin Fischer said. "I had more non-basketballers that were starters last year, so I'll be so glad to get my basketball boys back. It sucks, really, because we finally had such a nice week weather-wise."
The good news, though, is because only five practiced, they all got a lot of reps, and a few actually got to pitch off the mound.
Greencastle-Antrim's softball team is in the same boat, but not nearly to the same extent. Morgan Wagaman is currently playing for the Blue Devils' girls hoops team.
"Morgan actually came to tryouts today after basketball; (Greencastle girls basketball coach) Mike (Rhine) is good about that," Devils softball coach Mark DeCarli said. "We had 32 girls come out, so we had to split them into two groups. Getting outside (on Tuesday) will be really beneficial for us."
Soaking up the sun
Despite some baseball and softball teams staying indoors on Monday, many of the area's spring sports team took to the sun quite well.
"I didn't have to shovel the courts before practice," JB boys tennis coach Terri Beegle said. "I may even have a tan line from today."
Chambersburg boys lacrosse coach Paul Flohr said, "I keep thinking back to this time last year, we had to walk the field to get the snow off the turf before we could practice. It was great to actually be able to go out and guys weren't freezing. It was nice to get the sun in everybody's face, and we got a lot of good work in for two hours."
Flohr and the Trojans focused mainly on seeing where the team was at skill-wise after a lot of offesason work, while Beegle and the Rockets simply wanted to get back in the swing of tennis.
"We did some stretching and getting arms loose," Beegle said. "Some of my guys started getting into challenge matches, because we have some matches starting next week. We worked on basically just knocking the rust off."