Franklin-Fulton: Five games to watch this week
The first full week of the spring season is upon us, and with that comes a few intriguing matchups that may shed some light on unanswered questions from preseason play.
New coaches, new lineups and a new season of firsts await, so be sure to check out the five top games to watch in Franklin and Fulton counties this week.
Tuesday, Central Dauphin at Chambersburg softball, 4:15
The Chambersburg softball team opens its season against Mid Penn Commonwealth foe Central Dauphin, and kicks off Chris Skultety's head coaching career with the Lady Trojans.
Chambersburg welcomes back a healthy dose of pitching talent and power hitters that has the opportunity to outweigh potential baserunning trouble. Leah Hunt and Sam Bender are not only two of Chambersburg's strongest pitchers, but will also provide help at the plate.
The Trojans finished last season 14-8 and 8-6 in the division, and lost in the quarterfinal of the District 3 Class AAAA tournament. Central Dauphin completed 2015 12-9, and 6-8 in the MPC. The Rams head to Chambersburg after opening its season with a 3-1 win over Elizabethtown that included the team's first homer of the season off the bat of Nicole Bechtel.
Wednesday, Central York at Chambersburg boys volleyball, 6
The Chambersburg boys volleyball team kicked off its season last weekend at the Hempfield Tournament, in which the team placed third. Head coach Marta Cummings hoped the team shook off season-opening jitters and knocked off the rust as the Trojans welcome non-league opponent Central York on Wednesday.
Central York is the reigning District 3 Class AAA champions but enters the season with its first new head coach in over a decade after long time head coach Brad Livingston did not return.
While Chambersburg is one of the few Franklin and Fulton teams who did not replace its head coach, the Trojans enter the season with a new attitude, and a new set of talent leading the team. Riley Washington, Landon Miller and Will Gerhart look to be a spark for Chambersburg as new middle blockers and starting libero, respectively.
Thursday, McConnellsburg at Forbes Road softball, 4:30
The Lady Spartans are working to rebound from their one-win season last year, while the Cardinals enter the season with a limited roster of just 10 players.
Forbes Road opened the season with a thrilling eight-inning victory over Fannett-Metal. McConnellsburg lost to Mount Union 13-3 in its opener, and committed 10 errors. Second year Lady Spartan head coach Junior Swope said the team will look to eliminate those blatant errors in hopes of finishing the season at .500 and in districts.
Carly Swope, McConnellsburg's top pitcher, and Courtney Schoen, the Cardinals ace, are also threats at the plate for their respective teams.
Friday, Waynesboro at Chambersburg baseball, 4:30
The Waynesboro baseball team travels to Chambersburg to take on the Trojans in the year's first all- Franklin County baseball clash. The non-league game will pit a first-year head coach against Franklin County's now longest tenured baseball coach.
Waynesboro's Greg Chandler starts his 29th season with the Indians this week, while Scott Folmar is just getting his feet wet at the helm of the Chamebersburg baseball program, who was formerly led by Bob Thomas for the last 51 years.
Chambersburg, last year's District 3 Class AAA runner up returns a host of senior starters, but with a new coach comes a new style of play that will be interesting to see in action.
Waynesboro is fresh off a big 15-3 win in five innings over Central York last week, where junior Kyle Hoffman pitched complete game, allowing just two hits. Waynesboro knocked out 15 hits in the shortened game, including a 3-for-4 performance from Cody Cline, while Hoffman hit 3-for-3 and had three RBI's.
James Buchanan boys tennis plays four back-to-back
The James Buchanan tennis team has been on a roll to start the 2016 season and remains unbeaten heading into a long week of four back-to-back matches. The Rockets will face Tussey Mountain at home on Tuesday in a non-league match, then will travel to East Pennsboro on Wednesday for an Mid Penn Colonial Division clash. The team will then face Susquehanna Township on Thursday before returning home on Friday to take on Middletown in another MPC match.
East Pennsboro is the only other MPC team to remain unbeaten heading into the busy week, and has not lost a set yet this season.