Counting down the top F-F moments from 2016-17
Another high school sports season has come and gone, and 2016-17 was one for the record books around Franklin and Fulton counties.
State champions, district titles, milestone markers and a few unforgettable upsets were just a few of the highlights from yet another successful season.
Here's the countdown of the top 10 best stories in the area this year.
After settling for silver in his sophomore and junior seasons, Drew Peck was not going to let that elusive gold medal get away form him for a third time. In February, Peck earned a District 3 Class 3A wrestling title at 182 pounds with a 4-1 victory over Ben Maack of Governor Mifflin.
Peck, a two-time P.O. Wrestler of the Year, completed his career with a 137-34 record and earned two PIAA medals. He will continue his wrestling career at the University of Virginia next year.
Last year, Josh Booth's fifth-place finish at the PIAA track & field championships was an incredible feat for the then-sophomore - but fifth place was simply not good enough for Booth this year.
The junior breezed through prelims to earn a top seed in the finals before claiming PIAA gold in 39.11 at the 2017 track & field state championships.
Booth won the District 5 titles in both the 110 and the 300 hurdles.
It was a long time coming for the Waynesboro football program, but the Indians finally made their postseason debut in November after completing a 7-3 regular season record to earn a No. 8 seed in the District 3 Class 5A playoffs.
Waynesboro punched its ticket to the program's first-ever District 3 playoff appearance with a 35-5 win over Mifflin County in the final game of the regular season.
After last year's flood of 1,000-point scorers, it was only a matter of time before all-time scoring records began to fall. Six athletes broke school scoring records in 2016-17, while five more F-F athlete hit the 1,000-point mark of their basketball career.
Shalom Christian's Jonah Stains, McConnellsburg's Bronwyne Mellott, Greencastle's Jenay Faulkner, Southern Fulton's Dylan Gordon, Olivia Mottern and Chase Varner (soccer) and Fannett-Metal's Mikell McGee (soccer/ basketball) all broke scoring records. Chase Novak (McC), Casey Hoover (G-A), Cameron Roseman (Shalom), Cat Weber (Waynesboro) and McKenzie Gelvin (McC) each hit the 1,000-point milestone.
The James Buchanan football program took a big step toward rebuilding a successful team after officially leaving the Mid Penn Conference starting in 2017. The decision was approved by a near-unanimous vote in early November.
The Rockets will begin playing an independent schedule that would include some smaller schools in the hopes of making the program more competitive. JB, which has struggled with low turnout, hopes winning games in an independent schedule will attract more players, and potentially re-apply to the Mid Penn in the future.
There's no lack of talent across Franklin and Fulton counties, and this year, Division I programs took notice.
In the month of October, Kelton Chastulik, Nathan Starliper, McKenzie Gelvin and Campbell Parker all committed to Division I programs, and six other F-F athletes announced their commitment to top-tier athletic schools throughout the year.
Chandler Olson, Sara Gsell, Rachel Marconi, Olivia Gardenhour, Drew Peck and Lauren Hirneisen also signed Division I letters of intent, along with a host of other F-F athletes who will continue their athletic careers in college.
After a heartbreaking loss in the District 5 Class 1A championship to Fulton County rival Southern Fulton a year prior, the McConnellsburg girls basketball team ended its 18-year district drought in a 62-46 victory over Northern Bedford in the 2A title game.
The Lady Spartans entered their second straight D5 final with a more well-rounded scoring effort and valuable experience in the district tournament - ready to hoist its first district plaque since 1999.
Now, the top three Franklin-Fulton stories as voted by the readers:
The Chambersburg softball team took Franklin County on a wild ride the last two years, and while the team fell short of its state-championship dreams, Chambersburg successfully wrote its name in the record books.
The Lady Trojans won back-to-back District 3 championships - including the first-ever Class 6A title - and journeyed to the PIAA semifinals two years in a row.
We all remember THE game. When the Shippensburg football team defied the odds by scoring 15 points in the final 30 seconds of a District 3 Class 4A semifinal game against Bishop McDevitt to punch its ticket to the program's first district final.
That night, the Greyhounds shattered McDevitt's 25-game district playoff winning streak, and pulled off what Franklin County will remember as one of the most exciting upsets ever.
Parks burst onto the scene even before she was competing with Greencastle-Antrim high school as the top middle school distance runner in the area - and she did not disappoint when she entered the high school running scene.
She started with a District 3 cross country title, and moved on to win her first state championship just weeks later. Parks later won the district track title in the 3200, then advanced to states to claim the PIAA championship in the 1600.
Honorable mention: PIAA reclassification; District 3 prepares for change in football calendar; Shippensburg wrestling team makes it to D3 semis; Greencastle vs. Shippensburg boys basketball rivalry; Fannett-Metal's Mikell McGee finishes career with 7 school records.