By Scotty Reynolds
Manheim Township is usually renowned for its extremely successful sports teams, distinguishing them from others in the district and state. The 2019 fall season has seen incredible accomplishments from the variety of teams Township offers. From league titles to state appearances, a variety of student-athletes have excelled in their athletic achievements.
Girls Cross Country: Manheim Township’s 2019 girls cross country team did well despite suffering substantial losses. Unfortunately, before the start of post-season, several runners, such as Annabelle Lapp (12), Paige Laurence (10), Mia Gillespie (10), and Alex Parise (10), were unable to continue because of injuries. Throughout the regular season, the girls team had a challenging schedule but were able to make it to the league tournament; they managed to take 5th place. Two runners stood out among all of the cross-country girls in the Lancaster-Lebanon League. These fantastic female athletes, junior Chloe Kline and sophomore Sarah Russo, placed 14th and 25th in the league race, respectively. After the team’s showing at leagues, they qualified for the District 3 race. However, they fell short of placing in this race. Despite their season ending in Districts, they had an impressive season.
Boys’ Cross Country: The 2019 season for the boys cross country team was similar to that of their counterpart. Evidently, they had a very similar schedule to that of the girls, and reached the same ending point in the season. After completing their regular season, the boys were able to reach the League race. Here, they managed to take 3rd place, an admirable feat. Along with the team, sophomore runners Brayden Brunsch and Tyler Stevens, placed in the race: Brunsch came in 23rd, while Stevens took 12th place. The boys also qualified for the District 3 Race, and after despite their strong run, no Township boys placed in the race. This team also suffered minor losses in the form of graduated seniors.The boys had a strong season and they’re only building upon this season to reach greater heights next year.
Girls Field Hockey: The 2019 girls’ field hockey team did remarkably well this season. They finished their season 9-1-2. Unfortunately, they lost to Lampeter-Strasburg in a tight game (that went to overtime) in the Lancaster Lebanon League Championship Game. After this tough loss, the girls still advanced to play in the District 3 Tournament. The girls got past Cumberland Valley HS in the first round of the tournament, restarting their winning streak. This win pushed them to the Quarterfinals, where they were up against Lower Dauphin. Sadly, the girls’ season ended after a defeat by Lower Dauphin. However, the team produced several League all-stars, all of whom were seniors. These girls were Sophia Rockwell, Vanessa Daniels, Maya Zagari, Abby Laubach, Allison Cubell and an honorable mention for Rea Fox.
Football: This 2019 season the football team went 11-1, with their only loss on November 8th, marking the end of their run in the District 3 Tournament. They were undefeated in their league standings, and they were able to win the quarterfinal game against Cumberland Valley for the District Tournament. Their loss came in the semifinals when they were defeated by Central Dauphin. It was a very tight game, coming down to one point in the second overtime to lose 34-35. The football team was extremely strong this year, and they hope to return to as impressive of a stature next year.
Girls Tennis: Their season began with an entirely new court installation outside of the arena. They finished their season 11-0, sweeping the Section title. At the beginning of October, they played Lancaster Catholic and came out on top to earn the LL League title; the individual portion of the League tournament is known as “Flights”; Scotty Reynolds (11) and Avery Palandjian (10) beat out Penn Manor to win the Flight 1 Doubles Tournament. From here, the girls went on to the District 3 Tournament, winning the final in a tight 3-2 match against Conrad Weiser. Avery Palandjian and Scotty Reynolds were successful once again, defeating the top 2 from Conrad Weiser to win the District 3 Doubles Tournament. The only other Township team in the tournament were juniors Cami Henneman and Julia Briner, who lost narrowly in the semifinals to Conrad Weiser. The team continued their winning streak to become one of the most successful tennis teams ever for Township. One of the team’s most noteworthy achievements came when they defeated Harriton—the defending state champion—in the first round of states. This win put them in the top 8 of the state and moved them to the quarterfinals. This was a tight match, but Township came out on top of Upper St. Clair, qualifying Township in the top 4 of the state. The semifinal match was the end of the season for this year’s team, losing in a very close match to the team who went on to win the PIAA State title. The only two people from the team to move on to the state level were Palandjian and Reynolds. The following weekend, the girls went on to the state level of individual tournaments, placing third in the state. The team went just as far as the individuals did, which just goes to show the depth of the team.
Golf: The Manheim Township golf team usually has a strong season. They are known for missing a lot of school, trying to cram their season into a short amount of time before the cold weather hit. During their regular season, the co-ed team was undefeated. They were able to win the LL League Section 1 Title, along with placing first in the LL League overall. They secure third place at the District 3 Tournament. As important as the team aspect of golf is, the individual competitions are just as respected. The individual aspect of golf is as important as the team matches. After the regular season ended for the team, some players were eligible to continue onto individual districts. Connor Strine (11), Graham Calhoun (10), and Hamilton McNaughton (12) all scored well enough in the district tournament to move on to the regional qualifier. In order to reach states, he had to qualify in the district tournament and then the regional qualifier, something unique to this high school sport. Connor Strine made it to states, where he earned the title of 15th in Pennsylvania. There are many returning juniors and seniors next year for the team, it should be exciting to see how they do.
Girls’ Soccer: The girls’ soccer team also had a strong year. Their final record was 12-5, encompassing their season from league games to District 3 quarter-finals. Their league season was impressive, but they fell short of the LL League final, which only includes the top two teams from the league. However, their record did qualify them for the following District 3 Tournament. In their first round, the girls played Carlisle, whom they defeated in overtime. After moving on to quarterfinals, the girls had a tough loss, coming down to one penalty kick. They were defeated by Hempfield, the eventual victor of the entire district tournament. After a heartbreaking final game, we are anxious to see the girls come back next year, with a roster of many returning players!
Boys’ Soccer:The 2019 boys soccer season was impressive. Overall, they ended the successful season with a record of 15-4-1. This fall was important for the boys, because they had not reached the LL League Championship since 2008. They had the best record in the LL League, which earned them the title of Section 1 Champions. This put them in the LL League final, where they beat McCaskey. This was their first return to the final since 2008. On top of that, they won the game, which is very exciting and a feat to be recognized. These two titles qualified them for the District 3 Tournament. Their run ended here in the second round of districts, where they fell to Palmyra in overtime. A few of their stand-out stars earned some well-deserved recognition. Senior Liam Wright was the Section 1 Player of the Year and an all state nominee. Matt Russinko (12) was a Section 1 academic all-star. Liam Wright (12), Moses Beers (11), and Colton Pierson (12) all made the first team of Section 1 all-stars. Finally, Shane Mundorf (11) made the second team of Section 1 all-stars. This season was extremely memorable for the boys, and we hope they bring this energy into next season.
Girls’ Volleyball: The volleyball team had a very tough season, but was able to come out with an overall winning record. At the beginning of the fall they were off to a very slow start. With a record of 5-3, they were tied for the second to last team in the LL League. However, the girls were able to turn it around and began a five game win streak. This streak bumped them up to the position of second best team in the league before the LL League Tournament began. Their position put them in the quarterfinals, where they were able to advance after defeating Lancaster Catholic in a very tight match. They reached the semifinals, putting up a very strong fight, but losing to Elizabethtown, who went on to earn second in the League. At the end of the LL League Tournament, the girls finished with a 9-6 overall record. For such a sluggish start, the end of the 2019 season for the girls was very impressive, and the school hopes to see that continue into next year.