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Sports Shorts from Around the Valley: November 22

This section was started as a way to share some of the many noteworthy items that occur on a regular basis.  We get some of it out via Facebook, but keeping up with every item can prove difficult.  We hope you enjoy this section.  If you have anything for us, please reach out on our social media or send an email



On Monday, the Mid-Penn Conference announced their fall season award winners.  Among the winners are Palmyra Field Hockey Olivia Kirkpatrick and Palmyra Boys Soccer’s Brayden Sunho who were the Keystone Division Player of the Year in their respective sports.  Two Palmyra coaches were also named the Keystone Division Coach of the Year, with Kent Harshman leading the way in field hockey and Jeff Wilver taking the top spot in boys soccer.

Keep in mind that the Keystone Division is extremely difficult and is packed with talent in these sports.  In field hockey, Palmyra’s Keystone rival edged them out to win the PIAA 2A State Championship, while Lower Dauphin won the 3A title.  In soccer, it was another Keystone team, Hershey, that won the 3A State Championship.



On that note, while we recognize that this is a Lebanon County centric publication, it is for that reason that we want to mention the Hershey Trojan’s PIAA 3A Boys Soccer State Championship.  The Trojans won a 1-0 double overtime thriller on Friday night over Springfield Township.  In doing so, they won the first ever state title for the program.  They are coached by Andrew Maya, a 2005 Annville-Cleona grad.  In his seven seasons at the helm of the Dauphin County school, Maya has seen his teams win the District 3 title three times (2018, 2021, 2022) and now has a state title to celebrate.


Speaking of Lebanon County alumni who are now elsewhere and achieving at a high level, we want to follow-up the story we’ve been tracking concerning Palmyra Field Hockey’s Lauren Wadas and her Northwestern Wildcats as they competed in NCAA Field Hockey Final Four this past week.  On Friday, Northwestern defeated Maryland 2-1 and claimed their spot in the National Championship.  They met the #1 ranked University of North Carolina on Sunday in what proved to be a heart-pounding contest.  Trailing 1-0 for most of the game, Northwestern tied the game with less than two minutes left in regulation.  UNC responded quickly and less than a minute later scored the game winning goal.

For her role in helping her team finish as the #2 team in the nation, Wadas was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team.



Over the weekend, two members of Lebanon Valley College’s Mens Cross Country team traveled to East Lansing, Michigan to race in the NCAA Division 3 Cross Country National Championship.  Yes, it was frigid and the course was snow covered, but Jordan Berger and Noah Griffen raced hard regardless of the conditions.  Berger, a graduate of Northern Lebanon, finished the race in 26:58.5, which placed him 238th.  Griffen completed the 8,000 meter course in 27:49.7, placing him 278th.



Ariel Jones, the former Cedar Crest basketball star, has continued to shine on the court at Shippensburg University.  The 5’7″ guard averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals over her past two games and was named the PSAC Eastern Division Women’s Basketball Athlete of the Week.  In the most recent game against Holy Family, she hit five three-pointers on eight attempts.  Through the first four games this season, Jones is averaging 20.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, and 3 steals per game.



After transferring from Division 2 Bentley, ELCO alum Colton Lawrence is now playing at the Division 1 level for UMBC.  On Sunday, UMBC defeated Central Connecticut 78-76.  Lawrence played 35 minutes, scoring 15 points to go with 2 rebounds, 1 block, and a steal.  Through five games, the Retrievers are 3-2 and Lawrence has averaged 14.6 points in these games.  A special thank you to our friend Steve Snyder for picking up on this notable performance.



One final note in today’s edition will center on the Lebanon Cedars Football team.  Most people know that the Cedars struggled this year, finishing the season 0-10.  They gave up 507 points this season and were often playing under the mercy rule by the start of the second half.  However, there is one stat that does not appear in the box score and its one that speaks to the heart and determination of these players.  Usually, a season like this would breed discontent and witness a mass exodus of players rushing to quit.  The 2022 Cedars suited up 51 players in the first game of the season.  For the Cedar Bowl, they had 45 of those players ready to go.  What makes this even more impressive is that due to construction at the high school, they moved to two-a-days for most of the season, with the first practice starting daily at 6:30 am.


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