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Sports Shorts from Around the Valley: December 31

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 our social media, but keeping up with every item can prove difficult.  We hope you enjoy.  If you have anything you think we should know, please reach out on our social media or send an email


‘Tis the season for feel good stories and we wanted to share this one with you in case you missed it.  During the LVC Football season, seven players volunteered their time to visit Henry Houck Elementary (Lebanon School District) to read to students in Mrs. Mary Garrett-Giovino’s classroom.  The collaboration is arranged in part by LVC Assistant Coach, Lebanon High School Principal Bill Giovino (also, Mary’s husband).  This is the story of the positive impact that these student-athletes are having on the children at Houck.



In terms of having an impact, most people know that Northern Lebanon Wrestling seems to make one every year.  This week at the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Tournament at Liberty High School, a milestone was reached when senior Owen Lehman won his 100th career match.  Lehman has contributed to the program’s success during his time on the varsity squad and this number of victories is a testament to his consistent performance.


When it comes to a consistent high level of performance, not many did it better this past season than Palmyra Field Hockey’s Olivia Kirkpatrick.  For her efforts, Kirkpatrick was recognized by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association who named her as a Second Team All-American.

If you missed the inside look the Palmyra Field Hockey players gave during this year’s playoff run, be sure to check out: Palmyra Playoff Field Hockey: An Inside Look (Complete Chapters 1 – 9)



With high school basketball holiday tournaments taking place across the region this past week, there were two Lebanon County girls teams who celebrated victories. Annville-Cleona won the Littlestown Tournament.  Lebanon defeated Northern Lebanon and then Palmyra to win the Lebanon Tournament.


While we are working to keep up with all college commitments, we learned this past week via CCHS Today that Lily Young, who overcame multiple ACL tears, has committed to playing at Jacksonville University.  Members of the Atlantic Sun Conference, Jacksonville University is a Division I program.


When it comes to Cedar Crest students ready to move on to the next phase, we turn our attention to Chad Ryland who played his last “regular” college football game yesterday when his Maryland Terrapins beat the NC State Wolfpack at the Duke’s Mayo Bowl by a score of 16-12.  Serving as a captain for the game, the 2nd Team All-Big Ten selection was 3/3 on field goal attempts from distances of 42, 33, & 45 and also added an extra point after Maryland’s lone touchdown.  On the season, Ryland was 16/20 on field goal attempts, with a long of 53, while also going 38/39 on extra point tries. In his collegiate career, Ryland converted on 72/94 field goal attempts, with a career long of 55-yards, and hit on 179/184 extra points.  The 5th year graduate student transferred to Maryland after serving as Eastern Michigan’s kicker the previous 4 seasons.  While at EMU, he earned a degree in supply chain management.  He may be able to put the use of his degree on hold a bit longer, as his big leg and consistency recently landed him on Mel Kiper’s NFL Draft Prospect list as the #2 ranked kicker/punter in this year’s class.  Prior to April’s draft, Ryland will play in the Senior Bowl on February 4th.



Another Cedar Crest alum continues to tear it up at the collegiate level.  Ariel Jones was once again named the PSAC Eastern Division Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the 3rd time this season.  This honor came on the heels of Jones’s 48-point explosion against Mercyhurst on December 18th, which tied the PSAC single game points record and broke Shippensburg’s all-time single game record.  She is now also 3rd all-time on the PSAC points list.  Last night, she again scored 25 as her Raiders beat Clarion.  Shippensburg is now 9-2 overall, with their 4-1 conference record putting them in first place.



Jones isn’t the only Lebanon County basketball product who is proving to be a valuable asset for their team.  2016 ELCO graduate Colton Lawrence is UMBC’s leading scorer with 13.7 points per game, as they have posted a 9-5 record and were riding a 6-game win streak prior to a loss to University of Maryland on Thursday.  The Retriever’s open up their conference schedule on New Year’s Day when they will host Vermont.


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