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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lakers spring teams hoping to fly high again

PIGEON — Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port’s softball team is hoping history repeats itself in 2011.
Last season, the Lakers captured their first district championship since 1987, finishing 30-7 overall.
This year, coach Eric Wissner’s squad has all the tools to make another record-breaking run.
Topping the list of returning players are senior pitcher Erin Albrecht and junior catcher Kacy Shetler.
Albrecht was a first-team All-GTW hurler, as well as honorable mention All-State, while Shetler was an honorable mention All-GTW performer.
Wissner is expecting big things out of his ace this season.
“Erin is not overpowering, but she moves the ball around, hits her spots, changes speeds well, and does not walk a lot of people,” Wissner said.
Also back for the Lakers is senior outfielder Brooklyn Foy, a first-team All-GTW pick, and junior infielder Ashley Richmond, an honorable mention all-leaguer.
In baseball, coach Adam Grybauskas’ team should improve on last season’s 1-9-2 league mark.
On the mound, Brody Lawrence and Nathan Schulz should provide plenty of innings.
Top hitters include Tim Warack, Sam VanTifflin and Brock Shope.
In soccer, coaches Chad Craig and Shawn Orlik are blessed with plenty of talented players. The Lakers finished 12-0 in league play in 2010, earning their 10th district championship in the last 11 seasons. They finished 16-5 overall, losing to Memphis in the regionals.
Heading the list of returning players is senior Taylor Comment, a first-team All-GTC center midfielder. She’s joined by senior sweeper Katie Smith, a second-team all-leaguer.
Other returning players who earned honorable mention all-league accolades include senior outside midfielder Trisha Machowicz, senior defender Kacey Peterson, senior midfielder Andrea Schuette, and junior defensive midfielder Rebecca Schember.
In golf, coach Charlie Henry is excited about the upcoming season. The Lakers were second in the GTW in 2010.
“We have five or six solid players that have significant golf experience,” Henry said. “And we have a couple of dual sport athletes who could help.
“But we don’t have much depth and we are young, with just one senior in the top six.”
Topping the list of returning players for the Lakers is sophomore Tyler Matteson, a first-team All-GTW player. Matteson finished in the top six at districts and was 13th at the regionals.
He will get plenty of help from junior Bryan Beachy, a second-team all-league player, sophomore Adam Hazard and freshman Drew Lawrence.
“Adam gained tremendous experience as a freshman and worked hard on his game over the summer,” Henry said. “And Drew is the hardest worker on the team.”
Senior Jordan Bonke and sophomore Wade Foltz also will see plenty of match action.
“We should be able to compete for the GTW title,” Henry said.
In track, coach Shane Yoder has 14 returning letterwinners on his boys and girls teams, though both teams are still low on numbers.
“We have some returning athletes in key events and have a large influx on freshmen who I hope will fill some crucial roles,” Yoder said.
“But small numbers are always our weakness. We do well in the  events we enter, but we are not able to field an athlete in every event.”
On the girls side, Gala Shivley is back in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump, Cassie Goglin will help in the 800 and 1,600, and Kayla Deering should excel in the shot put and discus.
 For the boys, Nick Gordon will help in the 200, 400 and hurdles, Jacob Engelhardt in the 800 and 1,600, and Nick Hilborn in the 200, 400 and pole vault.
“I hope we can send some athletes to the state finals and place well at some invitationals,” Yoder said.
In tennis, coach Brenda Smith has a dozen girls on her preseason roster, including a few with some major playing experience.

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