Give Warwick credit

By on November 16, 2011

Bruce Morgan

Record Express

Sports Editor To be honest, I never saw this one coming.

This Saturday, the Warwick field hockey team will be playing for the State Triple-A championship, and personally, I can’t wait.

But at this time last year, it was the furthest thing from my mind.

When Warwick fell in the first round of the District Three Triple-A playoffs for the second year in a row, dropping a 2-1 loss to Hershey, they just didn’t seem to be headed in the right direction.

They finished only 11-8 — very average for a Warwick team — and coach Bob Derr talked in his post-game comments about unfulfilled potential. He mentioned how he hoped the underclassmen could learn to play as a team, and that spoke volumes.

That’s what they took into the off-season, and apparently they got themselves on the same page. Over the course of this season, Derr has often alluded to team-building exercises and meetings which were conducted starting last December. A player or two has acknowledged to me that they had issues which had to be overcome.

Whatever it was, give Warwick credit for doing a 180 and getting themselves to this point. Someone once told me that if you’re winning, you’re going to have good chemistry. But to me, that’s like the chicken and the egg theory. Which one comes first?

That’s a question for another day. For Warwick, only one question remains — can they complete this magical season with one more big win on Saturday?

Certainly, it’s been telling to watch the emotions of coach Derr as this season — and the post-season — have unfolded. Warwick’s skipper has shown a lot of excitement as his squad has advanced from one step to the next, and on Tuesday, he broke down a bit as he addressed his team after their 2-1 win over Central Dauphin the State semi-finals.

Afterward, he attributed his excitement to watching his team overcome bumps in the road this season and getting themselves within one win of a State gold. They overcame early Section losses to Hempfield and Penn Manor to win the L-L League title and now put themselves in position to win all the marbles.

But perhaps those are also the reactions of a man who had seen his team go three straight years without making the State playoffs. In any sport, regardless of how successful a team or program has been, you can take nothing for granted. But now they are back and just one win away from claiming a fourth State gold.

Don’t put it past them. More COLUMN, page B-8

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