Rivalry heats up again on Thursday
Only time will tell how far the Philadelphia Eagles go this year — or not — but how sweet was it watching them rip the Dallas Cowboys 34-7 on Sunday night? To me, that rivalry is hard to beat when it comes to watching the NFL.
On the local high school level, is there a better rivalry in the Lancaster-Lebanon Field Hockey League than the one Warwick currently has against Penn Manor?
Not in my book.
Penn Manor had Warwick’s number for a couple of years, and now this fall, it has heated up to another level. In the final week of the regular season, the two teams played one of the most intense games I’ve ever seen as Warwick spoiled Penn Manor’s unbeaten league record and avenged an earlier one-goal loss with a 2-0 victory.
With that confidence-boost, the Warwick girls went on to beat the Comets 2-1 in OT in a thriller for the L-L championship.
I’m not making any predictions for their fourth meeting tonight (Thursday), but it’s going to be a must-see event.
Given all that Bob Derr has accomplished in his Hall of Fame career as Warwick’s coach and the far-reaching respect he has, you have to believe him when he tells you something. So when he spoke during an interview on Tuesday about the strength of the top eight teams in the District Three Triple-A field, about how any of them could end up grabbing the five berths to the State playoffs, it’s interesting to note that three of Thursday’s four semi-finalists are L-L teams, and a fourth (Cocalico) is still in the mix to go to the PIAA Tournament.
We’ve had a number of discussions in our newsroom this year regarding the fact that there really aren’t any juggernauts football-wise in the L-L League this fall. It might be difficult to see any of our local teams making a deep run in the State playoffs in late November and December.
But District Three field hockey has a pretty good track record in the State playoffs and maybe we could see one or more L-L teams make some noise in the PIAA’s.
It seems hard to believe that as much talent as Warwick has this year, they weren’t really a playoff-tested team coming into 2011. The seniors had a total of just six playoff games under their belt over the past two seasons. In back-to-back years, they advanced to the League playoff semi-finals and then ended their season in the first-round of Districts.
On Thursday night against Penn Manor, they will play their sixth playoff game this season alone. In their first five games, they have allowed just two goals, while scoring 19 at the offensive end, and when their passing game is clicking, it’s a thing of beauty.
By the way, kudos to Emma Rissinger’s brother Matt (a 2011 Warwick grad), who correctly predicted Warwick’s 4-0 score over Red Lion prior to the game.
If there’s anyone that can predict what will happen in Warwick-Penn Manor, Part Four, I’m taking that person with me to the horse races. Bruce Morgan
Sports Editor More COLUMN, page B-5