This and that

By on July 17, 2013

Talking Sports

By

Bruce Morgan

Many believe that death and taxes are the only certainties that we have in life.

But it’s getting the point where you could add a third to the list – a new head field hockey coach at Manheim Central each August.

Becca Keener, who guided the Lady Barons to a District Three Triple-A play-in game and a 9-9-1 overall record in 2012, has moved on.

A long-term substitute teacher in 2012-13, when a full-time elementary position wasn’t available, Keener was able to secure a teaching position out of the area in Manassas Park, Va.

With Keener’s departure from Manheim Central, that means when local athletes head to the fields next month for the start of fall sports pre-season workouts, the MC girls will have their fifth coach in the past five years.

In fact, since Crystal Gebhart stepped down from that position at the end of the 2004 season, Manheim Central will be hiring its sixth coach in nine years.

Michelle Haydt (2005-06) replaced Gerhart, followed by Janelle Benner (2007-09), Katie Gerfen (2010), Samantha Shober (2011) and Keener (2012).

Perhaps Manheim Central is encountering a string of bad luck. But I haven’t seen turnover like this since Michael Vick was the starting QB for the Eagles.

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For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t around for the Fourth of July Celebration in Lititz. And after hearing all the reports about what a fantastic event it was, I’m sorry that I missed it. Not to say that I didn’t have fun taking in the sights of Seattle with my family, going to a Mariners game at Safeco Field and attending a couple of entertaining Wenatchee AppleSox summer collegiate baseball games, but by all indications, Lititz threw quite a baseball-themed party.

I was fortunate to be able to get a pack of the baseball cards which the Lititz Springs Park Fourth of July Committee created and handed out to children as they entered the park.

Kudos to the committe, Ron Reedy for the historical research and Bill Dussinger for the design of these cards. They are very, very sharp and a definite collectible.

As I was leafing through the 10 card set, one in particular caught my attention. It was the image of Elwood "Ellie" Kreider in a batting stance from days gone by. Underneath are the words, "Philadelphia Phillies, Minor League Player 1948."

I’ve seen "Ellie" at countless youth baseball games over the years, but I never realized that he signed a minor league baseball contract in 1947 and that he was the first from Lititz to ever sign as a professional.

In my coverage of Zach Shank being selected in the 28th round of this year’s Major League Baseball Draft by the Seattle Mariners, I noted that he was the first from Warwick High School to ever be taken in the draft. This is still accurate since the first amateur draft wasn’t held until 1965. But "Ellie" obviously deserves a very important place in the history of professional baseball players in Lititz.

My apologies to "Ellie" for the oversight.

More COLUMN, page B-2

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