Top moments from 2012

By on January 2, 2013

Talking Sports By

Bruce Morgan July 17, 2013.

That will be one of my least favorite days in this new year. On the other hand, it will rank among the best days for my wife, Leslie.

It’s the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Classic and the one day during the year that none of the major sports have a game scheduled. As a sports enthusiast, I’m sure that I will have no problem finding a local game to watch on a nearby field. It will also create an opening for my wife to follow through on her idea to hold a party celebrating “No Sports Day.”

Overall, though, I can’t complain if that’s the only day out of 12 months that there are no sports. And these days, with the NHL lockout surpassing 100 days, I’ve survived by watching a lot of Family Feud reruns on the Game Show Network with my daughter, Kendall.

And if you think about it, whether it be professional or local sports, there are a ton of opportunities throughout the year to indulge in football, baseball, hockey, soccer or whatever. Even when you break it down to the number of games and sporting events that are being played by Warwick and Manheim Central student-athletes, there are hundreds and hundreds of such competitions between January and December. Needless to say, it creates a bit of a dilemma when trying to pick out the top local plays and moments during that time.

I was watching a CNN news show this weekend and heard an analogy that seemed to hit the nail on the head. With 2012 being an election year, trying to pick out one highlight (or lowlight) from the campaigns was like trying to find your favorite piece of sand on a beach. Such is the same with trying to select the top moments from the year that was in the Lititz and Manheim communities. The following represents my best shot, knowing full well that this won’t end arguments … only start them:

ü Most Anticipated College Commitment — Who else but Warwick star swimmer Emily Cameron, who gave a verbal commitment in late September to attend the University of Georgia. In swimming circles, this is like Joe Montana announcing he’s attending Notre Dame or Peyton Manning releasing the news that he’s going to the University of Tennessee. To win one State championship is remarkable. But in her first three years of high school, Cameron has made it look easy while winning five State golds and 12 All-America honors.

ü Best Finish To A Game — This was indeed a very tough call, and in fact the Warwick football team had a couple of wild finishes this past fall. But I’ll go with their Sept. 21 Section One opener against Cedar Crest, in which Kobi Biemesderfer split the uprights with a 27-yard field goal with just 14.6 seconds left in the game to erase a two-point deficit and send Warwick home with a 24-23 victory. The fact that Biemesderfer was only a sophomore playing his first year of football only added to the drama.

ü Honorable Mention to Colby Weit, whose 3-pointer at the buzzer clinched a 51-48 win for the Warwick boys basketball team over cross-town rival Manheim Township last February.

ü Best Clutch Performance — Manheim Central’s Brittiny Griffith wasn’t even going to play softball last spring, but gave it a go when a couple of her friends convinced her to lace up the spikes in her senior season. The Lady Barons were ecstatic that she did, especially after slugging a home run which proved to be the game-winner in a 2-1 victory over Conestoga Valley in the L-L playoff finals. Then just a couple of weeks later, Central’s left fielder slammed another long ball, this time of the walk-off variety, to give her team a 2-1 victory over L-L rival Donegal and send them to the District Three Triple-A semi-finals.

ü Honorable Mentions go to the Lady Barons’ basketball team, which despite injuries to several stars, managed to rally from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit against Lampeter-Strasburg to win 40-38 and clinch the Section Three championship; Warwick grad Sam Derr, who pitched a complete-game shutout and delivered a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 12th in a 1-0 win over University of California-San Diego in the NCAA Division-II World Series, and Warwick junior heavyweight wrestler Tom Devenney, who defeated Big Springs’ Dakota Matthews to clinch the District bronze and his first-ever trip to States.

ü Best Individual Performance — This also could have won the “Best Clutch Performance” category, which would have aptly described what K’shawn Mickens, a junior on the Warwick boys basketball team, did in a showdown against Solanco last January. The hot-shooting guard scored 11 points in the final 2:26, including a 3-pointer from just inside half-court at the buzzer, as the Warriors overcame a late six-point deficit to defeat the Golden Mules, 44-41.

ü Honorable Mentions go to Warwick junior Greta Weidemoyer, whose foul shot with no time left on the clock gave the Lady Warriors’ basketball team a 34-33 win over Penn Manor in a Section One game in February; and Warwick’s Darcy McDonald, who won the 10K at the Penn Relays in April.

ü Best Moment On The National (Or International) Stage — Nearly one year ago, on Jan. 12, Warwick grad Andrew Wenger was selected number one overall by the Montreal Impact in the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. Then in April, Wenger scored his first professional goal to help the expansion Impact earn their first-ever win, defeating arch-rival Toronto by a 2-1 score.

ü Honorable Mentions to Warwick freshman wrestler Devin Schnupp, who won both the Greco-Roman and freestyle championships at U.S. Nationals in Fargo, N.D. in July; Warwick grad Zach Shank, who was ranked by Perfect Game as the 10th best prospect (regardless of position) in the New England Collegiate Baseball League and named First-Team shortstop; and Warwick grad Macaulay Soto and the Messiah College women’s soccer team, who won the NCAA Division-III title.

ü More Honorable Mentions to Warwick grad Stephanie Kratzer, who was nominated for NCAA Woman of Year after finishing her senior season with the Old Dominion field hockey team; and Warwick’s Brynn Adams, who was named West Chester Female Athlete of the Year after helping to lead the Lady Rams’ field hockey team in the NCAA Division-II title.

ü Best Upset — Warwick’s Maddie Schouten, seeded eighth in the girls 100 breaststroke at the L-L League Swimming Championships, equaled her lifetime best and dropped more than three seconds off her seed time while winning the gold medal in 1:09.35. More TOP MOMENTS, page B-4