Big moments for these sports

By on February 13, 2014

Bruce Morgan

Bruce Morgan

With the Record Express and Ephrata Review launching their new look with this week’s editions, it meant a slightly altered schedule in our newsroom.

Instead of finishing all of our writing on Tuesday, while simultaneously working on our page layouts, the editorial staffs for the two newspapers were asked to really cram on Monday and get all of our writing out of the way before we go home. That would allow us to focus our energies on page design when we arrived the next day, enabling us to put out the best-looking products that we possibly could.

So while I’m embarassed to admit it, I probably had some mixed feelings when I got word just before 5 p.m. that Warwick senior Brandi Whitmyer had bowled a perfect 300 game on Monday in the Lancaster-Lebanon League playoff semi-finals at Dutch Lanes.

Selfishly, my first thoughts turned to, ‘OK, how do I get another article written with an earlier deadline? How can I balance this with what still needs to be done?’

The other part of me, and the biggest one at that, recognized that this was such an awesome accomplishment for Whitmyer that I had to do something. I remembered talking to Warwick coach Bill Bernstein a couple of weeks ago when sophomore Austin Barilar nearly bowled one for the Warriors and how he said then that perfect games, whether you’ve bowled one or 20, are just as exciting with each one.

They’re not exactly every-day experiences. It’s like a baseball pitcher throwing a no-hitter or, well … a perfect game.

So I was glad that I got to talk with Brandi and coach Bernstein about an accomplishment that she will remember a long time. Congratulations are definitely in order.

For me personally, I don’t think I’ve bowled 12 strikes in my entire life, let alone in one game as Brandi did on Monday. It was cool to hear her talking about the lucky break she got in the third frame and the way she tried to calm her nerves in the 10th as she was knocking on the door of history.

Heck, I even learned some new bowling jargon along the way. Did you know that ‘Jersey’ refers to shots that ‘cross over’ the 1-3 pocket for right-handers and 1-2 for left-handers and produces a strike?

As I look back over the events of the past week, I realize that Whitmyer’s perfect game is just the latest chapter in a tremendous string of accomplishments. Many of our local student-athletes had moments for which they could really be proud. Once the weather permitted, eight Warwick seniors signed National Letters of Intent last Thursday to continue their careers at the next level. Less than 24 hours later, three Manheim Central seniors put their signatures on the dotted line to do the same.

All of them deserve so much credit for all their years of hard work, not only on the fields, gyms, or whatever, but also in the classroom. They really are role models and leaders.

Then on Saturday, Baron senior Elizabeth Hess made headlines when she took home the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s Individual Championship for rifle.

Let’s see … Brandi Whitmyer bowls a 300 game. Elizabeth Hess wins gold in rifle. Warwick senior Tony Deimler accepts a scholarship to play men’s tennis at West Chester University.

I hate to single anybody out from signing day because, as I said, all warrant a ton of recognition. But the theme here is that, for a lot of the sports that aren’t really “high profile” on the landscape of extra-curricular activities, they got their day in the sun, so to speak, over the past several days thanks to these young men and women.

How long has it been since Warwick had a student-athlete in men’s tennis at the front dais on a cold, early February morning for a signing day ceremony?

Never.

Warrior boys tennis coach Ron Wanner indicated to me that one of his former players, Brad Zechman, went to Rutgers University many, many years ago, probably going back to the 1980’s. Plus, it’s very likely that other former Warwick tennis players have been on the courts in college, even if they weren’t at a signing day ceremony.

But the fact is, it doesn’t happen often.

Nor do perfect games.

Congratulations to Tony, Brandi and all the others.

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