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WEST SHAMOKIN: Winter sports end; spring sports get under way

by RYAN MYERS on March 01, 2013 10:40 AM

RURAL VALLEY — All of West Shamokin’s athletic teams have finally finished their seasons, in what I’m sure they would consider successful seasons. The boys’ basketball team finished its season on Feb. 16 against Riverside High School in the preliminary round of the WPIAL Class AA playoffs.

The team finished with five wins and five losses in the section and with an overall record of 11-11.

The guys made the playoffs by finishing tied for third in their section with Apollo-Ridge, behind Burrell and Deer Lakes. Anthony Rocco led the team in scoring this year and scored his 1,000th point very early in the season. Zane Clowser, Damon Craig, Matt Marsh, Andy Stover and Zac Horner were also a big help to the success of the team throughout the season. Along with successful season, Rocco and coach Mike Nagy will be representing West Shamokin at the Cager Classic All-Star game on March 22.

The girls’ basketball team had a season very similar season to the boys’. The girls ended their season on Feb. 15 in the preliminary round of the playoffs against Neshannock. The girls also finished fourth in their section behind Burrell, Deer Lakes and Ford City, with a record of 4-6 in the section and 12-11 overall. The girls’ leading scorer was Jill Glover who, like Rocco, scored her 1,000th point very early in the season. Glover and her coach, Judd McCullough, will also be representing West Shamokin at the Cager Classic All-Star game.

Along with two basketball teams, the wrestling team has finished their season. The team finished with an 0-4 record in their section, but they still had a great season.

The team was led by their only senior, David Batistig, who unfortunately did not make it to the individual tournaments due to an injury. Brian Brown, Brendan Glover and Brian Lukehart all made it to the WPIAL individual tournament.

Now that winter sports have ended, West Shamokin students are very hopeful that the spring sports will also have successful seasons. The baseball, softball and boys’ volleyball teams are all ready to start their seasons off with a bang. There seems to be a lot of interest in the spring sports this year, because all three teams have had many more kids than usual sign up and show up to their open gyms.

The baseball team, which finished fifth in the section last year, hopes to make a run for the playoffs this year by finishing at least third in the section.

The team will be coached by Dave Powers. The girls’ softball team has high expectations this year to improve on their sixth-place section finish last year, which going by the optimism of the team, will easily be accomplished. The softball team will be coached by Jim Ellenberger.

As the baseball and softball teams hope to improve this year, so does the boys’ volleyball team. The team has made it to the first round of WPIAL playoffs for the past several years, but has never made it further than that. This year the Wolves are determined to win the section and make it past the first round of the playoffs. The guys will have a new coach this year in Scott Craig. I would like to wish all three teams good luck in their upcoming seasons.

Aside from sports, West Shamokin would also like to boast about Emil Ihnat, who earned the rank of Eagle Scout and will be honored at a banquet at the end of March. Emil is the son of Bill and Ann Ihnat, of Plumcreek Township.

As a senior at West Shamokin, he is involved in basketball, golf, volleyball and SADD in addition to his Scouting. Emil belongs to Troop 676 and has been active in Scouting for 12 years.

His Eagle Scout project involved replacing a staircase on the Laurel Point Trail in Crooked Creek by the boat launch in October 2012.

He traveled to Canada in 2011 and has gone to summer camp every year and to Campaganza.

Emil is a member of St. Mary’s Mother of God Church in Yatesboro. His plans include going to college to earn a bachelor degree, get a job, make money and live his life.

Emil is especially proud of his Eagle Scout rank because he is following in the steps of his father, Bill, who earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1974.

Mr. Ihnat’s project was coaching boys from single-parent families in basketball. He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 30 in Columbus, Ohio.

His favorite memory is that his troop still meets every four years for an amazing camporee.

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