Lacrosse teams makes improved comeback in win
column compared to last regular season record.
By Ben Logan
Over the past few years, the Red Lion boys’ lacrosse team has struggled to gain momentum. However, this year it seems as if they have finally recovered from their dip into “bad luck”, with many beneficial changes and improvements.
Last year, the Lions finished their season with a record of seven wins and ten losses, mirroring almost the same six-and-eight record seen in the previous year. Both head coach Stefan Striffler and players alike were very disappointed with their performance, and sought to have triumph over such shadows to hopefully have a successful 2014 season.
As of current, the boy’s lacrosse team stands at a record of eight wins and six losses, a big improvement in a few years. Many players seem to put this on freshmen talent, Striffler’s new coaching methods, and the return of junior attackman Tanner Reif, who suffered an injury in the 2013 school year that took him out for almost half of the season.
“The team is doing pretty good this year,” senior midfielder Ben Federline said. “Plus we have Tanner back, so that helps a lot.”
Reif was recently voted by members of the community as the York/Adams County “High School Player of the Week” on the local sports website GametimePA.com. He earned the title following his performance at a game against Spring Grove in April, scoring six goals, two assists, and going against all odds to pummel the ball into the goal. Reif commented, “I really just took a chance whenever I could; if I could reach the ball, I would grab it. If I could shoot I would, and if I saw someone open I would pass it off to them and hope for the best.”
The Lions have had a ferocious comeback this season from their past disappointing seasons. However, with many more senior players being lost, can they hold true to their record? They believe so, and will continue to try their best to improve even further, with Striffler promising that “this should only be the beginning.”
Social Media: You can find the boys lacrosse team on Twitter (@RedLionLax). The account periodically posts final scores.
Junior Angelica Gonzalez returns to the winners’ platform after suffering a major hamstring injury almost a year ago.
By Adrianna Clinton
As most athletes know, coming back from an injury is never easy; overcoming the mental boundaries, pushing through the physical pain, and not giving in to the injury are all parts of the rehab process, one that junior track star Angelica Gonzalez is all too familiar with.
Following her highly successful freshman season two years ago, no one imagined that the road ahead for Gonzalez would be filled with injuries--injuries that could possibly destroy her career.
Her first of two unexpected hamstring injuries came in late December during her very first indoor invitational as a small strain. The second occurred during block starts in practice, where she experienced a stage two hamstring strain.
Success was all Gonzalez had ever known, and the setback she experienced put her in an uncharted place in her career.
Gonzalez became a well-decorated athlete during her freshman year as she was a county champion and district runner-up in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. She was also a state medalist in those events, qualifying her for nationals. She earned the names “Freshman Phenom” and “Speedy Gonzalez” after breaking three school records, four invitational records, and a county and district record, respectively.
And have colleges come calling.
Gonzalez has gained the interest of numerous Division I schools, including University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, University of Miami, University of Alabama, the Naval Academy, Harvard, Yale and Duke.
The expectations for her sophomore year were high after having such extraordinary success as a freshman. Her own hopes were even higher. The thought of being plagued with hamstring injuries before she could get her sophomore season off the ground and running never crossed her mind.
“I thought I was on top of the world and I was Superwoman, I could do anything, I could push through any pain and it would be fine the next day,” Gonzalez said. “Then I realized there were some things I couldn’t push through.”
After suffering her previous two injuries, her comeback was highly anticipated. Entering her first meet back, Gonzalez felt “amazing.” Little did she know that her return would be cut short.
“In the blocks, I was confident, but then halfway through the race at the 50 meter mark, I felt a sharp pain...my leg just gave out under me.”
Gonzalez went down with small tears in the same hamstring muscle, marking her third and most devastating injury, ending her sophomore season for good.
“It felt like I was down for a lifetime, but it was only a few seconds.”
Struggling to complete the race, she collapsed on the ground in a daze after crossing the finish line. Trainers rushed around her, giving her ice and helping her off the track elsewhere so no one could see her: “I was a mess.”
The rehab therapy that followed lasted very long. Despite it being over a year since the first injury occurred, Gonzalez is still not 100 percent recovered, not just physically, but mentally. As a new season approached, the memories of what happened “absolutely terrified” her for the first race back.
“It’s really scary not knowing where I’m at because I won’t know until I actually race,” she said. “When I went down at Central [York High School], the pain and the humiliation of it was one of the worst feelings ever and I do not ever want to relive that again.”
Throughout the recovery process, Gonzalez had a hard time coping with the reality of her situation. The treatment turned track into a burden, instead of being something she loved to do.
Nonetheless, the injury didn’t stop her from supporting her teammates on the track.
While watching her team from the bleachers, all she wanted to do was race. As districts came, Gonzalez saw girls running races with slower times than hers. “I could’ve won,” she said.
There were many times when Gonzalez lost hope in recovering and often thought to herself, “What happens if I don’t get better and I can’t sprint like I used to?” And times where she cried herself to sleep because of what happened.
On one occasion, she put her medals away in a box because of the constant reminder they were to her of what she could not have.
“Because of my freshman year, I was known for track. That’s how I was defined,” Gonzalez said. “Track was who I was. It was like I lost my identity, I didn’t know who I was anymore.”
It wasn’t until she was playing tournament softball this past summer with her friends that she got her identity back and found sight of why she runs on the track: “I run for my friends, I run for my family, and I run for me.”
As she moves forward from the injury, Gonzalez has set new goals for herself for the remainder of her high school career in the hopes that she fully recovers. On her list, she hopes to break and rebreak county, district, and state records in the 100 and 200, as well as become a state champion in those events. Nationals are on the list, too, as well as placing in the “top five, maybe even the top three” at the national level.
After high school, Gonzalez hopes to attend a Division I school and in the back of her mind, she contemplates possibly pursuing an Olympic career path, depending upon her success for the remainder of high school and through college.
In the meantime she is still rehabbing, participating in separate workouts in the weight room, working on deadlifts, squats, lunges, bridges and power cleans in an effort to fully restore the health of her hamstring. Later this season, she hopes to run the 100 again.
Additionally, Gonzalez continues to “perform well.” Though she can keep up with her teammates in practice, she is trying to get back into the swing of things slowly.
In her first meet back for her junior year debut, Gonzalez picked up where she left off her sophomore season, finishing with first places in the 200, 400 and long jump.
“It was more than I expected. My goal was just to be able to finish my race. Winning was just icing on the cake,” Gonzalez said about her first spring track meet back from her injury. “It was more than I had hoped for.”
Just recently Gonzalez earned first place points on the Red Lion homestretch versus Southwestern in the 100 (12.0), 400 (58.3) and 200 (25.3) meter races contributing to yet another Red Lion girls’ track and field YAIAA Division-One crown.
By Ben Logan
There are athletes all over the world who yearn to strive to the top. One of these such people is none other than Red Lion’s very own tennis player Sam Innerst.
Last year, Innerst placed second overall in the county championships, earning him a spot to play in the YAIAA districts championships, where he placed sixth. This however did not satisfy his thirst. “I want to win districts this year,” Innerst says, “Will it happen...meh, there are some pretty good kids, but I’m confident in my abilities.”
Head Coach Ronda Vaselles states that, “Sam has limitless potential. He is both a great individual and team player, and seems to really pull the team together. He is almost like a big brother.”
When asked about any specific plans for the future, Innerst stated that he has big plans for his tennis career: “I hope to go to college and continue my career and hopefully improve.” Sam has been playing tennis for nine years, and has throughout his career earned a reputation in York County, as well as the state of Pennsylvania.
In the 2011-2012 school year, Innerst ranked number three in Red Lion, behind Grant Williams, and his very own brother Dustin.
In Sam’s sophomore year, he was ranked number one, securing a third place in counties and traveling to districts for the first time. This year he still reigns champion of Red Lion, sitting at the number one spot.
“I like to not think about winning or losing when I get out on the court,” Innerst says, “I really just focus on my overall performance as a player, and do my best. When we lose...yeah it sucks, but I know that I can improve and look forward to just playing and winning in the next match.” When asked about preparation for such matches, Innerst stated that he engages in, “A lot of running, and a lot of practice (laughs).”
Though being a number one player for a sport can be very stressful, Innerst says that it is still very fun, and longs to make it his career in the future.
WATCH: Video piece on Sam Innerst's high school career: click here.
Baseball is one of the most affected spring sports that have had to deal with inclement weather so far, causing them to play countless back-to-back games.
By Ben Logan
It is probably safe to assume that what many people take away from the 2014 spring sports season will be the never-ending rainouts and the ever-changing schedule for sports teams in York County.
It seems to be the season of rain this spring, as many sports games and matches have been canceled, postponed, or ditched on account of the odd storms in occurrence this year. Schedules are all booked up for RL sports teams, and some could say that they have no elbow room left over to use for conditioning. “The rain has really limited practice time above all,” Athletic Director Mr. Fritzius said. “Some have gone without practice for weeks.”
Among these teams include baseball, lacrosse, and tennis; all of whom have seen game cancellations throughout their seasons. These events have been rescheduled to later dates, weekends included, and have seriously cut into practice time for the teams.
“We have had quite a few games cancelled, and so far we have only had eight games in total in a month with barely any actual time to learn our plays, or formations because of practice cancellations,” sophomore lacrosse player Nick Shima said.
“Pitchers in baseball after they throw 5 or more innings typically need 4 days rest. This is a huge problem for us because when you have games back to back to back you run into not having enough pitching.”
The Red Lion boy’s tennis team has seen the most harm, receiving six postponements for their matches alone, with multiple practices being canceled as well. “The rain has been brutal,” said freshman tennis player Max Moyer. “And now we have nine matches in a row, without any practice.”
Some are worried that the horrible weather might affect their playtime negatively. However, Fritzius assures that this is not the case, Time is not really a problem, but if it comes down to it we will be willing to skip exhibition matches in order to finish out the regular season, and that is what really matters.”
Though reassuring, many spring sports seasons do not conclude until the beginning of May, and April showers may still come around and make it tough for teams to play. “I really hope that it doesn’t rain again,” commented tennis player Alec Gayrama. “I would be upset, but I am keeping my hopes up.”
By Adrianna Clinton
Tonight the board of school directors will vote on the proposed scoreboard replacement at the bi-weekly school board meeting.
The original long-standing scoreboard at Horn Field was sent down by straight-line winds last fall, resulting in the usage of a small borrowed scoreboard from York College for the remainder of the fall sports season.
Athletic Director Arnold Fritzius and Marketing and Communications Manager Donald Dimoff have presented to the school board twice so far to discuss fundraising and scoreboard specifications.
The proposed scoreboard will cost an estimated $201,948 and will bring in money year after year thanks to advertising, according to Dimoff. The initial cost of the board will be covered by fundraising efforts and advertising with no tax dollars being utilized.
Additionally, past meeting presentations have indicated the scoreboard has an educational value to it, as it includes a video board that students will be able to manage during public events as well as produce work to be featured on it.
The school board meeting will be held at the Red Lion Education Center on 696 Delta Road at 7:30 p.m.
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