Winter sports wrap-up: Pioneers press onward

As the winter months come to a close, the winter sports teams at L-S are packing away their uniforms and equipment, and looking back on a time that is the final season for members of the class of 2016. The basketball, bowling, swimming, and wrestling teams, despite some struggles against competition, managed to have respectable seasons not only for the records, but also for the enjoyment and friendships developed. Throughout the many sporting events at home and away, Lampeter-Strasburg's spirit continued its energetic and fervent presence, composed of students cheering for their friends and fellow athletes. In this special edition of an sports roundup, we have the breakdown of season-long competition for each winter sports team for your enjoyment.

Team-by-team capsules

Boys Basketball
Entering the season, no one had the boys basketball team as the favorite to win section three. No one, that is, except the boys basketball team. With eight seniors, the squad projected experience and confidence all season long, two traits that helped the team win all but one of its regular season games, avenging a number of close losses from last season.

The entire bench was a crucial part in the team's success

Among the strongest aspects of the team was that no one player outshined the rest; each player on the floor was a legitimate threat to score, pass, or play defense. If there was one star, it would be senior Matt Achille, who was a master facilitator on both offense and defense. Also, we would be remiss not to mention the highflying escapades of junior forward Ben Sandberg, whose dunks galvanized the student section all year long.

Key games for the Pioneers included wins over Manheim Central both at home and on the road (handing the Barons their first home loss in more than two years), a win over Cocalico in the final game of the regular season (avenging the only loss of the regular season), and of course, victory in the first two rounds of the playoffs over Dover and Gettysburg respectively.

At this point, it is premature to speculate on the future of the program, as they are still hammering away, now heading for the state playoffs after a tough loss in the district semifinals. Needless to say, replacing eight seniors will not be easy.

The Pioneers' tenacious defense allowed the fewest points per game in the L-L league

As Coach John Achille told us earlier in the season, "They have been leading us with their experience and effort. Everybody is taking their lead and jumping on board; it is has been fun to watch."

However, Isaac Beers and Sandberg will return to help lead the Pioneers onward with a new core that will include sharpshooter Jared Houck and interior threat Jack Banner. With Mr. Achille -- arguably among the top coaches in the Lancaster-Lebanon League -- at the helm, playing the Pioneers at any time in the near future probably will not rank among most L-L teams most pleasant tasks.

For more boys basketball coverage, see our archive.


Girls Basketball
Nevin Hoenninger drives in the lane against Annville-Cleona;
her offensive presence powered the team to success
The girls basketball team was in a rather tough position at the start of this season. This predominantly young team had big shoes to fill from the varsity team’s success last year. It was certainly a rebuilding year for the Lady Pioneers, but despite their inexperience they played quite well this entire season and posted a 12-11 record, which includes a 9-7 clip in the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

The girls were led by senior captain Rachel Shortes, who was a major factor in helping the team achieve a winning record. Although she did not score often (averaging about three points per game), her leadership helped pace the team to success. Junior Nevin Hoenninger battled injury for much of the season, but nevertheless was the Lady Pioneers’ top scorer. With 383 points, and 43 3-pointers, Hoenninger averaged 17 points per game, and for most of the season, led Section Three in scoring. When she scored at least 17 points, L-S was 12-2 compared to just 0-9 when she scored less than 17. Sophomore Laura Horner made her mark as well, with 255 points, and a 73% foul shot average (66/91). Sophomore Hannah Garber managed 137 points (6 per game), and -- more significantly -- was an aggressive, tenacious defender. Freshman guard Emma Gochnauer scored 134 points as the team's primary point guard; she developed her playmaking ability over the course of the season. Freshman Brittney Zameroski and sophomore Hannah Adams were the team's primary players off the bench. Together, they scored 68 points (Zameroski with seven three-point shots).

Certainly, the team has a promising future. They will return four starters and almost all of their reserve players. With more experience as a unit, the team will go onto great things in the years to come. The girls basketball team managed to overcome many challenges and played remarkably well this season. Even brighter days lie ahead.

For more girls basketball coverage, see our archive.


This season, the L-S bowling team struggled, losing four of their six matches. Despite the losses, many were well played, formulating a noteworthy and enjoyable season for the Pioneers.

The defeat of Manheim Central after Blizzard Jonas hit is one of the main highlights of the season. During this match, the Manheim Central Barons won the first game, making the score 2-0 in favor of Manheim. When preparing for this match, the L-S bowlers were aware of the reputation associated with Manheim: a 7-3 record and an expected advantage. In the second set of the game, L-S miraculously picked up their game to tie the score at two. The victor of the third game would ultimately win the entire match. The Pioneers managed to play steadily and finished the game with the advantage.

Prior to the match against Elizabethtown, the Pioneers sought to prepare physically and mentally for their match against the undefeated Bears. As the match unfolded, the Bears took the lead, and a crowd formed around the lanes for moral support. Overall, Elizabethtown continued their winning streak with a score of 7-0. From this match, the L-S team deduced their need for more practice.
Members of the L-S bowling team include (from L) Brittany
Hatfield, Cassidy Hatfield, Eric Gross, and Adam Lee

When the Pioneers battled Northern Lebanon, they fought for a well-earned victory. Northern Lebanon suffered from a disqualification caused by a missing player, and the Pioneers, taking advantage, won the match. In the first game, the Pioneers bowled a total of 18 strikes, ending with a 2-0 lead. Game two was very similar, as it ended with a score of 4-0. The third and final round of the match further determined the Pioneers’ win, as the score was 7-0.

The Cocalico Eagles went head to head against the Pioneers in a match that was decided by a final pin. In the first game, the Pioneers bowled strongly, finishing with an 18-point average and a 2-0 lead into game two. Both teams struggled in the first game, but the Eagles showed their skills in game two, tying the score 2-2. In the third game, the Pioneers made several substitutions, not proving useful as Cocalico defeated L-S 5-2.

With the many senior varsity players leaving, the team is anxious to fill the spots with new players, and trying to build a stronger bowling team for the upcoming seasons.

Andrew O’Connor, the coach's son, commented, “I hope we have a good team next year. We are losing all of our varsity players.”

The concern follows to the seniors as well.

Graduating senior Adam Lee said, “I hope the team can find new players. We had a pretty fun season this year!”

Despite the losses, of both matches and departing seniors, the L-S bowling team definitely had an enjoyable, fun-filled season.

For more bowling coverage, see our archive.


The swim teams dove into the season this year with high hopes and lofty goals. Both teams worked hard to come together as a team and do well, having fun along the way.

The girls’ team’s most valuable swimmer was senior Kristin Allen. She often swam the 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly, in the latter of which she swam in at leagues. Allen received fifth overall for the 100 fly with the time of 1:02, a new school record, and fourth overall in the 100 backstroke with the time of 1:01.49, also a new school record. Allen will participate in districts in 100 fly, where she is 20th seed, and 100 backstroke, where she is 12th seed. 
Meghan Brubaker, Julia Smoker, Alexis Sutton, and Hailey
Welchans pose for a photo at a home meet

The girls’ held an overall record of 3-7 and 2-4 in the league. Many of the girls who swam at leagues received their best time: Meghan Brubaker (200 freestyle), Olivia Honert (200 IM), Allyson Dull (100 freestyle), and Leah Herring (500 freestyle). The 200 freestyle relay (Katie Kreider, Hailey Miller, Julia Smoker, Olivia Honert) and the 400 freestyle relay (Katie Kreider, Meghan Brubaker, Allyson Dull, Kristin Allen) both had their best times at leagues.
The Pioneer boys had an overall record of 2-8 and a league record of 2-4. Although this small guys’ team did not have many overall wins, their team next year looks promising with the return of their three year running most valuable swimmer, junior Colin Anderson. Anderson received fourth overall in the 100 butterfly at leagues with the new team record of 53.27 seconds. Anderson will also be swimming in districts where he is seeded first overall in both 100 freestyle and 100 fly. Both the 200 freestyle relay (Dalton Kreider, Steven Hollern, Nathan Tobler, Colin Anderson) and the 200 medley relay (Anderson, Jake Klecko, Dan Reidenbaugh, Brandon Prouse) will be attending districts and are both seeded 15th.

Districts are on March 4 and 5 at the Cumberland Valley Natatorium.

For more swimming coverage, see our archive.


Owen Hess grapples with an opponent from Conestoga Valley
while Dr. Habowski and Mr. Albanese look on from the
scorers' table
The Lampeter-Strasburg wrestling team battled and bled their way through the season, as a young team looked to spread its wings and find its footing. Throughout the season, the team notched several forfeits, but innumerable memories.

L-S’s most valuable wrestler, Jake Kelly, will graduate, leaving big shoes to fill. His success has definitely helped to pace throughout the past seasons. Fellow senior Cameron King comments on his last wrestling season: “It was a great year and I feel like the team bonded really well.”

The prospects for next year’s team is looking promising, as the junior high wrestling team went undefeated.

“The middle school won the league title and went undefeated, so we should get some good guys!” says coach Brad Heeter, who has reason to be optimistic.

Not only does he have a rising crop of successful junior high wrestlers, but a young core of wrestlers gained valuable experience at the varsity level this year, and should help to form a core around which the program can build for years to come.

Key matches included the first home wrestling match against Conestoga Valley, a fateful loss for L-S. The final score was 54-18, influencing the team to practice even more as they would have a lot of work to do to prepare for the upcoming matches. On the plus side, Jake Kelly notched a pin in just 54 seconds, one of just a few points for the Pioneers.

At the second home match, the Pioneers fought and defeated Lebanon, developing a fond memory for all the players. Due to a forfeit from Lebanon, the entire L-S team wrestled up a weight class, which certainly was a challenge. Despite the difficulty, L-S emerged victorious with a final score of 48-19.

“The match was a good win for senior night,” Heeter says.

The overall sadness of senior night was uplifted by the victory, in spite of losing the great senior wrestlers. Through all the nostalgia of the senior’s final wrestling season, spectators became so engrossed that there was even a scoring snafu caused by the scorekeeper's excitement at one particular match. Consequently, the coaches and referees had to confer about adding some time; although inconvenient for the players, it was comical for the spectators.
Connor Feister fights his
opponent in an early-season

The final home match of the Pioneers’ wrestling season was a bit of a blowout, as L-S lost 58-17. Johnny Franklin and Colin Guilder both had their matches paused due to some bleeding, the severity of which caused an automatic timeout during which the mat is cleaned and disinfected while the bleeding wrestler is bandaged up.

While the team said goodbye to their home matches, they also said goodbye to their favorite scorekeeper, Mr. Angelo Albanese, who will retire from teaching (and thus scorekeeping) at the end of the season.

“Shout out to Mr. Albanese for his last match score keeping; he’s been scorekeeping for thirty-two years,” states Heeter.

Heeter is optimistic about the future of the program … for good reason.

For more coverage of wrestling, see our archive.


Final Records

Boys Basketball: 23-3 (15-1)
Girls Basketball: 12-11 (9-7)
Bowling: 6-7 (6-7)
Boys Swimming: 2-8 (2-4)
Girls Swimming: 3-7 (2-4)
Wrestling: 2-5 (2-4)

--The Winter Sports Staff:
  • Benjamin Eidemiller, Sports Editor
  • Maggie Johnson, Assistant Sports Editor & Wrestling/Bowling Reporter
  • Kevin Reed, Senior Sports Reporter
  • Caleb Gawne, Girls Basketball & Bowling Reporter
  • Megan Doolittle, Swimming Reporter
  • Lauren Mast, Sports Photographer
  • Benjamin Pontz, Editor-In-Chief

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