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Playoffs signal end of Winter Sports

February 26, 2012 - Michael Palmer
Playoffs are an intense season as winter sports winds down, there were some unusual and unexpected events that made this season an exceptional one for me.

There was the drama as Harrison Central’s Madison Richards attempted to take the court and play basketball with a reported ACL injury to her knee that is severe. Obviously in a great deal of pain, this senior took to the court some would say in order to score the final three points of her career 1000 points.

I would say from my experience talking with her that she would have traded those 3 points for a win over Tusky Valley in the sectional finals. Her family may prefer basketball, but anyone who has seen Madison play softball would conclude that she is a better recruit for the diamond than the court.

I hope she can heal enough to be able to play her senior year of softball with out being handicapped by the knee injury. She is a premier outfielder, hits with power, can throw from behind the plate to center field or visa versa with velocity and without the knee injury had decent base speed.

I could see her playing DI softball, and therefore I hope she can play this season with out injury slowing her down, I know those numbers will be impressive.

Another surprise was the Union Local boys at Claymont, I know the Jets have struggled this season in the OVAC but the effort against one of the top teams in the IVC, a basketball conference with Hiland, Garaway and Malvern; it was an impressive finish and hopefully a sign of better things to come on the hardwood next season. This was the third time I had seen the Jets in the sectionals with one official on the floor at each of the games that unfortunately by his foul calls has created the scenario where he appears to be biased.

In the sports reporting business as well as coaching it is always bad advice to make any accusations public, but when an athletic director has to get up and leave a gymnasium to avoid being ejected for protesting calls, there may be some validity to these alleged “bad” calls.

In any event, when a controversial call plays a part in the outcome of a playoff game it is always a black eye for officiating crews.

A disappointing loss in Cambridge by the Lady Jets was a heartbreaker. There were many questioning decisions made by the coaches as the finals seconds ticked off the clock, but in the final analysis, if Fort Frye does not hit a key three and net their last few foul shots, the Jets prevail regardless of any mistakes.

The freak Technical foul call will haunt one player for a long time, however it is important to remember that these are young men and women are just teens and beyond that they are also human. Especially in wrestling, mistakes in the post season are magnified in their importance and consequences.

The wrestling sectionals and district action featured some very close matches which are very exciting and entertaining. It is a disappointment to see two closely matched wrestlers battle and know one mistake, one bad choice, one poor decision can cost them their shot at a state title.

A 1-0 loss in the opening round of district competition sets the stage for a long and difficult road through the consolation brackets to a potential state title.

It is dramatic and emotional and for me it is almost over, I am covering River at Indian Valley against a very tough Hiland girls team and then moxt likely put away the gear for another winter sports season. I enjoy writing the sports articles, but miss the opportunity to shoot state tournaments, especially wrestling.

Now I begin preparing for Spring and can not help but wonder what the weather will be like for track season?


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