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Preps Notebook -- Wilson will be tested Saturday

September 24, 2009

Cross country



Smithsburg senior David Wilson has won all three races he's competed in this season.

If he makes it 4-for-4, it will be extremely impressive.

The Leopards' next race is Saturday at the Bull Run Invitational at Hereford High School, the site of the annual Maryland state meet.

Instead of competing in the small-school races, Smithsburg coach Ray Shriver opted to enter both his boys and girls teams in the elite races.

"(Wilson) is really looking forward to the opportunity to challenge himself,"

Shriver said. "But, honestly, it's a chance to give all our kids a chance to go up against kids who are really, really good and see what they can do. We might get thumped, but we want to be challenged to make ourselves better."

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North Hagerstown and Williamsport also will be leaving the comforts of home behind Saturday to compete at prestigious meets. The Hubs are going to the Carlisle (Pa.) Invitational, while the Wildcats are traveling to Leesburg, Va., for the Oatlands Invitational.

Track & Field



James Buchanan hasn't hosted a track meet in more than a decade. But that will change this spring, as the Rockets are ready to unveil their new track.

The party starts this evening with a dedication ceremony at the high school stadium. The event, which runs from 6:30 to 8:30, includes refreshments and activities for all ages.

Boys Soccer



With about a month of the season gone, only two teams remain undefeated in the Tri-State area -- Washington and Mercersburg Academy.

The Patriots, who went 7-12-2 in their inaugural season last year, are 9-0-1 through Wednesday, having outscored opponents 42-6. Their only blemish -- if you can even call it that -- was a minor one, a 1-1 tie against the Blue Storm (5-0-1) on Sept. 12.

Washington has only allowed more than one goal in one game -- a 5-3 victory against defending Class AA state champion Berkeley Springs (3-4-3) on Wednesday -- and has posted six shutouts. Tanner Robison leads the area with 19 goals, 42 points and a 4.20 points-per-game average.

Mercersburg Academy posted a shutout in all five of its victories, giving up just the one goal to Washington while scoring 15.

Chambersburg (6-1) fell from the undefeated ranks on Tuesday, suffering a 2-1 loss in double-overtime to undefeated Central Dauphin in a battle for the Mid-Penn Commonwealth lead.

The Trojans entered the game ranked eighth by the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association, while Central Dauphin was ranked fifth.

Chambersburg outscored its first six opponents 27-3, including an 8-0 thumping of Greencastle-Antrim (5-5) and a 4-1 win over Waynesboro (4-3).

One of this season's most surprising results happened on Sept. 18, when Grace Academy stunned Martinsburg 3-1.

The Knights (10-1) have dominated the Mason Dixon Christian Conference, beating top challenger Broadfording (10-2) 3-0 on Sept. 10. Still, a victory over the Bulldogs (6-6) -- who were ranked 16th nationally last September -- is a major accomplishment.

The loss was the third in a row for Martinsburg, and it may have served as a wake-up call. The Bulldogs have won two straight since, including a 5-1 pasting of Jefferson (5-5) on Tuesday.

Girls soccer



Jefferson senior Sarah Cogswell -- last year's Herald-Mail Player of the Year -- is closing in on the century milestone for career goals.

Cogswell has 16 already this season, giving her 90 for her career. She had 18 as a freshman, 20 as a sophomore and 36 last year.

Volleyball



How good has Smithsburg's Sara Rishell been? Through five matches, the Leopards junior is averaging 5.44 kills, 1.83 blocks and 3.94 digs per game. Of the stats submitted by area coaches, Rishell easily leads in kills and blocks and is second in digs to Broadfording defensive specialist Danielle DuBois.

Rishell's best match came Tuesday in a five-game thriller against Francis Scott Key. Rishell reached double figures in all three categories (32 kills, 18 digs, 11 blocks) to keep Smithsburg undefeated at 5-0.

The surprise of the early season has been North Hagerstown, which also won its first five matches. The Hubs' sweep of Middletown on Tuesday was their most impressive victory to date -- the Knights have wins over Boonsboro (2-3) and South Hagerstown (3-2) this season. Clear Spring (3-1) also swept Middletown.

The 1-2 punch of Akilah McCall and Anna Wade has been formidable for North. McCall had 12 kills and Wade added seven in the sweep of Middletown. Megan Plume had 28 assists and is averaging 7.37 assists per game.

Through Wednesday, five other area teams were undefeated in best-of-5 matches -- Broadfording (11-0), Musselman (6-0), James Buchanan (5-0), Greencastle-Antrim (4-0) and McConnellsburg (3-0).

Golf



North Hagerstown, South Hagerstown and St. Maria Goretti will converge on Fountain Head Country Club on Monday.

The 9-hole match is being billed as the first Hagerstown City Championship and will tee off at 4 p.m.

Based on results this season, the Hubs will be the prohibitive favorite to win the initial title.

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