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Notebook -- Hancock grad Wheeler stands alone

April 15, 2010

Baseball



Larry Wheeler won 11 letters as a three-sport athlete at Hancock High School from 1961-65.

He moved on to Elizabethtown College, then went directly into coaching in Delaware -- spending 14 years at Claymont, 12 at Brandywine and the past five years at Delaware Military Academy. Out of his 31 years in coaching, he spent 20 in football but has always been involved in baseball.

This past Saturday, Wheeler became the all-time winningest baseball coach in Delaware when he rung up No. 412 in a 7-5 win over Wilmington Charter.

"I've always had sports in my blood," said Wheeler, who played at Hancock for three years under legendary coach Jim Brown. "There have been some rough times, but I've always wanted to be the best."

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Wheeler said he gets back to Washington County two or three times yearly. His mother, Adele, and brother, Rusty, still live in Hancock.

Brooks on the diamond

Saint James athletic director Mike Brooks will finish out the remainder of the season as the interim coach of the Saints.

Brooks relieved coach Brian Smith of his duties following last Saturday's doubleheader against Georgetown Day.

The change was made after it was discovered that there was an inaccurate reporting of a recent Saints game.

Clear Spring's Jordan signs

Brad Jordan will continue his career at Alderson-Broaddus College.

Clear Spring's senior pitcher/outfielder will sign his letter-of-intent today. Blazers coach Mark Shives said Jordan would be receiving a 65-to-75 percent scholarship package.

Alderson-Broaddus, a Division II program, is located in Philippi, W.Va., and competes in the West Virginia Conference.

Softball



With almost half of the MVAL Antietam season completed, undefeated Catoctin stands atop the standings.

Before Wednesday's 5-1 victory over Boonsboro, the Cougars (9-0, 6-0) had four players batting better than .400 -- including slugger Carly Farr (.471, four homers, 16 RBIs) -- and ace Megan Peomroy was 8-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 51 innings.

Clear Spring (8-1, 5-1) stands alone in second place, the Blazers' only loss a 4-1 setback to Catoctin on March 31. Since then, Clear Spring has won five straight by a combined 58-12 score, averaging 11.6 runs a game while giving up just 2.4.

The Blazers have five players batting better than .400 -- Heather Schlotterbeck (.516), Sarah Blickenstaff (.500), Jenna Knable (.467), Hannah Leizear (.462) and Damara McDonough (.429). In addition, all three of Clear Spring's pitchers have been effective. Amber Forrest is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts, Morgan Purdham is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA and has been nearly unhittable (seven hits allowed in 22 1/3 innings) if a little wild (22 walks), and McDonough is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA.

Williamsport (6-3, 4-2) and North Hagerstown (5-5, 4-2) are tied for third in the league, with the Wildcats owning a 6-4 victory in eight innings over the Hubs on April 7.

The Wildcats have been led offensively by Kayla Ewing (.452, three homers, 13 RBIs) and Alexis Fisher (.440, two homers), and Fisher has been equally impressive in the circle with three one-hitters and a two-hitter. Fisher is 5-2 with a 1.52 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 46 innings.

The Hubs' lineup has been sparked by Ragan Shaw (.474) and Shanan Plunkett (.471), who has eight extra-base hits -- including two homers -- for an .882 slugging percentage. Allysen Breeden (.368) also has been solid, and Rebecca Amalfitano (2-2, 2.52 ERA) and Rachel Thomas (3-3, 3.36 ERA) have been steady in the circle.

Smithsburg (3-4, 3-3) started 3-0 in the conference before dropping games to Catoctin, North and Clear Spring to fall into fifth. The Leopards have been solid offensively, with Karah Knight (.435) and Kayla Wastler (.391) leading the way and six others batting better than .300. Shayla Murray (3-2, 3.18 ERA) has been Smithsburg's most effective pitcher.

Boonsboro (4-4, 2-4) is 1-4 after an impressive 3-0 start to the season, when the Warriors scored 36 runs. In Antietam losses to Williamsport, Smithsburg, North and Catoctin, Boonsboro has managed just five runs total. Kayla Payne (.409), Breanne Lohman (.333, seven doubles) and Amber Welch (.321) have been the Warriors' top hitters, while Megan Long (4-3, 3.09 ERA) got roughed up against Williamsport and Smithsburg but has otherwise had a nice year.

Brunswick (1-8, 0-6) and South Hagerstown (0-8, 0-6) will face off today, with the winner getting out of the conference cellar. It's been a long year for the Rebels, who have been outscored 116-22.

Outside of the Antietam, Hancock (6-4) -- while not facing the quality of competition of the Antietam schools (nor should the Panthers given school size) -- is quietly putting together a quality record. Tiffany Younker is hitting .469 and three others are above .300.

Track & Field



Boonsboro's Abby Duncan, who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes Saturday at Smithsburg's Heurich Invitational, ranks No. 3 in the Tri-State area this spring in both events.

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