Pink Out effort to fight cancer gets under way

Are you ready to don your pink (or blue) to support the Penn Manor Pink Out?

Pink and blue “Penn Manor Fighting for the Cure” T-shirts have begun arriving as student athletes, staff and community members begin raising funds for cancer care and research efforts.

Fall sports teams are selling T-shirts to support the cause and will raise additional funds at special Pink Out home games. Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 24 – girls’ tennis
  • Oct. 1 – field hockey
  • Oct. 2 – boys’ soccer
  • Oct. 9 – girls’ volleyball
  • Oct. 26 – football/cheerleaders/Penn Manor Marching Unit

In addition, field hockey team members will be raising donations through a coin drive, bake sale, memory markers and a special game following the varsity action Oct. 1 at Comet Field.

The girls’ volleyball team will be dedicating time and energy through a community service project in early October in collaboration with Grace Cancer Care in Millersville. And the high school MiniTHON Club is planning to raise awareness of childhood cancer through a “Gold Out” game.  More details will follow.

The Pink Out will culminate with a  dress-down day Oct. 26 at all Penn Manor schools. Staff members can participate by purchasing a Pink Out T-shirt for $10 ($15 for size 2X and larger) to wear on that day or donating $5 through their building secretaries.

Shirts are available for purchase through school offices for students, parents and community members, too. T-shirt orders must be submitted by Thursday, Sept. 20. Click here for an order form or send an email to PMPinkOut@gmail.com or call (717) 872-9540.

Over the past four years, the Pink Out has raised nearly $60,000, thanks to the generosity of students, staff and community members. Donations have benefited such organizations as The Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, Velvet’s Totes for Hope and Help the Fight.

Let’s see how much we can raise this year!

Thank you for your support.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

 

Three-time state champion bowlers honored at Capitol

The Penn Manor boys’ bowling team was honored May 22 by members of the state Legislature for earning a third straight state bowling title this season.

Team members visited the Senate chambers, where they were honored for winning the state championship in March by defeating Wilson, 2-1. It was the third state title in a row for the bowlers, who beat Ephrata in the title match last year and Conrad Weiser in 2016.

No other team in Penn Manor history has won three straight state titles.

The Comets are now headed for the national bowling championship June 23-25 in Illinois.

Boys’ team members include Dan Mease, Michael Morris, Gavin Davidson, Nick Mease, Jordan Kahler, Jimmy Mahler and Mark Smith. The coaches are Chris Vital, Jordan Wakefield, Mark Smith and Alan Wakefield.

Thank you to our state representatives for honoring the team!

Bowlers with Sen. Scott Martin
Members of the Penn Manor bowling team pose with Sen. Scott Martin in the Senate chambers.

 

 

 

Penn Manor’s Nick Fafel, Alyssa Schriver earn Brackbill Awards

For only the second time in 30 years, two student athletes from the same high school have earned the prestigious A. Landis Brackbill Scholar-Athlete Award, which this year goes to Nick Fafel and Alyssa Schriver of Penn Manor High School.

The award is given annually to a male and female senior student-athlete who maintains a 3.5 grade-point average and letters or plays in 75 percent of at least two PIAA-sponsored sports in one year.

Alyssa has played basketball and field hockey all four years at Penn Manor, participated in track and field for two years and played softball for one year. She has earned a grade-point average of 3.693 and plans to study pre-med at Penn State University.

Alyssa played on two state championship field hockey teams and was named a First Team Lancaster-Lebanon League All Star in basketball. In addition, she holds the school record for the 400-meter dash and contributed to the school record 4 x 100 relay run.

Nick has participated in cross-country all four years and lettered in wrestling and track and field for three years. He has earned a grade-point average of 4.0 and plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Delaware.

In cross-country, Nick finished 24th in the state championships and seventh at the  L-L League meet. In wrestling, Nick was an L-L League Senior All-Star, First Team All-Star and Section Team All-Star. On the track, he qualified for districts in the 3,200 meter run.

A committee set up by the Lancaster-Lebanon League each year selects winners of the Brackbill Award, which is named after A. Landis Brackbill, a Penn Manor high school principal from 1944 to 1968 who was the first executive director of the L-L League. Award winners receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Manheim Touchdown Club.

Click here for an LNP story on the awards.

Congrats to Nick and Alyssa for this impressive honor!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Coaches Association names Soto Field Hockey Coach of the Year  

Penn Manor coach Matt Soto has been named Field Hockey Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association.

“We are extremely pleased to honor Coach Soto,” said Eric Hess, Executive Director of the Association.

“Coach Soto has not only established Penn Manor as one of the top programs in Pennsylvania, but also as one of the best in America. His commitment to excellence for his student-athletes is second to none.”

Soto, who has coached at Penn Manor for 13 seasons, led the Comets to a perfect season and a state title in what is considered the toughest high school field hockey conference in the country.

The Comets finished 28-0 as the PIAA AAA State Champions, District 3 Champions and Lancaster-Lebanon League Champions. It was the third state title in program history and the first time the team went undefeated.

The Comets outscored their opponents 148-5 and did not give up a goal in the district or state playoffs. The team allowed only three shots on goal in its last seven games.

The Coaches Association honor is the latest accolade for Soto, who also was named National Coach of the Year by Max Field Hockey. In addition, the Comets were the top-ranked team, and Penn Manor junior Emma DeBerdine was the top-ranked player in the nation.

Soto’s award is the third straight National Coaches Association field hockey honor for a coach from Pennsylvania.

In 2017, the award went to Sue Butz-Stavin of Emmaus High School. In 2016, Lower Dauphin’s Linda Kreiser was the recipient.

Congratulations, Coach Soto, on a well-deserved honor!

Unified Track & Field team provides new opportunity

Penn Manor hosted the first Unified Track & Field meet in Lancaster County Friday, kicking off a new program that enables students with intellectual disabilities to compete in organized sports.

Hempfield, McCaskey and Warwick also have teams under the first-year effort, which is governed by the Special Olympics and endorsed by the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Student athletes compete alongside partners without disabilities, with teams fielding an even number of each. Students are eligible to compete in one track event of 100, 400 or 800 meters; one relay (4 x 100 meters or 4 x 400 meters); and one field event, including shot put, long jump and javelin.

Team members compete in flights, which pairs students of similar abilities against each other, giving everyone a chance to be competitive.

Penn Manor kicked off the inaugural meet against Warwick and Hempfield Friday in front of an enthusiastic group of spectators. Penn Manor won the meet, but the students seemed excited just to be able to participate.

“I think all of our athletes felt like superstars on Friday,” said Jessica Cunningham, who coaches the team along with Doug Kramer. “They were proud of themselves for what they accomplished, and they felt encouraged and supported by the Penn Manor community.”

Sports teams teach students many valuable lessons about unity, sportsmanship and perseverance, Cunningham said. “I am glad we now have a program that allows all of our students to participate in a sports team. We’re all learning valuable lessons about encouragement and perseverance from our Unified athletes.”

The next meet is May 2 at Hempfield. The season will culminate with a regional championship that will include the four Lancaster County schools, along with Red Lion and York County Tech, scheduled for May 14 at Hempfield High School.

Many thanks to the coaches, special education teachers, partners, volunteers and supporters who made this new program possible for students of all abilities at Penn Manor!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Jason Mattern named Penn Manor athletic director

The Penn Manor board of school directors has appointed Jason Mattern as the district’s new athletic director, effective June 18.

Mattern, currently athletic administrator for Prince George’s County Public Schools, will replace Jeff Roth, who has served as Penn Manor AD since 2001.

“I am ecstatic to be welcomed into Comet Country,” Mattern said. “The new era of Penn Manor athletics will be one that students, parents, staff and community will continue to have pride in while also seeing some modernization in communication and the promotion of our programs and student athletes.”

Mattern said he was attracted to the Penn Manor AD job “because of the great schools, community and established legacy of excellence, both in the classroom and on the athletic fields.”

Mattern taught social studies at Bowie High School in Maryland from 2006 to 2014 and served as assistant athletic director at the school from 2012 to 2014. He has served in his present position since 2014.

Mattern also has coached varsity baseball at Broadneck and Bowie high schools in Maryland and was a pitching coach at the U.S. Naval Academy.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College in 2006 and his master’s degree in athletic administration from Grace College this year.

A native of Cleveland, Mattern has lived in Annapolis, Md., for 12 years. He and his wife, Allison, have a three-year-old daughter, Addison, and are expecting a second daughter in early August.

Welcome to Penn Manor, Jason!

Jason Mattern with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Addison.
Jason Mattern with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Addison.

22 Penn Manor seniors commit to college athletics

Family and friends gathered Thursday in the Penn Manor High School library to honor 22 seniors who will participate in collegiate sports at 19 different colleges and universities next year.

The National Signing Day ceremony featured students who participate in 11 different sports. Four students plan to play field hockey or football, three will play soccer, two will participate in track & field, lacrosse or softball and one each will participate in gymnastics, cross-country, basketball, volleyball and baseball.

Five students will attend Division I schools, five are headed for Division II, and 12 will attend Division III colleges and universities.

According to Penn Manor athletic director Jeff Roth, the student athletes excelled in the classroom as well as on the playing field, earning a median grade-point average of 3.7.

Four of the five Division I athletes participated in two sports at Penn Manor, and the group includes four members of the Comets’ undefeated state and national championship field hockey team. Eleven students were part of a League, District or State Championship team at Penn Manor.

Congratulations and best wishes to these outstanding student athletes:

Division I 

Taraje Whitfield – Princeton University, track & field
Brittany Hook – University of South Florida, softball
Hannah Brown – James Madison University, field hockey
Casey McCollum – Lafayette College, football
Mischa Kolibas – Longwood University, lacrosse

Division II 

Mia Clancy – Kutztown University, field hockey
Autumn Gager – West Chester University, field hockey
Jared Harvey – Millersville University, soccer
Thorean McElheny – Seton Hill University, track & field
Brianna Reitnauer – West Virginia Wesleyan College, gymnastics

Division III 

Brooke Spezialetti – Alvernia University, field hockey
Brianna Ulaky – Eastern University, cross-country
Conlin Groft – Cabrinia College, soccer
Susan Porambo – Stockton University, soccer
Nasheyla Greggs – Alvernia University, basketball
Sydney Duplissey – Salisbury University, softball
Allison Hege – Lebanon Valley College, lacrosse
Ben Wright – Franklin & Marshall College, football
Mikiah Sangrey – Lebanon Valley College, volleyball
Paisun Harris – Delaware Valley University, football
Dylan Crook – Elizabethtown College, baseball
Cole Heckaman – Franklin & Marshall College, football

Group photo caption: Back row, from left: Paisun Harris, Ben Wright, Cole HeckamanTheoren McElhenyTaraje Whitfield, Brittany Hook, Mikiah Sangry, Casey McCollumConlin Groft, Dylan Crook and Jared Harvey.
Front row, from left: Susan Porambo, Brianna UlakyNesheyla Griggs, Sydney Duplissey, Allison Hege, Hannah Brown, Brooke Spezialetti, Mia Clancy, Brianne Reitnauer and Autumn Gager. (Missing: Mischa Kolibas)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Emma DeBerdine, Matt Soto named Player, Coach of Year

Add two more honors to Penn Manor’s outstanding 2017-2018 field hockey team — it boasts the national coach and player of the year!

Max Field Hockey this week named Penn Manor junior Emma DeBerdine the National Player of the Year and the Pennsylvania/New Jersey Region Player of the Year.

It also named Penn Manor coach Matt Soto the National Coach of the Year and the PA/NJ Region and Pennsylvania State Coach of the Year.

Coach Soto led the Comets, the top-ranked team in the nation, to a perfect season in the toughest high school field hockey conference in the country, according to Max Field Hockey.

The Comets finished the season 28-0 as the PIAA AAA State Champions, District 3 Champions and Lancaster-Lebanon League Champions. It was the third state title in program history and the first time the team went undefeated.  The state title win over No. 3 Downingtown West was one of six victories by the Comets over teams that ranked in the Final National Top 25 Rankings.

Emma DeBerdine, a first team All-American and PennLive Player of the Year, contributed 27 goals and 30 assists for Penn Manor this fall.

“I believe Emma is the very best player in the country, and a complete player,” Soto said. “She recovers and plays defense with the same passion and urgency as any player I have ever seen or coached in 33 years.  She also is a great goal scorer.”

“Emma could have easily scored many more goals in our games, but she has such a keen awareness of developing the entire team, she often passed when she could have gone to goal,” Soto said.  “She scored when she needed to, and she distributed when she needed to. This really helped with our overall success.”

Emma’s speed and quickness are “unmatched,” he said. “Her recovery speed helped break down the opposing teams’ best players, which allowed our defenders more time and space to make defensive plays.  Emma is the consummate team player/leader.”

Soto pointed out that the Comets did not give up a goal in the district or state playoffs and allowed only three shots in their last seven games.  “Emma is a key part of that,” he said.

Congratulations to two deserving members of one amazing team!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

Field hockey team ends year ranked No. 1 in the nation

First it was the league championship, then the district crown and the state title.

Now Penn Manor’s field hockey team has been ranked National Champions, earning the top spot in the MaxFieldHockey.com final national rankings of the 2017 season!

Penn Manor compiled a perfect 28-0 record, outscoring opponents by 148-5 and posting 23 shutouts. The team was the first in Penn Manor history to earn Lancaster-Lebanon League, District Three and state titles in a single season.

The Comets ended the season on Nov. 18 with a 2-0 win over Downingtown West to earn the PIAA Class 3A state championship.

Congrats, ladies, on yet another accolade on your amazing season!

Check out the rankings here

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pink Out fight against cancer is under way

The shirts have arrived, and Penn Manor is in full Pink Out mode as the annual effort to raise funds to fight cancer is under way.

Pink “PM Comets Fight for a Cure” T-shirts are starting to arrive, and Penn Manor student athletes, staff and community members are raising funds for cancer care and research efforts.

Fall sports teams are selling T-shirts to support the cause and will raise additional funds at special Pink Out home games. Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 26 – girls’ tennis
  • Sept. 27 – varsity field hockey
  • Oct. 5 – middle school field hockey
  • Oct. 10 – girls’ volleyball
  • Oct. 30 – football/cheerleaders/Penn Manor Marching Unit

In addition, a district-wide Pink Out dress-down day will be held Oct. 19. Staff members can participate by purchasing and wearing a Pink Out T-shirt or donating $5 to the cause through their building secretaries.

High school students will have an opportunity to buy shirts during lunch the week of Oct. 9. Anyone who did not order a shirt in advance may purchase a shirt (sizes are limited) by calling 717-872-9540.

Over the past three years, the Pink Out raised more than $46,000, thanks to the generosity of students, staff and community members. The donations have benefited such organizations as The Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society and Help the Fight.

Let’s see how much we can raise this year!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Practices under way for Penn Manor sports teams

Penn Manor student athletes hit the fields, courts, trails and golf course this week as practices officially began for the fall sports season.

Middle school athletic team practices begin next week.

Fall high school sports include field hockey, football, girls’ and boys’ cross country, girls’ volleyball, girls’ and boys’ soccer, coed golf, girls’ tennis and cheerleading.

Fall middle school/junior high sports include football, field hockey, boys’ and girls’ soccer, cross country and cheerleading.

The Penn Manor Marching Unit also has been practicing since Aug. 7 and will continue every day from 9 am to 5 pm until the first day of school. The band plays at football games and has its first competition Sept. 16.

New coaches this year are girls’ soccer head coach Jacob Marino and JV coach Danielle Landis, football assistant coaches Matt Schuck and Jon Boxleitner, boys’ soccer assistant varsity coach Mike Cortez and JV coach Danny Schmidt, and cheerleading junior high coach Kara Eshleman.

The golf season begins Friday, and the tennis team begins season play next week. Other sports begin their seasons in September. Printable 2017-2018 Penn Manor sports schedules are available by clicking here.

Online schedules are available here.

Fall sports calendars also are available on the Penn Manor cellphone app, which can be downloaded free from Google Play or the App Store.

Go Comets!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Penn Manor bowlers headed for national competition

The state championship Penn Manor High School bowling team is now headed for national competition.

The Comets team, which won its second straight state title this year, will be competing in the 2017 U.S. High School Bowling National Championship in Smyrna, Tennessee, June 24 and 25.

Led by coach Chris Vital, the boys’ bowling team beat Ephrata March 18 to earn the 2017 PIAA Bowling Championship title at Dutch Lanes. It was the first time in history that a Penn Manor athletic team had won back-to-back state titles.

The bowlers headed for Nationals are Tanner Simet, Austin Curtiss, Nick Fisher, Kyle Shertz, Nick Mease, Dan Mease and Mark Smith, along with Vital and assistant coaches Ed Fisher, Alan Wakefield and Jordan Wakefield.

At least 24 states and 260 bowlers will be represented in the national competition, during which each competitor will bowl 10 to 12 games each day.  The team competition is June 24, and the individual title will be contested June 25.

“My team seems to understand the magnitude of this tourney, and they are all staying mentally prepared,” said Vital. “Having already won back-to-back state titles, this would be icing on the cake for us. We are looking forward to the challenge and hope to make Penn Manor very proud.”

Best wishes, and good luck on the national stage!

PM Pink Out is in full swing

Penn Manor’s annual Pink Out fund drive to fight cancer is in full swing!

Pink “Comets Unite to Fight” T-shirts are starting to arrive, and Penn Manor student athletes, staff and community members are raising funds for cancer care and research efforts.

Fall sports teams are selling T-shirts to support the cause and will raise additional funds at special Pink Out home games. Here’s the schedule:

  • Sept. 29, 6/7 p.m. – girls’ volleyball
  • Oct. 1, 2:30 p.m. – girls’ soccer
  • Oct. 3, 7 p.m. – field hockey
  • Oct. 6, 7 p.m. – boys soccer
  • Oct. 28, 7 p.m. – football/cheerleaders/Penn Manor Marching Unit

In addition, a district-wide Pink Out dress-down day will be held Oct. 28. Staff members can participate by purchasing and wearing a Pink Out T-shirt or donating $5 to the cause through their building secretaries. If you missed out on ordering a shirt, there is a limited selection available for purchase.  Please contact Krista Cox at 872-9540.

Over the past three years, the Pink Out raised more than $30,000, thanks to the generosity of students, staff and community members. The donations have benefited such organizations as The Children’s Miracle Network, Relay for Life, American Cancer Society and Help the Fight.

Let’s put on the pink again this year and see how much we can raise!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

 

PM’s Roth named District III Athletic Director of the Year

Congratulations to Penn Manor’s Jeff Roth for being named Athletic Director of the Year for District III of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

District III includes schools in Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties. Earlier this fall, Roth had been named Lancaster-Lebanon League Athletic Director of the Year.

Jeff’s peers in the L-L League and District III voted to award him the well-deserved honors.

Roth has been Penn Manor’s AD since 2001, directing the district’s athletic program and overseeing its 23 high school and 10 junior high sports. He also served as Penn Manor head girls’ basketball coach from 2001 to 2005 and has served as the L-L League Track and Field Chairperson since 2005.

In addition, Jeff chairs the A. Landis Brackbill Scholar-Athlete Scholarship Committee, which recognizes top student athletes in the L-L League.

“I’m honored to be selected by my peers, who are all deserving in a major way for helping their schools and our league excel on a local, district and state level,” he said of the award. “Our student athletes and teams have proven themselves winners on the field and in the classroom, year after year.”

Congratulations, Jeff, and thanks for your tireless efforts to promote Penn Manor athletics and our student athletes.

It is, indeed, a great day to be a Comet!

Kickoff Classic Sept. 1 at Comet Field

Comet Field will host the 2016 Kickoff Classic beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1.

Chicken dinners will be served from 5 to 6:30 p.m., followed by performances by the Penn Manor Marching Unit and cheerleaders and introductions of Penn Manor’s fall sports teams.

U.S. Olympic field hockey team member Jill Witmer, who played for Penn Manor from 2006 to 2010, will be the special guest.

Dinners are $9 and include a half chicken, potato, apple sauce, roll and drink. Tickets can be purchased in advance from student athletes or at the event. Proceeds benefit Penn Manor athletic scholarships.

Come out and support our talented student athletes and musicians!