Boys Lacrosse

Chambersburg previews: lacrosse, boys volleyball, boys tennis

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BOYS LACROSSE

The names are virtually the same, but the Chambersburg boys lacrosse team does not expect to finish with anything resembling its 3-13 record from last year.

“We lost only two defensemen and we’ve gotten a lot more athletic,” said Trojan coach Paul Flohr, now in his 12th season. “The core of juniors we have started as freshmen, and we’ve defined everybody’s role much better. I think we’ll give people a run.”

Of the 112 goals Chambersburg scored last year, players who scored 111 of them return. Seniors Brandin Cosey (31 goals, 1 assist) and Jace Hopple (8, 6) have been moved from attack to midfield, to pair up with junior Thomas Elia (15, 13) and senior Zach Smith (11, 4).

The attack will be led by senior Riley Ocker (21, 14) and juniors Hayden Ocker (18, 7), Aiden Brechbill (1 goal) and Greyson Hopple.

“I think we should have one of the better midfields — with dodgers, shooters and two-way players — in the Mid Penn,” Flohr said. “We have good size and good hands. Cosey has had a nice transition to now playing against short sticks. On attack, Riley Ocker is a good feeder and loves to be right near the cage — he doesn’t mind getting hit.”

However, to get to all that potential firepower, the Trojans must get possession of the ball, and that has been, as Flohr said, an Achilles heel the last two years. Winning faceoffs at only 20-25% will always put a team at a disadvantage.

Junior Nash Bothe has been groomed as the team’s faceoff specialist.

“He has focused on that and he’s started to jump into that role,” Flohr said. “We’ve been a young team that has been completely rebuilt over the last two years, but that’s a piece we’ve needed.”

The defense returns senior goalie Jarrett Sechrist (172 saves), along with defensemen Pierre Alcegaire (sr., 30 ground balls), Tucker Heckman (sr., 13 GB), Andrew Shetter (jr., 8 GB) and Eli Kelso (jr.). Smith (40 GB) and senior Jake Gordon are defensive midfielders.

“We put in new terminology for the defense last year; this year we’re not in learning mode,” Flohr said.

The Trojans had Friday’s opener vs. Danville postponed until May 4, so the season opener will now be Monday at home vs. Carlisle at 7 p.m.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Chambersburg has a solid core of eight senior returners, plus another returning starter, and hopes to be able to have a shot at a successful season.

“I think we’ll do really well,” second-year coach Jamie Odell said. “We don’t have many first-year players this year, so they know what to expect. They know what we did well last year and what we didn’t. And the girls did well in a fall league and at clinics they went to.”

The list of returning players begins in midfield with Rachel Dusman and Hannah Raines, who combined to score all 12 goals for the Trojans in their season-opening loss to Carlisle. Raines had 38 goals and 6 assists a year ago and has a good chance of becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer. Dusman had 30 goals and 9 assists in 2017.

Also returning on the attack or in the midfield are seniors Cameron Stouffer (22, 2), Barrett Cross (1, 4) and Mackenzie Miller (5, 8). Junior Courtney Kirby (3, 3) is also a returning player up front.

“Dusman and Raines will be our top scorers, but I think Miller and Stouffer will improve with their scoring this year,” Odell said.

On defense, Chambersburg returns goalie Micaela Champion and defensemen Beatrice Schellhase and Kaylin Shearer.

“We have some juniors stepping up, so we should be able to a lot more rotating of players,” Odell said. “And some of the girls have done training with the boys team, so I think we’re in better shape this year.”

BOYS VOLLEYBALL

In some ways, this could be a transition year for the Chambersburg volleyball team —  there are only two seniors on the roster and coach Marta Helfrick is on maternity leave.

But interim coach Brad Schlabach is hoping for what he calls a “seamless transition.”

Schlabach, who was the JV head coach and varsity assistant last year, said, “I’m really excited that I can step in to take this on. What we want to do is get the junior class ready to be successful at the highest level. We need to get the juniors to play at the seniors’ level and have the mentality that the seniors bring to the table.”

Dylan Culler, a 6-foot outside hitter, and Kellen Stepler, a 6-1 setter, are the only seniors for the Trojans, who finished 11-6 last year and lost to Cumberland Valley in the first round of the District 3 tournament.

Junior Treyton Stepler, a 6-0 opposite hitter, and junior Will Simmers, a 6-5 middle hitter, are the other returning starters.

Schlabach said, “Simmers will be good — he’s improved every year and he’s coming into his own. When he’s in the front row he will make a big difference.”

He also believes that Josiah Picard, a 6-0 outside hitter who previously played baseball, is a nice addition.

“Josiah could be a difference-maker for us. He’s played club volleyball before and he provides more talent to his position.”

Chambersburg has plenty of height with its middles — in addition to Simmers, 6-3 Ty Holsopple, 6-2 Alex Lapinski and 6-3 Jaylen Thomas are available.

Schlabach said, “We’re not the tallest team, but we have height where we need it. Our middles should be a strength, but it’s nice that we have a lot of competition at every position.”

The Trojans open play Saturday at the Hempfield Tournament at 8:30 a.m.

BOYS TENNIS

Chambersburg actually got in one regular season match before the weather disrupted the schedule, but the lineup has changed since that 5-0 loss to Lower Dauphin.

Senior Danny Muldowney has reclaimed his No. 1 singles position, senior Will Harriger has moved up to No. 2 and junior Ryan Kemerer is now the No. 3 singles player.

“Danny and Ryan were neck and neck for No. 1,” Trojan coach Brad Hill said, “but Danny won their last match. And Will also beat Ryan to get to No. 2.”

On the team ladder, senior Christian Cooper is now No. 4 and freshman Sam Vessah is No. 5. Junior Vince Wijaya, who was originally at No. 3, is currently out with an injury.

For doubles, the No. 1 team is Cooper and Vessah, and No. 2 is Nate Irvin and Nazeer Taylor. Harriger, Cooper and Taylor are seniors out for the team for the first time.

Hill said, “I know Will has played before, but not in high school. He’s picking it up pretty quickly.

“I think the team is definitely improved since last year — we got a couple of good athletes out who are quick studies on the court and they should hold their own. It’s a great group of guys who are working hard and it’s nice to work with a group like that.”

The team’s next match is Monday at home vs. Cumberland Valley at Norlo Park at 4 p.m.