Congratulations to Loyalsock boys and other local winter champions

Oh, what a winter it was — and we’re not talking about the snow!

As we see it, winter 2020-21 was hot, delivering lots of champions locally, and we celebrate all of them.

Our ears are still ringing from the cheering that came all the way from Hershey Saturday night when the Loyalsock boys basketball team was crowned PIAA Class AAA state champions.

The last time Loyalsock reached the state final was in 1993.

Coach Ron Insinger credits not just one player but the entire team for their 75-53 win over Brookville.

Besides capturing the program’s first state championship, Loyalsock became the first area team to capture a state title since the 1999 Williamsport boys claimed the AAAA crown.

But they are not the only local champions this winter. Others rose from the ranks of area wrestlers.

Montoursville’s Cael Crebs won the PIAA Class AA wrestling championship at 189 pounds. Montoursville finished second in the team standings at states. Montoursville’s Dylan Bennett took second at 215 pounds — his second consecutive runner-up finish — and Branden Wentzel took third at 106. Muncy’s Scott Johnson finished second at the PIAA Class AA wrestling championships at 126 pounds. Medaling at the PIAA Class AAA championships were Williamsport’s Cael Nasdeo, 106 pounds, taking second, and Riley Bower, 145 pounds, taking sixth, and Central Mountain’s Luke Simcox, 126 pounds, placing fifth. Williamsport finished fourth in the team championships.

In the pool, Williamsport senior Jack Beattie placed fifth at the PIAA Class AAA diving championships. Beattie set the school and pool record in diving this year as well.

And Lewisburg freshman Kimberly Shannon won gold medals at the PIAA Class AA swimming championships in the 200-meter individual medley and 500-meter freestyle races. She’s just the second area swimmer to win two gold medals in one year, the only girls swimmer in area history to do so.

As we see it, the winter 2020-21 season was extraordinary for local athletes, who performed at the top of their class despite the coronavirus that has posed a constant threat. This may have forced them to adjust their routines, but our local athletes did not let it stop them along the road to victory.

And so we say, “Well done!” We celebrate with all of them as we send out this congratulatory note!


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