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Tip of the Graduation Cap

 

  It's hard for me to believe my son Jimmy is graduating. Wow, did those years fly by! I know parents past and present share that exact same feeling. From their first steps, to their walk to receive their diploma, time seemingly gone in the blink of an eye.
Congratulations Jimmy and to all 2015 graduates. It doesn't matter the color of the graduation cap and gown, young folks up and down the valley have done an unbelievable job in the classroom, athletic arena and representing their school and community.
Tip of the cap to the educators and coaches who have spent so much time with these young men and women, your messages and lessons got through to them. As I travel daily throughout our area I am amazed by the number of students continuing their education at colleges and universities. I am just as impressed how many will continue playing the sport of their choice at the next level.
I am also encouraged by the number of local young men and women choosing to serve their Country in the United States Armed Forces. There is no more honorable choice than this. The freedom we enjoy each and every day begins with this commitment to our military.
Our communities are truly blessed with great young people of all ages. So congrats again 2015 grads and a thank you to the parents. Your teachings, love, support and discipline is what helps to make our area so special. Great kids equal great communities.
Area sports teams and individuals have had remarkable seasons from the fall campaign right on through to the last days of school. Hopefully a few continue to play after school is out in the case of baseball and softball.
Great job getting up and getting down to Qayyim Ali of the Cherry and White. Qayyim won the PIAA AAA State Championship in the high jump, clearing 6'6". The Williamsport sophomore will get a couple more shots at the gold-medal during his scholastic career. I can't wait to see him mature and how high he can get up.

 

Griffin Molino has had an outstanding track career for the Southsiders. His specialty is the longer distances. At the PIAA Double A Championships he came close to a gold medal in the 1600 finishing 2nd. He also had a 5th place finish in the 3200. This goes along with his cross country State Championship this past fall. Tip of the graduation cap to Griff.
On the diamond Montgomery won the Single A District Crown. Coach Tom Persing always seems to get the most out of his squad. He is fortunate to have nine seniors on this year’s roster. The top-seeded Red Raiders used solid pitching and defense to end Canton’s hope for a third District Title in a row.
Tip of the graduation cap to Mike Alexander, Ray Farr, Thomas Goetz, Levi Lowe, Matt Miller, Keanu Sauers, Zach Shadle, Jacob Umpstead, Bailey Wilk.
At the AA level Loyalsock Coach Jeremy Eck and his special group of seniors made quick work of Troy in the final. It was the Lancers’ third District Championship in four years. Most importantly they continue their drive for a threepeat of State Championships, a feat that has never been accomplished in the Keystone State.
Tip of the graduation cap to Tommy Baggett, Joey Balawajder, Kyle Datres, Luke Glavin, Evan Moore, Ben Sosa and Jimmy Webb.
What a fantastic sports year the folks in Jersey shore have had. From Coach Tom Gravish to Coach Tag’s basketball team overachieving right on through the Bulldog baseball and softball.
Our theme is the 2015 Class and the baseball Dawgs have a great one. Even though Shore dropped some regular season games there was no doubt in my mind they were the best of the Triple A field.
Jersey Shore Coach Steve Waldman and his team's metal was tested in extra innings against Shikellamy. But they battled like junkyard Dawgs and won a 5th consecutive District Title. A district dynasty at the Triple A level.
Tip of the graduation cap to Austin Bair, Bronson Bass, Boone Costa, Eric Huling, Zach Miller, Trey Newcomer and Brody Smith.
On the lady side, the Black and Orange are flat out tough. Athens didn't have a chance in the District Final as Shore laid a snowman (eight runs) on them in the first inning.
Coach Dan Lazorka is an outstanding teacher of softball. He has returned to Jersey Shore from some time at Lycoming College. He too has a talented group of 2015 graduates. Tip of the graduation cap to Rebecca Caputo, Rachel Duda, Bryce Hillyard, Averie Lorson, Brianna Stetts.
Great season and good luck to all as they move on to State Tournament play.
The shovels were out last week as Dr. Don Adams, Superintendent of Williamsport Area School District led the celebratory groundbreaking for the Student Transportation of America – STA stadium up on the hill. Also with shovel in hand were Brandon Pardoe, High School Principal; Trey Phillips, District Education Foundation President; State Representative Jeff Wheeland, Matt Wright, Student Transportation of America (STA) General Manager for Eastern Pennsylvania; State Senator Gene Yaw and Lori Baer, Board President.
The Return to Glory campaign is a great success story about the local community getting behind athletics and facility improvement. The Millionaires are overhauling a 40 year old facility and making it a state of the art stadium that can be used for much more than just football.
Tip of the cap to all that have donated in the name of the young folks that will benefit from the project. The construction is to be completed for the kick off of the fall football season.
God Bless America.

I would like to welcome Tim Hartzell to our Webb Weekly family. He will be providing a column under the banner of Faith Conversations. Tim is the Pastor at Faith Wesleyan Church where he does a great job leading the congregation. Tim has a great way in teaching the lessons from the Bible and how to apply them to everyday life and decision making. I’m honored to have him within our pages.