I have been fortunate to have Tom O’Malley working with my boys before he heads over to Japan to be the Hanshin Tiger’s Hitting Coach. That’s been the ritual the past couple of years. Tom hits the batting cages with Jimmy and Hunter, I don’t have to throw BP, the only exception is when Tom is watching his niece play soccer or basketball. He’s across the pond for track season.
Tom would get a sparkle in his eye when he would talk about her and whatever event she was involved in. A very proud Uncle and Montoursville Warriors sports fan. He would never think of missing a game. Tom’s niece, Kirsten O’Malley, has had a heck of a career for the Warriors. No matter if we are talking soccer, basketball or track. I have known Kirsten’s parents Wendy and Brian for a long time. Great folks who can be very proud of the daughter they have raised. The O’Malleys are a good, tight knit Irish family. I had a chance to catch up with Kirsten this past week. We talked about much more than athletics.
“My family is everything to me. Words can’t describe what my Mom and Dad mean to me, they are my number one fans and do everything they can to help me.”
How about Uncle Tom? “He is my biggest inspiration. Always positive, always caring, I miss him, he keeps me going when I need it.”
Well, Kirsten, I know he misses you too.
Kirsten reached the 1,000-point club early in this hoops season. Right now she has probably about 1,200 for her career. The Lady Warriors and Head Coach Travis Heap are enjoying an outstanding 22-2 season. They just had a big win over Mount Carmel and are heading to the District Final as the Webb Weekly is going to press.
Kirsten has had an outstanding senior season and it’s great to see the Warriors back in the District 4 spotlight. Mount Carmel has been dominate over the past several years. “It’s been special playing Kelsey Stine, Marissa Hall and Marissa Folk. We are seniors this year and have been together since third grade. It’s been great.”
Her well-rounded skills were on display in the District Semifinal. Her stat line from the big win over MCA, 14 points, 6 steals, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Kirsten is also a well-rounded athlete, an all-state soccer player this past season. She hit the back of the net for 26 goals, scoring 47 for her career. She was very hard to stop this past fall in leading Montour to the District Crown giving the Lady Warriors back-to-back Titles. I asked the young lady about her scoring explosion this season. “I never expected to score that many goals. I played defense in the past. This year was a lot of fun playing with my teammates; the goals just seemed to happen.”
On the track, the triple jump is her best event. As a sophomore Kirsten placed 6th at the State Meet. Fighting injury she finished 8th in the State as a junior. This year the senior is looking to jump her way to the top if all goes well. What’s her favorite sport? “Whatever I’m playing. If I had to pick one, probably track.”
Her athleticism is the basis for her athletic success, the person and student she is makes her a winner. I believe she will be successful in whatever endeavor she chooses. Kirsten will be heading off to Mt. St. Mary’s where she will continue her academic and athletic careers. Her sport of choice, I should say sports, soccer, and track. Kirsten you might as well throw basketball in and go year round.
Congratulations and good luck in finishing up hoops and on the upcoming track season. Mt. St. Mary’s is greeting a good one.
Tip of the Mat
Congrats to District IV 2A wrestling Champions Zack LaBarron of Warrior Run and Garrett Hoffman of Montoursville. Zack won gold at 132 pounds. The junior is a perfect 30-0 for the season.
Garrett also a junior claimed the title at 182 pounds. He is unbeaten in 36 matches thus far.
District runner-ups were at (113) Junior Angelo Barberio of Muncy. (138) Junior Keith Batkowski of Montoursville, 31-1. He lost for the first time in the District Final. (145) Junior Zach Fry of Hughesville 29-3 on the season.
(170) Freshman Gavin Hoffman of Montoursville. 34-1 also suffering his first loss in the District Final. (220) Junior Ben Cerney of Montoursville 31-5 thus far.
Montoursville made a strong showing for Head Coach Jamie Yonkin finishing third overall in the team standings. Coach Yonkin is one of the “good guys” in our area.
At the four team 3A level Braden Bower (106) Roshaun Cooley (126) of Williamsport; Hunter Zondory (113), Allen Saar (132), Seth Young (145) and Hadyn Swartwood of Jersey Shore won gold.
Area runner-ups were (132) Richard Lowrie of Williamsport, (138) Jarrett Jones of Williamsport. (182) Maxwell Mason of Jersey Shore, (195) Dom Loffredo of Jersey Shore, (220) Jake Huling of Jersey Shore and (285) Lane Reighard of Jersey Shore.
The Bulldogs Coached by Crock Herman finished 2nd in points behind Shikellamy.
Good luck to all area grapplers as they continue the quest for State Gold.