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Fathers, Fast Balls and Track Stars

The greatest gift a child can give his Father is a heartfelt hug and an I love you. This followed by thanks Dad, for everything you do. This also holds true for everyone that provides fatherly love and guidance in a young person’s life.

A Father’s Love and guidance has never been more important. A child never outgrows their need for this most special relationship, no matter how old they get.

Happy Father’s Day and thank you to all the dads, stepdads, grandfathers, uncles, coaches, and special people that provide fatherly love.

Congratulations to all our high school and college graduates. I’m amazed by the accomplishments of our area’s young ladies and gentlemen. Each year the bar just seems to be raised higher and higher. Whether it’s in the classroom or the athletic arena, there is so much to be proud of up and down the Valley.

Congratulations to my son Jimmy on recently graduating from Lock Haven University and on landing a job with the Discovery Channel’s show “Raised Hunting.” Your family is so very proud of the way you handled your business in the classroom and on the baseball diamond. A special tip of my LHU baseball cap to Head Coach young “Smoke” Stover for all he does.

Our area teams had a lot of postseason success on the baseball diamond. Coach Jeremy Eck’s Montoursville Warriors won the District 4 AAA Title. A Webb Weekly salute to his pitcher/shortstop Gabe Phillips. He will continue his education and athletic career at West Point. Most importantly, he will be serving and protecting our Great Nation — great job, young man.

Next up the South Williamsport Mountaineers and young Smoke’s father, the veteran baseball manager of the family ‘Ole “Smokey” Stover. His Mountaineers won the District 4 Title at the AA level. South also won their first State Tournament game in school history. Then followed up with another “W” to advance to the State Semifinals. Pitcher Tripp Breen has had an outstanding career for the Mounties. He has been almost untouchable this year. He will be going to school and playing baseball at St. Bonaventure University in the fall.

I can’t forget about my friends over the mountain, the Montgomery Red Raiders. They won the District 4 Class A Title. Montgomery baseball has had a proud tradition over the years; Manager Ross Drick has made sure the Red Raiders just keep rolling along. They also notched a state tournament win. The Red Raiders epitomize team.

A couple of area athletes have recently brought home gold medals from the PIAA AA State Track and Field Championships held in Shippensburg.

Montoursville senior Dom Caputo finished off a terrific track career with a gold medal in the triple jump. He won the State Title in dramatic fashion triple jumping 46’ 5 ¼”. Not only was it his personal best, but it also landed him in the Montoursville record book as best triple jump ever.

Dom battled through injury and pain late this season. He was a state high jump medalist as a junior. Late this season he changed his focus more to the triple jump. This decision paid off in gold. He was Montoursville’s first gold medalist since 2013.

Hailey Zurich of Loyalsock broke an even longer streak. The Lancers had not won a gold medal since 1989. Hailey won four gold medals at the District 4 championships. The long jump, pole vault, 100-meter dash and, along with her teammates, the 4 by 100 relay.

The pole vault had been her signature event. But Hailey cashed in on gold in the long jump on the first day of the State Championships. Her early jump of over 18 ft. pretty much sealed the deal. The next day she added a silver in the pole vault. She cleared a personal best of 12’ 6” in the event, which tied for first. However, a young lady from Western Wayne won the gold by clearing in fewer attempts.

Hailey is flat-out a track superstar. She will be competing for the Penn State Nittany Lions next season, as well as continuing to be a star student. Hailey wanted me to give a shout out to her parents John and Kellie, Coaches Nicole Reid and Matt Hill, all of her teammates, pole vault Coach Matt Concannon and Dr. Dan Solley. It was a team effort that still has Hailey jumping for joy over finishing her career with a gold medal.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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