The local sports scene is still buzzing — major props to Coach CI and the Lancers. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was. No. I wasn’t there in person, but I followed the game via Twitter. 2021 AAA State Champions. Incredible.
It takes an entire VILLAGE to pull this off. Everyone played a role, and it took a little luck. This team is so deserving. I have watched them rather closely. They have worked tremendously hard, and I was thrilled to see them on that podium. I wanted to write about one player in particular. I love his game, and I respect his character. I’ve seen him grow both on and off the court from a distance.
Dom Jennings might only stand at 5’10”, but he plays a lot taller. The senior guard can definitely shoot it, and he has gotten better with every minute. Dom plays with unbelievable energy and has become one of the area’s top defenders. Jennings is a total team player. He understands his role, waited his turn, and made the most of his opportunities. My man Dom was named the MVP of the Championship Game after his 21-point performance.
“It has been a great ride,” a polite Jennings said over the phone. “I’ve heard from so many people. It has been amazing. Everyone has been great. I got to touch base with several friends, alumni, and former players.”
It wasn’t always smooth sailing for the now all-PHAC guard. Last year’s team was just loaded, and Jennings was the 8th man on a tight rotation. He saw very limited action and played mostly JVs. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I am so proud of my young friend for hanging in. Everyone wants to be the star, and very few are willing to put in the work.
“My teammates really supported me,” Jennings continued. “It was hard. I wanted to play, but I also needed to wait my turn. They encouraged me to keep working. My time was coming.”
Jennings then took his game to a new level. He got stronger and found his swagger over the summer. Dom improved his shooting and played as much as he could. He was everywhere working on his skills. Mostly at the local playgrounds. His footwork and confidence were now off the charts. Jennings became a complete player.
Dom had a solid senior campaign. He averaged 12.3 points for the Lancers, who captured ANOTHER District IV title. But Jennings played his best ball during Loyalsock’s historic Hershey run. My man Dom averaged 20.3 points in the three-state playoff games. He helped anchor the defense and also tallied 13 treys. Dom was outstanding in the Eastern Final. Jennings scored 24 and had five steals against Math, Civics, and Sciences. He never buckled, and I thought that he was the best player on the floor. Incredible.
“Our Coaches had us prepared,” Jennings added. “They were tremendous all season. We were so focused and wanted to leave all on the court. Our motto this year was ‘unfinished business’ because we didn’t get an opportunity last March. Our guys played hard every time we laced them up. COVID made things tough, but we rallied around it. It gave us perspective. We are a family, and we stuck together no matter what.”
Dom is an extremely polite and well-spoken kid. He is in the top 20 of his class and a member of the National Honors Society. Jennings is also a state qualifier for the 800 in track. DOM has a strong faith and is very active with his church. He gives all the glory to the guy above. Beautiful. Congratulations on winning the State Championship, pal. But more importantly — kudos to Dom Jennings for always working hard, trusting the process, and never giving up. Respect. Cheers.