To be ranked first in your district or state is a huge accomplishment for any high school team.
But, the Lehighton field hockey squad took those honors to another level this week when the Indians were ranked first in the entire nation according to www.hockeypower.com.
"I am not one for rankings or polls, but it is cool to see that someone has recognized the hardwork and effort that the Lehighton Field Hockey is putting in," said Lehighton head coach Shawn Hindy. "Now, we have to keep working hard and prove this is where we should be!
There were plenty of teams from Pennsylvania in the poll like District 11 powers Emmaus and Saucon Valley. Meanwhile, Penn Manor follows right behind Lehighton in second and Wyoming Seminary in fifth. Great Valley, North Penn, Carlisle and Mount Saint Joseph Academy ranked.
Recently, the Indians captured the Lower Dauphin Invitational with a 2-1 (4-3 edge in penalty strokes) win over host Lower Dauphin. They reached the tournament championship game with a 1-0 victory over Chambersburg. With the title, the locals remain undefeated at 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Mountain Valley Conference.
This Saturday, the Lady Indians will play Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, KY) at Wyoming Seminary's turf field at 10 a.m.
Sacred Heart Academy is flying in to play Lake Lehman at 7 p.m. on Friday night, Lehighton on Saturday morning and Wyoming Seminary at 7 o'clock Saturday night.
This might be the first time a team from Kentucky or any non-adjacent state has come to play the PA field hockey teams. Sacred Heart Academy had an 83-game winning streak that was actually broken just this year. They have won three straight state championships.
CHAMPIONSHIP FORM ... Last Wednesday, Palmerton's Dan Costenbader edged teammate and best friend Mike Englert for another Colonial League individual championship.
The Bomber senior golfer shot a one-under-par 70 at Bethlehem Municipal to capture his second individual league title. Englert settled for a league runner-up by two shots as he finished with a one-over-par 72.
Together though, the Bomber duo joined the rest of their Palmerton teammates in collecting the team tournament title as well.
MEASURING TOOL ... Last weekend, the Northwestern girls' cross country team received a good look of where its stands among the talent in the PIAA. In its first hack at the 3rd Annual PIAA Foundation Blue Cross XC Race at the double-AA level, the Tigers definitely measured up well against the rest of the state's premier cross country programs by finishing second to two-time defending state champion, Central Cambria.
Senior Tiger Lindsey Kerr also received a boost of confidence when she finished second place in a time of 19:30, in which she finished behind Forest Hill's Leah Anne Wirfel.
Teammate Katie Hallingstad medaled as well with a 12th-place finish in a field of 171 runners.
Ramzy Burns (35th), Megan Handwerk (38th), Natalie Boehm (58th), Anna Fricchoine (62nd) and Sarah Ribecky (78th) all took part.
THREES COMPANY ... During the last week, several individual had no problem going on prolific scoring attack. In fact, Caileigh Landrigan exceeded the idea of a hat-trick with four goals in Northwestern's 7-0 win over Sailisbury last Thursday. On the same evening, Tamaqua teammates Ali Updike and Kayla Hope both recorded hat-tricks in the same game, in which the Blue Raiders scored a 9-2 win over North Schuylkill. However, Northern Lehigh's Channing Shiffert surpassed the ladies by accomplishing the feat in back-to-back games. Last Saturday, Shiffert notched three goals in the Bulldogs' 6-2 victory over Lehighton. Then, after a day's rest, the sophomore sensation did it again with another hat-trick in his team's 4-3 win over Notre Dame of East Stroudsburg.
STREAK ENDED ... The Palmerton field hockey team snapped a long winless streak last Thursday when it defeated Wilson, 3-2, behind Morgan Myers and Kelly Eaton.
Myers had a goal and an assists for the Bombers while Eaton made 26 saves in goal.
The Bombers' last win prior to that came in a non-league game during the 2006 season. The last Colonial League win for Palmerton came on Sept. 29, 2005 when it defeated Bangor, 5-1.