Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Senior Drew Deshong heads back to first from a lead he had taken against Northern.


The Blue Devil boys' track and field team had a solid day at the Stan Morgan Invitational in Carlisle, finishing fourth out of 20 teams at the elite event. Host Carlisle won with 61 points, followed by Susquehanna Township (47) and Northern (46). G-A, with 45 points, edged James Buchanan (43) in fifth.

Senior Alex Yoder led the charge, taking runner-up honors in both the 100 and the 200. He also anchored G-A's third-place 400 relay team. The Devils also claimed a third in the 1600 relay.

Also chalking up team points were Greg Boyer with a fourth in the 300 hurdles, Aaron Bumbaugh with fifth in the 400, Ryan Hickey with fifth in the discus, Denton Cordell with fifth in the javelin and Austin Scott with sixth in the 100.

Also competing for the Devils in the meet were Brandon Thrush, Trentin Dixon, Noah Graham, Daulton Monn, Hunter Rawlings, Gabe Fridgen, David Spinder and Cody George.

The G-A girls finished 11th in the 19-team meet with 21 points. Carlisle also won the girls' meet with 108 points.

Sophomore Nakita Gearhart lifted the Devils in each of her events. She scored fourths in both the javelin and high jump and a fifth in the discus. Classmate Ashton Rockwell claimed second in the 100 high hurdles and was just out of the running in the long jump with ninth.

The 1,600 relay team notched points with fifth. Lauren Powers was sixth in the 1,600 and the 400 relay team was sixth. Caitlyn Hetrick was eighth in the 3,200.


A keen battle for the top of the Mid-Penn Conference Colonial Division featured 21 strikeouts, however the Northern Polar Bears put enough hits together in the fifth inning to rally and leave King Playground with a 6-0 win and a solid grip on first place in the division.

The Devils  (7-3, 6-3 MPC-Colonial) were limited to two hits in the contest, while the Bears managed seven, two of which were homeruns. Senior hurler Devin Schaeffer fanned nine in the complete game effort. The loss interrupted a six game win streak by the Devils.

Earlier in the week the Devils went toe-to-toe with Shippensburg for that fifth straight win and pulled out the 4-3 divisional contest. No one scored for three and a half innings until Cody Ezolt and Denton Ensminger put together consecutive triples. G-A scored the winning measure in the bottom of the sixth after Ship had gone up 3-2. Ezolt drove in the tying run and Szaflarski delivered the RBI for the win. The Devils had six different hitters and each run was driven in by a different player. Ryan Ricci got the win in relief.

There was lots of junior varsity action last week as makeup dates were finally available, but there was heartbreak on a number of fronts as the Devils dropped three one-run games and a two-run game before erupting for a landslide victory over Mercersburg Academy.

After a rough week of four straight losses, the Devils took out their frustrations en route to a 24-2 four-inning thumping of Mercersburg Academy. Justin Hovey was a perfect 5-for-5 on the day, scoring five runs while driving in two. Thomas Bowers drove in five runs and Ashtin Byers knocked in three. Jake Crist picked up the win on the mound.

Earlier in the week G-A dropped games to Shippensburg (9-8), two to Gettysburg (9-8), Gettysburg (6-4) and Northern (4-3). Against Ship, Justin Hovey led the Devils at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two doubles while driving in two runs, while Parker Blubaugh went 3-for-4 with an RBI. In the first Gettysburg tilt, Crist and Steven McFetridge each had three hits with McFetridge driving in three runs and Crist collecting a double.


The Blue Devil soccer team (6-3-2, 4-3-1 MPC-Colonial) had a near perfect week, downing rival James Buchanan 3-1 and blanking Big Spring 3-0 before seeing overtime go for Shippensburg 3-2.

Jenna Lehman got the Devils on the board and Sharon Juarez converted a penalty kick before the half. Heather Sanders iced it with a direct kick goal in the second. G-A led in shots, 9-4, and in corners, 3-1. Kristy Kelly and Alex Baughman combined for six saves in goal.

Against Ship the Devils had to scramble to force the overtime. Samantha Rudy did just that on an assist from Tabitha Rudy with under a half minute to play in regulation to tie the game and force the OT. Taylor Campbell had scored earlier for the Devils. The Greyhounds found the goal late in the first overtime for the win. G-A had a slight lead in shots on goal, 12-10, while Ship edged in corners, 6-4. Kelly and Baughman made three saves.

While Big Spring led 7-5 in shots and each team had four corners, the Blue Devils dominated the scoreboard Saturday. Sarah Gipe was up first, bending a shot into the upper right corner. Abbey Denkovich scored on a followup of a Heather Sanders shot. Juarez added the third goal with about 10 minutes to play by hitting the lower left with a hard angle.

"We played with intensity, desire and heart today,” remarked G-A head coach Greg Cole. “Today was the last home regular season game for our seniors and also Kaley Field as it is now. We pressed today, everywhere and anywhere we needed to.”

In junior varsity action, Ship defeated the Devils, 2-0.


The Blue Devil softball team (9-3, 7-1 MPC-Colonial) had little trouble with its divisional opponents for the week, dropping Shippensburg 14-5 and dispatching Northern 16-1. Solid competition was the order of the day at the Big Spring Softball Tournament Saturday. G-A finished fourth in the eight-team tourney.

Eight different Devils combined for 18 hits against Shippensburg, led by junior Rachel Kline, who went yard twice, doubled and racked up five RBIs. Mary Ward went 4-for-5 and drove in a pair, while Cassey Cordell was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Amanda Wink also knocked in two runs. Diamond Byers was 4-for-5 with an RBI. Wink got the win in the circle. Appleby fanned five in two hitless innings of relief.

G-A used just three innings to bypass Northern on the strength of 16 hits. Wink rounded up four RBIs on a 3-for-3 outing at the plate. Ward and Jenna Crunkleton (two doubles) each knocked in two runs. Appleby inked the pitching win.

In the opening round of the tournament the Blue Devils scored early and rode a 10 strikeout performance from Appleby to a 4-1 victory over State College. Appleby scattered six hits and the run scored by the Little Lions was unearned. Crunkleton and Brittany Norling each doubled. G-A drew Chambersburg in the semifinals and fell behind 3-2 when the Trojans erupted for a four-run fourth that the Devils didn’t answer in a 7-3 final. Norling doubled again and Tiffany Briggs tripled. In the consolation game for third place, G-A came up against Mid-Penn divisional foe Big Spring. The Devils mustered just two hits in the contest and struck out 13 times. Appleby had the best of gems going, a perfect game, until two outs in the top of the seventh. The Bulldogs broke it up with a triple and a double and collected a 2-0 win.

For the tournament, Norling went 4-for-7 and Mary Ward was 5-for-8.


Track and Field

The middle school track and field teams finished the season on a high as the girls’ team posted two wins and the boys’ team had a win and a close loss.

The G-AMS girls' team was consistent all around the track and field in a 65-35 win over Waynesboro last week. The Blue Devil boys staged a strong comeback effort in the field events before coming up just short in a 52-48 final against the Braves.

In addition to claiming both relay events, G-A was led by Rachel Bartlett, who won both the discus and the shot put. Caroline Schemel (1,600), Jane Herman (800) and Erica Helm (long jump) were each individual winners. Jordan Pizzarro, Helm, Hannah Crist and Annie Powers combined in the 400 relay win, while Madison Hurley, Schemel, Herman and Hannah Peterson teamed for the 1,600 relay victory.

Adding points for the Devils were Katie Spinder, Powers, Pizzaro, Crist, Hannah Peterson, Herman, Schemel, Shelby Stouffer, Hurley, Helm and Yoder.

The Blue Devil boys were outdone on the track, however split the relays and flexed some muscle in the field events, sweeping the throws and the long jump, to make it a close one. Justin Smalls (200, long jump) and Bobby Rider (discus, shot put) were both double individual winners. Smalls added win number three with Cameron Dixon, James Howell and Jacob Kline in the 400 relay. Jordan Crouse added a first in the high jump.

With points for G-A were Sam Calvin, Jake Kline, Crouse, Andrew Martin, Zachary Hain, Cole Ingream and Smalls.

Both teams ended their seasons with victories, the girls by a 72-28 margin over Big Spring and the boys 69-31 over the Bulldogs.

Claiming firsts for the girls were Helm (100 hurdles), Schemel (1600), Peterson (400), Herman (800) and Hannah Crist (high jump). G-AMS also won both relays with Pizzaro, Helm, Crist and Powers in the 400 relay and Hurley, Schemel, Herman and Peterson in the 1600 relay.

With second and third places were Peterson, Crist, Stouffer, Herman, Schemel, Pizzarro, Spinder, Bartlett, Helm, Hurley, Stouffer, Powers, Andrea Crider and Crist.

The G-AMS Blue Devil boys used the final meet for their first win of the season. First place finishers were Kline (110), Desmond Wolfe (100, 200, long jump), Smalls (high jump-tie), Crouse (high jump-tie) and Calvin (400), along with the 400 relay team of Smalls, Kline, JD Howell and Wolfe.

Adding points were Kline, Joe Burns, Shawn Keller, Christian Gleichman, Smalls, Bobby Rider, Ingream,  Cameron Dixon, Alex Witmer, Matt Lutz, Crouse and Calvin Long.


The eighth-grade G-AMS team went 2-0 on the week with 2-0 wins against both Shippensburg (25-5, 25-21) and Big Spring (25-12, 25-20). In the Ship match, Katie Gelsinger had four digs and two kills. Cierra Stoner produced four aces. Tarah Perry had three assists.

In seventh-grade action, G-A dropped matches to Shippensburg (23-25, 25-18 and 15-8) and to Big Spring (25-21, 25-19). Alyssa Ruda recorded four aces and Jessica Savage delivered three aces.

Blue Devil catcher Adam Moore has a talk with pitcher Devin Schaeffer during G-A’s home game against Northern.