The final prep events are around the corner with state championships in Maryland and Pennsylvania on the docket.
College Park is the host for the Maryland final Monday through Wednesday. Heritage Hills Country Club, in York, is the site for the Pennsylvania state finals scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
North Hagerstown’s Aaron Staley will make his third straight Maryland state appearance and his first in the 3A/4A competition on Monday. The following day, Smithsburg’s Kyle Huntzberry, Christian Grosh and Shane Fritts will compete in 1A/2A. Those weathering the cut will return for the final round on Wednesday.
Huntzberry also will be making his third appearance at states, while it will be the second appearance for Grosh and Fritts. All will be playing on an individual basis.
Chambersburg 14-year-old Max Bell is the only golfer from Franklin County who survived the Mid-Penn, District 3 and Eastern Regional affairs to qualify for the PIAA championships. Bell was a regular winner during the summer Tri-State Juniors events in the 14-15 age division and was the Trojans’ leading scorer through most of the season, ending with a 39.3 average per nine holes.
Staley edged his way to the top of the leaderboard with a 38.6 average, just ahead of Huntzberry’s 38.7.
The new-look MVAL championships will be held today at Boonsboro.
The league has been realigned into two 12-school conferences — Antietam (small schools) and Piedmont (large schools) — for cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for this school year and the next.
The Antietam Conference has six Class 1A schools (including Boonsboro, Clear Spring and Smithsburg) and six 2A schools (including Williamsport).
The Piedmont Conference has one 4A school, seven 3A schools (including North and South Hagerstown) and four 2A schools.
Today’s action will start with the Antietam races — girls varsity at 10 a.m., boys varsity at 10:40, girls JV at 11:20, boys JV at noon and awards at 1 p.m.
They will be followed by the Piedmont races — girls varsity at 2 p.m., boys varsity at 2:40, girls JV at 3:20, boys JV at 4 and awards at 5.
The St. Maria Goretti boys, in just their second year as a program, finished their season with a bang.
In their penultimate meet on Oct. 8, the Gaels won the team title at the Independent-Parochial School League Championships at Saint James. In their season finale Monday, they captured the Hagerstown City title at South Hagerstown, edging the host Rebels 32-35 for top honors.
But it almost seemed to be a bittersweet ending for Goretti.
“I’m a little disappointed that our season ends here,” Gaels coach Mike Spinnler said Monday at South. “We really wanted to be invited to the Washington County championships (Oct. 27 at Clear Spring), but that didn’t happen. Maybe next year.”