ShareThis Page

Southmoreland track teams put together typical successful seasons

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
kelly Vernon | The Independent-Observer
Southmoreland hurdlers Regis Kaufman (left) and Justin Livengood participate in a recent track meet earlier.

Southmoreland High School has a long tradition of success in track.

This year is no different as the Scotties once again have run, jumped and thrown their way to quality seasons.

The boys sport a 10-0 record, 7-0 in Section 4-AA, the girls check in with a 9-0 mark, 7-0 in the section.

“It's just our tradition that keeps rolling us year after year after year,” said Coach Bill Schrecengost. “We've now won the section (title) 15 out of the last 16 years. A lot of our kids are aware of that and they work hard in preparation to defend that. We're really blessed with good hard-working kids.”

That is something with which girls track coach Chuck Brittain would agree.

“Distance is always strong,” Brittain said. “We've managed to keep a strong distance tradition. Even though we don't have a lot of numbers. But we have good quality runners. The key to distance is the ability to work hard, the willingness to work hard. Usually, good distance is the key to your team.”

It's been a season in which the Scotties have shown quality throughout the lineup. If the runners may not be winning in a meet, those who throw may pick up their teammates and lead the team to a win.

“We had a tough meet with a team called Trinity (Christian),” Schrecengost recalled. “What bailed us out was our throwers and that was the reason we were able to win that meet. (Recently), we had an important meet with South Allegheny and our throwers don't throw well and our kids on the track came through.

“Often times, the school board will call me in and ask ‘Why the success,' and I always pin it down to my assistant coaches (who) do an excellent job in prepping our kids for whatever. We coach every kid. Maybe they're not big contributors as a freshman or a sophomore even, but by the time they're a junior or senior we've invested time and effort and they come through. Our success is based on all areas. If we were just a distance mecca, a hot spot for kids. I think we would struggle from year to year, but we coach them...It just all combines year after year into team championships.”

As the postseason approaches, the teams set their sights on trying to collect some hardware. The boys teams have come close to WPIAL titles with five second-place finishes and a few third-place finishes.

“That's always our goal to represent our school district very well in team championships,” Schrecengost said. “We pretty much got a reputation now of doing well. A lot of teams throughout the WPIAL know Southmoreland's going to do well and be well-prepared whenever we go there year after year. Just go as far in the playoffs as we can.”

Brittain said the most important time of the year is now. “This is just preparation for the postseason, in my opinion, for the playoffs and my personal favorite, individual qualifiers, WPIAL finals and hopefully states.” Brittain said.

The girls track coach said he's got some team members who have a shot at getting as far as Shippensburg. That talk begins with high jumper Emily Lessman, who has qualified for the PIAA meet three straight years.

“I have a couple of others who are, I call them on the fringe,” Brittain said. “They have a chance to advance and accomplish something special. If things happen to fall in place. They have to be able to work hard in the latter part of the season and avoid injury.”

Schrecengost said the Scotties have qualified for the WPIAL finals 10 times, but have “never brought back the gold.” The WPIAL team finals are scheduled May 9.

“It's just a matter of everybody putting forth their best efforts and going above and beyond even what they see themselves of being capable of,” Schrecengost said. “The sky's the limit for a lot of these kids.”

“It's all about depth,” Brittain added. “If you have good depth, not necessarily winning every race, but getting second and third it all adds up.”

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or ppaterra@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.