Adrian Shelley’s 300th win as Ephrata’s baseball coach, a 6-2 defeat of Cedar Crest April 14, came and went quietly.
It shouldn’t have. It’s an indication of how consistent the Mounts have been in baseball during Shelley’s 23 years coaching his alma mater.
His teams have won 10 section titles, four Lancaster-Lebanon League titles, and District Three championships in 2016 and 2018.
“I feel fortunate to be where I am,’’ Shelley said Monday. “We have one of the top outdoor and indoor facilities probably in the state. We have a very strong youth program.
“The key two it is two things. One, being stubborn enough to persevere, and, two, being fortunate enough to have coachable teams and players.’’
Shelley actually has 325 career wins, including two seasons at Cocalico.
He played at Ephrata and at Frostburg State, for one year under legendary coach Bob Wells. Then he became a graduate assistant coach at Frostburg, and planned to go into college coaching.
There was an elementary teaching job open at Cocalico, and Shelley’s mother, Linda, urged him to pursue it just for the experience of being interviewed.
He surprised himself by getting the job, and became a head varsity coach at the age of 23.
“I grew up in a locker room, and I always knew I wanted to get involved in coaching,’’ Shelley said.
Linda, now deceased, was a longtime, multi-sport coach and official. Adrian’s Dad, Scott, has coached football and baseball at Ephrata and is now his son’s assistant.
Adrian’s father-in-law is Mike Williams, the Manheim Central football coach.
“We’ve talked a lot about coming back to your alma mater, building a program and leaving it in better shape than you found it,’’ Shelley said.
“It’s the urge to build something in the community you grew up in.’’
District Rankings: Our first look at this season’s power rankings shows Manheim Township (9-0, all records are as of Monday) as the top seed in Class 6A. The Blue Streaks’ lead over second-place Wilson (8-1) is actually sizable (0.829730 to 0.779967) as these things go.
Twelve 6A teams qualify. Also in at the moment are Cedar Crest (No. 4, 6-2), Warwick (No. 9, 6-4) and McCaskey (No. 12, 4-5).
AAAAA is a huge class in District Three and the L-L. Sixteen 5As make districts.
Despite being undefeated, Manheim Central (8-0) is ranked third, behind powerhouse Red Land (7-0) and Muhlenberg (6-0).
Cocalico (No. 4, 7-2), Lampeter-Strasburg (No. 10, 6-3) and Solanco (No. 12, 5-3) are in.
AAAA (10 qualifiers): Elco (5-3) is No. 8. Northern Lebanon (3-4) is No. 11.
AAA (six qualifiers): Lancaster Catholic (6-2) is No. 2. Annville-Cleona (4-6) is No. 8.
A (four qualifiers): Mount Calvary (6-1) is No. 2.
The “freeze date,’’ after which no other games can be scheduled and count for power rankings, is Thursday, May 6. The power ranking deadline is Thursday, May 20.
The playoffs are scheduled to begin Monday, May 24, with championship games set for May 27-June 3.
Games to watch: The regular season reaches its rough halfway point, with the schedule still marked mostly by crossover games which, remember, do not count toward section titles this year.
Lancaster Catholic continues a formidable stretch with a trip to Cocalico Wednesday. Solanco takes its shot at steamrolling Manheim Township Friday.