Here are Lancaster County's top sports stories of 2019:
Instead of enjoying his sophomore year of college at East Stroudsburg, Smith was in a Philadelphia hospital being treated for leukemia. But the 6-10 basketball standout, who helped Lampeter-Strasburg win its first Lancaster-Lebanon League hoops title in 2018, had the support of his alma mater and other L-L League schools.
L-S's fans, and most of the other high school fan sections, wore orange in support of Smith for their football games on Sept. 27.
Ryan Smith’s 6-foot, 10-inch frame is now down to 188 pounds, a significant dropoff from the…
The basketball aficionados in Lancaster County will likely easily remember Ryan Smith, the L…
Lampeter-Strasburg's Ezra Mellinger, who is now a freshman at Duke, won the state indoor long jump with a record-setting leap of 24 feet, 11 inches, and he also won the Class 3A long jump and the 200-meter dash at leagues, districts and the PIAA outdoor meet.
Before the standout track and field seasons at LampeterStrasburg, before winning three gold …
Warwick's girls won the 3A state team championship at the outdoor meet.
Warwick's Kate Dickow won the 3,000-meter race at the state indoor meet with a time of 9:56.44.
And Warwick's team of Leah Graybill, Lily Palacio-Lewis, Meghan Quinn and Cassidy Kline took gold in the 800-meter relay at the PIAA indoor championships.
Conestoga Valley's Jane Livingston took gold in both the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the PIAA outdoor meet, and she also won the 60-meter hurdles at the state indoor meet.
Manheim Township's Sydney Horn won both the indoor and outdoor state pole vault titles.
Ephrata’s Tyler Shue won the 800-meter run at both the indoor and outdoor state meets. He dominated the outdoor race with an L-L League-record time of 1:51.55. He also won a national title in the 800 at the New Balance Nationals.
Manheim Township’s Evan Dorenkamp made a dramatic pass on the home stretch to win gold in the 3A 1,600-meter run at the state meet.
Led by singles wins from Brady Burns, Devon Clemmer and Hunter Winey in the finals vs. Conrad Weiser, Pequea Valley won the Class 2A boys tennis team championship.
Cedar Crest’s Kolby Bennett and Paige Boyd won state singles championships, and the Falcons’ boys team won the PIAA team title.
After 48 years as men's basketball coach at Franklin & Marshall, Glenn Robinson retired prior to the start of this season.
Robinson’s 967 wins, all at F&M, are the most in the history of NCAA Division III. In all of men’s college basketball, only Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (1,132) and Herb Magee of Division II Jefferson (1,096) have more.
Under Robinson, the Diplomats qualified for the NCAA tournament 24 times, reached the NCAA Sweet-16 16 times, the Elite Eight nine times and the Final Four five times, making the championship game in 1991. His teams had 26 20-win seasons.
Robinson won national coach of the year honors from Basketball Times in 1991 and d3hoops.com in 2009.
Bradley was Hempfield's track and field coach for 29 seasons, and he was also the school's assistant cross country coach for 11 years. And he spent eight seasons as a cross country assistant coach at Millersville, his alma mater.
Under Bradley, the Black Knights posted 207 dual-meet wins to 55 losses and three ties. Hempfield won eight L-L League titles as well as 2009 District Three and PIAA crowns.
Erb is the winningest lacrosse coach in L-L League history compiling a 190-98 record in 14 seasons as Hempfield's girls coach.
With Erb at the helm, the Black Knights made four appearances in the L-L League tournament title game, 11 consecutive appearances in the District Three tournament since its inception in 2009, and three appearances in the PIAA tournament.
Hempfield reached the district championship game in 2015 and the state quarterfinals in 2009 and 2010. Last spring, the Knights were the L-L League regular-season and tournament runners-up, and Hempfield reached the District Three Class 3A semifinals before falling by a goal to Wilson in the third-place game, which decided the final spot in the PIAA tournament.
Cocalico's longtime skipper retired after 16 seasons as the Eagles' football coach. Gingrich's teams, which went 130-60 overall, earned a pair of L-L League Section Two titles and this season’s District Three Class 5A championship.
Cocalico reached the Class 5A state semifinals this season before falling to eventual state runner-up Cheltenham.
No longer with us
Trump, who was a track and field and cross country official for 35 years, died in September at the age of 88. For 20 of those years, he officiated alongside his wife, Louise. Because of their dedication to the sport, they were inducted into the L-L League Hall of Fame together in 2015. They also volunteered at middle school and college events.
Trump also managed a website that was the go-to place for L-L League track and field records.
Ruth spent 42 years volunteering at McCaskey as an athletic weight trainer. He helped to establish the Mr. Lancaster power-lifting and bodybuilding weightlifting competition, and he was a former Mr. Lancaster winner in 1960, 1961 and 1970.
Ruth, who died in September, earned many awards over the years and was inducted to numerous Halls of Fame.
Nonnenmocher, who is a member of the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame, died in October. He was 82.
A left-handed pitcher, he threw two no-hitters during both his sophomore and senior years at McCaskey. He later pitched in the minors in the the Kansas City A's and Detroit Tigers systems.
Matts in the NFL
Matt Nagy, a Manheim Central grad, was named NFL Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to an 12-4 season and the NFC North title in his first season as Chicago's coach.
In his fourth year with Pittsburgh, Matt Feiler, a Lampeter-Strasburg grad, became the Steelers starter at right tackle. He started 10 games last year due to injuries. But this season, Feiler was the starter since the beginning of camp.
U.S. women’s national field hockey team
The national team, based at Spooky Nook, fired coach Janneke Schopman and was also considering moving its headquarters out of Lancaster County due to poor field conditions.
Baseball rules experiments
The Atlantic League, which includes the Lancaster Barnstormers, tried a variety of new rules after being asked to make the changes by Major League Baseball.
Among the new rules used by the Atlantic League last season were:
Other accomplishments, by sport
Conestoga Valley’s Casey Kaufhold won gold in the mixed recurve competition and individual bronze at the Pan-Am Games.
Lampeter-Strasburg won its first L-L League title since 1994, was fourth in districts and lost in the state championship game.
Ephrata grad Nate Fassnacht (Phillies) and L-S grad Cameron Enck (Rockies) were both selected in the MLB draft.
Defending PIAA champ Lampeter-Strasburg returned to the state softball title game for the third time in four years, before falling.
Lancaster Catholic girls hoops won a PIAA record 62 straight games, before falling in the state quarterfinals to Mifflinburg in overtime.
A key member of the Crusaders, Kiki Jefferson earned a scholarship to James Madison University and scored 2,500-plus career points, second-most in league history. She was also named state Class 4A player of the year her junior and senior seasons.
The 2018-19 boys basketball campaign for all 26 Lancaster-Lebanon League teams is officially…
Manheim Township won its first L-L League boys basketball title, and in the process, Tyler Crespo became the Blue Streaks' all-time leading scorer.
Lancaster Country Day boys basketball and girls basketball teams both won their first District Three Class 1A championships, in their first season as full-time L-L League members.
Manheim Township's Crespo, Lancaster Country Day's Andrew Williams and Elizabethtown Larry Locker, who became the Bears' all-time leading scorer, all were named to all-state basketball teams.
Lampeter-Strasburg beat Manheim Township in overtime to win its first L-L League field hockey title.
Lampeter-Strasburg and Cocalico both earned District Three football titles. L-S, a No. 8 seed, beat the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 seeds (all on the road) to win it. Cocalico won the D3 title in coach Dave Gingrich's last season. Both teams reached the state semifinals.
Manheim Township girls reached the state title game for the second straight year.
Hempfield girls advanced to the state soccer semifinals before falling to eventual champ Boyertown.
L-L League swimmers won all four golds in the butterfly at districts, including a record for Manheim Township’s Charlie Gingrich.
Gingrich won the Class 3A 100-yard butterfly with a time of 48.79.
Donegal’s Jake Houck (51.00) and Jordynn Park (57.22) won the Class 2A butterfly events, while Township’s Gabby Stramara (56.22) took the top spot in the Class 3A girls event.
Cocalico’s Zach Sherk earned a gold medal in the 50 freestyle event.
Cedar Crest’s Dylan Tull and Jack Muraika finished third in Class 3A state doubles.
Two girls tennis doubles teams — Manheim Township's Avery Palandjian and Scotty Reynolds (Class 3A), and Lancaster Catholic’s Anna Millen and Angelle San Jose (Class 2A) — placed third in the state tournament.
Penn Manor freshman Catherine Rabatin was fourth in 3A singles.
L-L League teams won all six District Three titles. Rabatin won 3A singles and Riley Smith in 2A singles. Paladjian and Reynolds took the 3A doubles and Millen and San Jose won the 2A doubles. Township won the 3A team title and Lancaster Catholic was the 2A team champ.
Manheim Central boys won District Three Class 2A title, the first in program history, one year after going to the state finals.
Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt won his third district wrestling title and finished fifth at states.