New Castle News

Sports

January 2, 2014

Lancers' sports programs rule in 2013

NEW CASTLE — The year 2013 has been very kind to the Neshannock School District.

The Lancers claimed a WPIAL championship in softball and a handful of section titles in other sports, while other squads earned the right to participate in the playoffs as well.

Neshannock earned Lawrence County School District of the year honors with the performances this year, an award sponsored by Washington Centre Physical Therapy and selected by the New Castle News sports staff.

“(Co-Athletic Director Rob Nogay) and I have spoken about the quality of coaches we have here,” said Bob Burkes, who shares athletic director duties at Neshannock with Nogay. “We believe we have people coaching here that could coach at a Quad-A school and be successful. They put a lot of time in and they do all the little things to make their teams successful. The kids are the keys to it all. The academics are tough here, so it’s a great honor for them with those challenges and the time they put in  at practice for how well they do.”

Burkes believes a winning culture has bred more winning inside the halls at Neshannock High school.

“I think the winning attitude and culture permeates to the kids,” he said. “From our softball team to the football team to the volleyball team, the kids all want to belong to something successful, so that feeling feeds on itself and grows. Plus, our coaches are good people and kids want to play for them.”

•The Lady Lancers softball team’s bid for a second straight state championship came to a crushing halt with a 13-0 loss to Williams Valley in the Class A state title game at Penn State’s Beard Field.

Neshannock finished the season at 21-3 and its two regular season losses came to Class AA playoff teams — Wilmington (6-5) and state runner-up Riverside (1-0).

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