P.O. Athletes of the Week, April 9-16
Male Athlete of the Week
Dalton Strite, Chambersburg
"I had hurt my neck a few weeks ago, but I think I'm back to 100 percent now," Strite said. "Last week we had a few mental lapses, but we came together and overcame them to get the job done. I think all the young guys now are getting into a good groove."
Position: Outside hitter
Parents: Carl and Karla Strite
Other Interests: Strite is a National Honor Society member and likes to hunt and fish.
Favorite team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite athlete: Le'Veon Bell
College: Strite will go to Penn State to study chemical engineering.
From coach Marta Helfrick: "In our three matches this week, Dalton had over 100 attempts and had about 50 kills. Hitting at .500 or better is really good in volleyball - usually a good percentage is about one in three. He picked up his service, too, and had six aces with not a lot of errors. We've kind of jumped on his back and he's touching the ball on almost every play."
Statistics: Strite helped the Trojans defeat Spring Grove (3-1), State College (3-0) and CD East (3-1) last week ... In those matches, he combined for 48 kills, 33 digs and six aces.
Female Athlete of the Week
Keri Gearhart, Greencastle-Antrim
"I told myself last year that I was going to break my record (of 122-2)," Gearhart said, "I wasn't really expecting it the first time, but I broke my record by a foot and it was totally surprising. I never expected to do it again, and then I broke it again by five or six inches. I want to do it again and make it past districts this year."
Event: Javelin, high jump, pole vault
Parents: Deanne and Rick Gearhart
Other interests: Gearhart also plays volleyball for the Blue Devils, and club volleyball for Revolution.
Favorite team: Penn State volleyball
Favorite athlete: Kelsey Robinson, USA volleyball
Surprising fact: "I never thought I was going to play sports until I was 9 or 10," Gearhart said. "Both of my sisters played volleyball and I always hated getting dragged to volleyball games and track meets, but then all of a sudden I started playing, too."
From coach Devin McCauley: “She’s obviously a very talented athlete, and her work on the javelin got her a lot of notoriety this week, breaking the school record two weeks in a row. She’s a really hard worker, really humble and has a positive influence on the team for how she works and the way she goes about her business.”
Statistics: For some athletes, breaking a school record once is a difficult task, but Gearhart broke her own school record twice in the last two weeks. Gearhart most recently broke her own record with a throw of 124-6 against Boiling Springs, which helped the Lady Blue Devils to a 94-56 win to remain undefeated in the MPC Colonial Division.
-- Ed Gotwals contributed to this story.