Granted, I've done this for only a short while and I'm still learning the game, but I can't imagine a time will come in which last year's Selinsgrove team and the current Greenwood squad won't rank among the best I've covered in the Valley.
Understand right off that I'm not trying to paint either team as tops in their respective program's history.
I realize both have had a great deal of success, and in the very recent past. My clock, though, started in 2011 so that's what I have to go by.
No 2007 Mifflinburg state championship team. No 2009 Selinsgrove state runner-up.
So the sample size is not even two seasons, but I'm convinced 2011 Selinsgrove and 2012 Greenwood will be my gold standard of measure.
They had/have unrivaled talent, some names you'll be able to recall years from now, and still others anchored to the tip of your tongue. They're coached by legends with nearly 900 wins between them. They played/play with single-minded focus, never distracted from chasing their typically lofty season goals.
"Everyone comes to practice and wants to improve; we're not just here to play field hockey like it's no big deal," Greenwood senior forward Brittany Fleisher said Tuesday. "We want to accomplish things, to win championships -- and that's everyone on the team, not just a few people."
Fans were robbed of a game for the ages last year when the two teams played a spirited half in a driving rainstorm. Lightning and the unrelenting rain caused it to be called at halftime with the score tied at 1. I thought the Wildcats played a better half and had the stuff to win. Then again, I wouldn't have bet a dime against the Seals.