By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
It's been a long winter for everyone, but an even longer one for Line Mountain standout athlete Cory Warford.
The Eagles had an uncharacteristic 3-7 season in football where Warford rushed for 1,055 years and 12 TDs, and it's been a long wait for baseball season.
He had a solid year at the plate last year, ranking near the top-10 in batting average (.403) and he was tied for seventh in the league in hits with 20.
"He was one of our best hitters and one of our best pitchers," Eagles coach Jon Raker said. "We will need him to have a really good year again this year if we are going to get to the District 4 playoffs."
Line Mountain was 9-11 overall (missing the District 4 playoffs by one win), 8-8 in the Tri-Valley League.
"We need to get better at moving the runners and driving them in when they are in scoring position," Raker said. "We need to limit our errors and help our pitching staff."
Newport ended its season one game short of their goal of the District 3 championship game, losing to Lancaster County Christian in the semis for the second consecutive year. The Buffaloes (14-5, 11-5 TVL) graduated key players in pitchers Cole Bower and Justin Temple.
Newport coach Steve Zeiders said. "We'll need to develop unproven pitching this year. Two of our top newcomers include freshmen Josh Kline (P-IF-OF) and Noah Reich (OF)."
East Juniata enjoyed a 15-win season as the Tigers were a game behind the Wildcats with a 13-3 league record.
"We had a very nice year in the TVL with the battle between us, Halifax, and Upper Dauphin going down to the last two games to have a league champion," Tigers head coach Tim Brubaker said. "We are looking to be competitive and make it into district play. We have to be very flexible with a small roster of 19 players."