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The Sports Reports
The North Penn-Liberty softball team posted a historic season, and Jason Chapel was at the helm. He is The Sports Report All-Region “Coach of the Spring.”

In just his second year, Chapel piloted the NP-L squad to a 22-1-1 record, and a berth in the PIAA, Class 3A playoffs.

The Lady Mountaineers scribed an undefeated regular season, an NTL title, and a District 4 Class 3A championship into the record books, and also registered a State playoff win.

(The Sports Reports covers 24 school districts in four counties, and Corning.)

2023 Baker’s Dozen Coaches of the Spring
Jason Chapel, NP-Liberty — softball:
See above.

Liz Warren, Edison — softball: Edison was 17-4 on the season, it was the top seed for the Section IV, Class C playoffs, won the sectional title and made it to the state Final Four.

The Lady Spartans won a pair of one-run games in the Section IV playoffs, avenging two of their three regular-season losses by beating Notre Dame in the sectional final.

Mike Maloney, Notre Dame — softball: Notre Dame was 16-5 on the season. The Crusaders fell to Edison by a run in the sectional final, after a pair of regular-season wins over the Spartans. They went unbeaten during IAC action on the season.

Their only losses on the year were two in the Mary Testa Tournament, one in the Mudville Tournament, once down south in Tennessee and the loss in the sectional final. The five teams they lost to had a combined record of 92-15 on the season with Deposit-Hancock winning a state title.

Chris Bennett, Edison — baseball: Chris Bennett took over for longtime coach Mike Bennett, and led the Spartans to a divisional title, as well as an over IAC Small School title.

With a young roster, and few returning starters the Spartans finished 18-3 on the year with all three of their losses coming to two teams — Lansing and Schuyler. Lansing reached the Class B state finals and Schuyler won the Section IV, Class C title.

Kevin Jester, Candor — boys golf:  Jester led Candor to a 13-0 record, as well as IAC Small School and overall championships, and a Section IV Class D title.

Jester’s current coaching win streak is at 32 dual matches, as prior to the end of a merger with S-VE, the program won 19 consecutive matches as the SVEC Eagles.

Steve Hepfer / Aaron Wooster, Williamson — track & field: Williamson repeated as NTL Champions on the boys’ side this year, while also boasting the state champions in the 4-x-800 relay. On top of that, the Warriors had four individual state qualifiers under the direction of Hepfer and Wooster.

Dave Hogan, Waverly – track & field:
The Waverly boys team, who won a division title, finished in the top three in nearly every invitational they attended this season. In the postseason, they  finished second at the IAC Championships, third at the Section IV, Class C Championships, and second at the Section IV, Division 2 State Qualifier.

Under Hogan’s direction, Waverly brought home three state medals, including a silver medal in the 400-meter relay.

Brian Salsman, NEB — baseball: It was touch-and-go for much of the season, but the Panthers peaked at the right time under Salsman’s patient guidance to win the program’s first District 4 title.

The Panthers even got a little extra icing on that cake by winning their first state playoff game, too.

Nick Vanderpool, Wyalusing — baseball: The Rams had a tough start and finish, but never lost sight of their ultimate goal — a District 4 championship, and they played their best baseball during those three games to end the drought.

Wayne Pratt / Sadie Hardy, Troy — softball:
Troy ended its playoff drought, and it set new school records for hitting this year. The Trojans reached the district semifinals, and nearly upset eventual champion and state final four team team South Williamsport.

Charlie Havens, Athens — baseball:
Havens piloted the Wildcat to an 18-1 regular-season record, which included an NTL Large School Division title.

Athens also handed Waverly its first loss of the season — after 12 straight wins to start the season — with a 1-0 win in the “Game of the Year.” The Wildcats, however, lost their first postseason game to finish the season at 18-2.

Kyle McDuffee, Waverly — baseball:
McDuffee directed the Wolverines to a 17-2 regular season record, which included an IAC South Large School Division title, as well as a win in the overall IAC Large School championship game.

Waverly, however, lost its initial postseason game to finish the season at 17-3.

Scott Senko, Owego — track & field:  Senko led the Indians to a 4-2-1 record, their losses coming by a combined 16 points. Owego won the Class B team championship, upsetting Maine-Endwell in the process, and sent two female athletes to the state championships.

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