Archive for the ‘Following Up’ Category

By STEVE HEISER
505-5446/@ydsports

For one glorious moment, Cassy Landis could feel no pain.

There was nothing but pure, unadulterated joy.

In an instant, she was mobbed by her Siena College teammates, who came streaming onto the pitch to engulf the junior striker.

The spontaneous outburst came after one of the most amazing, unlikely goals you will ever see in a women’s soccer match.

Landis, a Dallastown High School graduate, was stationed in front of the Canisius goal during an intense scoreless overtime match last Wednesday. Just 49 seconds into the OT, she received a cross at the top of the six-yard box. Landis then perfectly timed a bicycle kick, which deflected off the Canisius goalkeeper and into the net.

Dallastown High School graduate Cassy Landis is the leading scorer on the Siena College women’s soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Siena College).

Dallastown High School graduate Cassy Landis is the leading scorer on the Siena College women’s soccer team. (Photo courtesy of Siena College).

The golden goal gave the surging Saints a critical 1-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory. Siena is now unbeaten in its last six matches.

For Landis, it was just latest chapter in an inspiring comeback story.

The 5-foot, 5-inch Landis was a star during her four-year career with the Wildcats, piling up multiple all-star honors and leading Dallastown to numerous championships. In her senior season, she scored 24 goals in 22 games, sparking the Wildcats to a 19-2-1 record.

Her efforts garnered attention from the coaches at Siena, an NCAA Division I program in Loudonville, N.Y.

The injuries: That’s when the injury problems started.

She dealt with some hip and back injuries that lingered from her high school days. She eventually had a procedure done on her spine. That limited her to just four contests in her freshman year at Siena, making her eligible for a redshirt season.

During her sophomore season, she suffered a concussion, requiring her to miss several weeks. In her first game back after the concussion, she was involved in a violent, frightening, full-speed collision. She crumpled to the ground. The game was immediately stopped and Landis was put on a backboard, fitted with a neck brace and transported to a hospital.

Fortunately, the injuries were primarily internal bruising, which aggravated her asthma.

She bounced back in time to return for the league playoffs and helped her team advance to the MAAC semifinals for the first time since 2010.

When her sophomore season ended, she had surgery for torn ligaments in her ankle, which she had injured the previous spring. She opted to put off surgery until the fall 2013 season was over, all the while playing with the ankle pain.

Not surprisingly, all of the injuries left her parents concerned — very concerned.

“Her mother told her last year that she would give it up if she was Cass,” said Bruce Landis, who is Cassy’s father. “I have never told her that, because as her coach for many years, I know how much she loves to play. But last year, when I saw her get taken out on a backboard a few weeks after another concussion, I felt sick and was worried about her future.”

Despite her parents’ worries, Cassy wouldn’t give up. She worked hard to rehab the ankle and has emerged this season to lead the Saints in scoring with five goals for 10 points. Two of her goals were game-winners. The Saints are 6-5-5 overall and 3-1-3 in the MAAC.

Never considered quitting: Despite all of her ailments, Landis said she never really considered quitting.

“I love the game,” she said. “Injuries are just part of the game you have to overcome.”

Still, Landis admitted it got difficult at times.

“It got pretty discouraging with the repeated injuries when I finally got to experience my dream of playing D-I … and couldn’t play and help the team,” she said. “I always played soccer and it is part of who I am. I am getting a great education at a school that has been good to me and I owed it to the team.”

Still not 100 percent: Unfortunately for Landis, she’s still not 100 percent fit, although you couldn’t tell it from her play.

“My ankle still gets sore from the surgery, but it’s OK,” she said. “I have been battling shin splints and Achilles tendinitis in that leg, though, probably because of the down time from the surgery.”

In fact, Bruce Landis believes the best may be yet to come from Cassy.

“Her confidence and playing form is still not 100 percent back yet,” he said. “Though she is leading the team in scoring, the coach still limits her time to only about a half per game, so she could easily be at the top of the league and NCAA statistically if playing full games.”

The future: As for the future, Landis has some big goals. She’d like to help her team to the MAAC title and an NCAA tournament berth. The business management major also has two more years of athletic eligibility after this season to continue pursuing a sport that she is still passionate about, despite the injuries.

“It has always been part of our family and my life,” she said. “I love the adrenaline rush after a great play or an awesome goal in a tight game. Americans don’t like the sport because of the low-scoring game, but it takes a lot of teamwork and athletic ability just to get the ball in the net, which makes a goal even more precious.”

Last week, Landis enjoyed scoring one of those “awesome” and “precious” goals in a “tight” game.

The unbridled celebration that ensued provided a memory that will last a lifetime.

And in that exquisite instant, Cassy Landis felt no pain.

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

York Dispatch Staff Report 

 

Eastern York High School graduate Kelci Scannapieco has been named the Landmark Conference Women’s Volleyball Athlete of the Week for the second time this season.

The 6-foot senior middle hitter hit .588 with 57 kills in nine sets to help Elizabethtown College sweep three matches last week.

Scannapieco, who was also chosen as the weekly award winner on Sept. 22, had her fourth match of 20 or more kills this season last Tuesday against Albright. She backed up that effort with 19 against Goucher and 18 against Catholic in Landmark crossover victories Saturday.

She hit more than .600 in the wins against Goucher (19-2-28, .607) and Catholic (18-1-27, .630).

Scannapieco also added in four blocks over the three-match run, E-town’s first three-match winning streak this season. She’s already set a new career high for kills in a season (350), which ranks 10th on the program’s single-season list, and is on pace to blister her previous best kills per set rate (2.66) with 3.61 per set heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

York Dispatch Staff Report

Dallastown High School graduate Brandy Workinger has been selected for induction into the Juniata College Sports Hall of Fame.

This year’s induction ceremonies will be held at 6 p.m., Friday, in the ballroom in Ellis Hall on the Juniata campus.

Workinger will be inducted as part of homecoming and family weekend. The inductees will also be honored during halftime of Juniata’s football game against Ursinus on Saturday.

Workinger was a 2002 graduate of Juniata.

She was a two-time first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American, ASICS/Tiger All-American and a three-time Middle Atlantic Conference All-Star. Workinger was a two-year captain and a four-year starter for the Eagles. She led the team to back-to-back NCAA national semifinal appearances and still holds the all-time season records for kills and attacks. She ranks among the top 10 in career kills, attacks and digs.

Workinger was a recipient of the John E. Blood Award, presented to the senior athlete who has earned at least four varsity letters and the highest grade-point average. She also received the Carolyn Stambaugh Award, presented to the senior female athlete and student leader who best exemplifies Stambaugh’s qualities of winning attitude, self-confidence, concern for others, high sense of values and enthusiasm for life. Workinger was recognized as the team’s most valuable player in 2000 and earned an NCAA post-graduate scholarship in 2002.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders’ coaching staff is on the verge of its first major change in seven seasons.

According to a WFAN report, the New York Yankees fired longtime RailRiders hitting coach Butch Wynegar, making him another casualty of the Class AAA franchise’s desire to refocus on its bats at both the big league and minor league levels. The Yankees fired hitting coach Kevin Long on Friday.

Wynegar is a Red Lion High School graduate and is the only hitting coach Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has known since the Yankees became the affiliate in 2007, and his career with the Yankees and RailRiders didn’t come without success. As of Monday evening, however, Wynegar was still listed as the Railriders’ hitting coach on the team’s website.

He guided the offense that helped the team to playoff appearances in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012. When the Yankees won the Governors Cup in 2008, they finished in the top six in the league in every major offensive category. They finished fourth in the International League in homers when they surprisingly won the North Division title despite playing every game away from PNC Field in 2012.

Even the last two years, when the RailRiders slumped to back-to-back losing seasons, the offense had its moments. Last season, the RailRiders led the league in hitting and finished fifth in both home runs and runs scored.

Manager Dave Miley’s coaching staff has been one of the most static in the International League, a circuit that sees coaches come and go on a regular basis. But the last major change to the staff came in 2009, when Scott Aldred took over as pitching coach for Rafael Chaves, who recently took over as minor-league pitching coordinator for the Philadelphia Phillies. The top three RailRiders coaches had been together for six straight seasons in 2014, easily the longest stretch in the IL.

That will change next year with Wynegar’s apparent departure. Potential candidates to replace him within the system are Marcus Thames, the hitting coach at Double-A Trenton last season, and a pair of former Scranton/Wilkes-Barre backups — P.J. Pilittere and Edwar Gonzalez, who coached the hitters at Tampa and Charleston at the Class A level last season.

Wynegar played in the majors for 13 years as a catcher with the Twins, Yankees and Angels. He was a two-time All-Star who had a .255 lifetime average with 65 homers and 506 RBIs.

By STEVE HEISER
505-5446/@ydsports

David Denner

David Denner

It was a million-to-one shot.

A once-in-a-lifetime shot.

David Denner knows that better than anyone.

Denner is a 23-year-old Central York High School graduate.

On Monday, Denner was playing at Out Door Country Club. It’s a course that Denner is very familiar with. He used to be a member there under his parents’ family plan and currently works on the course’s grounds crew.

When he got to the eighth hole — a 345-yard par 4 from the white tees— another member of his foursome, Mike Culver, asked Denner if he wanted to have a long-drive contest. Denner accepted immediately and pulled out his driver.

The dogleg hole is slightly downhill and was playing slightly downwind, so by taking a direct line over a stand of trees and toward the green, it wasn’t playing to its full distance.

Still, to get anywhere close to the green required a prodigious drive, and that’s just what Denner unleashed.

“I just took a poke at it and hit it really solid,” Denner said.

When the group got to the green, however, Denner’s ball was nowhere to be found.

After about a five-minute search, Denner saw a ball mark on the front of the green. As a last hope, he decided to peak into the hole, where he surprisingly found his ball.

He had achieved one of the rarest shots in golf — a hole-in-one on a par 4.

“When I saw the ball in the hole, I tried to get all of their (his partners’) attention,” Denner said. “My first reaction was excitement and disbelief. I know the odds of having that happen. I yanked the stick out so the ball would fly out with it. Everyone in the group was pretty shocked because it was a par 4. They had never seen or heard of that happening.”

Nearly all holes-in-one occur on par 3s, which are normally less than 200 yards. Getting an ace on a par 4 is exceptionally rare.

Of course, Denner is no ordinary golfer. He started playing when he was 6 or 7 and was a standout at Central York, where he was the York-Adams League Division I Golfer of the Year as a senior. He plays to around a scratch handicap and can normally carry the ball about 280 yards in the air with his driver, which makes him far longer than the average hacker. He previously played college golf at Methodist University and hopes to return to the Fayetteville, N.C., school to finish his business degree.

He finished his nine-hole round Monday with a 3-under-par 33.

Denner previously had a hole-in-one during a junior tournament on No. 11 at Hickory Heights near Spring Grove. He didn’t see the ball go into the hole that day, either, because the 145-yard par 3 is uphill and you can’t see the green from the tee box down below.

The other members of Denner’s foursome on Monday at Out Door were Andrew Showers and Josh Raudebaugh.

“It’s probably the rarest thing that can happen and it will probably never happen again,” Denner said. “It’s probably the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in golf.”

Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.

By TOM CANAVAN
The Associated Press

(FILE PHOTO)
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — After a disappointing season that ended with a broken leg in the regular-season finale, New York Giants tackle Will Beatty is back in form and smiling a lot this week.

Not only is the six-year veteran playing well, he’ll get a chance to go against former mentor Osi Umenyiora on Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons (2-2) come to MetLife Stadium to play the Giants (2-2).

The York High graduate spent most of his first four seasons going against Umenyiora in practice, first providing scout-team looks and eventually squaring off as starters. It was Beatty on the left end of the offensive line and Umenyiora on the right end of the defensive line.

The relationship ended last season when Umenyiora signed with the Falcons as a free agent. The friendship is still there.

“You look forward to the big games and the good matchups,” Beatty said Wednesday after practice. “This is almost a division game for me going against him because of how well I know him. Let’s see how much he changed. I get to show him how much I changed and how much I grew.”

Beatty broke his right leg in late December and there was a lot of concern about whether he would be ready for the start of the season.

The 29-year-old who signed a five-year, $37 million contract in February 2013 worked hard in the offseason to get ready and it’s been paying off.

“There is still a lot of improvement, but I do feel good,” Beatty said. “I feel like going out there and just being with my teammates is my focus.”

Umenyiora said that Beatty was always a good player, and now he is doing as well as any left tackle in the league.

“I am proud of him, proud to see the type of player he has become, because he was like that from the beginning,” said Umenyiora, who spent his first nine seasons with the Giants. “Last year, I left last year, so obviously he didn’t have anybody pushing him. That is why his game kind of slipped a little bit, but now he looked on the schedule and he sees me on there and all of a sudden he is an All-Pro left tackle again, so I am going to take credit for that. Will Beatty is just a really good guy.”

Beatty laughed when told of Umenyiora’s comment. He also took the blame for his play last season, saying he did took much thinking instead of just playing and enjoying the game.

“After I broke my leg my main focus was to just walk again and get back out there,” Beatty said. “If I got that chance I wanted to make sure I enjoyed it and took advantage of it as long as I could because you never know when the last play is going to be. That’s been my mindset this year, go out there and play and enjoy yourself.”

The Giants have done that the past two games, beating Houston and Washington by a combined 75-31 margin.

York Dispatch Staff ReportWest York’s Josh Rinehart is off to an impressive start with the Penn State golf team.

West York’s Josh Rinehart is off to an impressive start with the Penn State golf team. (JOHN PAVONCELLO — jpavoncello@yorkdispatch.com)
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West York High School graduate Josh Rinehart is off to a fast start with the Penn State golf team.

Over Labor Day weekend, PSU had four rounds of qualifying to earn a spot on the tournament team. Rinehart, a true freshman, tied with PSU’s No. 1 player for overall low score, shooting 74, 73, 66 and 73.

That earned Rinehart a spot on the travel roster for the Lions’ first 2014 tournament at the University of Michigan this past weekend. There were 11 teams in the event. Rinehart helped PSU finish second. Rinehart had rounds of 74, 73 and 70. His 4-over-par 217 total allowed him to finish tied for 23rd in the 66-player field.

By MATT ZENITZ / Carroll County Times

COLLEGE PARK — Maryland coach Randy Edsall said he has told several of his close friends the same thing leading up to this season: “I feel good about this team.”

Maryland’s schedule will be tough, possibly the Terps’ toughest schedule in years, as the Terps enter their first season in the Big Ten. But to Edsall, this is the deepest, most talented and most experienced team he has had since he took over as the Terps’ coach in 2011.

“We’re in a position that we haven’t been in, in the three previous years going into this year,” the Susquehannock High School graduate said during an interview.

And whether it’s Edsall, assistant coaches or players, those within Maryland’s football program all say the same thing: The Terps have the tools to be competitive despite that daunting schedule that includes matchups against three preseason AP top 25 teams (No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Michigan State and No. 14 Wisconsin) and three other teams (Iowa, Michigan and Penn State) that received votes to be in the top 25.

Edsall said he felt good about Maryland leading into last year, too. “But I didn’t feel as good as I feel this year,” Edsall said.

“The process that we’re going through, that we went through and are now continuing to go through has put us in a position this year to go out and be very competitive in the Big Ten,” Edsall said.

The Terps were picked to finish just fifth out of seven teams in the Big Ten’s East Division in a preseason media poll compiled by Cleveland.com.

However, Maryland has arguably one of the top wide receiving corps in the country, led by Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. The Terps also have a sixth-year senior at quarterback (C.J. Brown), three talented running backs (Brandon Ross, Albert Reid and Wes Brown) and an improved offensive line that Edsall said he thinks will surprise people.

“We’re excited,” Brown said. “We have a lot of potential [on offense].”

The defense appears to be in good shape as well.

The Terps lost just one starter (Marcus Whitfield) from last year’s front seven and still have several players that were either starters or key role players on Maryland’s defense that ranked 21st nationally in 2012.

The secondary is a question mark. Junior cornerback Alvin Hill is entering his first season as a starter. Fellow starter Will Likely is just 5-foot-7 and gave up some big plays during preseason practice. And nickel back Jeremiah Johnson fell victim to some big plays during camp as well.

However, the Terps have three potential NFL players along the defensive line (nose tackle Darius Kilgo and defensive ends Andre Monroe and Quinton Jefferson). Linebackers Cole Farrand, Matt Robinson and L.A. Goree are returning starters. So are safeties Sean Davis and Anthony Nixon.

Davis had a team-high 102 tackles last year and two interceptions last year. And according to Edsall, Davis was among the most impressive players during preseason camp.

The Terps lost Whitfield, who had nine sacks last year, but they replace him with senior Yannik Cudjoe-Virgil. Cudjoe-Virgil had three sacks in six games last year and was one of just three outside linebackers from the Big Ten selected to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given annually to the top linebacker in college football.

Maryland coaches are also enthusiastic about the progress of sophomore outside linebacker Yannick Ngakoue, a former top recruit who was consistently disruptive as a pass rusher during preseason practice.

“I’m excited about a lot of things [on defense],” Farrand said. “I think we’re big. I think we’re strong. I think we’re fast. We definitely have a lot of leadership. Everybody’s holding each other accountable this year, so I think that’s great in a football team … and I think we’re looking very good.”

The first five games will be key. Maryland, which opens against James Madison Saturday, may be favored in each of its first five games before playing Ohio State in College Park Oct. 4.

If the Terps can win each of those games, that matchup with Ohio State becomes even more interesting, especially considering the Buckeyes will now be forced to play this year without star quarterback Braxton Miller.

Maryland was just 7-6 last season, but the Terps were 5-2 before injuries started to mount.

“People talk about Maryland going into the Big Ten and struggling. I don’t see that,” said James Madison coach Everett Withers, who was the defensive coordinator at Ohio State in 2012 and last year. “I see Maryland having a chance — staying healthy — to have some success.”

Reach staff writer Matt Zenitz at 410-857-7896 or sports@carrollcountytimes.com.

Dover High School graduate John Kuhn is becoming more physical as he gets older as a fullback with the Green Bay Packers.

Dover High School graduate John Kuhn is becoming more physical as he gets older as a fullback with the Green Bay Packers. (MATT LUDTKE — The Associated Press)

GREEN BAY — At possibly the most collision-based of positions, one in which a player’s willingness to hit can fade fast, fullback John Kuhn actually has become a more physical lead blocker even in his 30s.

The Dover High School graduate had fewer misses than ever before in the running game last season for the Green Bay Packers.

This summer, the sound of his pads cracking against linebackers in the fierce half-line drill has been a fascinating soundtrack of training camp.

The book on Kuhn since he arrived in Green Bay on waivers in September 2007 and began to play basically has remained the same. Personnel men around the NFC North admired his versatility and pass blocking but were lukewarm about his run blocking.

“He’s not a hammer,” one division scout said late in the 2011 season. “But he can get in the way.”

Changing job description: Kuhn’s job description before 2013 included far more than just lead blocking. The Packers’ zone scheme didn’t feature much downhill blocking by the fullback, and Kuhn also was a regular on the four core special teams.

“Back then, I played a lot of special teams and was leaner, thinner, faster,” Kuhn said. “Now I play about two a game, and my roles on special teams are less-designed for open-field running.”

When the Packers drafted big back Eddie Lacy a year ago and incorporated almost as many gap and power runs as zone, the 6-foot Kuhn gradually increased his career-long weight of 250 pounds to 255 at the end of last season.

He has been playing at about 257 this summer and, according to his coaches, has been thumping defenders like never before.

“That’s been a huge emphasis for me the last year and a half,” Kuhn said this week. “I’m not going to say I wanted to be the old-school fullback type, but it was more directed toward being able to knock guys out of the hole. I feel I have become a better blocker in recent years.”

New coach in Gash: Sam Gash, the new running backs coach, made two Pro Bowls as a bone-crunching fullback from 1992-2003.

In his early discussions with Kuhn, Gash discovered a nine-year veteran open to many of his ideas, including striking with elbows down and tight before exploding upward into the defender almost like a bench press.

He also has seen that Kuhn still digs contact.

“I definitely feel like he’s better,” said Gash, who played his college ball at Penn State. “From what I saw, I think his desire to hit at the point is outstanding this year. John’s different in the fact he’s in great shape and has done a great job taking care of his body.”

Offensive coordinator Tom Clements, who has watched Kuhn since his arrival, said there’s no doubt his run blocking has picked up.

Adding weight: Over his career, Kuhn has been used as a fullback, an I-back, a one back and a third-down back. The Packers won the Super Bowl with him protecting Aaron Rodgers on third down.

Bright and adaptable, Kuhn has added weight and sculpted his body to fit a changing role.

“With explosive backs like Eddie, DuJuan (Harris) and James (Starks), they don’t need too much space,” said Kuhn. “Twelve to 18 inches takes a hole from here to there so they can make a big, big gain.

“We’ve gotten bigger and stronger to emphasize we do have a big, strong running back. The rest of our offense should emulate that type of running style.

“We still have the best quarterback in the NFL, and we are going to pass the ball a lot. If we’re going to do 75 plays a game like Coach Mike (McCarthy) wants, there’s going to be a lot of running as well.

“We want to be really good at the run this year.”

Litmus test: The litmus test for a fullback always has been the isolation play in which he’s slamming downhill into a linebacker who’s charging to meet him in the hole.

Based on years of punishing head-on crashes, Kuhn divides linebackers into two categories.

“Some are just barreling down trying to take inches away from your side and you’re barreling down trying to take inches away from their side,” said Kuhn. “That’s primarily where you put your shoulder into them.

“If you’re going against a jump-around guy, more of a shaker, a guy who wants to give you less of his body, then it’s hand placement. You have to make sure you sustain your block so you can’t go barreling in with your shoulder because he’ll make you miss.”

Getting better: The Journal Sentinel has been tracking “bad” runs for more than 15 years. After having allowed an average of 4.2 in his first six years, Kuhn was judged to be responsible for only one last year.

“He’s either going to stalemate or he’s going to push the guy out of the hole,” said Lacy. “It’s very rare that you’ll see him get hit and get pushed back in the hole.

“I couldn’t line up and run into a linebacker every single play if they paid me $30 million. For as many years…and you still can go up and deliver that kind of blow, it says something about him and his competitive spirit.”

Kuhn, who outlasted ex-teammates Korey Hall and Quinn Johnson at the position, mentioned former Packer Vonta Leach, Lorenzo Neal and Dan Kreider as lead-blocking fullbacks during the past decade that he respects.

“My whole career has been get your guy as best you can,” said Kuhn. “When all else fails, hang on to your guy; don’t let him make the tackle.

“Now Coach Sam has introduced some things where I can play more aggressive.”

Lowering the boom: Julius Peppers, who outweighs Kuhn by about 30 pounds, has taken on blocks by him in practice and games.

“He lowers the boom,” said Peppers. “Very powerful, very compact. Low center of gravity and he packs a punch.”

Obviously, Kuhn has limitations in speed, athleticism and catching radius. The Packers also have become less reliant on two-back formations.

It’s perfectly understandable that Kuhn’s playing time has been greater in games 9-16 than in games 1-8 over the last three seasons. When the Wisconsin winter sets in, Kuhn’s value increases.

In April, Kuhn re-signed for one year at $1.5 million less on average than he was making. Three weeks shy of his 32nd birthday, he understood.

He also is well aware of what scouts have said over the years about his less-than-robust style of run blocking.

“The first look somebody gets of you lasts,” said Kuhn. “It’d be nice if I could change some of their minds.”

Pro Bowl goal: In the last 20 years, nine fullbacks have been voted to more than one Pro Bowl. William Henderson (2004) and Kuhn (2011) were the only Packers. Kuhn really wants another.

“You get later in your career, you start talking about legacy and lasting impressions,” said Kuhn. “I think multiple Pro Bowls says a lot.”

“The fans are great. Fans appreciate the work I’ve done throughout my career. I’d like to play as long as I’m healthy and as long as they’ll let me and I’m still having fun.

“I still love playing football.”

By RYAN VANDERSLOOT

505-5446/@yaiaascores

York Catholic High School graduate Kady Schrann, seen here during her playing days at Vanderbilt University, has transferred to Florida Gulf Coast

York Catholic High School graduate Kady Schrann, seen here during her playing days at Vanderbilt University, has transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University. (PHOTO COURTESY OF VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY)

Injuries are part of the risk of playing a sport.

One never knows when a freak play, a tough pivot or a mere accident may occur that turns a player’s path upside down.

Such was the case for former York Catholic basketball standout Kady Schrann. Highly coveted by many NCAA Division I universities during her time with the Fighting Irish, Schrann settled on Vanderbilt.

During her first year at Vanderbilt, things seemed on track. Schrann’s playing time was growing and she was turning into a valuable asset for the Commodores on the court. She was even named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team.

Then the dreaded injury bug hit. An ankle injury — the first of many as it would turn out — occurred just before her sophomore season and set off a domino-like effect. Never one to quit on her team, Schrann played through the injury as best as she could, but she never fully recovered. She spent considerable time away from her teammates while rehabbing her injuries.

As it turned out, those hours came at a cost to her level of enjoyment. On the court, she was no longer the happy young woman with a smile on her face — a vision many York Catholic fans can remember. Something had to change.

That something came about earlier this year. Schrann began the process of seeking out a fresh start at a new school in February. Looking to rekindle her excitement, Schrann stumbled upon exactly what she was looking for while watching an NCAA tournament game between Florida Gulf Coast and Oklahoma State in March.

While the No. 12-seeded Eagles couldn’t quite pull off an upset that day, Schrann knew that FCGU was the place she wanted to be. So she began the process of transferring and finally made it official in early June, when she officially enrolled at FGCU.

With the ankle injuries finally behind her, Schrann’s enjoyment on the court is again off the charts. She is eager to do her part for an Eagles squad that finished 26-8 last year, including a 17-1 mark in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

We caught up with Schrann recently for this edition of Sports Q&A.

Q: What were the major factors in your decision to leave Vanderbilt for Florida Golf Coast University?

A: The major factor in my decision … was my level of happiness. From my freshman year to my sophomore year I was enjoying everything I was doing. Then when I got hurt and it set me apart from the team. … My sophomore year I played hurt and then my junior year, after surgery, I finally felt 100 percent. However, the happiness I used to feel with the people surrounding me was gone and I knew I needed to take charge and change something.”

Q: When did you decide to transfer?

A: “I decided to transfer close to the end of my junior year, before the season was over sometime around February.”

Q: How did you find out about FGCU?

A: “I found FGCU after I narrowed my search down to a school in the south. I knew I did not want to go further north than my house in Pennsylvania and I did not want to go west. I started to look in Florida and saw FGCU play against Oklahoma State in the NCAA tournament. Although they lost, the team looked like they were having so much fun and played with so much passion.”

Q: Were there any other schools you considered?

A: “I also considered James Madison.”

Q: How did your family feel about the transfer?

A: “They just wanted me to be happy. They saw the change in me and knew that whatever decision I made was going to be the right one. They supported me every step of the way.”

Q: How did your coach and teammates at Vanderbilt feel?

A: “My teammates wanted what I thought was best for me, although it was sad to leave. My coaches wanted me to do what was best for me as well.”

Q: When did you actually enroll and become a student at FGCU?

A: “I became a student the first week of June.”

Q: What is your role expected to be when you regain your eligibility for the 2015 season?

A: “It will be whatever Coach (Karl) Smesko needs. I may be point guard and I may be a shooting guard. I know he will put me in a position where I will be able to help the team as much as I can.”

Q: With the one-year transfer rule forcing you to have to sit out next year, what will you be doing in that time?

A: “I will be working on learning the offenses and defenses of the team. I will continue to work on getting stronger and working on my shot at the same time. I will also be cheering the girls to victory during workouts, practices and games.”

Q: And how tough do you think that will be for you to be unable to compete for a whole season?

A: “I think it will be pretty tough, but I had a glimpse of the feeling when I had to sit out most of my sophomore year. It will be a challenge, but I will do all that I can to help the team, whether it be through preparing them in practice or simply cheering my heart out on the bench.”

Q: That said, how excited are you about the transfer and why?

A: “I am very excited because it is something new and it was a decision I made based on what I wanted. So far I have been here for three weeks and each day I get happier and happier with my decision.”

— Reach Ryan Vandersloot at sports@yorkdispatch.com.


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