Archive for the ‘Following Up’ Category

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.

By STEVE HEISER @ydsports/505-5446

Ben Kline

Ben Kline (John A. Pavoncello)

Ben Kline’s injury-plagued career at Penn State has apparently hit another painful roadblock.

According to the website Lions247, which covers PSU football, the Dallastown High School graduate has a torn Achilles tendon that occurred during a summer workout on Tuesday.

Go here for the full Lions247 report.

If the report is true, Kline will likely miss significant time.

The redshirt junior was expected to compete for a starting linebacker job this season.

Kline has battled injuries during his career in Happy Valley.

Last season he struggled with shoulder and pectoral injuries and saw action in six games, including two starts. He tallied 18 tackles, nine of them solo shots. He missed the last three games of the season after tearing a pectoral muscle in Penn State’s 24-10 loss at Minnesota on Nov. 9.

He did not see contact action in spring practice.

Kline is president of Penn State’s Uplifting Athletes chapter. During a stop in York in May, new PSU head coach James Franklin heaped praise upon Kline.

“I’ll tell you this. He hasn’t done anything athletically since we’ve got there, but Ben Kline has a presence,” Franklin said. “He’s a tremendous leader. He’s respected unbelievably by his teammates. He’s involved with every aspect of community service that you could possibly be involved in. He took a trip down to D.C. (for Rare Disease Awareness Day in the winter). He does everything. Every time I’m on Twitter he’s doing something in the community.”

Franklin has a policy of not commenting on player injuries. Jeff Nelson, the PSU assistant athletic director for communications, said he did not have any information on Kline’s reported injury.

In May, Kline was named to the preseason watch list for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy. First created in 2004 and named in honor of former University of Southern California defensive back Ronnie Lott, the IMPACT trophy is given to college football’s defensive player of the year. IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. He was one of 42 players named to the preseason watch list for the award.

Kline, a finance major, owns a 3.85 grade-point average and last fall was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team for the second straight year.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is a York High graduate. He’s very upset with one of his standout players, linebacker Daryl Washington,

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is a York High graduate. He’s very upset with one of his standout players, linebacker Daryl Washington, right now. Washington was suspended for the season for a drug violation. (RICK SCUTERI — The Associated Press)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Expressing “extreme” disappointment in Daryl Washington, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he won’t talk again this season about the standout inside linebacker, who has been suspended a year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

“He made a choice and we’re all living with it,” Arians said in his first public comments since the suspension was announced last week.

The coach, who is a York High graduate, said he “obviously hopes Daryl gets his life straightened out.”

“But he also was very unaccountable,” Arians said, “to his teammates, the organization, the fans and everybody else.”

The coach spoke after the team resumed volunteer organized team activity Monday.

Washington, who says the punishment was for marijuana, also was suspended the first four games of last season for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. He faces further potential punishment from the league following his guilty plea to assaulting his ex-girlfriend.

The loss of Washington leaves the Cardinals without the two dynamic inside linebackers who were the core of the team’s strong defense a year ago. Karlos Dansby, the Cardinals’ leading tackler last season, signed a free agent contract with Cleveland.

Second-year player Kevin Minter, who played one defensive snap as a rookie, already is penciled in as Dansby’s replacement. Larry Foote, signed as a free agent, will be a candidate to take Washington’s place, at least part of the time.

Lorenzo Alexander, who started at outside linebacker before going down with a foot injury three games into last season, will move inside, a position he has played before and says he loves. Kenny Demens, on the practice squad last season, is another possibility, and the team is looking to sign others.

“It’s not imperative but we still would like to have some depth because we’re short now going into camp,” Arians said. “We’d like to have seven inside linebackers go to camp, so we’ll see what’s available and pursue it from there.”

Asked if someone could be signed and become a starter, Arians said, “He’d have to earn it. If there’s one available that could do that, I’d like to have him.”

Alexander said the Cardinals still have the outstanding defensive front that was largely responsible for the success of the inside linebackers.

“All those guys were taking a block to allow D-Wash and Karlos do what they’re going to do,” he said. “So I don’t see why that’s going to change and allow us to run for the ball. … Obviously they’re good players but it was a collective team effort that enabled them to have those type of plays and impact in games.”

Quarterback Carson Palmer said an improved offense should help offset the impact of losing Washington.

“We have to step up,” Palmer said. “When you lose a guy like Daryl and you lose Karlos to free agency, Tyrann (Mathieu) is not going to be back probably as fast as we’d like, you kind of have to transform. That’s the NFL. … Offensively we have to pick up a ton of slack. We leaned on the defense a lot last year and we expect to be leaned on this year. We need to come through and we will come through.”

Palmer said the players need to support Washington “and love him and try to be there for him through this phase.”

He said Washington needs to keep preparing as a football player through his suspension and “stay away from bad people and bad places.”

“Don’t just sit back and relax and wait ’til next year,” Palmer said, “because the game can pass you by.”

He said the Cardinals players would welcome Washington back “with open arms.”

“I think this locker room understands guys make mistakes,” Palmer said. “Some mistakes are more detrimental than others and hurt you more than others … I can’t wait to see him. I know he’s been through a lot and there’s been a lot of crazy things but this locker room will give him a hug, welcome him back and be glad to see him back.”

Washington’s’ experience has been an example to the team’s younger players.

Minter has watched what has happened with eyes wide open.

“It’s like man,” he said. “I’d better not mess up.”

York Dispatch Staff Report

Susquehannock High School graduate Troy Miller was named an All-Commonwealth Conference Honorable Mention selection in baseball.

Miller, a junior second baseman at Stevenson University, earned his first career honor, leading the team with a .316 batting average and 37 hits. He ranked second on the team with 20 runs and seven doubles. Miller tied for first with nine multi-hit games and has an 11-game hit streak.

York Dispatch Staff Report

Central York High School graduate Megan Lundy, a sophomore at Shippensburg University, was named Thursday afternoon to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District 2 Women’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team for NCAA Division II athletics.

Lundy is majoring in early childhood education (PreK-4) and has maintained a perfect 4.0 grade-point average through 60 credits of coursework.

A 400-meter specialist, Lundy was a national qualifier both indoors and outdoors — earning All-America honors (eighth place) indoors and placing 11th outdoors despite running another personal-best time in prelims. She is the first and only women’s athlete in school history to earn All-America honors in the 400 meters.

In Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships competition, Lundy won both the conference indoor (56.45 seconds) and outdoor (:55.17) titles while also anchoring victorious 4×4 relays indoors (3:54.48) and outdoors (3:47.18). Both indoor performances resulted in all-region accolades.

Her 400-meter preliminary qualifying time of :56.34 seconds (:55.61 converted) at the NCAA Championships established the current school record, breaking her own mark set at the conference championships.

Lundy was named the 2014 PSAC Women’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in late March. The conference has not yet announced its outdoor award winners.

Through two years, Lundy is already an eight-time PSAC place-winner and six-time PSAC champion while qualifying for three NCAA Division II Championships.

 

By JOHN WALK

505-5406/@yorksportsguy

Brandon Hohenadel is pictured with some of his sports items — a snow board and an autographed photo of his favorite coach, Villanova

Brandon Hohenadel is pictured with some of his sports items — a snow board and an autographed photo of his favorite coach, Villanova University’s Jay Wright — at his Lower Windsor Township home. The Eastern York High School graduate has been battling leukemia. (BILL KALINA — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)
Lisa Hohenadel wears a Brandon’s Battle Foundation shirt. Her son Brandon, an Eastern York High School graduate, has been battling leukemia. The

Lisa Hohenadel wears a Brandon’s Battle Foundation shirt. Her son Brandon, an Eastern York High School graduate, has been battling leukemia. The foundation is a fund-raising group. (BILL KALINA — bkalina@yorkdispatch.com)

For nearly five months last year, Brandon Hohenadel was confined to a room at Penn State’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

In the times between receiving chemotherapy treatments, attempting to rid his body of acute myeloid leukemia, Hohenadel didn’t have much else to do.

Brandon’s mom, Lisa, who works in the payroll department for the Eastern York School District, felt something more could be done to boost the spirits not only of her teenage son, but of the many other patients at the medical center.

“I just decided kids laying up in that hospital, there’s nothing to do,” Lisa Hohenadel said. “They have volunteers of people coming around giving you snacks and drinks. There’s still a lot more hours in the day.”

So a little more than a year ago, Lisa Hohenadel decided to launch a non-profit whose goal is to deliver goody bags to patients filled with more than just snacks. She titled the non-profit in her son’s name: Brandon’s Battle Foundation.

“We have puzzles, stickers, paintings, wind chimes for parents and lotions,” Lisa Hohenadel said of the goody bags. “Just something for the kids and parents to do. Something to talk about, because it’s a long day. When I decided to do this foundation I wanted to do something for him (Brandon), just to boost his spirits, even if it’s just for an hour a day.”

Through donations at brandonsbattle.com and hard work put in by students at Eastern York High School raising money by selling T-shirts and wristbands, the foundation has raised more than $5,000 thus far. And coming up next month at Cool Creek Golf Club in Wrightsville, golfers will have the chance to play the sport they love while giving toward the foundation.

The foundation is holding a tournament at the golf course on the morning of June 28 and is aiming for up to 28 teams to participate. Teams will be composed of four players and the cost is $280 per team, which includes golf carts, a catered meal and prizes. Just five teams have signed up so far, according to Jody Grim, who is organizing the tournament. There’s also opportunities for companies to sponsor a golf cart. All proceeds from the tournament will go toward the Brandon’s Battle Foundation. If interested, golfers can register for the tournament at brandonsbattle.com or call Grim at 965-2127.

Brandon’s battle: Although he lost all of his short, brown hair and about 40 pounds, Brandon’s chemotherapy a year ago was successful, putting his cancer in remission just in time for him to attend graduation at Eastern York High School. But he fell ill last November. And a scrape of his bone marrow in January, just a week before he was set to begin classes at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, revealed the leukemia had returned.

The only option at that point for Hohenadel would be to receive a bone marrow transplant from a donor. It would be another two months of chemotherapy before he had the transplant on March 21.

“It’s not like a typical transplant,” Hohenadel recalled during an interview at his home earlier this month. “Normally you think of surgery. It’s just getting a bag of blood. It’s a blood transfusion. Lasts for about 15 minutes.”

The greatest chance of health complications for patients who receive a bone marrow transplant are usually within the 100 days of the transplant because the immune system is still very weak. As a result, doctors typically recommend to patients like Hohenadel to stay at home over those 100 days in order to avoid being around people and getting sick.

But Brandon has tried to live as normal a life as possible.

“I can tell my condition has improved from playing a lot of basketball,” he said. “I can go outside and I don’t even get winded from shooting. And I was playing three-on-three the other day with my friends and stuff like that.”

Basketball: Hohenadel once played on the freshman boys’ basketball team at Eastern, but quit after that season because he didn’t enjoy coaches using him as the “big man” in the low post, a result of being taller than most players as a freshman at 5-feet, 11-inches tall.

Hohenadel’s love for basketball has remained, though. It helped him in his recovery last year from chemotherapy and this year from the bone marrow transplant. He spent some of his free time watching his favorite college teams (Villanova and Syracuse) and pro team (Oklahoma City) on TV.

Future: Brandon had his first health scare since the transplant when his body temperature skyrocketed to 103 degrees on the night of May 23. Fortunately it was a minor virus. He stayed at Hershey Medical Center over that weekend and returned home the afternoon of Memorial Day.

If all goes well and he returns to full health, Hohenadel is hoping to begin classes in the spring semester of 2015 at IUP, where he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in sports administration.

“I want to be a (sports) agent eventually,” he said. “So I’m going to try to get involved with an organization and work my way up.”

For more information on the golf tournament, visit brandonsbattle.com.

— Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.

York Dispatch Staff Report

One of the premier events on local road-racing calendar is coming up this weekend.

The sixth annual Bob Potts Marathon is set for a 6 a.m. start on Sunday.

The event, which annually attracts about 400 runners, is already sold out and registration is closed.

The course begins and ends at York College’s Grumbacher Center, but the majority of the race is run on the York Heritage Rail Trail. An army of more than 200 volunteers are expected to help with the event.

The Bob Potts Scholarships are directly supported by the marathon. There are two $1,000 scholarships given to York County cross-country runners. The event also helps support the maintenance of the Rail Trail.

The event is named after one of the original members of the York Road Runners. Bob Potts died while running a triathlon in 2005 in New Jersey. His son, Sean Potts, is the race director.

The flat nature of the course makes it a favorite for runners hoping to earn a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

The course records for the Potts Marathon were both set in the first year, 2009. For the men, the record is held by Chuck Engle at 2 hours, 41 minutes, 35 seconds. The female record is 3:00.27 by Terri Rejimbal, who will also run in this year’s race.

The event will also feature entertainment. Kayla Kroh will perform at Hanover Junction from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., and Leah Burkey will play at the finish area from 10 a.m. until noon. Both artists will sell CDs and sign autographs.

For more information, visit bobpottsrun.com.

 

COLUMN By STEVE HEISER

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Red Lion High School graduate Morgan McLaughlin recently participated in the Women’s Division II National Rugby Final Four in Stanford, Calif., with

Red Lion High School graduate Morgan McLaughlin recently participated in the Women’s Division II National Rugby Final Four in Stanford, Calif., with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The IUP team finished third. (SUBMITTED)

Morgan McLaughlin recently had a decision to make.

A very difficult decision.

She could celebrate years of hard work in the classroom and attend her college graduation ceremony, or she could try to win a national rugby title.

McLaughlin, after due deliberation, chose the latter course, and even though her Indiana University of Pennsylvania team fell short of winning the Women’s Division II National Championship, the 2009 Red Lion High School graduate has no regrets.

“All of the seniors on the team got together and talked about it and we decided we were going to play rugby on the graduation date (Saturday, May 10),” she said. “We walked out onto the field like we were walking out for graduation.”

Of the 10 seniors on the IUP team, eight elected to play rugby, while the other two opted for graduation.

The storybook ending, of course, would have had IUP winning the national crown, but that’s not the way real life usually works. The Crimson Hawks lost in the national semifinals on May 10 in Stanford, Calif., to Cal State-Northridge, 15-10.

They bounced back the next day, however, to win the third-place match over Florida International, 19-17. In that game, McLaughlin, who plays fullback, scored a try and made the extra kick with about five minutes left to win it for IUP. A try is worth five points and the kick is worth two points.

“Our first match was very close, a very tough loss,” the 22-year-old McLaughlin said. “We went on to Sunday to win the bronze, which was a great accomplishment.”

IUP made it to the Final Four by finishing 7-0 in the Allegheny Rugby Union, which includes schools such as Slippery Rock, West Virginia, Clarion, Juniata, Grove City, California (Pa.) and Pitt. That got the Hawks to the Sweet 16, where they won two matches to advance to Stanford. It was the first time that McLaughlin and her teammates have advanced that far.

McLaughlin, who played soccer in high school, got hooked on rugby when started at IUP. She and a friend signed up and she quickly became enamored with the sport.

“We wanted to try something different and we loved it,” McLaughlin said of the sport, which she described as a mix between soccer and football. “I like how physical it is and how it bonds us all together. My team is my family, it’s where I met all my friends at school. It’s such a different sport. It’s nothing like what I was used to playing. It was a great experience.”

Part of that bonding comes from the fact that rugby at IUP is a club sport, not a university sport. That means the IUP rugby team has to raise its own funds to pay its bills. Each team member must pay dues each semester, and the team also holds fund raisers, such as bake sales and car washes.

There’s also no paid coach. Instead, the team’s elected captains lead practices. McLaughlin has been an IUP captain for each of the past two seasons.

McLaughlin, who is known for her speed, may enjoy the physical aspect of the sport, but it can also take its toll. She suffered a concussion during the Sweet 16. Since the school does not sponsor the sport, she had to return home to seek medical care in the emergency room. But it still couldn’t keep her out of the Final Four. She also has some knee problems from her soccer days.

“When I play, I don’t even notice it,” she said of her knee issues. “I just play through it. It’s such an emotional sport. It’s hard to explain. It’s indescribable. The knees don’t bother me on the field, only off the field.”

The emotion was evident in McLaughlin’s raspy voice after the Final Four.

“I always lose my voice after I play,” she said. “But I’m also sick. But I’m emotional on the field.”

McLaughlin said her parents were little leery when she took up rugby, but that they quickly warmed up to it.

“My mom was definitely nervous” she said. “But they know how much I love it and they came up to support me at my games and even came to California. In the end, they loved it, too.”

Now McLaughlin is about ready to embark on her career after college. She has a nursing degree and hopes to land a job in maternity nursing, once she finishes a clinical stint this summer at Johnstown Hospital.

But she’s not done with rugby just yet.

Her performance this season caught the attention of national rugby officials and she’s been invited to participate in a camp run by USA Rugby in Virginia from June 5-8. If she performs well there, she could be selected for the women’s national team.

“I always wanted to play in a women’s league in the future,” she said. “It’s awesome that I got a chance in this camp. It’s definitely something big.”

Making the national team would be icing on the cake for McLaughlin.

Rugby is in her blood now. Four years of sweating, laughing and crying with your teammates, who just happen to be your best friends, will do that.

That’s why skipping her graduation ceremony turned out to be the right decision for her.

Even if she didn’t get to enjoy the storybook national championship ending.

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


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