On Centre: Penns Valley | Athletes rise to occasion

On Centre: Penns ValleyJune 15, 2014 

Good news came for the Penns Valley athletic department this spring, despite a major bump in the road.

As the athletic program with the most wins in the Mountain League for the 2013-14 school year, Penns Valley took home its first Summit Award. The program was awarded at the Mountain League spring banquet late last month.

The Rams’ winning percentage was .560, according to the conference website.

According to the Mountain League, the scoring was determined based on a point system. A win is one point, a tie is half a point and a loss is no points. The win percentage equals the total points divided by total games played in all sports.

But the Rams didn’t always lead the standings each season. In the fall, the athletic department finished fifth in the standings, behind Bellefonte, Clearfield, Huntingdon and Central.

By the winter, the Rams jumped to third overall most winning team in the league and drove it home with spring sports.

“Considering the circumstances we were in, it was a credit to the fortitude of the coaches and Laura Tobias (high school assistant principal), who became a jack-of-all-trades and kept it all together,” said Nate Althouse, athletic director. “It was a bittersweet kind of moment for the athletic department despite the distractions and were able to maintain a high quality program.”

Former athletic director Don Hosterman was terminated earlier this year after allegedly embezzling money from the athletic and conference funds.

Going forward, Althouse said he’d like to keep up the program’s “winning streak” by working off this year’s momentum.

“I think we have a core of excellent coaches who are grounded in teaching fundamentals,” Althouse said. “We had an excellent group of kids that came through this year, and it’s not something you can really prepare for at a small school. Hopefully we can bring that energy back next year.”

The Mountain League also honored all-stars. Penns Valley won All-Star awards in 16 events in track and field.

The girls’ track team was also honored as winning the 2014 Mountain League championship.

Ashley Struble, Wyatt Sharp and Taylor Collison earned all-league recognition in softball and baseball.

The athletic department is “knee-deep” in scheduling for 2014-15, Althouse said.

“We have some younger kids and some young teams that have a lot of potential,” he said. “This year’s recognition, as tumultuous as this year’s been, is a heck of a silver lining.”

Britney Milazzo writes about news from the Penns and Brush Valley regions. She can be reached at 231-4648 or bmilazzo@centredaily.com. Follow her on Twitter @ M11azzo.

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