Joe Knows

With another year in the books, another year of Gannon sports has wrapped up as well.

And as expected, these golden girls and boys didn’t disappoint in delivering twists and turns that would give Snyder’s of Hanover a run for its money.

So it’s worth a look back to see what made 2011-12 the roller coaster it was.

Disclaimer: To enhance the reading experience, or make this at all readable, cue up the theme song from “Rudy”, “Time of Your Life” and “One Shining Moment” in that order as you make your way through the column.

We should have known we were in for a wild ride when the year started out with off-the-field issues and inconsistency from the football team. Recently, the Knights have managed to right the ship and appear headed in the right direction under the watchful eye of interim head coach Brad Rzyczycki.

And all wasn’t unstable and topsy-turvy.

The women’s soccer team stayed rock solid, and the Knights saw their favorite daughter, Amanda Sharbaugh, break the school’s all-time scoring record.The volleyball team continues to improve and has established itself as a perennial PSAC contender. The Knights relied on solid play and leadership from seniors Claren Harris, Kara Cullen, Alex DelPiombo, Courtney Cook and Chelsea Barrett. That and Lauren Sazama was, well, Lauren Sazama.

Speaking of steadying the ship, the women’s basketball team returned to NCAA postseason play after a one-year absence from the tourney and advanced to the second round before falling to eventual champion Shaw. The talented Knights are set to lose just one starter to graduation in Caitlyn Lowe and have the guns to return to the top of the PSAC in the next few years.

On the men’s side, the Knights had to endure numerous heart-breaking finishes, one of which that even caught the eye of ESPN. But with all but a few players returning, expect the Knights to play more consistently and cohesively — Coach John Reilly maintains that this is one of the tightest group he’s coached.

On the diamond, while hope had sprung eternal for the previous 26 years, it finally produced results for the Gannon baseball team in 2012. The Knights are assured their first winning season since 1985 and appear headed for postseason play for the first time in program history.

Head coach Nate Cocolin has been nothing short of fantastic in his guidance of the Knights’ resurgence.

And don’t forget about Gannon’s PSAC championship. The women’s golf team took home the team gold from Hershey, and sophomore Amanda Teodorsson won the individual title.

Teodorsson is Sweden’s best handler of a club since Thor.

Yes the future certainly looks bright for the athletic teams at Gannon.

Provided, of course, that Lauren Sazama doesn’t forgo her senior season to enter the professional draft.

 

JOE CUNEO

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