It shouldn't be a surprise that more Husky field hockey players were selected for Mid-Penn conference honors than athletes from all other sports combined in Mifflin County's inaugural season as a member of the Commonwealth Division.
No sport saw the same level of success, as the squad posted a winning record overall and in the division before falling in a close District 6 Class AAA championship game at State College.
For their achievements on the field, four members of the hockey team were recognized as members of the Commonwealth Division all-star team - all four as first-team members: Sam Peters, Whitney Strohecker, Sabrina Boring and Grace Wagner.
Three other individuals were the only members of their teams to garner Mid-Penn honors. Mason Sweitzer was named to the football second team for his play on the defensive line, and James Wilbur was a second-team midfielder in boys soccer. Alyssa Stackpole, who also was honored by the Tri-Valley League in volleyball, received an honorable mention in the Commonwealth.
Mifflin County field hockey coach Tish Maclay said when the season ended that her senior class would be missed, and the fact that so many of them were honored by the league proves that. The trio, all captains in the season, proved their mettle with one last appearance after it ended for their teammates.
"All three seniors played in the Mid-Penn All-Star game and made significant contributions to their win," Maclay said. "Sam Peters scored the first goal and was assisted by Whitney Strohecker."
Peters, Maclay said, led the team in scoring for each of the past two years.
"(She) was an exceptional leader both on and off the field. She was our left wing and was difficult for other teams to defend, said Maclay, noting that Peters will play at Bloomsburg University in the fall.
Left inner Strohecker has been a key member of the team since her freshman year at Indian Valley.
"She led our team in assists and was a very versatile player," Maclay said. "She was also difficult to defend."
Sometimes less noticed than the high-octane duo she was was recognized with, center link Boring was a huge component in the Huskies' defense and, Maclay said, brought a great attitude to the game.
"She was a great defender and distributor of the ball," the coach said. "She had a great work ethic and was a great defender on our corners."
Wagner stands as the first Husky to have the opportunity to be on multiple Mid-Penn all-star teams in her sport.
"Wagner is a sophomore and was one of our strongest players," Maclay said. "She is already a team leader and has a great attitude and work ethic. She is our left link and will be a major impact player again next year for our team."
On the gridiron, the Huskies had a disappointing end to the season, but one player who didn't disappoint was Sweitzer, coach George Miskinis said - which explains why he's the one on the all-star team.
"Mason Sweitzer had a steady year for the Huskies on defense playing both defensive tackle and end. He had moments of brillance in taking on blockers and still being able to make plays," Miskinis said. "I believe his play improved when he used technique and read his keys to diagnose plays. He definitely was an asset to the program and his contributions to the team the past two seasons will be missed."
Mifflin County's soccer coach, Jared Byler, admitted he was pleased just to see his team on the ballot - and said Wilburne adjusted well to the demanding style of play the Huskies saw as members of a new conference.
"The pace of the game is faster, it is more physical, and the athletes are much more skilled and smarter in the Mid-Penn than what Mifflin County high schools have competed against in years past," Byler said. "As a coaching staff we were very pleased with how James controlled the midfield against the caliber of athletes he lined up against every game. James' technical ability, vision of the field, and ball striking ability forced teams to adjust how they would defend against our central midfield."
Alyssa Stackpole was named to the first team in the Huskies' secondary conference, along with her honorable mention in the Mid-Penn. In the TVL, only six players are picked on the first team. And it was Stackpole's emotional leadership that helped the Huskies struggle through a difficult season.
"She was an emotional leader, and was near the top in a lot of statistical categories," Kern said. "When we voted she was definitely a good candidate to fill in."
Besides being that senior leader for the Huskies, Stackpole led the team in digs.
"She contributed and made some of the girls have level heads in some stressful times," Kern said.