Hempfield wins fifth WPIAL rifle title

Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | 10:39 PM

The Hempfield coed rifle team achieved one of its goals Wednesday. Now, it will be shooting for the other next week.

The Spartans captured their fifth WPIAL title, third in the past four seasons, by outscoring Trinity, Waynesburg and Bethel Park.

All four teams advance to the PIAA championship Tuesday or Wednesday at Avella.

Hempfield finished with a score of 799-60x, ahead of Trinity (798-57x), Waynesburg (798-47x) and Bethel Park (797-50x). Penn-Trafford placed fifth (797-47x), followed by Mt. Lebanon (795-58x), Butler (794-45x), McGuffey (791-34x) and Armstrong (786-44x).

The Spartans’ previous titles were in 2010, 2013, 2018 and 2019. The Spartans have won two state titles and placed second in 2019.

Junior Logan McKivens led the Spartans (9-1) with a score of 100-10x. Junior Seth Maloney also stepped up for the Spartans with a score of 100-9x.

The other shooters included seniors Rylee Loucks and Abby Bowin, juniors Amanda Hardman, Paige Roberts and Lydia Dunn and sophomores Claire Martz, Hunter Ronald and Tyler Heatley.

“It’s been a difficult season for everyone because of the coronavirus,” Hempfield coach Jason Wilkinson said. “It’s been a train wreck, but the team really pulled through. We’re just happy that we actually had a season.

“This virus affected everyone. We couldn’t always practice, but the team kept their focus. It was pretty impressive in what they accomplished.”

Hempfield opened the season with a loss to Mt Lebanon, and then it reeled off nine consecutive wins.

The Spartans shot 800 three times during the season.

“A 799 in the finals is pretty good because of what they went through,” Wilkinson said. “This is the first time since 2007 that an 800 didn’t win it.”

Five shooters — McKivens, Loucks, Bowin, Heatley and Dunn — will compete in the WPIAL individual championships, which were moved from Thursday to Friday. There are 85 shooters in the field.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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