Top 19 of ’19: Trib HSSN breaks down the top stories of the year — No. 17
Sunday, December 15, 2019 | 5:01 PM
The 2019 high school sports season is nearly in the books.
While we anxiously look ahead to 2020, let’s reflect on the district high school sports scene over the last 12 months.
Here is a look back at the top 19 stories from around the WPIAL in 2019.
HSSN Top 19 in ’19: No. 17 — Five golden rings
This was the year the streak was supposed to end. This was the season the Hempfield softball team lost too many key players to win again in the league’s highest classification.
Veteran coach Bob Kalp and the rest of the Spartans did what they have been doing now for half a decade — work hard, win games and hoist gold.
Hempfield finished in a three-way tie for the Section 2-AAAA title with North Allegheny and Norwin with a 13-6 record.
The Spartans drew the No. 3 seed in the Class AAAA district playoffs and edged Baldwin and Seneca Valley to return to the WPIAL finals. There, the Spartans met a North Allegheny team that swept Hempfield in the regular season.
The third time was a golden charm for the Spartans as they crushed the Tigers, 15-0, to win a fifth straight WPIAL softball crown. The championship run ties a WPIAL record set by Sto-Rox, which won five straight titles from 2000-04.
Here’s a look at the rest of the top stories of the year:
No. 19 — Big Ben strikes often
No. 18 — Near perfect on the pitch
More High School Softball• H.S. notebook: Baseball, softball sections get new look next spring
• Senior Spotlight: Thomas Jefferson pitcher overcame obstacles to become one of WPIAL’s best
• Decade’s best WPIAL finals: Softball No. 8
• Senior Spotlight: Elizabeth Forward’s Pinneri puts out fires on, off the field
• Decade’s best WPIAL finals: Softball No. 9