The high school football season has reached the midway point, but several other scholastic sports seasons are starting to wind down.
In girls’ tennis, Westmont Hilltop has already clinched the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference title with a 14-0 league record and a 15-1 mark overall. In golf, Richland has claimed the LHAC regular-season title with a 9-0 record.
The District 6 tennis singles competition is set to get underway on Thursday at the Leopold Center in Altoona with the doubles tournament a week later. In District 5, the singles tournament will be Oct. 8 at Everett High School with the doubles a week later.
Last year, Song Lu of Bishop McCort won the singles title in District 6, while the Hilltoppers’ Brittany Carney and Hannah Gleason were the doubles champions. In District 5, Maria Snyder of Northern Bedford claimed the singles championship, while Windber’s Jill Penatzer and Cheyenne Feathers were the doubles champs.
The District 6 Western Sectional for golf is set for Tuesday at Summit Country Club with the championship set for Oct. 9-10 at Scotch Valley Country Club in Hollidaysburg. In District 5, the individual championship will be held at Great Cove Golf Club in McConnellsburg will also be held on Tuesday.
Halfway: Several area squads got the winless monkey off of their backs this week including Bedford, which saw the return of Luke Campbell to its roster, Central Cambria and Meyersdale.
On the other end of the spectrum, the number of unbeaten schools decreased this week with only Berlin, Ligonier Valley and Richland carrying 5-0 marks. All three are currently ranked on top of their respective conferences. The Mountaineers are second in District 5-A while Richland moved to the top spot in District 6-AA and Ligonier is ranked third, just behind 4-1 Central from Martinsburg.
In my opinion, some of the pleasant surprises thus far have been Somerset, Portage and Blacklick Valley, none of whom were highly touted in the preseason and all sporting 4-1 records at the halfway point.
The Golden Eagles win over Greater Johnstown on Friday was their first since 2007, which coincidentally was their last winning season. Somerset is currently second behind unbeaten Clearfield in the District 5-6-8-9 Class AAA rankings. After facing Richland this week, the Golden Eagles close out with Bedford, Forest Hills, Cambria Heights and Penn Cambria.
With their upset of North Star in the season opener, the Mustangs opened many eyes to their potential, but they have a tough five games to finish with in order to make it into the elite eight in District 6-A. Portage hosts Blacklick Valley, which had to battle to overtime last week against Conemaugh Township. The Vikings have a slightly easier path to the playoffs than the Mustangs. After Portage, Blacklick faces Ferndale, Conemaugh Valley, North Star and Saltsburg in their final four games.
Cory Isenberg is sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at email@example.com.