Milton Hershey School Athletes, Coaches Reflect on Winter Season
Milton Hershey School athletes and coaches focused on teamwork and sportsmanship during the 2023 winter season. The school’s robust Athletics program offers opportunities for all students to grow as athletes. Congratulations to all our Spartan athletes and coaches who have showcased their talents and sportsmanship this season!
Spartan wrestlers concluded their season with 10 wins and five losses. The successful year gave Coach Jimmy Taylor high hopes for future seasons, especially since four freshman and two sophomores served as starters.
“I am very proud of our team and the progress they made,” said Coach Taylor. “I am looking forward to becoming a championship winning team year in and year out.”
The season started off strong with the team capturing the program’s 700th win since its inception.
Another highlight was MHS senior Tyler Quinter qualifying for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) District III Tournament.
Swimming and Diving
The MHS Swimming/Diving Team began the year in two new pools. The school reimagined the six-lane swimming pool for the Spartan swim team and a second deep-water pool for diving to offer fresh opportunities for Spartans inside and outside the water.
The team had many new swimmers who navigated a tough winter season, with the Girls’ team ending the season with a 2-11 record and the Boys’ record landing at 5-8. Adversity is an important lesson for our student-athletes, Coach Heather Dougherty said.
“The growth in the development of stroke technique was huge,” Coach Dougherty said. “The swimmers’ times dropped significantly from the beginning of the year to the end of the season. The future is promising for this group.”
MHS junior Ashley Spence made the school proud when she became the first MHS swimmer since 2004 to earn an individual spot in the PIAA District III championship.
Dougherty is especially proud of how her athletes performed outside of the pool.
“The sportsmanship of this team has been recognized by other swimmers, coaches, officials, and parents,” she said. “Many people comment on how supportive they are of one another, especially when we get to championship meets.”
Senior Conner Darnofall credits Coach Dougherty for his development.
“My coach saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself—leadership skills. Over the past several years she has strategically placed me in roles—big and small—that allowed me to grow,” said Darnofall.
The Mid-Penn Keystone’s boys basketball coaches named MHS senior Malachi Thomas and Spartan coach Mark Zerbe player and coach of the year, respectively.
These special awards capped off an exciting winter season for the team, which ended with a 19-9 record.
Students and staff attending watch parties across campus anxiously kept all eyes on the Spartan as they faced Peters Township in the first round PIAA Class 5A boys basketball playoff game on March 10.
The game was tied at 27 at halftime, but the boys eventually fell short in a 60-53 loss.
The MHS Girls’ Basketball Team focused on improving and secured big wins against Shippensburg and Mifflin County. They ended their season with a 9-14 record and qualified for PIAA District III playoffs for the first time in recent history.
“The girls really worked hard and bought into improving their ability to win games and their ultimate goal of making it into our post season,” said Coach Tina Klotzbeecher-Thomas.
Coach Klotzbeecher-Thomas said the lessons learned on the court are valuable in many aspects of the student-athletes’ lives.
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“We work together as a team to build each other up and be competitive on the court, while upholding mutual respect for the other team,” she said. “My goal as a coach is to help them see the world through playing the sport they love.”