The future seems bright for the basketball players

Karson+Swogger+led+the+Lady+Blue+Devils+in+scoring+this+season+and+she+has+two+years+left.

Terry McCaulley

Karson Swogger led the Lady Blue Devils in scoring this season and she has two years left.

Sapphire McCready, Sports Editor

Although the Lady Blue Devils and the Blue Devils saw their seasons come to an end earlier than they would have liked, the programs are still going strong.

The future seems to be bright for the basketball players.  They are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are getting prepared to come back fresh and work hard for next season. Those coming back are looking forward to a great season next year.

The Lady Blue Devils finished their season with a record of 26-3, winning the ICC before losing in the District 6-AA championship. They then advanced as far as the PIAA Elite 8. The Blue Devils finished their season with a record of 20-8, an outstanding improvement from last year when they were 5-17. They lost in the District 6-AA semifinals but advanced to states, where they lost their first game.

“Next year is going to be a big year for us,” said Jake Burch, a junior at on the boys basketball team. “We are only losing two seniors, and we have our starting five back as well.  We have to prepare in the offseason and work just as hard as if we were underdogs.  We have a target on our backs and a lot of expectations, and we’ll do whatever it takes to fulfill them.”

Jake Burch was one of the Blue Devils' underclassmen who grew into a more prominent role in 2014-15.
Emily Wagner
Jake Burch was one of the Blue Devils’ underclassmen who grew into a more prominent role in 2014-15.

“Next year is when we’re going to have to work hard to fill the senior’s shoes who’re leaving.  They showed us how to win and get into the state playoffs.  We have to step up to make it farther than we did this year,” said Lady Blue Devil sophomore Makayla Carles.

Fellow Lady Blue Devil, Alanna Leidig agreed. She said, “Next year is going to be a lot different.  We know how it feels to lose and how bad it stung which is what is going to push us to work harder next year.  The seniors we had this year are going to support us next year.  We have to go farther and make them proud.”

This year was great, but the next year’s going to be even greater.”

— Sophomore Ethan McGee

The boys basketball team feels next year could be a special season.

“Next year will be the year we’ve been waiting for.  It’s all about our experience and all the hard work we’ve been putting in offseason after offseason and it’s all about to pay off,” said Ethan McGee. “This year was great, but the next year’s going to be even greater.”

Some of the players have been looking forward to their next season, especially the ones becoming seniors.

“I am extremely excited for next year,” said Nathan Davis, the top scorer for the Blue Devils. “It’s the season that I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid.  It’s finally my senior year with Noah (D’Angelo) and Jake (Burch) who I’ve been playing with for years.  We will prepare this offseason and come ready for that first game against Tyrone in December.”

The Lady Blue Devil seniors left some big shoes to fill for the other Lady Blue Devils this year. But they return two starters in Carles and leading scorer Karson Swogger.

“I think it’ll be good for the younger players to get more experience at the varsity level.  I think the girls will have no problem transitioning into leaders next year,” said senior Lady Blue Devil Kelly Leamer.

Fellow senior Selena Damiano agreed.  She said, “I think it will be difficult to adjust at first, but the girls will figure it out over the summer leagues.  They will be ready for the season and they will all step up and play well.”

“There will be some big shoes to fill, but they can definitely do it,” said senior Lady Blue Devil Ana Hollen. “I feel like my fellow seniors and I have dictated how our program will be run and how things should be done. Our underclassmen are a great group of athletes and are great people too.  If they stick together and work hard there’s not a doubt in my mind they will continue to be successful.  My class is moving on and I feel confident in the fact that Karson and Makayla will take over.”

Make sure you keep up the hard work and get prepared for the next season!