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Sept. 15, 2022 — Interesting goings-on in two of the nation’s best field hockey conferences

In the heart of central Pennsylvania, along Route 422, sit three of the schools in the Mid-Penn Conference’s Keystone Division. Right in a row, you have Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), Hershey (Pa.), and Palmyra (Pa.), who have engaged in some titanic fixtures over the years.

Across the Delaware River in New Jersey, the 1990s saw the breakaway of several large field hockey schools, including Marlton Cherokee (N.J.), Medford Lenape (N.J.), and Medford Lakes Shawnee (N.J.), to go from the Burlington County Scholastic League to the Olympic Conference. While these three schools have had great traditions in the 20th Century, the story over the last two decades in the Olympic is the ascendancy of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) and their strings of state and sectional championships.

The 2022 season, however, may see some change and intrigue in these two powerful field hockey conferences.

First off, the Olympic Conference has added a pair of teams with great traditions, Mount Holly Rancocas Valley (N.J.), and the first American scholastic field hockey team, Moorestown (N.J.). This means that Moorestown is guaranteed to meet Shawnee, and both are, in turn, guaranteed to meet Eastern.

Back in Pennsylvania, a lot of preseason talk is about Mechanicsburg (Pa.), a team which not only made the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AA Tournament, but is one of two teams scheduled to meet Eastern at the National High School Invitational next week. It’s a game which raises the profile of this contending team, but the thing is, there are still plenty of AA-sized rivals in District 3 awaiting them in league and District play.

Keep an eye on the teams in these two leagues. I think what happens here will go a long way to determining several state champions this year.

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