“The pageantry and excitement of the opening ceremony and the Elite competition of AAU Nationals is something that all players should have the opportunity to experience”, stated longtime MPM Chairman, Edsel Delerme. “Over our successful 18 year MPM history, I’m very proud to say that many of our Mid Penn Motion Elite teams have qualified for AAU Nationals.” In 2015, MPM was well represented at AAU Nationals by the MPM Elite National 7th Grade Girls and the MPM Elite National 8th Grade Girls.
To say the least, the 2015 AAU season for the Mid Penn Motion Elite National 7th Grade Girls was an exciting one. Beginning with tryouts, the MPM coaching staff was determined to put together a National caliber team. Head Coach Jeff Longenecker, with Assistant Coaches John Hall and Bryan Harbold, did exactly that. Combining the core group with some very talented additions, the MPM Elite ballers came together quickly as a unified group, evident in their early success. Right out of the box, the Girls brought home an AAU Super Regional Championship and qualified to play in the 7th Grade AAU National Championships in Kings Island, Ohio. Mid Penn Motion is well known for their positive “Culture and Chemistry” and this exceptional team possessed this key ingredient as part of their core DNA. “There is much that goes into a successful team at the Elite AAU level, especially great players and great parents,” stated Coach Longenecker. “Our team had a very successful combination of supportive parents and committed players”.
Capping off their excellent AAU season, our MPM Elite Girls traveled to Kings Island, OH for the 7th Grade National Championships. For many of the players, this was their first opportunity to participate in such a prestigious tournament and face the best competition from all over the country. Our MPM Elite team was placed in a very strong pool consisting of teams from Indiana, Ohio and Tennessee. Their first opponent was vs Indiana’s top flight Sky Diggs Elite. While MPM had a cold shooting hand early, Sky Diggs came out firing on all cylinders amidst an electric championship environment and took the win. Indicative of the first rate competition, Sky Diggs Elite Division I team stormed to the Championship game and earned National Silver Medal honors.
The team and coaching staff quickly turned their focus to their next opponent, scouting Dayton Metro’s afternoon game. Some great teams come out of Ohio and Dayton Metro was no exception. They had good guard play and possessed good size. Dayton Metro could attack the basket well and controlled both the offensive and defensive boards. With a detailed scouting report and game plan in hand, the team got in an early morning practice session. Our MPM Elite ladies were well prepared and at game time, executed like they had all season long. An intense press defense slowed Dayton Metro’s transition game while MPM controlled the glass and limited Dayton Metro to one and done possessions. Per the game plan, the MPM ballers controlled the tempo from start to finish and utilized great patience and shot selection to defeat Dayton Metro.
With a big win in hand, the MPM Girls were off to the hotel for some well deserved socialization and rest while the coaching staff headed to scout the 2015 Tennessee State Champion, Lady Zoom. Day 2 of AAU Nationals came quickly. The Zoom were exceptionally quick, athletic and shot the ball well. MPM came out fast and was able to prevent middle penetration, forcing the Zoom to take perimeter shots. But the Zoom lived up to their state championship billing and hit fourteen 3 pt. shots, pulling away in the 2nd half for the win.
The MPM Elite National 7th Grade Girls had a full season of over 50 practices and 36 games, capped off by a very memorable trip to AAU Nationals. “As a team, we played the best teams in the Middle Atlantic District and from throughout the country at AAU Nationals”, said Coach Longenecker. “We battled in every game and never quit. I’m very proud of each and every one of my players. Also, I can’t thank my top notch assistant coaches and our parents enough, for making everything possible throughout the year”. The coaching staff achieved their goals to improve the skills of each player, sending the girls back to their school teams with the opportunity to stand out on the court and shine as a great teammate. “All of our players improved throughout the season, but just as important are the friendships they forged with their teammates from all over Central PA”, added Coach Longenecker. “I could not be happier with the effort put forth by our players at AAU Nationals and throughout our extensive season”.
The entire MPM family is proud of our MPM Elite National 7th Grade Girls. They had a tremendous year, with AAU National memories to last a lifetime. Great job, ladies!!!
Front Row, L to R: Head Coach Jeff Longencker, Madison Hall, Isabel Zitto, Jaeden Longenecker, Ashley Harbold, Emily Fasnacht, Asst. Coach John Hall. Not present, Claire Teyral.
Back Row, L to R: Statistician Tom Prowell, Samantha Murphy, Lindsey Durkota, Emily Prowell, Skyler York, Katelyn Truax, Leah Pishock, Asst. Coach Bryan Harbold