| Times Sports Correspondent
CENTER TWP. — The Central Valley High School football team is hoping the Lost & Found at Hersheypark Stadium wasn’t affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
They left something there last December and they’re coming back to get it.
They’ll be visiting Hersheypark Stadium Friday, playing Wyomissing at 3:30 p.m. for the PIAA Class 3A Championship – a championship that slipped away last season as Wyoming Area came from behind to win a 21-14 thriller.
“The team is looking at it as an opportunity to capture something, something they left there last year,” said head coach Mark Lyons. “Really, we’ve never discussed it as a group, it’s been unwritten – the elephant in the room so to speak.
“It’s not been a rallying cry, we didn’t have T-shirts printed with a slogan or anything like that. But we’ve all known it’s the goal.”
The Warriors, a veteran group with 14 seniors, definitely didn’t need T-shirts to know why they put in the effort to get this far, either.
“It’s not a feeling of revenge about going back,” said senior Myles Walker, who will play next season at Akron. “It’s a lot of feelings but mostly we just remember the feeling we had last year at the end – December 7 is still circled on my calendar.
“We just have to take it this year. I think it definitely helps that we have been there and know the field and the atmosphere.”
Wyomissing didn’t experience the feeling last year as it finished 12-1, but the Spartans have been to Hershey before as a team, defeating Aliquippa 17-14 in 2012.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” said Lyons. “I think this is the final most people would have predicted as soon as last year ended. They’ve punted four times, we’ve punted five.
“They play a true, fundamental Wing-T and run it that way. That’s a challenge because we just haven’t seen that. We’ve seen some teams that run parts of it but not like this. That creates a problem because you have not only to teach your defense how to react to it and you have to teach your scout team how to run it to give them reps.
“That offense forces you to play a simplistic style with a high level of discipline – a lot of eye discipline.”
The Wing-T has worked well for Wyomissing, so well that it averages 47.2 points per game and a winning margin of 41.6 points per game. Preparing for Central Valley isn’t exactly a walk in the park either, though, as the Warriors average 51.5 points per game and an average winning margin of 42.7 points.
The game, though, isn’t going to be decided by past results and numbers. The players on the field will make the decision and Walker feels the Warriors are ready.
“The seniors have kept everyone’s mind on this,” said Walker. “We’ve been watching film on them and the Wing T. To an extent, it’s no different than any other game we play, we watch a lot of film on everybody.
“But we’ve been looking forward to this game since last year ended.”
It seems the team thinks they left something behind then.