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 District Legion Playoffs Start Today

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By Paul Schofield
Saturday, July 9, 2005

There will be a new District 31 American Legion champion this season. Murrysville, the perennial power in the district, had a rare rebuilding season and didn't make the playoff. But that doesn't mean District 31 will be sending a weak team to the Region 7 tournament in State College later this month. According to District 31 President Doug Walker, this was one of the closest races in years. West Hempfield (15-6) captured the South/East Division, while Arnold (14-5) claimed the North/West Division. Both teams, along with Unity (14-6-1) and Irwin 359 (12-7) will play host to playoff games today.

The four best-of-three opening-round series will be played today, Sunday and Tuesday. West Hempfield will meet Derry (12-9) at Lint Field at 5:30 p.m., and Unity tangles with neighboring-rival Latrobe at 4 p.m. in Whitney. "The players are excited about the start of the playoffs," Unity coach Scott Guzik said. "Losing out to West Hempfield on the final day gave the players motivation." Unity enters the playoffs with a seven-game winning streak. That, however, isn't the current longest streak. Arnold enters the playoffs with a 10-game winning streak after beginning the season at 4-5.

Arnold will play host to Armstrong Central, a team that defeated them earlier in the season 10-3, at Valley High School at 4 p.m. Irwin plays host to Lower Burrell at Norwin High School at 5. "We'd like to avenge that loss," Arnold coach Doug Aftanas said.