Jen McDowell always envisioned herself serving the Southern End community. She did not initially expect it would come in a coaching capacity.
"When I was in high school I never imagined I'd ever be a coach," said McDowell, a 1992 Solanco grad.
She was wrong.
Following a long career which included a stint as an assistant and head coaching positions with the Mules' junior high track and cross country teams, McDowell has earned the opportunity to take over Solanco's varsity track and field program.
Solanco's Dominic Flatt and Nick Yannutz qualified for the PIAA wrestling tournament.
Flatt placed second and Yannutz finished fourth at the Class 3A District 3/Southcentral regional wrestling tournament at Spring Grove.
The Solanco girls basketball team got good looks at the basket down the stretch of its first round district playoff game.
The Mules did not like what they saw.
Solanco scored one point in the final 3 minutes, 50 seconds as host Berks Catholic finished the game with a 12-1 run to rally for a 51-44 triumph Tuesday night, February 18.
Solanco is rebuilding its boys basketball program one grade level at a time with the Junior High varsity team leading the way.
The Mules' squad finished the year with a 13-5 record after defeating Pequea Valley 39-14 in the season finale Tuesday, February 4.
Jenna Dombach saved her best performance for possibly the final home game of her stellar career.
Solanco's senior guard served as the primary ball-handler against Northern Lebanon's stifling defense and poured in 22 points to pace the Mules to a 41-32 victory in a Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament quarterfinal contest Saturday night, February 8.
Solanco swept the final three bouts by fall to defeat Donegal 37-30 Thursday evening, February 8 in the final wrestling dual meet of the season.
Solanco girls basketball coach Chad McDowell, speaking in the preseason: "There is that factor there that we did lose so many players, I think a lot of teams in the league think, well Solanco lost [five seniors, including three starters] and they're not going to be there again. Well I've got news for them. We are going to be there again. We're not rebuilding. We're reloading. We've got the potential here to compete like we have in the other years. I've heard it in distant conversations, 'Well Solanco is not going to be where they were the last two years.' I just sort of smile and say, 'You may be right." But deep down I know we've got the making to have a team just as good as we've had the last two years if we put all the pieces together."
Solanco seized command of the girls basketball Section Three championship chase.
The Mules downed visiting Lampeter-Strasburg 47-40 Thursday night, January 23.
The Solanco boys basketball team suffered its 13th straight loss, a 61-41 setback to host Lampeter-Strasburg Thursday night, January 23.
The Solanco wrestling team enters this weekend's Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament with a great deal of momentum following a 48-24 victory over host McCaskey Wednesday, January 22.