Eckley repeats as Jenna Feathers trophy winner

Sentinel photo by JEFF FISHBEIN
Eleana Eckley • Jenna Feathers Award

LEWISTOWN — The engraver may have misspelled her name, but make no mistake about it, Eleana Eckley is the recipient of the 2018 Jenna Feathers Award.

This is the second consecutive year Eckley has won the honors for Mifflin County.

Rylie Rittenhouse finished second in the voting while freshman Molly Wagoner placed third.

This past season was a classic case of as she goes, the Huskies went. Eckley averaged more than 20 points per game in the early weeks of the Huskies’ season where the Huskies won nine of their first 10 games — including their first six in a row. The team rode that to a record of 17-6, the best record the school had since joining the Mid-Penn Conference in its second year of existence.

That success obviously didn’t come overnight. Rather, she knew opposing teams would be coming after her following a stellar junior year, but she put the necessary time needed into training and conditioning — something coach Roger Herto pushed in the early parts of the season for everybody.

“I put a little bit more time in the gym with my dad and after practice, working on my shot a lot,” she said. “I worked on more dribble moves to get around more defenders.”

That was apparent when she became known for getting off shots from beyond the 3-point arc or finding a path straight to the hoop.

“I’ve gained more confidence in myself as games progressed on and better teams came along,” Eckley said. “I feel confidence is something everyone needs to have, and I feel I just grew more of that in myself.”

Having success from all over the floor helped her become Mifflin County’s all-time leading scorer for any basketball player. She finished with 1,327 points.

The season may have wrapped up for the Huskies some three months ago, but the accomplishment is something she hasn’t quite taken the time to reflect on.

“I don’t really think about,” Eckley said. “I jumped right from basketball into softball so I guess my mind’s focused on that. Looking back on it right now, it’s a pretty big accomplishment and I’m just thankful for all the people that have backed me up through everything and through the years. It’s been great.”

Eckley will continue to be a presence on the basketball court, but with Messiah College.

The Jenna Feathers Award is presented annually by Big Lewie (WLUI) radio to Mifflin County’s top girls basketball player. Nominees are voted on by local media, including The Sentinel, and representatives of the Mifflin County High School’s athletic department. Each voter chose three candidates, with points awarded to first, second and third-place vote recipients and the award going to the player with the highest vote total.