BY JEFF FALK
The transfer of student-athletes from one school district to another has always made for good local fodder. The transfer of Madison Rakow has the potential to change the landscape of girls’ basketball in Lebanon County.
Or more accurately tilt the balance of power more towards the Falcons.
Rakow, an emerging 6-2 senior-to-be star, is taking her considerable talents from Lebanon High across town to Cedar Crest. The Rakow family recently announced plans to move out of the city and into the Cornwall-Lebanon school district.
The addition of Rakow to a Cedar Crest outfit which returns all five starters from a club that advanced to the Lancaster-Lebanon League championship game makes it deeper, more versatile, more athletic and taller. Rakow will join head coach Jim Donmoyer’s top five of Rachel Miller, Alex Rich, Nikki Wagner, Emily Wagner, Nikki Wagner and Alyssa Austin.
But the Falcons’ gain is the Cedars’ loss. Rakow was projected to complement Lebanon’s all-Lebanon County point guard Brittany Ulrich and hard-working forward Alicia Haitos in the Cedars’ starting lineup.
Last season, Cedar Crest defeated Rakow’s Cedars twice, including a rare meeting in the Lancaster-Lebanon League postseason. During the 2014-15 season, the Falcons and Cedars will meet on Jan. 16, as part of each team’s Lancaster-Lebanon Section One-Two crossover schedules.
Rakow’s move is believed to be solely for personal/family reasons and not for athletic purposes.
Have no idea why family decided to move just before Madison’s senior year but it has to be tough to leave your friends and coaches and be thrown into a new and different environment. After all, this is a teenager and teens have enough difficulty coping with peer pressure, relationships, and academic demands. Madison is a modest and somewhat shy person. Even though she is a good student and gifted athlete, the parents should expect her to have some adjustment problems. I wish her nothing but the best, during what will be a difficult transition.