Sports are a family affair for Anna Scoblick. The oldest of four sisters, Anna carries the mantel passed down from her father.
The Abington Heights junior has emerged as a leader for the most successful girls track and field program in Lackawanna Track Conference history. But her greatest influence comes at home, where she makes her father, Dave, and mother, Amy, most proud as an inspiration to three younger sisters who are following in her footsteps.
“We love sports in my family,” Anna said. “I have three sisters and two are on the team. We have a very athletic family. I have a lot of cousins and I would always go to their sporting events growing up. It’s really cool to see the whole family involved in sports.”
Excelling in athletics is a natural progression for Anna, who competes in track and field and is a member of the championship basketball team.
Her father set the all-time school career passing yards record at Scranton Prep after being a four-year starter. He also competed on the basketball team and ran track. After high school, he went on to star at Fordham University where he served as a captain for the football team.
Dave’s sister, Cathy Genco, also had an outstanding career at Scranton Prep and in college, and so too did her children.
Both have coached AAU basketball through the years and it’s during those long road trips and weekend tournament stays where the family truly bonds through sports.
“I always say that I get more enjoyment watching my daughters compete than anything I ever did in sports,” Dave said. “It’s a blessing to have them play sports and compete like you did. I am very lucky. I have had my sister around and her kids who are all great athletes. I think sports are great and the role they play in their lives is very important. It teaches them so much about responsibility and that will help them along the way in life.
“I enjoy this time very much.”
Anna is an important piece in the Abington Heights track and field dynasty.
In junior high, she got off to a great start to her career. She set a meet record when she cleared 5 feet in the high jump, won the triple jump and finished second in the 400 at the Phil Tochelli Junior High Championship meet.
Anna moved up to the varsity team as a freshman and learned and improved in the hurdles and jumps by practicing with district champions Calista Marzolino and Antonio Maletta.
They had a big impact on her and success followed. Anna finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49.24 seconds and was eighth in the high jump at 4-9 at the District 2 Class 3A Championships.
“Abington Heights has had so many great track athletes and you see these people and you practice with them and that carries over to you,” Anna said. “You are put in such a great environment and you see first hand what the program is all about and you know it’s big time.”
This season, after a year without the sport due to the coronavirus pandemic, Anna has had the added bonus of her sister, Kate, being a teammate.
They spend a lot of time together. Both compete in the hurdles and jumps and have developed into a tough 1-2 combination that piles up a lot of team points.
“It’s definitely been really nice to have her at practice,” Kate, 15, said. “She is a role model for me. It was really cool to watch her in these events, so I wanted to try. She always gives me great advice and corrects my form. That has helped me grow and I have gotten a lot better.
“We get along pretty well, but we are also very competitive.”
In addition, both Anna and Kate are inspiring their younger sister, Lily.
She is a member of the junior high team that won the Class 3A championship at the Phil Tochelli Junior High Championships last Friday. Like her sisters, Lily is running the hurdles and competing in the jumps.
“Watching Anna in her meets has inspired me to do the same events,” Lily, 13, said. “She is really good at her events. It’s been really fun being at practice with them. We all talk about our experiences. We joke and always compare our times. We are all really competitive with each other.”
Amy, the youngest sibling, is only in first grade, but it likely won’t be long before she takes to the start line.
But, Anna is the front runner.
“I always said to Anna, I was going to be the toughest on her,” Dave said. “But, she has been great. It’s fun to watch her get better and better as the seasons go on. She does everything at 100 miles an hour and she is growing and has a goal to continue in college.
“She has done a great job and the girls really look up to her and are following her lead.”
Anna has been a regular winner in her individual events this season as Abington Heights has pushed its winning streak to 83 straight dual meets. She has the best time of the season in Division I for the 300 hurdles at 51.54 seconds and the top high jump with a personal-best mark of 5-2.
At the Jordan Relays last week, she ran on two gold-medal teams as the Lady Comets won the Class 3A team championship.
“I feel great about the season so far,” Anna said. “I am an upperclassman now and I like my new role. I missed the season so much last year, now my sister is here and my sister is on the junior high team. It’s a really fun season.”
Now the pressure builds, though.
With a championship already won at the Jordan Relays, Abington Heights has a battle with undefeated Scranton Prep, her dad’s alma mater, for the LTC Division I title Tuesday afternoon in an effort to preserve the program’s conference-record winning streak.
Then, it is off to the District 2 Class 3A Championship meet which the Lady Comets have won four straight times.
Anna is looking forward to the challenges.
“There is some pressure, but we try not to dwell on it,” Anna said. “We get really excited for each other’s individual events and we cheer each other on to do our best. At the end, if we win, keeping the streak alive is a bonus that we acknowledge, then put in the back of our minds and get right back to work.
“I love that.”
Joby Fawcett has covered high school sports — including football, girls and boys volleyball, girls and boys tennis, girls and boys swimming, boys basketball, girls and boys track and field, and girls and boys lacrosse — for 22 years. The High School Sports Blog offers deeper insights plus statistical and historical information for fans and features photos, videos and graphics along with Top 5 polls for tennis and volleyball. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5367; @sportsTT