They’ve got the talent. They’ve got the work ethic. They’ve got the experience. They’ve got the intuitive feel for the game.

They’ve even got a little swag.

The members of LebTown’s preseason All-Lebanon County boys’ basketball team have everything it takes to be successful.

In cooperation with the local boys’ coaches, LebTown recently rolled out its inaugural preseason All-Lebanon County boys’ basketball squad. It is composed of a group of local student-athletes who are poised to lead their respective teams’ attempts to self-actualize.

Heading the All-Lebanon County team is a trio of Cedar Crest Falcons – Fernando Marquez, Owen Chernich, and R.J. Young. They are joined by ELCO’s Dallas George, Palmyra’s Hank Roesch, and Jonathon Shay of Annville-Cleona.

“Any publicity is good for our kids and county basketball in general,” said Cedar Crest head coach Tom Smith. “It’s an exciting time. It’s what you work for all year. The grind in the summer, fall and spring has all led up to this. This is where you get to see the fruits of your labor.”

With seniors Marquez and Chernich and junior Young leading the way, the Falcons will be shooting for big things this season. Marquez is a proven scorer; the 6’7″ Young is a versatile performer who can shoot and Chernich is a stabilizing factor who pulls it all together for the Falcons.

The son of a coach and a senior general on the floor, George will be counted on heavily by the Raiders.

Roesch, a junior who can do a lot of things well, both inside and outside, is expected to be a vocal and inspirational leader for the Cougars.

And the unselfish Shay, a junior, will be a formidable force in the paint and on the glass for the Dutchmen all winter long.

“I think we are ready,” said Smith, speaking more for his club than all of Lebanon County’s boys’ basketball teams. “We’ve been through this before. Our (preseason) camp wasn’t as much about installing as it was refining. Are we anywhere where we need to be to reach our goals? No. But we don’t need to be for Game One.”

Some of Lebanon County’s boys’ basketball teams opened their 2023-24 campaign on Friday, Dec. 1, and most began their winter journeys on Monday or Tuesday. If the local clubs share a common short-term goal, it’s to improve every day, and if they share a mutual long-term goal, it’s to reach the playoffs in February and March.

“Our practices have been very focused and intense,” said Smith. “It’s a group that has played together for a long time. We want to win the section (Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League), win the league and have a good run in districts. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. With expectations come a different kind of responsibility. Everyone’s going to want a piece of Cedar Crest. We have a target on our backs. We need to stay focused on the moment, so we have an opportunity to reach our goals.

“Our strength is our experience,” concluded Smith. “The experience and production we’re bringing back is as good as anyone in the league, on paper. We’re very versatile. We can play a big lineup and we can play a small lineup. Our depth gives us a good chance this year.”

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using this contact form and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Support local journalism.

Cancel anytime.


🌟 Annual

Already a member? Login here

Free news isn’t cheap. If you value the journalism LebTown provides to the community, then help us make it sustainable by becoming a champion of local news. You can unlock additional coverage for the community by supporting our work with a one-time contribution, or joining as a monthly or annual member. You can cancel anytime.

Jeff Falk is a seasoned journalist based in Lebanon, PA. He's a graduate of Cedar Crest High School, Penn State University, and a lifelong resident of Lebanon, born and raised. Currently, he is a feature writer for Engle Publishing in Lancaster, the editor of, sports director at WLBR...