The last two years, the Liberty football team has had success against Parkland. The Hurricanes have beaten the five-time defending District 11 champs both games during the last two regular seasons, and have had a boosted confidence that many other teams may not have when lining up with one of the state’s better teams.
But last Friday night was a different story.
With a playofflike feel and intensity from both teams during warmups, it was more error than good play when it came to Liberty’s play on the field.
There is a lot of hype surrounding this year’s Emmaus football team. After winning the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) South division last year and returning plenty of players from that team, the Hornets’ high expectations for this season are well-founded.
But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other teams competing for the top spot in the league.
It seems that almost every year, Bethlehem Catholic and Central Catholic are battling for the District 11 title. It happened once again this year.
After missing out on district gold last year, the Golden Hawks were back on top of District 11 in the new 4A classification, defeating the Vikettes 43-27 last Saturday afternoon at Easton Area Middle School.
Coming into the District 11 4A boys championship game, the two teams involved have had a long dry spell of district gold. It had been since 2002 that Bethlehem Catholic last won districts, and even longer for their opponent, Jim Thorpe, which last won gold in 1972.
But something had to give.
For once during this 2016-17 winter season, it wasn’t about X’s and O’s or winning and losing. There was a greater cause to a Lehigh Valley Scholastic ice hockey game.
Last Wednesday evening at the Bethlehem Municipal Ice Rink, high school rivals Freedom and Liberty joined together for the fourth annual Winter Classic.
Although a score was kept (Freedom won 6-4), the game was focused more on a student that didn’t lace up the skates.
Six-foot, nine inch forward Ryan Young knew he needed to take over. He knew it was the type of game where he had a big advantage with a sizable edge over the opponent.
The junior came through for his team and had one of his best performances of his career, scoring 19 points and grabbing 25 rebounds in leading Bethlehem Catholic to a 71-48 victory against Lower Moreland (8-14) last Friday night at Allen High School in the quarterfinals of the new District 11 Class 4A Subregional, which added teams from outside the district this year to fill out the additional classifications.
Momentum has played a pivotal role during the season for the Freedom boys basketball team. Whether it was good or bad, the Patriots experienced both ends of the spectrum.
With seven straight losses during the meat of their schedule, it looked like it was going to be a quick end to the season back in late January. But Freedom kept pushing each and every day, and wound up winning five consecutive games to qualify for the district playoffs.
Bethlehem Catholic girls volleyball head coach Paul Abi-Daher knew his team was going to be in for a battle all night when the fourth seeded Golden Hawks (13-4 overall, 13-3 EPC) took on number five seed Emmaus (14-6 overall, 13-5 EPC) last Tuesday evening at home in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinal round matchup.
Besides the close seedings and records, the two teams have met in the postseason in recent years, and have been tight contests. Tuesday night was no different.
It was a game that the Bethlehem Catholic football players, coaches, and fans had circled on their calendars for a while. Even with all of the success in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11, the Golden Hawks hadn’t played the four-time district champion Parkland Trojans for a few years.
The way that the conference was aligned, it didn’t allow these two powerhouses to meet on the gridiron until the league realigned before the start of the season.
The Emmaus boys soccer team snuck into the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference tournament as the 8th seed, winning their last four games of the regular season to clinch the final spot.
Last Saturday afternoon in the conference quarterfinal, however, the Green Hornets (9-6-4 overall) played like the league favorite that they have perennially been over the past decade under head coach John Cari.
James Haag headed in the game’s opening goal and Emmaus held all of the momentum.