Chris Michael

About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

Year-in-Review 2019

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

There are a number of things that still out in my mind as I reflect back on our 2019 at the RCN-TV studios and with the “RCN SportsTalk” show.

A few of my personal highlights…

DIVERSITY IN OUR COVERAGE THIS YEAR

While football, basketball and wrestling get the lion’s share of media attention in Eastern Pennsylvania, our coverage reached out to every sport in both the EPC and Colonial Leagues during each season and we were able to include every Lehigh Valley school and several schools in the Delaware Valley and DVM broadcast regions as well. We also covered more games for local leagues (Lehigh Valley Legion and Northampton County League) that we had ever covered before.

On a national scale, women’s sports of late have been disappearing from network programming, with more and more events pushed off to regional channels or internet-only broadcasts. High school sports have been receiving less and less press in print and very rarely around the country is a full-time writer assigned to dedicated to female sports.

On the contrary, we reached out and included more female-related sports on our show over the past 18 months, including doing a show on prompting female high school wrestling–something that has been around now for a few years, but most people don’t even know that several local schools have more than one female wrestling competing and that schools are trying to field an entire (albeit smaller) squad to complete on the same level.

The RCN staff works very hard covering ALL local sports (in addition to other duties and obligations they have in non-sports areas but enjoy the opportunity to feature different sports, schools and events.

The studio staff members are anxious to start on our 2020 coverage after the holidays to cover even more great stories and interesting people from different backgrounds.

I’m optimistic that seeking new ways to expand our reach into the community will expand even more in the new year!

DIVERSITY IN OUR STUDIO & SKYPE GUESTS

We featured guests from the top members of the PIAA administrative staff, District XI representatives, local leagues officers, coaches, administrators, athletic directors and student athletes from large schools, smaller schools, public schools, private schools, and charter schools in 2019.

Our guests included former and current professional athletes, sportscasters and writers from national and regional perspectives who touched on everything from their private lives and “life lessons learned” to controversial topics in sports. We featured former writers, athletic directors and administrators (who could speak freely without worrying about having to adhere to their supervisors) and could give honest views on issues that students, parents and coaches have to deal with. We’ve heard various opinions that are different from others and enjoyed having professional exchanges and conversations when discussing opposing viewpoints.

We expanded our partnership with our friends at DKN Sports in the Washington DC area to bring you even more features and guest interviews than ever before.

We featured a number of issues away from the fields and courts and brought you stories of sports personalities going through their own personal struggles.

We brought you inside looks on teams from state champions (Bethlehem Catholic girls basketball team) to national NCAA Champions (Fox Beat Reporter Jermain Ferrell, who covered the University of Virginia’s men’s basketball teams run all season long).

We interviewed former high school greats from our coverage area like Easton alum/current Towson University running back, Shane Simpson, who talked about his relationship with current NFL great Sa’quon Barkley (who was a guest on our show a couple years ago before the draft), along with his own personal steps he’s taking for rehabilitation to hopefully be drafted himself next spring.

Plus, many other great stories from friends in our coverage area in 2019.

THE EFFORTS OF “EVERYONE” BEHIND THE SCENES

I thought that we received tremendous support from many names and faces most customers don’t get to see or hear about.

There are many components to a television entity and frequently, when people approach me with suggestions and ideas, almost always is there at least one element of broadcasting that they said they had never known about before or I get a chance to share with them something they had never even considered that is involved in a production (and I’m probably one of the last people in our studio that one would approach to learn about all the intricacies of the technical side of a broadcast).

From marketing and promotion to scheduling and broadcasting, there are so much people involved in visual broadcasting, and even other media members that I encounter in other areas of communication often fail to grasp the many moving parts and necessity to put your trust in others while working in television (please note that I’m not saying one is “better” or “harder” than another field in broadcasting).

When I first moved from a career largely in print and radio areas into more television on a full-time basis, the thought of having so many people control what’s “happening” to you, with things in motion that are completely beyond your control, is an experience that is quite daunting. I’ve known quite a few individuals to really struggle with it and a few could not make that transition, because it is very difficult to allow so much that falls upon yourself, but put in so many other people’s hands.

However, I feel extremely blessed for my colleagues at RCN and was extremely happy with the work we were able to produce as a team in 2019 … the bar is already quite high as we embark on a brand new year!

Keep an eye out for more “year-in-review” thoughts on “SportsTalk” and videos as we turn the calendar to a brand new year!

Football 2019 Video Recaps-Part 2     

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

This week we our final look back at the video highlights from the final high school football games on RCN-TV (DVD copies of these games can be purchased by calling 610-443-2909)!

 

 


Keep checking back to “The SportsTalk Shop”  for more highlights from games broadcast on RCN-TV throughout from the winter season including our first high school basketball games and wrestling matches!

And, be sure to bookmark our winter sports schedule here on our website to catch all the hottest high school and college events over the next several months on RCN-TV.

 

Football 2019 Video Recaps

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

As we reflect on some of the big sports moments from 2019, here are video highlights of our District XI and Pennsylvania state playoff games we broadcasted this year:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep watching for more video recaps broadcast on RCN-TV as well as our top moments coming in the new year.  We are making the transition into “winter basketball and wrestling” mode in the RCN-TV studios so be on the lookout for highlights of those games and matches as well.

And … be sure to watch the “Best of RCN“” events, sports productions and shows on TV–RCN customers can check your on-screen schedule guide for details.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Bill White’s Christmas Lights on RCN TV

Retired Morning Call columnist Bill White here, blogging about our 20th annual Christmas Lights show, which we taped last Wednesday night, Dec. 11.

The show features five great displays, ranging east to west from Bath to Upper Macungie and conversations with their creators. It will premiere on RCN-TV at 11 a.m. Christmas Eve, with additional showings at 6 p.m. and midnight, plus 6:30 and 11 p.m. Christmas Day and 8:30 a.m. December 26.

As I said during the program, my favorite part is the opportunity to talk to these holiday decorators. The breakneck pace of judging for my Christmas Light Tours for The Morning Call rarely gave me any time to stop and talk to the homeowners, and they all have great stories to tell.

This year, among other things, we heard about a bear dragging Santa around, a woman who was brought to tears by the beauty, a family legacy of decorating excellence, a teenage Santa and a decorator who ended up in an ambulance.

I recounted some of my tour’s history in a recent conversation with Dan Mowdy on RCN-TV’s “Community Spotlight” program.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing these shows for 20 years. Sorely missed, as always, was the late RCN-TV producer Wally Ely, who conceived the idea and was my on-air partner for many years until he retired. Wally passed away last year, and we dedicated the 2018 program to his memory by visiting some of his favorite displays.

If you like looking at holiday lights and listening to holiday music, I encourage you to tune in on Christmas Eve. Our trip certainly put me in the Christmas spirit. I hope it has the same effect on you.

Basketball & Year-Review Previews   

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

Because of the way our calendar “fell” this year, we decided to combine two of our regular “SportsTalk” programs into one big show–the high school basketball “primer” for one segment and our “year in review” program for the rest of the show.

So to get you set for both programs, here’s a few of the topics we will be addressing for both of those areas.  As always, you are invited to share your opinions on these issues so that we may read and respond to them on the next show.

Also, if you have a suggestion for a topic for us to comment on, please feel free to send them to chris.michael@rcn.net

Now, here are our topics of discussion for this year’s Lehigh Valley high school basketball season and a look back on some of the sports topics of note from 2019 that we’ll be answering.

BASKETBALL PREVIEW TOPICS:

1) Team to Beat in the EPC & Colonial League

2) “Surprise” Team to Watch this Winter

3) Most Intriguing Team to Watch this Winter

4) Pre-Season MVP

5) Biggest Question Mark This Winter

6) Underclassmen to Watch This Winter

7) Most Anticipated Colonial League Regular Season Matchup

8) Most Anticipated EPC Regular Season Matchup

9)  New Head Coach That Will Have the Best Rookie Campaign

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW TOPICS:

  • Favorite Team You Saw in 2019
  • Most Outstanding Accomplishment
  • Best Executive Decision of 2019
  • Most Exciting Game
  • Biggest Surprise of 2019
  • Best Turnarounds for 2019
  • Most Underrated Story of 2019
  • Most Exciting Single Play of 2019
  • Underrated Star of 2019
  • Stone-Cold Lock for 2020
  • Piece of Advice for 2020

Keep an eye out over the holiday season for when this show will be airing on RCN-TV.

Phillies Off-Season 2019

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

A lot has been said and written about what went wrong for the Phillies this past year–you don’t commit to adding over $660 million to your payroll and expect your team to finish with the exact same record it did a year ago.

With a new manager, pitching coach, hitting coach all now in place, along with a nice (but somewhat expensive) free agent pick-up in Zach Wheeler, it’s time to take a look at what the Phillies do the rest of the off-season in terms of their on-the-field personnel.

(This is where I could point out some of the ideas I suggested the Phillies do last December, but didn’t do.  Things like, signing Anibal Sanchez.  You know, one of the most dominant pitchers in this year’s NLDS who flirted with a no-hitter in a playoff game? But who’d want someone like that on your roster.)

While some of the upgrades that need to be made are rather mundane to discuss (backup catcher, the fifth outfielder/pinch-running option, et al), I wanted to focus on three major things that MUST happen for the Phillies to become playoff contenders in 2020 (and no, I am not one of those writers who think this team is still several years away from the playoffs…with the money they’ve spent and have available, there is simply no excuse why this team shouldn’t be in the post-season next fall.)

#1: SIGN RENDON 

One of the biggest free agents available needs to be wined-and-dined as much as Bryce Harper (who also has Scott Boras as his agent) was a year ago.  The former National is the obvious main target for the Phillies this year because signing him:

…gives you a player with intensity/sense of urgency–something lacking from many Phillies in 2019

…a perfect complement to Harper in middle of order

…a much-needed improvement both offensively and defensively  (something that many people are pointing out that desperately needs to improve this off season)

The Phillies–despite all their offensive upgrades last “hot stove” season–still was not one of the top performers offensively and you need to add a major bat to their lineup.  No other free agent gives you as much of an upgrade as Anthony Rendon and he is probably the more likely of the two biggest free agents of the winter season to leave his former team (Gerrit Cole being the other).

NOTE TO ALEC BOHM FANS:  No, I didn’t forget the team’s former #1 pick did have an excellent year offensively in Double-A this past summer.  IF (and remember he struggled mightily in 2018) he continues to progress with the bat, he can always be moved to first base, where he may be better suited anyway, since some scouts have not been impressed with this work at the hot corner.

But what about the incumbent first basemen? That bring us to… 

#2: PACKAGE HOSKINS FOR MORE PITCHING–BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE 

First of all, another major area the team must make is in ALL aspects of their pitching, even after adding Wheeler, whom I view currently (given his track record of injuries) as a strong #3 pitcher on a World Series championship team (that is the goal now, isn’t it?).  The Phillies probably cannot afford to add BOTH of the biggest free agents available on the market and the organization been reluctant to make major financial commitments to pitchers.  Therefore, the team must get creative in terms of upgrading its bullpen and starting pitching staff through trades.

Rhys Hoskins remind me a lot of Pat Burrell–a power hitter with great potential and some big at-bats, but one who never fully developed into a proven, 3-4-5 bat in a championship caliber lineup.  Burrell, at his best, hit sixth during the Phillies’ best years–where he could shine in some big moments when he was hot, and his inconsistent slumps wouldn’t be nearly as noticeable by hitting lower in the order.  When “Pat the Bat” hit higher and in more key spots in the order, (before and after the 2018 World Series year) he wasn’t nearly as effective, which is similar to what Hoskins has shown over the last two seasons.

Also, if the Phillies add Rendon (or even Josh Donaldson), Hoskins is probably pushed to the sixth spot in the batting order–you really want to pass up a chance for a major pitching upgrade for a guy who hits sixth in your lineup?

Plus, Hoskins has been trending downward in each of his first two seasons.  Initially in 2018, the excuse was he was forced to play out of position in left field and this affected his hitting.  To that end, they jettisoned an All-Star First Baseman (Carlos Santana) to “help” Hoskins, who returned the favor by hitting WORSE in 2019.

I know Hoskins is a fan favorite with lots of potential, but you don’t get major pitching help without giving up significant talent in return.

Given Hoskins’ ego and declining numbers (and is he one of the nameless players that was bad-mouthing Gabe Kapler at season’s end?), it’s time to cut Hoskins lose while his value is still rather high and avoid suffering a third consecutive year of declining numbers.

And if he rebounds?

Again, you have to give up talent to get talent…and the Phillies MUST add to their pitching staff.

Speaking of pitching…

#3: Supplement Your Pitching Staff with SEVERAL Proven Veterans

One of the biggest head-scratching decisions by the Phillies’ front office last winter was their decision to spend “crazy money” on position players, yet didn’t spend ANY money on pitching (except for injured reliever Dave Robertson, who turned out to be a bust).

Unfortunately, this glaring error was put on display when injuries occurred and most of the younger players the Phillies were counting on failed to live up to expectations.

The Phillies cannot afford to make the same mistake this winter.  They simply cannot put their faith in having a pitching staff consisting mostly of unproven talent.

You still have to add a proven veteran starter to the staff (to join Wheeler, Aaron Nola, Zach Eflin and Jake Arrieta) plus starting depth AND pieces to the bullpen, to be ready for when the inevitable injuries occur.

Worst case scenario?

You have too many tough choices to make in spring training and can’t take  all the pitchers you have on your Opening Day roster.  Pitchers have options for a reason – use them!  And if the young talent develops and progresses well in the minors over a long period of time (another issue this year was young arms being rushed to the Majors), THEN you can bring them up.

Here’s a look at how my plan would work amongst the starters:

The Lineup

McCutcheon       LF

Gregorius            SS

Rendon               3B

Harper                 RF

Realmuto            C

Segura                2B

Kingery                1B (or Harrison or Boehm, which moves Scott to CF)

Haseley               CF *

*(McCutcheon could also move to CF to make room for Jay Bruce)

The Rotation

Nola

Player X (who you’d acquire for Hoskins)

Wheeler

Arrieta

Efflin

Yes, the team would be over the salary cap, but you can’t brag about all the money the team is bringing in to spend on players and then not spend that money on players!

And, Hoskins would be due for a big pay day in a year or two, so you’re “saving” money for next year, while bringing in much needed talent NOW.

Hopefully, the Phillies front office takes these steps this off-season.  I REALLY hope I don’t have the opportunity to say “I told you so” again next winter!

Pick 4: 2019 FINAL STANDINGS

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Before we get to our final standings for this year’s “Pick 4” event, let me thank this year’s participants: Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca, John Leone and Keith Groller for participating in this year’s “contest.”

Gary, Tony and Keith have been doing it now with me for several years and to have all these guys on board is what makes this annual event fun for both us and the RCN viewers.  While other media outlets do football predictions each week, our event is a little more special than the rest because we actually have something “at stake” (in many cases, our dignity), which makes it connect more with local sports fans.

Since Keith lost last year’s event (and, by the way, after MONTHS of him whining that last year’s high school football games’ outcomes were rigged just so he could lose the contest, he recently thanked me on a recent show for all the positive publicity it generated for him), I ask him to select this year’s “prize” for whomever lost this fall.

He turned that responsibility over to the Pen Argyl football team who were our guests on a show promoting their 100th game in their rivalry with the Slaters.  After some thought, the players decided that the loser would run a lap around the track.

As the season wore on, I enjoyed my exchanges with our viewers who were following along with our contest here on this blog and on our “SportsTalk” program and podcast, along with some of the questions I would be asked:

“Are you guys really going to run around a track on camera?”

“Is Cocca going to run with a hat if he loses?”

“What size running shoe does Leone take?”

…and many more!

While the results are really insignificant, it makes for an entertaining side story to follow during the season.  John Leone actually complained to me last year that he was missing out on the “fun” and demanded that he be one of this year’s participants…something I was more than happy to accommodate!

So when we reveal the final results on an upcoming show (we are off this Thursday for the holiday), please remember that it was all for amusement purposes only and it wouldn’t have been possible without the stars of our contest–Gary, Tony, John, Keith and our viewers who followed along–and for everyone being a great sport about it (as long as Keith wasn’t in last place).

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday everyone!

Final Polls & Picks

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

It’s time when only the top teams in the state of Pennsylvania are still in action (plus those that still play traditional Turkey Day games).

It’s also time for our final “Big School” poll (we did the final “Small School” poll in our last entry), AND…

It’s also time for our football experts (and myself) to make our final high school football predictions, and out last chance to avoid doing something incredibly embarrassing to ourselves (or at least, those of us who are not in the best of shape).

So before we unveil our final “Big School Poll” of the 2019 campaign, here’s a look at how we saw things for these team way back in early August–a few weeks before the season began.

“Big” Schools Poll–PRESEASON

1)  Freedom

2) Parkland

3) Nazareth

4) Easton

5) Emmaus 

Other schools receiving votes: Northampton 

For the largest school districts within the District XI/RCN-TV footprint, they qualify as the “big schools” in our pigskin poll and consist of  ParklandLibertyAllen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, Dieruff, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton,  Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East & West.  

Now, here’s our final results… 

“Big” Schools Poll–FINAL

1)   Nazareth

2)  Parkland

3)  Freedom

4)   Easton

5)   Northampton  

Just like with the smaller schools last week when we correctly identified ALL five of the top teams before the season got underway–we had six teams teams being mentioned in our pre-season picks and all five schools in our final poll selected back in early August.  In getting votes at both the beginning and end of our poll correct, I have to once again congratulate our “pollsters” (as I seem to do every year!) for doing a tremendous job with their pre-season opinions and choices on who would be the top schools in 2019! 

Now, here are our RCN football experts (along with myself) weighing in on four of the biggest high school games this weekend…

The “PICK 4” St. Joe’s Prep vs.
Nazareth
Southern Lehigh vs.
Archbishop Wood
Lehigh vs. Lafayette Lehigh vs. Lafayette TIEBREAKER (total points scored)
Gary Laubach  St. Joe’s Prep Archbishop Wood Lafayette 33
Tony Cocca  St. Joe’s Prep Archbishop Wood Lafayette n/a
Keith Groller  St. Joe’s Prep Archbishop Wood Lafayette 30
John Leone  St. Joe’s Prep Archbishop Wood Lafayette 27
Chris Michael St. Joe’s Prep Archbishop Wood Lehigh 31

 

 Tune into this Thursday’s “SportsTalk” for more on these games, and insights on the Patriot League’s football championship this weekend, the new NCAA basketball campaign and more!

HS Football: Week 13

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company. 

For our smaller schools, it’s been an earlier than normal exit for most teams in our Lehigh Valley viewing area. 

Only one local team qualified for the 3A playoffs this year (Notre Dame) and the Crusaders made a rare early exit (they did have injuries and ineligible player which hurt their chances). 

In 4A, we are left with just one local team as Bethlehem Catholic and Wilson lost to Pottsville in consecutive weekends and left the Hawks’ rival, Central Catholic, as the lone Valley team in that classification–playing for a championship this weekend against the Crimson Tide. 

So before we unveil our final “Small School Poll” of the 2019 campaign, here’s a look at how we saw things way back in early August–a few weeks before the season began. 


“Small” Schools Poll–PRESEASON

1)   Bethlehem Catholic

2)   Northwestern

3)   Central Catholic

4)   Notre Dame 

Other schools receiving votes: Saucon Valley 

A reminder: “small schools” for our poll consist of schools from BangorSaucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Northwestern, WilsonPalisadesPalmertonSalisbury, Notre Dame, Pen ArgylNorthern Lehigh and Catasauqua.

Now, here’s a look at how things shook-out here at the end of the season: 

“Small” Schools Poll–FINAL

1)   Central Catholic

2)   Northwestern

3)  Bethlehem Catholic

4)  Notre Dame  

Other schools receiving votes:   Saucon Valley 

WIth Central’s thrilling 17-point come-from-behind victory last Saturday over Northwestern, it gave the Vikings the top spot under first-year Head Coach Tim McGorry (you can hear our podcast with him and his coaches from before the season elsewhere here on this website). 

Bethlehem Catholic faded during the season’s second half after being ranked in the top spot (both in our poll and according to the District XI “power point” system) throughout much of the season. 

With all five teams getting votes at both the beginning and end of our poll, I have to congratulate our “pollsters” again this fall for doing a tremendous job with their pre-season predictions on who would be the top schools in 2019! 

*****

Now, we still have a couple teams in the mix among our “big” schools…

“Big” Schools Poll

1)   Nazareth

2)  Parkland

3)  Freedom

4)  Easton

5)  Northampton

For the largest school districts within the District XI/RCN-TV footprint, they qualify as the “big schools” in our pigskin poll. These schools consist of  ParklandLibertyAllen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, Dieruff, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East & West.  

Next week, we’ll look at our FINAL poll for these schools and unveil how we did in predicting the top teams in this category as well! 

******* 

Now, here are our RCN football experts (along with myself) weighing in on four of the biggest high school games this weekend…

The “PICK 4” Parkland vs.Nazareth Central Catholic vs.Pottsville Solehi vs. Oil City Colgate vs. Lafayette
Gary Laubach  Parkland  Pottsville Solehi  Lafayette
Tony Cocca  Parkland  Pottsville Solehi Lafayette
Keith Groller  Parkland  Central Catholic Solehi  Colgate
John Leone  Parkland  Pottsville Solehi Lafayette
Chris Michael Parkland  Central Catholic Solehi Lafayette

 

The “PICK 4” Parkland vs.
Nazareth
Central Cathoic vs.
Pottsville
Southern Lehigh vs.
Oil City
Lafayette vs.
Colgate
Gary Laubach  Parkland Pottsville Southern Lehigh Lafayette
Tony Cocca  Parkland Pottsville Southern Lehigh Lafayette
Keith Groller  Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Colgate
John Leone  Parkland Pottsville Southern Lehigh Lafayette
Chris Michael Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Lafayette

Keep following along each week here at “The Shop” for our predictions ahead of the weekend’s high school action and tune-in to our “RCN SportsTalk” television show for the latest “standings” to see which of our local football personalities are most correctly predicting the high school games this fall. Also, be sure to check out the “fan voting” section of RCN-TV’s games each week here on our website to let your opinions be known as well!

 

High School Football: Week 12

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

We’ve advanced to the second round of the high school football playoffs and, for Class 3A & 5A teams, we’ll see champions be crowned for the District XI playoffs.

“Playoff week two” also means that our weekly football polls will be coming to an end.  So as we head into the 12th week of the football season overall, here’s a look at where our pigskin experts (a mix of local coaches, administrators and RCN and other media members) stack up the teams in our coverage area:

“Big” Schools Poll

1)   Nazareth

2)  Freedom

3)  Parkland

3)  Easton

4)  Northampton

“Small” Schools Poll

1)   Northwestern

2)  Central Catholic

3)  Bethlehem Catholic

4)  Saucon Valley 

Our poll remains with the standard format that we have utilized for many seasons.  For the largest school districts within the District XI/RCN-TV footprint, they qualify as the “big schools” in our pigskin poll. These schools consist of:  ParklandLibertyAllen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, Dieruff, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East & West.  

 “Small schools” for our poll consist of schools from BangorSaucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Northwestern, WilsonPalisadesPalmertonSalisbury, Notre Dame, Pen ArgylNorthern Lehigh and Catasauqua. 

 Here are the “rules” for our voters: 

Each pollster identifies their top five teams among the “big schools” and the top four squads for the “smaller” group—the top school gets five (or four for the small schools) points, the second team gets four (or three) points and so on, with an average score determining the order of teams in both of the polls.   

Check back each week here at “The Shop” to see if your favorite teams make our list!  

Now, here are our RCN football experts (along with myself) weighing in on four of the biggest high school games this weekend…

The “PICK 4” Parkland vs.
Freedom
Central Cathoic vs.
Northwestern
Southern Lehigh vs.
E. Stroudsburg South
Lafayette vs.
Holy Cross
Gary Laubach  Freedom Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Lafayette
Tony Cocca  Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Holy Cross
Keith Groller  Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Holy Cross
John Leone  Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Holy Cross
Chris Michael Parkland Central Catholic Southern Lehigh Holy Cross

 

Keep following along each week here at “The Shop” for our predictions ahead of the weekend’s high school action and tune-in to our “RCN SportsTalk” television show for the latest “standings” to see which of our local football personalities are most correctly predicting the high school games this fall. Also, be sure to check out the “fan voting” section of RCN-TV’s games each week here on our website to let your opinions be known as well!