Fall 2018 All-Stars

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.

Around the end of each high school sports season, we try to highlight the special accomplishments of individuals who get team to all-league, all-league and/or all-state honors, in addition to special accomplishments achieved by student-athletes in the RCN-TV coverage areas.

We especially appreciate the athletic directors who make us aware of these honors and would encourage you to email me directly (chris.michael@rcn.net) if you know of an extraordinary award placed upon someone in our region.

First, here are members of the EPC All-Conference Tennis team…

EPC Most Valuable Player: Elessa Jacobs – Easton

EPC Girl’s Tennis First Team All-Conference:

Singles:

Elessa Jacobs- Easton

Brenna Magliochetti- Bethlehem Catholic

Tashanna Smith- Freedom

Doubles:

Jess Davis/ Emma Sweterlitsch- Central Catholic

Anjali and Olivia Chhuggani- Freedom

Caitlin Maloney/ Taylor Adams- Bethlehem Catholic

EPC Girl’s Tennis Second Team All-Conference:

Singles:

Halle DeNardo- Nazareth

Natalie Sinai- Freedom

Murong Yao- Parkland

Doubles:

Samantha Sands/ Katie Kresge- Nazareth

Cecile Szollas/ Kaitlyn Hartman- Bethlehem Catholic

Twinkle Gupta/ Megan Smith- Freedom

EPC Girl’s Tennis Third Team All-Conference:

Singles:

Belen Blasco- Bethlehem Catholic

Jenn Soika- Nazareth

Joanna Wu- Parkland

Doubles:

Sophia Lee/ Maya Paul- Parkland

Mercedes Bator/ Jenna Sloan- Stroudsburg

Sabrina Yurconic/ Kara Wang- Central Catholic

Next, here are your EPC Golf All-Conference teams…

EPC Most Valuable Player (Male): Andrew Hozza – Northampton

EPC Most Valuable Player (Female): Olivia Patrow – Stroudsburg

EPC Golf First Team All-Conference:

Andrew Hozza – Northampton

Mitch Machulsky – Emmaus

Olivia Patrow – Stroudsburg

Michelle Cox – Emmaus

Ian Arnold – Central Catholic

EPC Golf Second Team All-Conference:

Nolan Beagell – Liberty

Chris Panny – Parkland

Devon Britton – Northampton

Aiden LeBlanc – Emmaus

Matt Zerfoss – Emmaus

EPC Golf Third Team All-Conference:

Joey Altemose – Liberty

Tom Gaudette – PM West

Trevor Grimm – Parkland

TJ Bohl – Nazareth

Evan Cartwright – Liberty

Here are the members of the All-Colonial League girls volleyball squad…

Click here to view the 2018-19 COLONIAL LEAGUE
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL ALL-LEAGUE TEAM

The EPC Cheer Championship results and winners were:

1st Place – Bethlehem Catholic

2nd Place – Nazareth

3rd Place – Pocono Mountain West

Last but not least, here are your Eastern Pennsylvania Conference’s Scholar Athlete winners for each of the fall sports:

Boys Cross Country – Joseph Ozgar – Easton

Girls Cross Country – Charlize Smith – Easton

Boys Soccer – Callen Reid – Emmaus

Girls Soccer – Caitlyn Lazzarini – Nazareth

Girls Tennis – Elessa Jacobs – Easton

Girls Volleyball – Lina Perugini – Liberty

Field Hockey – Kayla Kisthardt – Emmaus

Football – Tyler Slomiak – Stroudsburg

Golf – John Angelella – Parkland

Keep checking back to “The Shop” as we get more award winners and honors given to our local student-athletes throughout the school year!

2018 Year-in-Review Nominations

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.

Part of the “RCN SportsTalk” tradition this time of year is our “year-in-review” program, in which the co-host and I get together and highlight some of our top players, coaches, games and special moments that we witnessed over the previous 12 months.  We also throw in some new topics each year just to keep things fresh. Not only will we be doing that show again later this month, but we once again want you to weigh in with your opinions!

Here is our preliminary list of the “topics” (we try to mix in old favorites with new ideas each year) that we are looking to discuss on the 2018 edition of this show.

1.   Clutch Play of the Year
2.   Underrated Sports Personality of the Year
3.   Biggest Myth of the Year
4.   Biggest Sports Embarrassment
5.   Underrated Team of the Year
6.   Biggest “FADE” During 2017 (Something That Was Big but Lost Its Luster)
7.   Best Coaching Hire of the Year
8.   A 2017 Prediction You Saw Come True in 2018
9.   Biggest Roller Coaster of 2018
10. Most Intriguing HS Sports Storyline
11. Best “Bounce Back” Team/Storyline
12. Hardest-Working Sports Personalities
13. Least Favorite Sports Item in 2018
14. Best Team No One (or Hardly Anyone) Talked About
15. Underrated Story of the Year
16. 2018 Will Be Remembered As…
17. Best Piece of Advice for 2019
18. Bold National Prediction for 2019
19. Bold Local Prediction for 2019
20. “Stone Cold” Lock for 2019

If you have a thought for a topic and/or a suggestion or answer to any of these that you would like to mention, we might include your idea for this program. Email your thoughts to chris.michael@rcn.net and tune in for our takes on the 2018 calendar year, another with other special standout moments from our program, on this special episode of “SportsTalk,” that will air several times around the holiday season.

Calling Fall “All-Stars”

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 talk about the final results in this fall’s “Pick 4” contest (one that will see the RCN personality with the fewest correctly prediction games this year having to do Fortnite dances live on an upcoming edition of “SportsTalk”), I wanted to send out my annual call for local athletic directors and league and district administrators in our RCN-TV viewing area.

At the end of each sports season, I like to highlight the student-athletes (typically in sports that do NOT receive the lions’ share of the media’s attention) that achieve honors, awards and are named to different All-League, All-District and/or All-State teams.

If you have an individual or a group listing of these outstanding accomplishments by athletes, if you could email them to be no later than December 10th, so we can mention them in that week’s edition of “The SportsTalk Shop.”

My email address is chris.michael@rcn.net

One All-Conference squad has already been named and came across my desk was the Colonial League Cross Country All-League Selections…

2018 Colonial League XC All League Seclections

I hope to be receiving more post-season awards soon and check back to our website in a few weeks for more fall sports highlights.

Now, here are “some” of the details for this fall’s “Pick 4” contest.  Going into last weekend’s games, the standings were:

“Pick 4” Contest Correct Game Predictions
TIE Gary Laubach 37 wins
TIE Chris Michael 37 wins
Tony Cocca 36 wins
Keith Groller 35 sins

Now, with just two games involving the remaining Lehigh Valley teams, it was pretty evident that both Gary and I (each with a two “game” lead) were able to hold onto the top two spots in our poll.  In doing so, we avoided what surely would have been embarrassing ourselves with our lack-of-dancing prowess (sorry Gary, but I’ve heard rumors…).

The real race was for the last spot, in which Tony had a one “game” lead over Keith.

Did Tony hold onto the lead?

Did Keith over take Tony in dramatic fashion with the final two games?

Is there a tie…and, if so, how will the tie be broken?

And who is Naomi?

(Feel free to Google “The Original Electric Company” with Morgan Freeman to find out what the heck I’m talk about with that last question).

All the other questions will be answered by checking out this week’s “RCN Sports Talk” show.  Our in-studio guest on the program will be David Mika, Owner/Editor-in-Chief of EasternPAfootball.com who will break down all the remaining PIAA state playoff games that will be going on this weekend, and giving his thoughts on some of the outstanding high school football accomplishments from the past season, with emphasis on the teams in the RCN-TV viewing areas in both the Delaware and Lehigh Valley areas).

HS Football Playoffs Week 4

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 was championship weekend in the Lehigh Valley with the District XI 6A  title game seen on RCN-TV…

With all of last weekend’s championship games behind us and the start of the Pennsylvania state playoffs commencing this weekend, it’s time to unveil our final District XI polls of the season.  But first, here is a look back at our preseason poll (just to see how our experts did with their picks in early August)…

“Big” Schools PRESEASON Poll

1)  Emmaus

2)  Parkland

2)  Freedom

3)  Easton

4)  Nazareth

“Small” School PRESEASON Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Palisades

3)  Notre Dame

4)  Saucon Valley

And now, our FINAL polls…

“Big” Schools Poll

1)  Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)  Nazareth

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Saucon Valley

3)  Northwestern

4)  Notre Dame

ANALYSIS:

Once again our RCN pollsters (a mix of local media members, district administrators and football coaches) did a really good job of giving some insights on which schools would be the top teams this year.  Our “Big School” preseason poll had all of the top five teams correctly identified, with just the order of the teams mixed in the final results (a year which included a first-time District XI champion).  Parkland also saw its six-year consecutive title run come to an end with a loss in the semifinals to Freedom.

There were more changes in the “small school poll,” with the exception being Bethlehem Catholic holding onto the #1 position from start to finish.

The big surprises were Saucon Valley and Northwestern getting much better play from some of their “unknowns” this season.  Senior Tailback Ian Csiszak hardly played offense last year for the Panthers, but became the District’s top rushing back (both in terms of carries and total rushing yards) this fall.

The Tigers got outstanding efforts from a number of different players and won a few more games than many had expected (and two of their losses were by just one point each).

This will also be our final “Pick 4” contest (actually now down to just two Lehigh Valley teams this week.)  All season long RCN’s Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca and me teamed with The Morning Call’s Keith Groller and have been weighing-in on games involving the games involving District XI squads.  We’ve included a “tiebreaker” because the competition is so close heading into our final week.

The
“PICK 4”
Pottsgrove vs. Bethlehem Catholic St. Joe’s vs. Freedom Total Points Scored Among the 4 Teams:
Gary Laubach Bethlehem Catholic St. Joe’s None Given
Tony Cocca  Bethlehem Catholic St. Joe’s 126 – 1/2
Keith Groller  Bethlehem Catholic St. Joe’s 135
Chris Michael  Bethlehem Catholic St. Joe’s 139

We’ll have the some of the tallies both next week here at “The Shop” and on the following week’s “RCN SportsTalk” program—and unveil which RCN personality will have to partake in doing Fortnite dances LIVE on the air!

In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day holiday!!!

 

 

HS Football Playoffs Week 3

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.

Mother Nature threw another curveball at us again this past weekend—the weather forecast caused District XI officials to postpone all of Friday’s games and push everything back to Saturday.

That being said, two of our three broadcast playoff games were relatively close contests…

As we move closer to our “final” poll of the season, here’s a look at where things stand (both polls had one significant change following last weekend’s games)…

“Big” Schools Poll

1)  Emmaus

2)  Freedom

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)  Nazareth

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Saucon Valley

3)   Northwestern

4)  Notre Dame

Our poll structure remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

We are down to the final few teams remaining in our RCN Viewing area.  RCN’s Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca and myself team with the Morning Call’s Keith Groller to weigh in on games involving the four teams remaining in District XI—all four teams are matched-up against each other high school games coming up this weekend…

The
“PICK 4”
Saucon Valley vs. Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus vs. Freedom
Gary Laubach Bethlehem Catholic Freedom
Tony Cocca  Bethlehem Catholic Freedom
Keith Groller  Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus
Chris Michael  Bethlehem Catholic Freedom

A reminder, the RCN pollster with the least number of correct predictions will have to do a couple Fortnite dances on our live “SportsTalk” show in a few weeks.  Tune in to Thursday’s show to check out who should be limbering up for some possible on-air routines.  Also, check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

HS Football Playoffs Week 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.

We are down to the final weeks of our high school football polls and our “Pick 4” contest!

We will get a good read of how our experts did in our poll as a number of our top teams will be squaring off against each other this weekend in District XI semifinal matchups (four of them will be on RCN-TV). 

“Big” Schools Poll

1)  Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)  Nazareth

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Notre Dame

3)   Northwestern

4)  Saucon Valley

Our poll structure remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

RCN’s Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca and myself team with the Morning Call’s Keith Groller to weigh-in on four of the biggest District XI high school games coming up this weekend…

The
“PICK 4”
Pottsville vs. Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus vs. Easton Freedom vs. Parkland Saucon Valley vs. Northwestern Lehigh
Gary Laubach Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus Parkland Northwestern Lehigh
Tony Cocca  Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus Parkland Northwestern Lehigh
Keith Groller  Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus Parkland Saucon Valley
Chris Michael  Bethlehem Catholic Emmaus Parkland Saucon Valley

Check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

 

HS Football Playoffs Week 1

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.

Special thanks to Greg Joyce of the “New York Post” for being on our “SportsTalk” program last week.  Greg had the unique experiences of covering pro and college sports teams in Boston, Eastern Pennsylvania and now New York, and had some great thoughts on comparing those huge sports regions, along with giving thought on the New York Giants, the Yankees off-season priority list, the Red Sox and the World Series, and more.

Be sure to check out our interview with Greg through RCN On-Demand or hear our podcast here on the RCN-TV website.

Coming up this week we’ll be previewing the opening weekend of the Lehigh Valley high school football playoffs with RCN Sports Director Gary Laubach.  You can call in or email us with your questions and comments as Gary, co-host Keith Groller and I go over all of this weekend’s playoff games and make predictions.

Next week, the high school post-season kicks off in the DMV region and we’ll have Monet Anderson of Fox Sports Radio DC on the program to get her thoughts on the top teams, games and players to watch.

And, in a few weeks, we’ll have guests on from different regions to talk about the state playoffs in both PA and DC and give insights on the teams still standing in our coverage areas.

Also, don’t forget to bookmark and keep checking back to the RCN-TV broadcast schedule page to see which teams and games we will be featuring each weekend!

Before we get to this week’s polls and predictions, here are highlights of last weekend’s games on RCN…

Big” Schools Poll

1)  Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)  Nazareth

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Notre Dame

3)   Saucon Valley

4)  Northwestern

Our poll structure remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

Now, RCN’s Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca and myself team with the Morning Call’s Keith Groller to weigh-in on the four most competitive District XI high school playoff games coming up this weekend…

The
“PICK 4”
Central Catholic vs. Northwestern Emmaus vs. Nazareth Bangor vs. Pottsville Tamaqua vs. Notre Dame
Gary Laubach Central Catholic Emmaus Pottsville Notre Dame
Tony Cocca  Central Catholic Emmaus Pottsville Notre Dame
Keith Groller  Central Catholic Emmaus Bangor Notre Dame
Chris Michael  Northwestern Nazareth Pottsville Notre Dame

A reminder, the RCN pollster with the least number of correct predictions will have to do a couple Fortnite dances on our live “SportsTalk” show in a few weeks.  Tune in to Thursday’s show to check out who should be limbering up for some possible on-air routines.  Also, check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

HS Football Week 10

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.

Someone asked me when I was leaving Saturday’s Emmaus/Bethlehem Catholic  football team if, in my entire football watching experiences, I had ever seen a game as wild as that evening’s 50-49 tilt.

My response?

“Yes I have…the night before!”

It was clearly the biggest scoring weekend of games I have ever announced in my career, with nearly 200 points being scored in two games.

Saturday might not have been the cleanest of games, with way too many penalties and two huge (and extremely costly) turnovers, but Friday’s game between Saucon Valley and Notre Dame for the right to the Colonial League crown was as good of an offensive showing as I’ve seen in years…maybe ever?

It was a great contrast of styles between the aerial attack of the Crusaders and the “Ground-and-Pound” Panthers, who were nearly perfect on the few passes they attempted.  Great coaching calls, clutch players, spectacular plays…if you don’t care about defense, you would have loved that game!

Don’t forget—all of RCN’s productions are available to watch for free for RCN video customers for two months following their initial airdates.  Be sure to check out both of these high scoring games next time you have a chance.

The results of last week’s games around the area fell pretty much in line with what our District XI big and small school polls have been for the past few weeks… 

Big” Schools Poll

1)   Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)   Stroudsburg

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Notre Dame

3)  Northwestern

4)  Saucon Valley

Our poll remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

Now, RCN’s Gary Laubach, Tony Cocca and I team up with The Morning Call’s Keith Groller to weigh in on four District XI high school games coming up this weekend (once again, I’m going out on an island by myself with my picks)…

The
“PICK 4”
Northampton vs. Whitehall Allen vs. Dieruff Emmaus vs. Parkland Saucon Valley vs. Palisades
Gary Laubach Northampton Allen Emmaus Saucon Valley
Tony Cocca  Northampton Dieruff Emmaus Saucon Valley
Keith Groller  Northampton Dieruff Emmaus Saucon Valley
Chris Michael  Whitehall Allen Parkland Saucon Valley

Check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

HS Football Week 9

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.

First of all, thanks to all of last week’s “SportsTalk” guests…even with Keith Groller on another assignment, we had no shortage of big-named personalities on our program.

For our Pennsylvania sports fans, District XI Football Chair Jason Zimmerman joined me in-studio and discussed the changes with the district’s playoff system and other rule changes for high school football.  “Zim” also gave our audience a great overview of the local playoff races and insights on many of the teams in the RCN-TV coverage area.

For sports fans in the Washington DC area…we had interviews featuring players and coaches from the 8-0 HD Woodson football team.  Woodson is tied with several of the other top teams in the DMV for first in the 6A divisional playoff race.

Then, following our live preview from the Meadowlands which covered that evening’s Giants/Eagles game, we also chatted with Mt. Vernon Head Football Coach Monty Fritts about the amazing job he’s done turning around his program.  Coach Fritts took over a team that had gone 3-26 in the three years prior to his taking over the helm and has guided the Majors to an 18-9 record so far during his tenure.

He reported that the team he took over had just 37 students on the roster and they didn’t even have money to buy new uniforms that were badly needed.  The team hadn’t had consistent, sustained success in decades.  Fritts reported players would be ashamed to wear their “MV” lettermen jackets in public and that the football program was frequently the target of jokes in the community because of its futility.

Now, he has over 120 students competing for spots.  He has players at or near the top in a number of key statistical categories.  His team has broken 31 school records over the last two years and, should their success continue this fall, it would be just the second time in school history that his school made the playoffs in three consecutive seasons (the first time was in the 1930s).  His turnaround story is one of the most dramatic in the entire nation.

All of these “SportsTalk” interviews are available through RCN On-Demand and via our podcasts found here on the RCN-TV website.

 

It’s time for this week’s edition of our high school football polls for teams in the District XI  region…

“Big” Schools Poll

1)  Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Parkland

4)  Stroudsburg

5)  Easton

“Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic

2)  Notre Dame

3)  Northwestern

4)  Saucon Valley

Our poll remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

“Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have much diversity in this week’s “Pick 4” contest…

The
“PICK 4”
Liberty vs. Whitehall Emmaus vs. Bethlehem Catholic Salisbury vs. Palmerton Saucon Valley vs. Notre Dame 
Gary Laubach Liberty Bethlehem Catholic Palmerton Notre Dame
Tony Cocca  Liberty Bethlehem Catholic Salisbury Notre Dame
Keith Groller  Liberty Bethlehem Catholic Palmerton Notre Dame
Chris Michael  Liberty Bethlehem Catholic Palmerton Notre Dame

 

Check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

 

Villanova/Football Week 7 Preview

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.
Offensive linemen don’t ever get much publicity…unless they do something wrong.  But Bethlehem native Louis Csaszar has been carving out a standout career while doing some great things at Villanova University.

He not only became a regular starter in his sophomore season, but also that year was named to the CAA Football All-Academic team.  He’s continued to be a key member of that O-Line ever since.

We caught up with Louis recently on “SportsTalk” to ask him about both his individual and team successes in the NCAAs, as well as his close-up perspective of the school’s basketball team’s two — count ‘em, TWO–National Championships, while he has been on campus…

Villanova has a tough schedule ahead of them but Wildcats’ Head Coach Mark Ferrante has built a solid program and this team should continue to be fun to watch for the next two months.

Last weekend on RCN-TV we had the opportunity to see a team from outside our coverage area go up against a Notre Dame team that desperately needed to avoid picking up a third loss in September.

It’s time for this week’s edition of our high school football polls for teams in the District XI  region…

“Big” Schools Poll

1)   Freedom

2)  Emmaus

3)  Easton

4)  Parkland

5)   Northampton

 “Small” School Poll

1)  Bethlehem Catholic 

2)  Saucon Valley

3)  Northwestern

4) Notre Dame

Our poll remains with the same structure that we’ve utilized for many seasons.  We take the 400-male enrollment number as the cutoff for schools within the District XI/RCN-TV broadcast area.  All of the schools above that number qualify as “big schools” in our poll. These schools consist of Parkland, Liberty, Allen, Easton, Emmaus, Liberty, DieruffPocono Mountain West, Freedom, StroudsburgPleasant ValleyNorthampton, Nazareth, WhitehallSouthern LehighEast Stroudsburg-South, and Pocono Mountain East.  The five schools receiving the most votes are listed above.

“Small schools” (below 400-male enrollment) consist of both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and Colonial League teams —  Bangor, Saucon Valley, Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, NorthwesternWilson, Palisades, Palmerton, Salisbury, Notre Dame, Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua.  The top four vote-getters are named.

As we have surpassed the halfway point of the high school football regular season, I wanted to give an update on how we are all doing on guessing the winners each week for our “Pick 4” contest.

  • Gary Laubach – 17 wins
  • Keith Groller – 17 wins
  • Chris Michael – 17 wins
  • Tony Cocca – 16 wins

Don’t forget, on each Thursday “SportsTalk” show, Keith and I usually spend a few minutes recapping the “Pick 4” standings along with offering a few thoughts on our contests, in addition to pointing out more observations and opinions about the following weekend’s games.

Hopefully we can “break up” the log jam in the standings this week as we all weigh in on four of the biggest high school games coming up this weekend…

The
“PICK 4”
Easton vs. Freedom Southern Lehigh vs. Northwestern Liberty vs. Nazareth Salisbury vs. Northern Lehigh
Gary Laubach Freedom Northwestern Nazareth Northern Lehigh
Tony Cocca  Freedom Southern Lehigh Nazareth Northern Lehigh
Keith Groller  Freedom Northwestern Nazareth Salisbury
Chris Michael  Freedom Northwestern Nazareth Northern Lehigh

Check back next week here at “The Shop” for more high school football notes, polls, video highlights and predictions.

Don’t be surprised if a few plays from these games come up again on our “year-in-review” recollections in a few months—both on the TV “SportsTalk” program and here at “The Shop.”