SUMMER HOOPS: August 2021

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 will be our final update on the local summer high school basketball leagues along with our last look at some of the still pictures featuring teams in the RCN viewing area. We also want to give a shout out to RCN freelance crew member Dan Moyer, as his son and grandson, as coach and player – respectively, reached the finals in the Forks Township summer baseball tournament. Great job!

 



As you saw on RCN SportsTalk a few weeks back (but can still see the entire interview through RCN on demand–free for RCN customers), TOC Director Eric Snyder announced that the annual Catasauqua basketball tourney will not be conducted this year.  Also, its future is also very much in doubt.  This year’s decision was based on the declining interest and participation in summer basketball programs around the entire region. Quite a few coaches have also been on our show this past year expressing concern about the lack of participation numbers in certain sports programs, most noticeably in basketball, baseball and several girls sports. It will certainly be something to watch over the upcoming weeks and months.

A couple of annual basketball tournaments were held over the last month, including the Holy Name July Tournament and this past weekend’s “AwesomeFest” (formerly SportsFest of Allentown.)

The Holy Name Tournament featured outstanding performances by the Northampton, Whitehall, Allentown Central Catholic and Notre Dame-Green Pond girls basketball squads.

This tourney also had decreased numbers of school participants but featured a great semi-final matchup in which Central Catholic edged Northampton 45-40. The Vikettes went on to win the championship over Scranton Prep later that same day.

“Awesomefest,” meanwhile, was dominated by teams from OUTSIDE the Lehigh Valley.  Dunmore captured the girls title and Reading High School defeated Lincoln of Philadelphia for the boys championship. Pocono Mountain West was another team that also impressed many before losing its semi-final matchup late Sunday afternoon.

We’ll begin to turn our attention to the fall sports programs as all local high school teams have now “officially” begun their preseason workouts this week.  On this Thursday’s SportsTalk TV show, we will start our fall sports previews by featuring the new head football coach at Allen High School.

Keep checking back for more fall sports previews as we get you ready for the upcoming seasons!

The Dog Ate My Homework

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.

An excuse explains why you are not responsible for the failure.  It is plausible deniability.

Every teacher has heard the cliché excuse from a student, “The dog ate my homework. ” I wonder if that excuse ever actually worked and whether a gullible educator ever accepted it.  I have my doubts.  In my many years teaching English, I heard many excuses why students did not read an assignment or finished a paper.

“I had to care for my sick mother.”

“My homework fell into a puddle on the way to school.”

“My computer wouldn’t power up.”

Creativity abounded.  Here at RCN, we used to employ a graphics person (who was very good at his craft, by the way). In fact, he now works for ABC in New York.  However, he was famous in the office for misspelling words and NEVER, EVER taking the blame for it.  This was astounding because there was no other person who could have been responsible for the mistake!  He, somehow, blamed the computer or there was a glitch in the rendering (both impossible, by the way).  Excuses abounded.

Just last week, during the British Open, Bryson DeChambeau had a particularly bad round of golf.  When asked why, he responded, “With the driver right now, the driver sucks.”  In other words, he took no responsibility for his poor performance.  He was swinging perfectly, but the piece of equipment was letting him down.  His equipment sponsor, who I am sure pays him millions to endorse their product, was not happy with his reasoning.

With the Olympics going on for the next few weeks, imagine if this “excuse” mentality becomes the norm.  We could be hearing the following:

Artistic swimming – “The water was too cold.”

Badminton – “The shuttlecock had seen better days.”

Beach Volleyball – “The sand was too hot.”

Boxing – “Mom, he hit me.”

Judo – “I couldn’t concentrate because he was making these awful sounds.”

Fencing – “His epee is longer than mine.”

Surfing – “Whatever ‘rad’ is, I didn’t have it.”

Baseball – “I did not catch the ball because the laces on my glove were not placed properly.”

Basketball – “I missed the shot because the rim was not properly attached.”

Soccer – “The soles of my shoes were coming off.”

Wrestling – “Eww, he was sweaty.”

The list could go on and on.  But the best excuse I ever read was:

Zambian tennis player Lighton Ndefwayl was in no mood to be graceful in defeat after losing to compatriot Musumba Bwayla in a local tournament in 1992. “Bwayla is a stupid man and a hopeless player. He has a huge nose and is cross-eyed. Girls hate him. He beat me because my jockstrap was too tight and because when he serves, he farts, and that made me lose my concentration, for which I am famous throughout Zambia,” he said.

I am done, not because I want to be, but the ink on my computer ran out.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. One of the early shockers in the Olympics so far has to be the 83-76 Men’s Basketball loss by the USA to France. That snapped a 25-game Olympic winning streak by the Americans dating back to 2004.  The real shocker came in the last four and a half minutes when the US team did not make a basket.  If the team is to advance, they must beat Iran and the Czech Republic.  Neither is a basketball powerhouse.
  1. I found the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics a bit too “artsy” and “classical” for my taste. It was beautiful and I always enjoy the parade of nations, but, overall, I would have liked a touch of “lightness”.  Perhaps, in the Covid environment that exists in Japan, this was the best approach.
  1. This week the Cleveland MLB team announced they will be dropping “Indians” from their name. They will become the Cleveland Guardians.  It will be official following the 2021 season.  You will have to wait at least another season for the NFL’s Washington Football Team to change their name.  They claim the new name is on the horizon.
  1. The Phillies are in second place right now. The first-place Mets are vulnerable due to injuries and the Phillies General Manager, Dave Dombrowski, has a history of deal-making.  Up next for the Phils should be a starting pitcher, a center fielder, and some bullpen help.  I doubt if they can fill all of the holes.
  1. Our Blue Mountain League baseball television coverage ends this Tuesday LIVE at 6:00pm. The game features the Limeport Bulls and the Egypt Orioles, both battling for the regular season championship.  Congratulations to the League for another successful season, their 75th.  The playoffs begin this weekend.  Join Chris Michael and me for the broadcast.

 

 

 

SPRING ALL-STARS 2021: ROUND 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.

Local administrators and athletic directors have started to send out their spring sports all-star lists–starting with the Eastern Pennsylvania Conferences All-Softball team members.

And this time, it’s personal.

I have three very good friends whose daughters play high school softball in the EPC.  I’m very proud to say that all three of those families have representatives on this year’s all-star lists…one isn’t even a senior yet!

With that being said (and I’m not going to show you any bias by telling you who they are), here’s the list of ALL of this spring’s All-EPC softball team award winners.  We also look forward to the other sports representatives sending out their end-of-the-season and end-of-the-year sports honors and achievements (email me at chris.michael@rcn.net) so that we can salute you here at the “RCN SportsTalk Shop.”

2021 EPC All Stars – Lehigh, Northampton, Monroe Divisions

We’d also like to salute the All-EPC singles tennis players from this spring featuring the teams in the RCN TV viewing area (we are still waiting to receive the “doubles tennis” all-stars from the official league chair).

Noah Potts, Freedom HS (League MVP)

Anthony Ronca, Liberty HS

Dan Zolotarev, Parkland HS

Curtis Gruber, Becahi HS

Quinn Erk, Emmaus HS

Josh Thomas, Parkland HS

Shayaan Farhad, Liberty HS

Eddie Chow, Emmaus HS

Jesse Coulter (Central Catholic HS)

Morning Call sports writer Dante Terenzio will be on the June 24th edition of “SportsTalk” to recap this past scholastic tennis season, as well as discuss local volleyball, wrestling and some other key sports topics. Tune in and set your DVRs so you don’t miss Dante’s insights!

Also, check back to the “SportsTalk Shop” blog for more spring all-star lists as they become available over the next several weeks!

Run For the Roses/Dollars

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.

Let me preface my blog by saying I DID NOT bet on the Kentucky Derby.  Also, I have never placed a bet on any online betting site.  Suffice it to say, it is not because I am unaware of how to do it.  How could I be?  Is it my imagination or is every other commercial on TV these days an enticement to get you to gamble online?  The ads make it look so easy.

Draftking, Parx Casino, Fanduel, BetMGM, and BetRivers are just some of the sportsbooks available to anyone who wants to place a bet from the comfort of their couch.  This practice has always sounded very, very dangerous to me.  Since gambling is both fun and adrenalin-pumping, doing it on my phone and in my house seems as easy as grabbing some beverage and chips.  I do not believe either activity is good for you.

This Saturday, like millions of others, I watched the “run for the roses” – the Kentucky Derby.  A once-a-year horse race, obviously the most popular in the US, is the perfect enticement for an average person to lay down a few dollars just to create a bit more interest.  Known as “the fastest two minutes in sports” and costing just $2 to place a bet, it is the perfect combination to watch the race, get your heart pumping, and scream at your TV as the horses come down the home stretch.

I can also assume it is a mecca for gamblers.  Take the case of Jim McIngvale who is the founder of Gallery Furniture and known as “Mattress Mack”.  He placed $2.4 million on Essential Quality to win the race.  Essential Quality was the favorite with 3-1 odds.  Ironically, it was the massive wager by McIngvale that created the low odds.  His reasoning for such a large bet was because he had offered to a free mattress to any of his customers who purchased a $3,000 or more mattress if his horse won.  His horse did not win.  In fact, the horse did not even finish in the money – Essential Quality was fourth.

Medina Spirit won the Kentucky Derby.  The horse was a big underdog at 12-1 odds.  If you bet $2 on him, you would have won $26.20.  If “Mattress Mack” would have bet on that horse with similar odds (even though I know the odds would have been less with his money on the horse), he stood to win $14.4 million.

Medina Spirit was a great story.  He was a huge underdog, took the lead from the very beginning (normally a sure sign that the horse would lose), and held on to the very end.  That’s right – wire to wire.  It was trainer Bob Baffert’s seventh Derby winner, the most of any trainer in the 147-year history of the race.  Baffert was honest afterward that he never thought his horse would win.  The story gets better when you realize the horse was purchased for around $1,000 and sold to the current owner for $35,000.  By winning the Kentucky Derby, Medina Spirit won $1.86 million.

That is a lot of roses!!

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. The Eagles appear to have had a good draft. They got a quality wide receiver, offensive lineman, a cornerback, a running back, a defensive tackle, and a defensive end.  By position, these were necessary picks – let’s hope that the personnel filling those spots prove to be worthy.
  1. If the trend continues, the Phillies can win or lose half their games and still finish in first place in the National League East. As I write this, they are 13-13 and currently in first place.  That seems like a rather low bar to me.
  1. As I write this, the 76ers have nine games left in the regular season (72 games this year as opposed to the normal 82). They are ½ game behind the Brooklyn Nets.  Winning the division could prove to be huge.  They do not play the Nets again.
  1. Congratulations to Jevin Muniz, Brendan Boyle, Tyson Thomas, and Liam Joyce. All were named to the Pennsylvania All-State basketball first team.  Central Catholic coach Dennis Csensits was named Coach of the Year.  This is exceptional representation from our area.
  1. I will be attending a press conference this week concerning tickets for the US Senior Open for 2022 at the Saucon Valley Country Club. The dates are June 20-26, 2022. Hopefully, we should be able to enjoy this great event with no restrictions.  Mark your calendar.

CLASSIC VIDEO SHOWPLACE: Flip Wilson

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 part of RCN’s celebration of Black History Month, we here at the “Showplace” are putting the spotlight on African American actors who excelled not just on the big and small screens but those who also inspired change with their courage and perseverance.

Born Clerow Wilson, Jr. in Jersey City, New Jersey, “Flip” was one of 10 children in his family who spent most of their childhood going from different foster homes.  As a 16- year old, Wilson lied about his age and joined the United States Air Force. His outgoing personality and funny stories made him popular — he was even asked to tour military bases to cheer up other servicemen. Claiming that he was always “flipped out”, Wilson’s barracks mates gave him the nickname “Flip” which he used as his stage name.

Discharged from the Air Force in 1954, Wilson started working as a bellhop in San Francisco’s Manor Plaza Hotel. At the Plaza’s nightclub, Wilson borrowed a technique from a very young Charlie Chaplin by finding extra work playing a drunk patron in between regularly scheduled acts. His inebriated character proved popular and Wilson began performing it in clubs throughout California. At first, Wilson would simply ad-lib onstage, but eventually he added written material and his act became more sophisticated.

Wilson perfected his comedy routines over the next decade, performing in larger and more well-known establishments, as well as landing guest starring appearances on television.

One of Flip Wilson’s funniest guest starring roles was playing the role of “Prissy” in a spoof of Gone with the Wind, opposite Lucille Ball as “Scarlett.”  He also made guest appearances on television’s biggest stages, like The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

In 1970, Wilson won a Grammy Award for his comedy album “The Devil Made Me Buy This Dress.”  When NBC was looking to capitalize on the variety TV show format, Wilson became an obvious choice to pilot his own program.

The Flip Wilson Show debuted in 1970 and was an instant hit.

In its first year the show catapulted to the top of the Nielsen ratings — finishing as the second most watched overall show during the 1970-71 season.  The series earned Wilson a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards, and at one point was the second highest rated show on network television. Wilson was the first African American to host a successful TV variety show (the multi-talented Sammy Davis also hosted a variety show in 1966 but the program suffered from poor ratings and was canceled after just one season.)

Probably the most popular character created on the show was Wilson’s portrayal of Geraldine Jones (which was Wilson dressed as a woman). Some of “Geraldine’s” most famous quotes are, “The Devil made me buy this dress!”, “Don’t you touch me, honey, you don’t know me that well! You devil, you!” and “What you see is what you get!”

Wilson also signed many popular singers to provide entertainment. African-American performers appeared on the show, such as Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Charley Pride, Johnny Mathis, Melba Moore, Roberta Flack and groups like The Temptations, The Jackson 5, The Pointer Sisters and The Supremes.

 

Wilson also featured many African American entertainers, ranging from comic great Redd Foxx to basketball legend Bill Russell.

 

Wilson recaptured the magic as the second season of his variety show also finished the year as the number two most-watched show in America.

 

In January 1972, Time magazine featured Wilson’s image on its cover and named him “TV’s first black superstar.”

 

Flip Wilson won one Golden Globe award in 1971 and received two other nominations in 1972 and 1973 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. The Flip Wilson Show received an additional Golden Globe nomination in 1972 for Best Television Series—Comedy or Musical.

 

The show maintained solid viewership numbers for its third year but slipped out of the top 30 during its fourth year and the ratings never recovered.

 

In 1979, Wilson made the decision to cut down on his performance schedule in order to spend quality time with his five children.

 

In 1984, Wilson hosted a revival of the show, People are Funny.  In 1985–1986, Wilson played the lead role in the CBS sitcom, Charlie & Co. Two of his last TV appearances were cameos on the sitcoms Living Single in 1993 and The Drew Carey Show in 1996.

 

Wilson died in 1998 from liver cancer at the much too young age of 64.

 

You can see one of Wilson’s most memorable television guest starring appearances on The Lucy Show on RCN TV.

 

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on RCN TV, check out the weekly listings here on our website.

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Mic: Professional Field Hockey – Who Knew?

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.

Amanda Magadan is, arguably, the greatest field hockey player to graduate from Lafayette College. So what you might say since the usual path for Lafayette athletes and
graduates is to go on to a very successful career in the business and professional worlds. Amanda’s degree in both Economics and Psychology would lead one to believe that is
exactly where she was headed. But, she had a different plan. She was invited to try out for the US Women’s National Field Hockey Team in 2017. She has not looked back. I caught up with Amanda this past week for an interview on PrimeTime Pards. But before I chatted with Amanda, her head coach at Lafayette, Jennifer Stone, gave some background on her star player (start at the 1:54 mark of the YouTube post):

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
1. The Tampa Bay Rays made sure that infamy would not accompany them if they lost a 3-0 series lead to the Astros by winning Game 7, 4-2, on Saturday. The Astros won games 4, 5, and 6 and were poised to be only the second team in history to win the series after being down 3-0. Many fans were rooting for the Rays after Houston was involved in a sign-stealing scandal that tainted their 2017 World Series title. Now the Rays will play in only their second World Series ever. They lost to the Phillies in 2008.

2. Wouldn’t you think with all the Covid related issues for Major League Baseball, there would be a twist at the end? It did not happen. The two teams with the best records during the season ended up playing one another in the World Series. The Dodgers defeated the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night to win the National League pennant. The Dodgers have the stronger offense and
the Rays have the stronger pitching. On to the World Series in Arlington, Texas.

3. We are six weeks into the NFL season and fans are starting to think Super Bowl. This past week should certainly make Steelers fans have high expectations. As long as Ben Roethlisberger stays healthy and their defense plays at the high level they currently employ, the Steelers look like the best team in the NFL. And the second best team (or still the best) is the current Super bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The NFC is up for grabs – you pick the favorite.

4. Eagles’ fans (some even allowed in the stands) had to be doing a lot of “what if…” this past Sunday. What if… they kicked an early field goal instead of not getting a first down on a QB sneak? What if… they did not go for two on their first TD? What if… two long passes were completed – one for a TD? What if… they were successful on the final two-point conversion to tie the game? The answer to all the questions may very well have been, “They would have won.”

5. With only two weeks left in the regular season schedule, our high school football games this week are Nazareth at Liberty on Friday night at 7:00pm and Freedom at Bethlehem Catholic on Saturday afternoon at 3:00pm. Both are LIVE.

Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 10-5; OVERALL- 64-25-1 – 72%)

Philadelphia
Green Bay
Detroit
Dallas
Buffalo
Cleveland
New Orleans
Tennessee
Seattle
Kansas City
New England
LA Chargers
Las Vegas

Summer Hoops 20 (Round 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.

We’ve been continuing to keep you updated on the latest news and rumors regarding any type of sports activity this summer.

While baseball and softball organizers have had a number of tournaments in and around the Lehigh Valley, the coordinators of local basketball events – although optimistic early last month that they were going to try to get something in – have had to cancel all of their plans for this season.  This includes the annual Catasauqua Tournament of Champions event, which RCN has broadcast for nearly 30 years. This August event usually brings back some of the biggest names in basketball and always makes for some very enjoyable moments. But, alas, even this event which featured older adults that wouldn’t have to get parents’ permission to participate, went by the boards and became another victim of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the meantime, as promised, we now bring you more never before published summer basketball pictures from previous seasons. Hopefully, we’ll start seeing some other high school sports events being played very soon.

See if your favorite athletes made this edition of our SportsTalk summer sports photo albums.

Beth Mowins – Role Model

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.

Role models are not always easy to find, nor are they always comfortable in that role.  For example, suppose you are a young girl with aspirations to become a television sports announcer.  Furthermore, you are not content to be a sideline reporter or an in-studio host.  No, you want to reach for the top – you want to be a play-by-play announcer and you want to do it in an environment that has been dominated by men.  In addition, you want to do play-by-play for the most popular sports in America.

Who do you look to as a role model?  Well, I have the answer – Beth Mowins of ABC, ESPN, and CBS.  She is a 1989 graduate of Lafayette College.  Beth was a college basketball star and sits in the top ten in eight of Lafayette’s statistical categories.  She handed out an amazing 715 assists in her career, which is 300 more than anyone else who ever played at Lafayette.

I had the chance to interview Beth on August 6 for Primetime Pards.  I think everyone will find her both informative and interesting.  The interview starts at the 3:30 mark on You Tube. Check it out.  Better yet, have your daughter watch: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxqQ1ApUUZM&feature=youtu.be

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. What could be more entertaining than watching the Sixers take on the Celtics in the first round of the NBA championships? The Celtics are seeded #3 and the Sixers are #6.  Philadelphia will play without Ben Simmons.  It should be a very entertaining series.
  1. Speaking of an NBA series that will be fun to watch, the #1 seed Lakers with LeBron will meet the Portland Trailblazers. They have Patriot League MVP and former Lehigh standout, CJ McCollum, as one of their stars.  McCollum scored 29 points (14 in the fourth quarter) in a “must-win-to-get-into-the-playoffs” game on Saturday.  I’ll root for McCollum!
  1. It appears the “bubble” concept for the NBA and the NHL is working quite well. Only three locations are being used and problems have been miniscule. Could the MLB and NFL have done something similar?  The NFL runs the greatest risk of problems with their travel schedule.
  1. As I write this, the Phillies have won three in a row and five of the last 10. Now they go on the road for the first time this year.  They are not bad, but their bullpen is just awful.  If they find a way to shore up that major weakness, who knows what they might be able to accomplish?
  1. After begging for someone to make a decision on fall sports in last week’s blog, guess what? There is still no decision.  The PIAA meets this week.  Will we get a final decision, then?

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Hoops ’20 (Round 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.

A few weeks ago here at “The Shop,” I promised to keep our fans apprised of any new developments in summer basketball activities.

While there’s been no activity as far as games played in the Lehigh Valley, there was some criticism about a huge AAU tournament held in the western part of the state – in a county where one of the most severe cases of increased positive Covid-19 numbers have popped up over the last couple weeks.

Unlike baseball and softball tournaments held recently, basketball athletes are in closer proximity to each other during games. The event featured people from different regions of the Commonwealth and, with no official testing done before or during the tournament, some were fearful this would advance the pandemic even further across the state.

Hopefully, time will reveal that these fears will not become a reality.

In the meantime, as promised, we now bring you more “never before published” summer basketball pictures from previous seasons to whet your appetite for full-time sports action coming back.

See if your favorite athletes made this edition of our SportsTalk summer sports photo albums.

Note:  All photos courtesy of Chris Michael.

HS Sports Update: July Edition

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 actually have been a few positive advancements for local sports returning in Pennsylvania.

Last week, a 12-team softball tournament, comprised of Lehigh Valley school teams, held a successful tournament.  This despite many people objecting to the games being played and a lack of adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols.  One team was photographed on the first day in a huddle with no masks anywhere present, social distancing was not always kept on the benches and most coaches and umpires were not wearing masks throughout the tourney.

Despite the detractors, the tournament went ahead as scheduled and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from RCN TV’s and The Morning Call’s Keith Groller, who stated that he felt the kids’ need to play outweighed the potential risks that could come out of participating in the event.

A similar event for baseball, featuring all but two Lehigh Valley schools plus four teams from outside the area, will take place in early August. The event’s organizers and a few local coaches will be on RCN SportsTalk on July 30 to preview this tournament and discuss ways they plan on keeping kids safe.

(As stated previously here at the “SportsTalk Shop,” RCN was first to report the news of this tournament back in April.)

Of course, it remains to be seen what schools themselves will be doing later this summer regarding their reopening plans.

On Friday, the Allentown Diocese announced that all Catholic schools will be opening on time and as scheduled this fall.

Meanwhile, a number of public school districts, including two of the largest schools in the Lehigh Valley, have already announced that their school year will begin with their students only reporting to school two days a week.

Another one of the larger school districts in the Valley – Northampton – announced last Friday that in-school attendance for students this fall will be “optional,” provided they stay in good standing and participate regularly in online courses.  If more schools follow suit, it will be an interesting challenge for coaches to conduct daily practices with their students not on the grounds prior to workout times.

Elsewhere…

For our Delaware Valley viewers, the Philadelphia sports governing body met last week and gave some direction for their upcoming sports year.  They declared baseball and softball among those sports that are listed with “moderate risk.” A few sports like tennis and golf were labeled as “less risk,” giving those sports a greater chance of having their season take place in some way, shape or form this fall.

For high school football (which nearly everyone can agree is a “high-risk” sport in terms of potentially contracting the Coronavirus)…the PIAA ruled at a meeting later last week that the season is going ahead as scheduled.

There have been rumblings that Pennsylvania could also move “less risk” sports to the fall and higher-risk sports to the spring, although a decision like that would need to occur very soon in order for all pieces of that puzzle to come together.

Current “fall” sports in the Lehigh Valley like golf, tennis and cross country could very easily conduct their competitions while adhering to current social distancing and safety protocols with minimal adjustments.

The PIAA also stated last Wednesday that it will move ahead with scheduled events regardless of how many schools or sports will or will not be able to participate.

So unless Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf objects (and he very well may), it looks like schools will have at least some scholastic sports activities starting by Labor Day.

We shall see.

I also wanted to alert our RCN customers that TOC President Eric Snyder was just on RCN SportsTalk to give an update on the status of his August tournament and, as a local guidance counselor, give his thoughts and suggestions on how we can help our young people adjust to this new normal and on how we can help them transition back to full-time sports activities.

(If you missed the interview, RCN customers can watch the interview in its entirety through RCN On Demand.)

Just one of the many insights Eric told me: even though some areas are still severely limiting the amount of outdoor sports activities, don’t be surprised if some traditional sports tournaments move their games to a different community that has lessened its social distancing restrictions.  It’s not uncommon right now in the Lehigh Valley to see some playgrounds completely restricting access yet see another facility fully packed with students playing – both sites a mile apart from each other.

Eric is also a guidance counselor and gave some great insights on how we can help our young student-athletes through this transition, as we try to get back to our “new normal.”  Snyder is also a Catasauqua baseball coach and had some great insights on the upcoming high school baseball tournament (that we highlighted above.)

There was also some controversial news elsewhere in the state regarding summer high school basketball that could have ripple effects for sports fans and participants in Eastern Pennsylvania…we’ll have more on that as part of our summer hoops update in next week’s blog here at “The SportsTalk Shop.”