What Did We Learn?

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.

The first weekend of high school football in the Lehigh Valley is completed.  And as in the past, we learned virtually nothing about the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and a great deal about the Colonial League.  This has been the case each year since the EPC was formed back in 2014.  The same can be said about the Colonial League.  Good for the Colonial League, not so good for the EPC.

The EPC South always opens up their football schedule against the EPC North and, with very few exceptions, the South routs their northern opponents every opening night.  This past weekend was no exception.  Just check out the scores:

Liberty 42 Pleasant Valley 0
Easton 56 Pocono Mountain West 7
Nazareth 35 Pocono Mountain East 7
Emmaus 62 Allen 6
Central Catholic 38 Allen 6
Freedom 68 East Stroudsburg North 14
Bethlehem Catholic 54 East Stroudsburg North 14
Parkland 41 Northampton  0

The lone North winner:  East Stroudsburg-South 37,  Whitehall  28

So what did we learn or, in this case after four years, NOT learn once again.  The EPC which basically forces this schedule upon the teams does neither division ANY good.  The South always opens up with a glorified scrimmage, which really helps neither team – one team walks to a victory while the other team starts with a demoralizing defeat.  The years of our powerhouses opening games against the likes of North Penn, or one of the Philadelphia schools, went away when this new league was formed.

It’s time to re-evaluate the independent schedules thrust upon the North and the South.  If you are going to keep this league as it is (and that is a topic for another blog), allow some leeway in the scheduling.  It would help both divisions.

Now the Colonial League is the direct opposite in their structure.  Due to the number of teams, there is no room for any independent games.  All games are League games.  The excitement of opening night far exceeds that of the EPC.  And that proved out with a big game between  Saucon Valley and Southern Lehigh.  Southern Lehigh was favored and Saucon won 27-13.  Northwestern upset Colonial League pre-season favorite in a nail-biter by a 42-41 score in overtime when they kicked an extra point.  Pen Argyl beat Salisbury  17-16.  Palisades,  Bangor, and Northern Lehigh won by larger margins, but each of those games were important because they count in the standings.

I am well aware that the EPC will not change their division alignments, but the time has come to allow the South to schedule more competitive games outside the Conference.  It would benefit everyone. 

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. It looks like players and officials are beginning to understand what the helmet rule means. There were 51 penalties for lowering the helmet in the first two weeks and just nine this past week.  Officials are not penalizing “inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or facemask”.  If the initial contact comes from another part of the body (shoulders and arms), officials can ignore the helmet contact.  Rest assured, most fans will not understand this.  Let the booing begin.
  1. Imagine being asked the same question every single day when the answer is always the same. That just might get frustrating.  Just ask Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.  Every day after practice, Pederson talks to the press and every day he is asked about the health and expected return of Carson Wentz.  He cracked a bit on Sunday.  “I don’t know how many times I can answer this question… ask it a different way or you’re going to get the same answer.”  Everybody’s getting more tense – it must be getting closer to opening night.
  1. I am not one to put ANY stock into NFL pre-season games, but it would have been a bit comforting for the Eagles to beat the Browns or to maybe just score a point against the Browns or, perhaps, have Nick Foles look like he knew what he was doing against the Browns. Just saying…
  1. The Phils are fading, not just from the NL East, but also from the Wild Card standings. They certainly need to regroup and refocus.  Some timely hitting and better bullpen production wouldn’t hurt either.
  1. RCN-TV will present a great early season inter-city rivalry game between Bethlehem Catholic and Freedom on Saturday LIVE at 7:00pm. Mike Joseph, Tony Cocca, John Bowman and I will be there to call our first game of the season.  Can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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