East Penn Press

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Low numbers make it hard for Emmaus to compete

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by TYLER TRUMBAUER Special to the Press in Sports

ESPN airs a weekday show entitled Numbers Never Lie. It is program that features debates over sports' trending topics in which arguments are focused around statistical and numerical aspects of each debate. If there was an episode about Emmaus's Youth Legion baseball team, it would be one outstanding statistic.

Only 13 players tried out for the team.

First-year youth leagion head coach David Phillipes was just trying to keep the program alive. He was unsure if he would be able to field a team. After accepting 12 of the 13 individuals that tried out, Phillipes thought he was set for the season. However, the preseason eliminated one more player from his already thin roster.

"In the fourth scrimmage we lost our best player, Joey Jacobs," Phillipes said. "He proved to me in the little time that we saw him that he was very talented, but unfortunately he suffered a compound leg-fracture and was on crutches for the rest of the season."

Battling low numbers and a key injury, the Green Hornets compiled three wins and 14 losses this summer. Those three victories were earned against Easton, North Central and Nazareth. Their 3-1 victory over the playoff-qualifying Blue Eagles was a quality win.

Phillipes also pointed out that his squad defeated North Parkland, who finished fourth in the regular season standings, in a Memorial Day weekend tournament before the season got underway.

The former Emmaus Legion assistant talked about what went right for his team.

"We eliminated errors in the games that we won," he said. "If we had four errors or less in a game, those were the games we won. In the games we lost we had 7-10 errors a game. Fielding was a real issue for the young team. If you look in our scorebook, we lost games because of fielding, period."

Two bright spots for the Green Hornets were Blaise Kollar and Tristan Rismiller. Both are young, talented players who played their way in to the Lehigh Valley Youth Legion Baseball League's All-Star Game and represented Emmaus against the league's elite.

Phillipes mentioned that every player on the tam improved during the course of the season. He said he would have "three or four players" deserving of a Most Improved Award.

This being Phillipes's first time as a head coach in youth legion, he learned just as much as the players did this season and he said we would love to come back next season if asked.

"I don't regret taking this team," he said. "I loved this team and every minute of the season. I had a great time with every player and I'd love to do it again."