NFF holds LV Football Media Day
As high school football teams were just beginning their first week of preseason preparation last week, the National Football Foundation’s Lehigh Valley Chapter held its first ever Lehigh Valley Football Media Day.
Coaches from all 33 teams in the NFF-LV area were invited to come to Northampton High School’s Erdosy Stadium with their team captains to talk about the upcoming season.
“I would say it’s about time,” Northwestern Lehigh head coach Josh Snyder said. “The Schuylkill League does a league event. I would love a Colonial League Media Day. For an organization to step up and have a Lehigh Valley media day is great. The kids deserve it. The program’s deserve it. It’s fun and it’s exciting.”
Parkland fullback/linebacker Nick Suriel, whose team is a six-time defending District 11 champion, said it was nice to see the competition on friendly terms before meeting them again with the pads on. But the event was more about celebrating the sport they love.
“This is cool to see our competition,” Suriel said. “We know most of these kids in the Lehigh Valley. At the end of the day it’s all about everyone in the Lehigh Valley coming together for a sport they love.
The Trojans will be a favorite to continue their success, but several teams shouldn’t be too far behind, including last year’s Class 4A district champ Bethlehem Catholic, District 11 Class 6A finalist Freedom and an Emmaus team that returns most of its skill players and added transfer quarterback Ethan Parvel, who was one of the top QBs in the league last year at Whitehall.
“I’m excited because I have a bunch of great kids,” said Hornet head coach Harold Fairclough. “It’s one thing to have talented kids, but when they work hard and do what you ask them to do and seem to enjoy doing it with each other it seems to make a difference.”
Bethlehem Catholic is coming off a run to the state semifinals, where it lost to Imhotep Charter. Parkland got to the state quarterfinals in Class 6A, while Freedom entered districts as a six seed and reached its second consecutive district title game last season.
In the Colonial League, Palisades went 10-0 for last year’s league title, while Southern Lehigh was 9-1.
Salisbury sent senior captains Jacob Kamp, Dan Jennings and Delano Mackenzie to the media day event.
The Falcons are coming off a 4-6 regular season. They reached the District 11 Class 3A playoffs last season but fell in the first round to Lehighton.
“We have a team goal of getting to districts again,” said Kamp, a three-year varsity starter who has played every offensive skill position as well as linebacker and safety. “Going into this season we worked a lot and we definitely have a good team chemistry this year.”
Last year injuries and low numbers forced a lot of freshmen and sophomores into action on Friday nights. This year those players bring that experience and it should lead to a few more wins this year.
“The experience we were getting is essential,” said Mackenzie, a three-year varsity player who will play cornerback and wide receiver this season. “My sophomore year I got a lot of time on special teams as well as offense and defense. That really prepared me for my junior year.
“We’ve been to districts two of the past three years and we haven’t won a game yet. We have a goal of getting above .500. We want to get to districts and want to win a district game.”
The Falcons numbers are up this year and they have been working hard to improve the program.
“Our weight room numbers were pretty good this year,” said Jennings. “We had a lot of new kids come out along with the kids that have been here. We got a lot stronger and faster.”