When Lily Schmitt started to look for colleges, she cast a wide net and considered a number of schools. Some of them were close to home, some would have provided more of an adventure away from home. Some were big schools and some were on the smaller side of the spectrum.
In the end, the recent Emmaus High School graduate found her perfect fit at Dickinson College in Carlisle.
As the Lehigh Valley looks to move further away from the slumber imposed by COVID-19, a week-long version of a high school baseball season could take place before summer comes to an end. Area coaches and athletic directors have put together a plan for a high school baseball tournament that would be played in early August. The tournament would have 32 teams from local schools placed into eight pools of four teams each, with teams guaranteed of playing at least three games.
When Jude Negron started looking at colleges, in addition to getting a good education, he had two items on his checklist. The first was to have a good baseball program and the second was that the school was close to home. The first option was so that he could extend his baseball career and be in a strong athletic environment like he was with the Emmaus baseball team.
As for proximity, Negron knew he wanted to be close so friends and family could see him play and he could make it home for some weekend fun with his family and friends.
As a freshman, Andrew Gaines had the experience of winning a District 11 championship with the Emmaus soccer team. His goal was to win another, and to have an even larger role in helping his team to the title.
The team came close in each of the next two seasons but ultimately fell to first Parkland and then Freedom in the district finals. As a senior though, Gaines and the team broke through, beating Whitehall 1-0 in overtime to have gold medals hung around their necks.
Wyatt Henseler has known for a long time that he wanted to extend his high school baseball career to the Division 1 college level. He’s also known that going to a Division 1 school for baseball alone wasn’t part of the plan.
The school had to have a great academic curriculum to give him something more than just four more years of baseball. In addition to those needs, Henseler wanted a school that was relatively close to home so he could continue to spend time with his family.
In the early 1970s, Steve Ramer was on the Emmaus High School baseball team dreaming of going further with his baseball career. Ramer was good enough to catch the eye of scouts, including some from his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates and from the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Pirates were interested in Ramer, but he was still in high school and not allowed to be signed. The Phillies caught him after high school and signed him to a minor league contract that saw him start his career with the Pulaski Phillies in 1974, where Ramer hit .369 in his first season.
If things would have played out the way Matt Madigan envisioned his senior baseball season, the Emmaus Hornets would be playing in the EPC playoffs this week after what figured to be a good season for the team. They would have been looking for a league crown and momentum to take into the District 11 playoffs and then into states.
Instead, he’s finishing up classes for his senior year online and might not step onto a baseball field for a competitive game until next season at Moravian College.
For John Ferris, the choice of a college was made a little easier by taking the advice of a friend. Cameron Brooks, who was a year ahead of Ferris at Emmaus High School, made the choice to attend Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.
Brooks’s head start in college allowed Ferris to get his thoughts on FDU and quickly close in on making a college choice.
Tatum Kresley was going to be a class of one on this year’s Emmaus varsity softball team.
Kresley, the only senior on the team’s roster, spent her first two varsity seasons playing for Bethlehem Catholic before transferring to Emmaus for her junior season so she could finish out her high school days with friends she grew up with.
Kresley quickly made her impact known when she broke the team record for hits in a season last year with 51 hits.
Last spring the Emmaus softball program put together its best season in some time. The Hornets reached the semifinals in both the East Penn Conference and District 11 playoffs. Graduation did take away five players, including Hannah Palinkas and Abby Bartels, their top pitcher and catcher, respectively. Even with those losses, the team was in a good position to improve on its 2019 season.