Confidence is a great thing and there may be no team more confident than the Emmaus softball team right now. Not only have they opened the season at 5-0, but they've had to stage a comeback in four of those five games this season, including a 4-3 win over Hamburg and a 13-10 win over Stroudsburg on Monday.
Emmaus fell behind Hamburg early, 3-1, but battled back to tie the game 3-3 going to the seventh inning. Pitcher Laura Rau shut down Hamburg in the top of the inning and Emmaus quickly went to work in the bottom of the inning.
After disappointing losses to Nazareth and Parkland late last month, the Emmaus tennis team has rebounded nicely, winning four straight matches over Northampton, Southern Lehigh, East Stroudsburg North and Allen, upping its record to 6-2.
Number one singles player Matt FitzMaurice struggled through the Parkland match with a bad right shoulder, but has healed nicely and has gone back on a winning streak.
Softball coach John Eyer may need some new relaxation techniques before the season is over if his team keeps playing like they have in the first week of the season.
It's not that the team has played badly, they're off to a 3-0 start, but it's how they've gotten to that record that is causing the anxiety.
After a relatively easy 8-4 win over Allen to open the season, the Lady Hornets had to come from behind in each of their next two games.
After taking a quick 2-0 lead against Nazareth, Emmaus trailed 5-3 going to the bottom of the sixth inning.
Last season, Emmaus' boys tennis team gave Parkland a scare when it fought a prolonged battle on Emmaus' home courts. This year, the two teams met at Parkland and the outcome was different than it was a year ago, with Parkland sweeping all seven matches to move to 4-0 on the season. The loss drops Emmaus to 2-2 after back-to-back losses to Nazareth and now, Parkland.
Former Emmaus basketball standout Drea Watkins couldn't have asked for a better start to her college basketball career, especially considering the circumstances. Not only did Watkins have to adapt to the college game playing for Penn State Lehigh Valley, but she had to do so playing point guard, a position that she had never played before. The results turned out better than anybody could have hoped.
After losing 10 seniors to graduation coming into the 2014 season, the sting wasn't quite as great entering 2015 for the Emmaus boys tennis team, but it still took hits.
The big loss comes from the graduation of number two singles player Rowan Hobson, who won gold in the final LVC Tournament. Hobson also teamed with Matt FitzMaurice, who is now a junior, to form the top doubles tandem in the area.
Mike Mihalik takes over for his first season as Emmaus' baseball head coach and he's already had some challenges to face.
The opportunities for true practices have been almost nonexistent thanks to winter hanging on longer than Mihalik and his players would have liked. Fortunately for Mihalik, the other teams in the EPC are facing the same challenges, so at least everybody is on the same snowy footing.
Emmaus swimming may not have had the team outcomes that they had hoped for at states, but they came away with some pretty significant accomplishments, including something that hasn't happened in at least 20 years: a medal in diving.
Freshman sensation Jess Hurlburt came into the meet seeded third and finished exactly where she was seeded, thanks to a strong last dive that moved her up a spot.
Hurlburt, who won gold in the District 11 Championship, shook off some nerves to give a strong showing, especially considering it was her first time diving in a competition this big.
Emmaus softball head coach John Eyer is about ready to head out to a softball field with a blow torch to melt the remaining snow away so his team can practice on an actual field. For the most part, they've been in the friendly confines of the high school gym, with the exception of a couple ventures onto the parking lot.
"It's hard, because there's cars all over... it hasn't been easy," said Eyer, who is heading into his 16th season as coach.
Emmaus athletic director Dennis Ramella recently announced the hiring of Sarah Oswald as the new head coach of the girls soccer team. Oswald takes over for Rob Rooney, who coached the team through 10 seasons, with Oswald serving as a varsity assistant since 2011.
From the time that Rooney stepped down, Oswald was an obvious front-runner for the job thanks to her soccer background and connection to Emmaus.