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.
The District 11 Swimming and Diving Championships saw the Emmaus girls team finish second behind Parkland. The only member of the Emmaus girls squad that qualified for the PIAA Championships was freshman diver Jess Hurlburt, who had won the District 11 diving competition.
A number of swimmers posted their personal best times while competing at districts, which was held last Friday and Saturday at Parkland High School.
For the eighth straight year, the Emmaus boys swimmers can call themselves District 11 Champions. With a total of 422 points, Emmaus had pretty well wrapped up the title early on in the meet, which was held last weekend at Parkland High School. Liberty placed second with a total of 285 points, while Parkland finished third with 269 points. Southern Lehigh and Freedom rounded out the top five finishers in the team competition.
The District 11 Diving Championships had both exhilaration and disappointment for Emmaus divers.
On the girls side, freshman Jess Hurlburt captured first place and a spot in the PIAA Championships, which will be held next month at Bucknell University. On the boys side, Andrew Vanim made it look like Emmaus would have another champion, but struggles over his final three dives dropped him from first place to third, leaving him just short of a place at states.