Nobody really wanted to admit it, but the softball game between Emmaus and Parkland was kind of a big deal. Not only are the two teams rivals who are both pretty good, but first-year Emmaus head coach Brittany Frederick-D’Agostino took over at her alma mater this year after serving as Parkland’s pitching coach the past few seasons.
The game remained scoreless through eight innings when things suddenly became very interesting in the ninth.
When two coaches who have seen their share of weird things happen in baseball agree that one particular inning was extraordinary, you know there had to be a lot going on. That was how both Emmaus coach Mike Mihalik and Parkland coach Kurt Weber viewed the fifth inning of Friday’s game that ended with a 17-1 loss for Emmaus.
In the inning, 13 straight batters reached base for the Trojans and they scored 14 runs on 13 hits, 10 of which were singles. Three walks and an error also helped the Parkland rally against three different Emmaus pitchers.
When John Eyer retired as the coach of the Emmaus softball team at the conclusion of last season, one of the reasons he gave for the timing was that he the program had a very promising future and he wanted to leave the team in good shape for the next coach. The recipient of that plan was Brittany Frederick-D’Agostino, who took over the team this season and has been able to open the season with a 3-0 mark.
Dennis Ramella has filled his office with memorabilia of his life and career. His penchant for Syracuse University is evident in the framed team jersey and photos from Syracuse sports.
A line of NFL helmets, including an Eagles helmet autographed by Bill Bergey, lines the top shelf of a book case. His prized possession is a football autographed by 1951 Heisman Trophy winner Dick Kazmaier.
There’s a story behind just about every picture, jersey or other collectible in his office. It’s a second-home to Ramella and he’s made it comfortable for himself.
Mike Mihalik enters his fourth season as the head coach of the Emmaus varsity baseball team. That means this year’s seniors are the first group of players that he’s had all the way through their high school careers. After losing a number of key players to graduation, Mihalik will lean heavily on seniors Adam LeMaster, Evan Marushak, Ryan Kayse, Brendan Lynch and Gunnar Schichtl for production this season.
For Dennis Ramella, his favorite day of the year isn’t when one of his teams is playing in a big game. In fact, his favorite day of the year doesn’t take place on a field, a court, a mat or in a pool.
It takes place in the school’s auditorium when student athletes sign their national letter of intent to attend a college where they’ll not only get a great education, but also be able to continue their athletic career as well.
The Emmaus High School girls swimming team seemed to get stronger as the season went on. The Hornets culminated their season with a sixth-place finish in the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships last week at Bucknell University.
Junior Chelsea Gravereaux celebrated with appearances in finals of four events, two each in individual and relay. Her highest finish came in the 100-yard butterfly where she finished fifth and she placed tenth in the 100 freestyle for her individual swims.
Emmaus junior Madison Orobono got involved in playing indoor field hockey as a way to keep playing the sport after her high school season ended.
That desire turned into an opportunity that put her on a world stage as part of the United States Women’s National Indoor Team that for the first time ever, played in the FIH Women’s Indoor World Hockey World Cup in Germany last month.
It wasn’t a typical morning when Dennis Ramella sat down to talk about his career in high school athletics.
He was coming off a weekend as the chairman of District 11 swimming that saw him go from having everything ready to go at Parkland High School for the district swim meet to having his whole world turned around by a Nor’easter.
The storm knocked out power at Parkland High School and with no idea on when the power would be back, the decision was made to pick up the whole event and move it to Emmaus High School.
Ironically, Emmaus boys swimmers took home just one gold medal at the District 11 Swimming Championships over the weekend, but the Hornets put together enough strong performances to take the team championship easily, besting second-place Parkland 489-313.5 in the team standings. The championship is the 11th straight for Emmaus in District 11 swimming and diving.