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.
The Emmaus girls swim team captured four individual gold medals and two more in relays at the District 11 Swimming Championships over the weekend. The event, usually held at Parkland High School, was moved to Emmaus after a power outage at Parkland Friday night forced the postponement of the schedule and necessitated moving the meet to Emmaus.
Katie Champagne and Chelsea Gravereaux each captured two individual gold medals at the meet. Gravereaux took gold in the 100-yard butterfly and the 100 freestyle, while Champagne finished with gold in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke.
For a while, it looked like Emmaus had a very real shot at winning both the boys and girls Eastern Pennsylvania Conference swimming and diving championship trophies.
The boys took an early lead over Parkland and stretched it out throughout the meet, while the girls used their underdog status and put up a hard fight before eventually falling to the rival Trojans, who took the girls championship. The boys kept the EPC championship securely in the trophy case at Emmaus.
Calling it “my favorite part of the job as athletic director,” Dennis Ramella launched into a celebration of 11 student athletes from Emmaus who signed letters of intent recently. The signers represented eight different sports and earned 48 varsity letters during their high school athletic careers.
Among the student athletes who signed their letters of intent at the ceremony were Jess Hurlburt (diving), Olivia Ann Krogermeier (field hockey), Patrick McAllister (swimming), Elizabeth Ninesling (lacrosse) and volleyball players Abigail Perkins and Adelina Rivera-Woolard.
It’s very possible that a few years down the road, if you suffer an injury of some sort, someone from this year’s graduating class from Emmaus will be treating you in one way or another. Of the 11 student athletes signing letters of intent last week, five of them are heading for careers in the medical field.
Hunter Krauss (Lacrosse) and Adam LeMaster (baseball) are both heading to college to study physical therapy. Krauss will attend the University of Hartford, while LeMaster is going to be attending East Stroudsburg University.
For the 14th straight season, the Emmaus boys have captured a conference championship in swimming, but this season had to share the honor with Nazareth with the two teams finishing with identical 12-1 overall records, 11-0 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference records and 3-0 division records. The two teams also shared the title following the 2016-2017 season.