The excitement of the Emmaus boys basketball team’s historic 2016-17 season is in the rear view mirror. A new group of Hornet players took the court in front of Lehigh Valley fans recently as the Allentown Summer Basketball League recently got underway.
With the graduations of four-year varsity players David and Matthew Kachelries, along with program staples Eric Cichocki and Daryn Lewis, the Green Hornets are looking for new leaders to step up and take control of the team.
It was just another match. Just like every other match against an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference opponent this season. The Emmaus boys volleyball team had taken down every league foe that it faced in 2017 and added one more to the total last Thursday night at Allen High School. But this one carried a bit more importance.
The Hornets swept Whitehall by scores of 25-16, 25-23, 25-21 and won the District 11 Class 3A championship last Thursday for their first title since 2013. They are 19-0 against EPC teams this year.
The Emmaus boys lacrosse team had to be happy to look across the field and see another team besides rival Parkland.
The last two games that the Green Hornets played were against the Trojans, and both were losses, 12-9 in the regular season finale and 13-9 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals.
After two straight defeats, Emmaus was looking for some momentum and wanted to keep its 2017 campaign going when it hosted Pleasant Valley in the first round of the District 2-11 Class 3A boys lacrosse subregional tournament.
Back on April 28, many inside the Whitehall High School gymnasium thought that the two best teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference were on that court. The atmosphere and high level of play during that midseason game showed signs of things to come. And three weeks later, Emmaus and Whitehall met again, this time for the league title.
Having to play three games in four days this week to finish out the regular season, Emmaus needed its pitchers to make the most of their allotted innings. Last Monday night a senior took the initiative.
Matt Lanzone went six innings, giving up just five hits and two runs in leading his team to a 7-2 win against Nazareth at Emmaus Community Park.
After a successful first-year in college, Emmaus High School gradaute Trey Hinkle wanted to make a change. The 2015 graduate suited up for Centenary University baseball in his first college season. And he immediately made an impact at the Hackettstown, NJ, school.
He was named to the ECAC Division III South Region First-Team and was the D3baseball.com Mid-Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year.
Emmaus girls lacrosse head coach Roxann Betz, in her first year at the helm, saw a lot of good things from her young team last Saturday afternoon.
Earlier in the week, the Hornets saw their undefeated mark in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference come to an end when they lost to Easton. They had won the previous five league contests, including a one-goal victory against defending champ Parkland.
At the beginning of the season, Emmaus’ third-year boys volleyball head coach Ken Dunkle knew he had a lot to make up for in production lost from graduation, but the talent was there.
Consistency was the key thing Dunkle wanted to see from his team if it was to accomplish its goals of postseason titles.
If the first four weeks of the season is any indication, the Hornets are heeding the word of their coach and playing consistently.
Winning cures all, and the best remedy for a loss is following it up with a win. That’s just what the Emmaus boys lacrosse team did last week over a two-day span.
After a 12-8 defeat to defending Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Easton last Monday, the first loss of the season for the Green Hornets, they followed up less than 24 hours later, taking down Liberty 13-0 last Tuesday night at Memorial Field.
It was a welcome sight for sixth-year head coach Scott Ketcham.
Every year at the start of a new season, there are fresh faces around, whether it is the players or the coaches. This year, the Emmaus girls lacrosse program will have a new leader running the show in Roxann Betz, who takes over for previous head coach Nancy Debellis. Betz was an assistant coach for the program the last three years and knows what is expected.
“I am excited to take on a new role within our program,” said Betz. “It is my task to help these girls learn a brand-new system under a first-year coach.”