Emmaus boys basketball head coach Steve Yoder has been a part of 11 season-ending locker room talks. Despite a loss in Saturday’s opening round of the state tournament, this year might have been the most pleasant he’s seen a locker room in his 11 seasons.
The Hornets, the fourth-place team out of District 11, played District 1 runner-up Coatesville tough for much of Saturday’s first-round state playoff contest. But Coatesville’s athleticism was too much to handle as the Red Raiders came away with an 85-74 victory behind 41 points from point guard Jhamir Brickus.
Emmaus was shocked early in its game against Allen in the District 11 Class 6A semifinals last week, as the Hornets fell into a quick 10-point deficit. It was too much of a deficit to overcome for the top-seeded Hornets.
The same issue arose three days later in the third-place game back at Freedom High School.
Everything seemed to be working in Caden Wright’s favor in Saturday’s 170-pound regional final. Everything except for maybe a few seconds in the second period.
Stroudsburg’s Lenny Pinto used a five-point move in the second period to help defeat Wright, 8-4, last week in the Northeast Class 3A Regional Tournament at Liberty High School.
It was the second time in a week’s span that Pinto defeated Wright for a championship. Last week it was for the District 11 Class 3A crown. But Wright seemed to have learned a few things from districts.
Caden Wright faced Stroudsburg’s Lenny Pinto twice already this season. Both times Pinto had gotten the better of the Emmaus junior.
Despite that, Wright was confident the third time was the charm with a district title on the line. Unfortunately, Pinto had other plans.
Wright fell to Pinto via an 11-5 decision in the 170-pound final of Saturday’s District 11 3A Championships at Liberty High School.
Ethan Parvel wasn’t in an Emmaus uniform last season when the Hornets advanced to the District 11 Class 6A semifinals. Or when they qualified for the state playoffs in 2018.
He was, though, when the Hornets took the court on Saturday night in the East Penn Conference Championship. And in his first season with Emmaus after transferring from Whitehall, Parvel isn’t just stepping in as a role player for head coach Steve Yoder. He is becoming a true leader.
Emmaus starts just one senior, and plays just one other in the regular rotation. While that bodes well for the future, a bit of the Hornets’ inexperience showed late in last week’s game against Liberty.
It turns out a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter wasn’t enough of a cushion. The Hurricanes (3-8 overall; 2-6 in EPC) finished the game on a 13-0 run to hand Emmaus a tough 34-31 defeat last Friday at Liberty High School.
Plenty of history was made in 2018 for the Cedar Crest College women’s volleyball team. And former Emmaus High School standout Tiffany Hoppes was at the center of it.
Hoppes even set some personal history this past fall with the Falcons.
Cedar Crest (18-8 overall, 6-2 in CSAC) won its first ever playoff match this season, defeating Clarks Summit University in five sets in the Colonial States Athletic Conference quarterfinal in late October. It was the first time the Falcons had been to the playoffs since 2012.
When Megan Forstburg was at Emmaus, she spent much of her high school volleyball career as a hitter. And a great one at that.
But when she arrived at Shippensburg, head coach Leanne Piscotty tried Forstburg out at a number of new positions.
“I came in my freshmen year and started setting, which was nuts,” Forstburg said. “And then in my sophomore year, [Piscotty] was like, ‘OK, you are going to play defense now.’ I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try.’
“I played defensive specialist my freshman year, and then got to libero my sophomore and junior years.”
One of the biggest college football rivalries continues its tradition when Army and Navy kick off on Saturday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. And one of Emmaus’ former stars will suit up for the rivalry his last time.
Andy Davidson, a senior running back for Army at West Point, is days away from the 119th meeting. It will be the second-to-last game for Davidson, who has had a remarkable college career at Army.
As the seconds ticked away during last week’s East Penn Conference field hockey championship, Emmaus found itself in unfamiliar territory. The unbeaten Hornets were tied with No. 2 seed Easton late in the game after the Red Rovers opened the game with an early goal.
But senior midfielder Kacie Patton, who was named a First Team EPC all-star prior to the game, was more than willing to play the role of hero.