A number of area teams have already qualified for the district playoffs even though that tournament is still a month down the road. The Allen and Emmaus boys basketball teams, both who are ranked in the state Class 6A rankings, have already cemented a spot.
But when those district tournaments do tip off starting on February 21, the scene will look slightly different than in years past. The biggest change fans will notice is the increase from four PIAA classifications to six based on student enrollment numbers.
Much like the entire season has been so far for the Emmaus wrestling team, head coach Jeff Arbushites might not have been sure how his team would fare over the weekend at the Zephyr Duals.
The results, however, were impressive for the Hornets.
Emmaus completed a successful day at Whitehall High School with a second-place finish in the 16-team event on Saturday. The Hornets won their first three matches before falling to High Point Regional out of New Jersey in the championship match, 48-21.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference schedule didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Emmaus wrestling team when it hosted Northampton last week. The Konkrete Kids left little doubt from the beginning of the match, defeating the Hornet grapplers 57-9.
Hornet head coach Jeff Arbushites and those Hornets were in dire need of a bounce-back performance sooner rather than later. Emmaus wasted little time in getting back to its winning ways
Heading into last week’s District 11 Class 6A semifinal against Freedom, Emmaus had already accomplished much more than any Hornet football team in recent memory. Its 10 wins were tied for the most by any Green Hornet team.
One more win would have qualified top-seeded Emmaus to play for a district title. Instead, it turned out to be its toughest loss of an impressive season under first-year head coach Harold Fairclough.
Despite all of her success in her first three years of high school golf, Emmaus senior Sam Fritzinger could not put a round together at regionals that warranted her a trip to the PIAA Golf Championships. It was the only notch on her belt that she was missing.
But after a strong showing at regionals following her third straight district championship, Fritzinger cracked that elusive state stage. And when she got there, she put together a performance that was right with the top female golfers in Pennsylvania.
Emmaus figured its defense would have to play well to leave Cottingham Stadium with a victory, a place it hasn’t won at in years. But it’s hard to imagine the Hornets knew how great their defense would actually play last Friday night against Easton.
She may not be perfect on the district stage, but she’s pretty much as close as she could be.
After seeing her teammate Kelsey Patterson set the bar with a district title in Sam Fritzinger’s freshman season, the Emmaus senior has not only built off that success, but has taken it to another level. Fritzinger shot an 81 to edge Pottsville’s Rachel Brahler for the District 11 Class 3A girls championship on Monday at Locust Valley Country Club. Monday’s win was Fritzinger’s third straight district crown after coming in 11 strokes behind Patterson four years ago.
Emmaus senior Sam Fritzinger knows exactly what it feels like to be a champion. The former Eastern Pennsylvania Conference girls golf champion and a two-time district winner was once again the favorite heading into last week’s EPC Golf Championships.
She put forth a performance that left no doubt why she’s become the area’s top female golfer in the high school ranks.
Fritzinger captured her second straight EPC title last Monday at Bethlehem Golf Club with a round of 79. She finished 16 strokes ahead of the next girl finisher, teammate Belle Keopraseut with a score of 95.
It didn’t take long for Salisbury to get its first real test of the season. Last Fridays’ 19-5 loss to Northwestern, last year’s district runner-up, sent the Falcons to .500 after two weeks.
But fast-forward to week three in the Colonial League football schedule, and Salisbury has an opportunity to get back on the winning track. Wilson (0-2) will host the Falcons (1-1) on Saturday afternoon for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
Through two games this fall, the Emmaus boys’ soccer team has yet to score a goal. Despite that scoreless stretch of 180 minutes, it’s hard to imagine that head coach John Cari isn’t a bit satisfied with his team’s start.
In the season opener against rival Parkland last Friday, Emmaus played to a draw against the host Trojans in the teams’ first of two Red Card Cancer games that help raise funds and awareness for those dealing with the disease. It’s the fourth year Emmaus and Parkland have joined together for the cause.