While both teams entered Thursday's Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys volleyball clash without a blemish on their league records, the Hornets knew the task at hand against Parkland would be a tough one.
After dropping the first two games 25-13 and 25-18, respectively, it looked as if Emmaus had found its rhythm. However, every time the Hornets threatened in the third game, Parkland had an answer and eventually won the game 26-24.
Emmaus guard Tyler Prescott was the lone senior on the Hornets' basketball team this season. The Hornets' unquestioned leader on and off the court didn't have the luxury of playing with other upperclassmen.
On Saturday, Prescott got a taste at what it feels like to play with some of the top seniors in the area.
In the second game of Saturday's Via All-Star Basketball Classic, Prescott scored eight points for the South all-stars. Despite coming up short to the North team, 105-82, Prescott left a lasting imprint in the final game of his high school career.
When Emmaus' track and field season begins, one of the Hornets' biggest question marks revolves around replacing a highly talented senior group from a year ago.
That group was headlined by Hanna Brosky, who earned three District 11 Class AAA gold medals and a fifth-place finish at states in the 400-meter dash. Amber Blunt also won gold three times at districts, including two relay teams to go along with her first-place finish in the 200-meter dash.
The Emmaus boys' lacrosse team watched each of its previous two seasons end with district championships.
When 2015 begins and the Hornets start their chase for that third consecutive district crown, there will be both familiar faces returning and key departures that need to be replaced.
The Hornets (18-5 overall in 2014) believe they are ready for that challenge as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference schedule opens next week.
Hanna Brosky has had a solid inaugural winter season for the Lehigh University track and field team. In the Mountain Hawks' indoor season, the freshman had top times of 1:00.23 in the 400 meters, 1:16.63 in the 500, and 2:21.78 in the 800.
Luini Ortiz, a sophomore at Northampton Community College, returns for his second season on the baseball squad. As a freshman, the first baseman/outfielder batted .329 with 19 runs and 19 RBIs. Of batters with more than 30 at-bats in 2014, Ortiz had the third-highest batting average.
Southern Lehigh's Travis Edmond and Whitehall's Jacob Buskirk were separated by one seat at Sunday's Lehigh Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame banquet.
By the end of the 55th annual awards ceremony at Northampton Community Center, the two shared the evening's prestigious award.
Of the 34 high school football scholar-athlete nominees, Edmond and Buskirk were recognized as the award winners. It was the first time since 2011, when Bangor's Scott LaValva and Nazareth's Chuck Dibilio won the award, that two athletes shared the honor.
The first day of spring, Friday, March 20, is a little more than a week away, but like recent years, high school spring sports teams are in a familiar position in early March.
A late winter with periods of heavy snow have once again caused baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track and field teams' issues with their outdoor practice schedules that began last Monday, March 2.
With less than four minutes to play and the Hornets holding an eight-point lead, Emmaus head coach Steve Yoder gave his team an ultimatum.
Following a Northampton field goal that pulled the Konkrete Kids to within 56-48, Yoder challenged the Hornets' defense to allow just one more bucket the rest of the way. Allowing two or more field goals would result in the Hornets running in practice in the ensuing days.
In his first two years on the Muhlenberg College football team, Bryan Auvil and the Mules could almost taste it. But almost wasn't good enough to get the Mules over that coveted hump they had been looking to top.
In 2014, however, that all changed for the junior offensive lineman and the Mules.
After finishing with two Centennial Conference losses in each of his first two years, seasons that ended without a trip to the NCAA Division III tournament, Muhlenberg made another jump in 2014.
For over 30 minutes, Emmaus/Pleasant Valley and Phillipsburg held each other scoreless in a battle of two teams hovering around .500 in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League.
Emmaus/Pleasant Valley broke that scoreless game in the final two minutes of the second period, but every time they went ahead, Phillipsburg had an answer.