With two of the Colonial League’s best big men, Salisbury’s inside game was dominant at times last year.
But with graduating much of that talent, this season’s squad will feature a drastically different style of play.
Forwards Jaxson Costello (a Colonial League First Team all-star) and Ryan Slutsky (honorable mention selection) headline a group of six graduates from last year’s team that went 20-8 and qualified for the PIAA tournament.
In the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks had to search around for porridge, a chair and a bed until she found the one that was just right. For senior basketball player, Bri Hart, her search through three different coaches in her four seasons appears to be ending with the one that’s just right.
A lot has changed since Kelsey Gallagher was named the new head coach of the Lady Hornets this past July. The team had a good showing in both the summer league and its own EHS Fall Classic, and the system and style of play have both been completely overhauled.
With five wrestlers graduating who combined for over 100 wins last season, the Emmaus wrestling team will look for an injection of new talent while a few of its veterans attempt to take a step forward this season.
First-year head coach Nick LeFevre likes what he’s seen so far and is hopingthe team can improve on last year’s 12-7 record that included a berth in team districts as the No. 11 seed.
Swimming coach Tim O’Connor can’t quite put his finger on the reason, but there just are fewer girls coming out for the swim team than there have been in the past.
While the boys team is well stocked, the girls side has much less depth and a senior class of just one. The lack of depth has made O’Connor a little more inventive when it comes to putting things together.
One of the things that O’Connor is stressing is taking his swimmers – boys and girls – out of their comfort zones.
Last season, the Northwestern girls team featured a senior class of one: Paige Stitzel. The result was a lot of younger players getting opportunities for quality minutes, giving the Lady Tigers plenty of experience coming into the 2017-2018 season.
After having that one-player senior class last year, head coach Chris Deutsch has six seniors on this year’s roster. The experience of the seniors and the development of the underclassmen from last season are good, but adding a couple of impressive freshmen to this year’s team gives depth and offers Deutsch plenty of options.
Talking with Emmaus swimming coach Tim O’Connor recently, he actually used the term “rebuilding.” Keep in mind that the term has a different meaning when you talk about Emmaus swimming than it usually does, especially on the boys side of the team, which has 10 straight District 11 team championships to its credit.
Once again this year, Emmaus is going to be one of the local powerhouses on both the boys and girls sides of the sport.
Beyond that is where the rebuild comes in.
The recent Fall Classic at Emmaus High School was a success in raising money for the American Cancer Society. This year’s edition featured 11 girls varsity basketball teams and four girls JV teams who battled each other over two days.
For the weekend, the event, which is organized and run by the Three-Point Club at Emmaus, raised $500 for the American Cancer Society.
Both the Emmaus varsity and JV teams were successful on the court as well, with both teams finishing with a 4-1 record.
The Emmaus boys basketball program had one of its best seasons in school history last year. The Hornets went 22-7 overall and were 7.9 seconds away from clinching a berth in the state semifinals before falling to Carlisle 78-74 in double overtime of the PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal round.
Emmaus used a high-powered offense to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Skyline Division, reach the District 11 Class 6A semifinals and win two games in the state tournament, the most in program history.
Emmaus saw their hopes for a third straight PIAA championship come to an end with a 3-1 loss to Downingtown West. The loss snapped an 81-game winning streak for the Lady Hornets, who finished the year at 26-1.
While the season fell short of another championship, it was not without its highpoints. The team did capture their 29th straight District 11 Championship when it downed Easton 2-1 in overtime at the Zephyr Sports Complex in Whitehall. Emmaus also captured the EPC Championship, beating Liberty 3-1.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference recently announced it’s 2017 girls volleyball all-star team.
Emmaus had two players named to the first team and two on the second team.
Junior Caroline Bond and senior Adelina Woolard-Rivera earned places on the EPC First Team, while senior Georgia Traynor and sophomore Macy Van Den Elzen earned second-team recognition.
Rachel Hess of Central Catholic was named the league’s MVP this season.
The following are this year’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference girls volleyball all-stars: