Several former Emmaus High School athletes competed on college teams during the fall season. Here’s a look at some of them.
Moravian College senior Greg Jaindl will compete in this weekend’s NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in Kentucky. Jaindl qualified for nationals by placing fourth in the Mideast Regional 8,000-meter run in 24:48.8, tied for the best finish at regionals in program history. He came in second place at the Landmark Conference Championship 8,000-meter run in 26:23.43 and was named an All-Conference First Team selection.
Sal Pagano and Brett Poling were teammates on the Emmaus football team until their graduation in 2016. After high school, the two friends stayed together both in school and on the football field with both deciding to attend Moravian College.
They also added a new role as roommates and that’s lasted through all four years of their college careers.
The Emmaus field hockey season came to an end recently with a 1-0 loss to Wilson in the PIAA Class 3A semifinals. The loss was the first of the season for Emmaus, which finish the season at 26-1-0. Wilson went on to defeat Lower Dauphin 2-1 in a shootout to take the state championship.
Like most teams, Emmaus came into the season with plans for winning a state championship. For much of the season that dream stayed alive and the team stayed right on track with gold medals in both the East Penn Conference and districts.
There was a tough awakening though in states where the Hornets went up against District 1 opponent Lower Merion and left the pitch at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown on the wrong end of a 1-0 game.
In the rubber match against the Emmaus and Parkland girls volleyball teams, neither team gave in, and several sets were decided by just a few points. One set even went well past the 25-point victory.
And the beat goes on. Make it 31 straight District 11 championships for Emmaus field hockey under head coach Sue Butz-Stavin, the winningest coach in high school field hockey history.
The Lady Hornets beat Easton 4-1 in the district finals to take home more gold and give Butz-Stavin the 969th win of her career, stretching the team record to 24-0-0 this season.
It wasn’t a historic passing night for Freedom and it wasn’t a mercy-rule victory, but it was enough to push the Patriots into the District 11 Class 6A semifinals following last week’s 42-21 win over Emmaus.
Instead of passing at will on the Hornets like Freedom did during their regular season encounter, the Pates (10-1) churned out 243 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns to eventually pull away from a feisty Emmaus (5-6) squad.
The Emmaus boys soccer team fought its way to a District 11 championship with wins over Stroudsburg in the semifinals and Whitehall in the finals. The win over Stroudsburg featured a combination of strong outings by both the offensive and defensive units, while the win over Whitehall was led primarily by the defense, which delivered shutouts in both games to get the wins to secure district gold and a trip to states.
It ended on a mid-autumn Saturday afternoon in a town made famous for chocolate. It ended after a superb regular season and a district title and only after some life lessons had been learned.
The Emmaus girls cross country team concluded a successful season with a 12th-place finish in a field of 19 schools at the PIAA Class 3A girls race last Saturday in Hershey. The Green Hornets accumulated 263 points in the race, with an average time of 20:29.
It’s often said that defense wins championships. In football, coaches talk about the defense needing to be strong as the key component of winning. In baseball, it’s all about pitching and keeping the other guys off the base paths. It’s much the same in soccer.
A good defense can make up for any potential shortcomings on offense and keep a team strong enough to win a championship. Fortunately for the Emmaus boys soccer team, there’s a solid offense helping to drive the team, but wins begin and end with the defense.