The Emmaus girls track and field team finished off an undefeated season last week to earn a share of this year’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title with an 11-0 record. The Hornets will share this year’s title with 10-0 Stroudsburg, which did not face Emmaus in the regular season.
The Lady Hornets completed the perfect season with a 103-47 win over Central Catholic last week. Emmaus girls captured first place in 13 events with 10 different individuals earning victories and all three relay teams crossing the tape first.
Despite Parkland’s untarnished record in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, head coach Roxann Betz and the Emmaus girls’ lacrosse team didn’t fear the Trojans heading into last week’s late season meeting.
Then the Hornets nearly pulled off the upset.
Emmaus, which was tied with Parkland early in the second half and trailed by one midway through it, came up just short against the league’s dominant team.
The Trojans (15-2 overall; 10-0 in EPC) scored four of the final five goals to down the Hornets (10-7; 6-4) last Thursday at Parkland High School.
Unlike most seasons, there was no clear favorite to win this year’s District 11 boys tennis team title. Any of the top four teams felt they had as good a shot as the others to bring home the trophy.
Nazareth came into the tournament as the top seed with an undefeated record. Parkland, the No. 2 seed, entered the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the area.
Emmaus came into the final week of the regular season with its task easily defined, but not necessarily easily achieved.
The Hornet softball team had to find two wins among its final three games of the season to reach districts. That task includes games against Whitehall (7-8 EPC, 11-8 overall), East Stroudsburg South (3-12, 3-15) and Central Catholic (3-13, 3-15).
With Whitehall being the toughest of the three games, the Lady Hornets didn’t shy away from the challenge and wanted a win against the Zephyrs to start their week.
Thirty nine seconds. That’s all that was left for the Emmaus boys lacrosse team to earn a victory in its regular season finale. But in lacrosse, thirty nine seconds can be a long time.
In a back-and-forth emotional roller coaster of a game, the Hornets were two goals ahead with that much time left on the clock. But Parkland scored twice in that span to force overtime, and then scored the golden-goal 49 seconds into the overtime to win a thrilling Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game, 15-14 Monday night at Parkland High School.
The plan was for Emmaus and Northampton to play their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The weather didn’t cooperate and left the teams to just hang out at the soggy field dreaming about what it might have been like to play there. Fortunately, there are a lot of other things to do in Cooperstown, not the least of which is a tour through the Hall of Fame museum.
Earlier in the week, the Emmaus boys volleyball team was dealing with injuries. Not having lost a set in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference play all season, the job was a bit harder without some of its regular contributors.
But after another unscathed week, the Hornets were back to full strength when they needed to be most. Facing Whitehall, the second-place team in the EPC, first-place Emmaus defeated the Zephyrs in three games, 25-12, 25-22 and 25-14 last Friday night in front of a packed gymnasium on the Hornets’ senior night.
It might have been his first time in the District 11 tennis finals, but it was clear last week Sean Jaeger was ready to play at the highest level high school tennis has to offer.
Taking on Nazareth senior Gabe Knowles, the top seed in the tournament, No. 2 seed Jaeger, an Emmaus High School freshman, showed poise and court savvy en route to his 6-3, 6-3 win in the Class 3A title match.
“I know Gabe’s a big hitter, so I was trying to stay as consistent as I could,” said Jaeger. “Gabe played really well. It was a tough match.”
When Emmaus beat Pleasant Valley very early in the season, the Hornets won in convincing 5-2 fashion as the Bears got off to a 1-5 start. Fast forward to the District 11 team tournament and that 1-5 team came in at 13-5, riding a 12-match winning streak.
For third-seeded Emmaus, the red hot sixth-seed Pleasant Valley wasn’t necessarily a great draw, but Hornet head coach Dimitri Diamandopoulos also saw some bright spots in the matchup.
After a lopsided loss to Parkland the first time the teams met this season, the Emmaus baseball team looked forward to Monday’s meeting against Parkland. The Hornets surely remembered the 14-run shelling the Trojans put up in one inning the first time around.
Monday’s game went right down to the wire. And in dramatic fashion, a 4-3 Trojan win that was far different than the 17-1 drubbing a few weeks ago.