Salisbury sought its fourth consecutive championship in the annual Fountain Hill Stickball Classic this past weekend. The Falcons came up short on that coveted four-peat, but the 9th Annual Stickball Classic was once again a success.
MFS defeated Hillers in the championship game, 7-4, but the most important part of the tournament went beyond the Fountain Hill Park and Holy Child Parking Lot macadam.
Salisbury’s historic girls soccer season last fall began with a successful summer in 2016 when the Lady Falcons won the Lehigh Valley Summer Soccer League. Fast-forward a year and the Lady Falcons found themselves in that very same title game.
And while Salisbury came up a goal short of repeating as champions, the future looks just as bright as a year ago.
When Salisbury faced Lincoln Leadership in the regular season, the Falcons fell into an early double-digit deficit. They were able to climb out of that hole before coming up a couple points shy.
The two teams faced off once again in the summer league playoffs last week and the game had a start that looked eerily similar. Salisbury however, couldn’t climb out this time as No. 6 seed Lincoln Leadership downed the third-seeded Falcons, 47-25, last Wednesday at Cedar Beach. Justin Ayala scored a game-high 18 points for Lincoln Leadership in the victory.
Even at a young age, people could tell Caylin Meikrantz was destined for special things on the soccer field. It wasn’t only her parents, relatives and friends who noticed it first.
“I would watch my brother play on his travel team, so I would always be like, ‘When is it my turn,’” Meikrantz said. “I just remember I would play a year up when I was young. It’s funny because one time this woman said to my mom, ‘Your daughter is going to be a Division I player.’ My mom and dad didn’t know much about soccer. They just let me play.”
Tyler Keller almost left one of the biggest decisions he ever had to make up to chance.
“It was the night before [and] I had to make my decision the next day,” Keller said of his college choice. “I had no idea what to do. I was torn between both of them because they both had the same pros and cons and same cost. It wasn’t my brightest move, but I flipped a coin—heads was George Washington and tails was Lehigh. And it landed on George Washington.”
But that’s not how Keller does business.
Salisbury’s biggest challenge on the basketball court is dealing with teams that have height.
The Falcons ran into three teams with plenty of size during last week’s SportsFest A-Town Throwdown tournament at Cedar Beach. And while Salisbury lost all three games in pool play, head coach Jason Weaver saw some positives despite knowing the obstacle that was in front of his team.
Salisbury knew what it would take on Sunday. A solid 14 innings of baseball and victories in both games of a doubleheader against Coplay would give the Falcons the regular season Lehigh Valley Legion championship.
The Falcons would needed a little more than 14 innings. After a convincing 8-1 victory in the first game on Sunday, Salisbury needed extra innings to get the job done in the night cap. But the Falcons were able to come from behind and secure the 4-3 victory in nine innings at Salisbury High School.
Salisbury may have not started the inaugural Cedar Beach Basketball Showcase on a strong foot, but it certainly finished on one.
After falling to Boyertown’s B team on Friday night to kick off the tournament, the Lady Falcons looked like a different team on Saturday. Not even 24 hours later, they began a string of three straight wins to advance into play late Sunday afternoon where their run came to an end.
The Salisbury legion team had a rare night off from playing a game on Monday, but head coach Scott Heppenheimer was still at work. He went to the Coplay and West Allentown game for a bit of scouting. He wasn’t the only one.
“I went to watch the Coplay and West Allentown game today, and there were five of my players sitting down the left field line watching their game,” Heppenheimer said. “That was kind of cool. They’re excited. We have work to do yet, but we are in a pretty good spot right now.”
Perhaps the biggest challenge lying ahead for head coach Jason Weaver is how he’s going to replace the size of Jaxon Costello, Ryan Slutsky and Eric Frankenfield.
If he can’t replace them, Weaver is hoping to at least mask their departures and his team is focused on that this summer.
The Falcons have adjusted to life without those three in summer league play so far. And most recently, they got a prime opportunity to gauge their progress in the inaugural Cedar Beach Basketball Showcase.