There’s no question that 2018 was a tough season for the Salisbury boys’ soccer team after missing the postseason and finishing with a 5-12-1 record (4-8 in Colonial League).
But the good news is that head coach Mark Allinson returns a lot of experience for the upcoming fall season. Early on, the Falcons have been much more positive and upbeat than in the past, and he hopes that translates into more wins on the pitch and a trip back to postseason soccer.
With starting running back Timmy Buda injuring his ankle a couple days before Friday’s season opener and playing at less than 100 percent, Salisbury junior running back Chad Parton felt an extra need to step up. And he did in a big way.
Parton scored three touchdowns—one each on offense, defense and special teams—as Salisbury (1-0) pulled away in the second half for a 25-16 win over Pen Argyl (0-1) on the Falcons’ home turf on Friday night.
Salisbury football head coach Andy Cerco remembers last year’s ending against Pen Argyl vividly. The Green Knights scored a last-second touchdown to secure a 17-16 win over the Falcons. And it was on a play that Cerco and the Falcons expected Pen Argyl to run.
“You think about it all the time, but you have to move on,” Cerco said. “We knew it. Our kids knew it. We just didn’t make the right choice at that particular time.”
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference ecently named its preseason favorites in both the East and West divisions during the league’s preseason media day. West Chester was tabbed to finish as the top team in the East Division, while Slippery Rock leads the West Division poll.
Last week was the opening week of high school football practice in the Lehigh Valley, which is used as a heat acclimatization period.
But Thursday night had a different feel for the Salisbury High School football team.
The entire Salisbury football community, from the youth through the high school team, came together and practiced on the high school’s field. It was a special evening for kids of all ages to come together and practice for a sport they all are passionate about.
Northampton pitcher Justin Aungst took a few steps off the mound towards the Giants dugout in the fourth inning, having thought a called third strike was coming from the home plate umpire. Instead, the former Salisbury ace had to walk back up the dirt after a called ball.
Limeport’s Damin Muth singled on the next pitch to bring home the Bulls’ first run of the game, leaving Aungst visibly upset.
There were plenty of teams from outside the Lehigh Valley area that competed in the A-Town Throwdown basketball tournament. Out of the 44-team varsity pool, more than half of the squads were not from District 11.
Salisbury was in a pool with three of those out-of-area teams, and despite going 0-3, the Falcons’ coaching staff saw a number of positives at Cedar Beach Park two weeks ago.
The Salisbury boys basketball team played 22 games last winter season as it fell short of qualifying for any postseason tournaments. This summer, it has played over 30 games since May.
The Falcons’ run came to an end last week in the Cedar Beach Summer League playoffs. Lincoln Leadership, the No. 6 seed in the small school division playoffs, defeated the No. 3 seeded Falcons, 45-37.
Salisbury won over 20 of those games this summer and enters the high school season on a confident note after winning the Bash at the Beach tournament as well in July.
With many high school sports requiring 12 months of the year of dedication and training, a number of athletes have devoted their careers to a single sport. The days of athletes competing in all three high school sports seasons seems to be dwindling.
But 2019 Salisbury graduate Erica Holben may be one of the few left of a dying breed.
It may sound a bit cliche, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a student with as much courage and willpower than recent Salisbury High School graduate Delano McKenzie.
And you can say that about both his athletic career and life outside of school.
When McKenzie was just 17 years old, he welcomed a beautiful daughter into his world named Isabelle. He wasn’t even legally labeled an adult yet.