The District 11 Class 3A playoffs may officially be out of reach now as the Salisbury football team enters the final week of the regular season, but the Falcons still are playing for something in Week 10.
Saturday at 1:30 p.m., Salisbury (2-7) hosts Southern Lehigh (7-2), which has locked up a district playoff spot itself in the Class 5A ranks.
The last time Salisbury won a Colonial League girls soccer championship was in 1996. By all accounts of anyone asked around the team and school, that was also the last year Salisbury was playing for a league title. To put that into perspective, none of the current players on the Lady Falcons’ team were born yet.
With a win two days earlier in the semifinals against Saucon Valley, Salisbury was on the cusp of its first league championship in two decades. Instead, Southern Lehigh had plans of winning its second league crown in as many seasons.
In some ways, Friday’s game against Pen Argyl was kind of a mirror image to Salisbury’s game at Palisades a week earlier. Salisbury faced the mercy rule early in the third quarter of both games, falling behind 35-0 in back-to-back weeks.
But in some ways it wasn’t. Despite falling 35-7 last Friday night at Salisbury High School, the Falcons showed much more intensity on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, the result was kind of similar after falling 42-20 the week prior.
Following an impressive 2-1 start to the season, the landslide on the football field continues for the struggling Salisbury Falcons.
Salisbury captured its last win back on Sept. 10, a 31-21 road win over Wilson. Five straight losses for Salisbury has the team searching for answers with two weeks remaining in the regular season. The Falcons hope some of those answers can come to light on Friday night at Palmerton High School.
Meredith Makhoul recalls the playing days of her field hockey career when she suited up for Salisbury in the early 2000s. In her first two seasons, the Lady Falcons had qualified for both the Colonial League and district tournaments.
Since then, Salisbury has not tasted postseason play in field hockey. But that drought came to an end this season due to enrollment realignment in the PIAA District 11 classifications.
The Salisbury girls tennis team hasn’t had much success in the district singles and team tournaments in recent years.
But this year’s Lady Falcons have seemed to reverse that trend with their recent play in districts.
Salisbury football head coach Andy Cerco won’t make any excuses. But when ya team begins a game without its leading rusher and a few other players, then loses a number of other offensive weapons mid-game, the task gets a bit more difficult.
Regardless of who was and was not on the field on Friday night against Palisades, Salisbury put forth a performance that Cerco wasn’t pleased with. And it started just seconds into the game.
It’s early in the week, but after last Friday’s performance against Palisades, one message is being preached around the locker room at Salisbury High School.
“After watching film with them, there were plays in the game where we were doing what we were supposed to and things were successful,” football head coach Andy Cerco said. “It’s just focusing on being more consistent. They believe in each other. The coaches believe in the fact that they can come out and play. We just have to get to the point where we’re consistent.”
The Salisbury girls tennis team recently capped a successful regular season. League victories over Notre Dame (Green Pond) on back-to-back days brought Salisbury’s Colonial League record to 11-5. To put that into perspective, that was three wins less than the prior three years combined.
But the Lady Falcons’ success didn’t stop when the regular season ended. When last week’s Colonial League flighted tournament completed, Salisbury saw a number of its players finish among the top.
If everything fell into place and senior Ryan Slutsky played his best, he hoped to compete for Monday’s Colonial League individual golf championship or at least put in a top-five finish.
Placing in the top five league competitors would have automatically qualified him for the district tournament in October, exempting him from the stressful district qualifying round.
However, Slutsky’s round didn’t go exactly as he planned Monday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.