High School football got under way Friday night across the state. Several teams from the Lehigh Valley Press coverage area posted big wins to open the season.
Defending Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Emmaus opened its season with a 62-19 win over Dieruff to open the 2017 season.
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.
Nobody could have predicted the game that Salisbury and Hatfield-Towamencin played in their first round game of the Region 2 playoffs for Legion baseball.
When all was said and done, the teams scored 42 runs on 38 hits and 13 errors as Hatfield downed Salisbury 26-16, sending the Falcons to the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament.
The Salisbury Falcons had the dubious distinction Saturday of being rained out twice on the same day against the same team, but at different sites. Their Lehigh Valley Legion winner’s bracket game against South Parkland should have been played at Salisbury High School, but rains left that field unplayable. The game was moved to Parkland High School, whose field was in much better shape. Then came a late afternoon storm that made that field unplayable.
With three games left in the Allentown Summer Basketball League season, defending state champ Reading sits atop the Large-School Division, while undefeated Faith Christian leads the Small-School Division.
Teams will have off Thursday while many partake in this weekend’s A-Town Throwdown, which is part of the annual SportsFest. The summer league will be back at Cedar Beach on Tuesday, July 18.
LARGE SCHOOL DIVISION
Reading 7 - 1
Central Catholic 7 - 2
Allen 4 - 2
Bangor 7 - 3
Wilson West Lawn 7 - 3
Dieruff 6 - 3