NFF holds LV Football Media Day
As high school football teams were just beginning their first week of preseason preparation last week, the National Football Foundation’s Lehigh Valley Chapter held its first ever Lehigh Valley Football Media Day.
Coaches from all 33 teams in the NFF-LV area were invited to come to Northampton High School’s Erdosy Stadium with their team captains to talk about the upcoming season.
“I would say it’s about time,” Northwestern Lehigh head coach Josh Snyder said. “The Schuylkill League does a league event. I would love a Colonial League Media Day. For an organization to step up and have a Lehigh Valley media day is great. The kids deserve it. The program’s deserve it. It’s fun and it’s exciting.”
Parkland fullback/linebacker Nick Suriel, whose team is a six-time defending District 11 champion, said it was nice to see the competition on friendly terms before meeting them again with the pads on. But the event was more about celebrating the sport they love.
“This is cool to see our competition,” he said. “We know most of these kids in the Lehigh Valley. At the end of the day it’s all about everyone in the Lehigh Valley coming together for a sport they love.
The Trojans will be a favorite to continue their success, but several teams shouldn’t be too far behind, including last year’s Class 4A district champ Bethlehem Catholic, District 11 Class 6A finalist Freedom and an Emmaus team that returns most of its skill players and added transfer quarterback Ethan Parvel, who was one of the top QBs in the league last year at Whitehall.
“I’m excited because I have a bunch of great kids,” said Hornet head coach Harold Fairclough. “It’s one thing to have talented kids, but when they work hard and do what you ask them to do and seem to enjoy doing it with each other it seems to make a difference.”
Bethlehem Catholic is coming off a run to the state semifinals, where it lost to Imhotep Charter. Parkland got to the state quarterfinals in Class 6A, while Freedom entered districts as a six seed and reached its second consecutive district title game last season.
In the Colonial League, Palisades went 10-0 for last year’s league title, while Southern Lehigh was 9-1.
After going 9-11 over the past two season, Snyder and Northwestern are looking to get back into contention this season.
“Due to some of those circumstances we played a nucleus of younger kids, especially at the skill positions and even across the line,” said Snyder. “They were in some close games, even played in a postseason game. We have a core team that if we out-work our opponent each week in practice and we go play focused, team football, I think we’re going to be a tough team to beat. I don’t know if we’ll win every game, but I think we’ll be a tough team to beat.
“In the Colonial League, so many teams each year pop up out of the grass. Hopefully we’ll be one of those teams this year. We’ve had two mediocre seasons and we’re looking to elevate our game. We’re focused on tomorrow’s practice at this point. If we can take one practice at a time and one rep at a time, when it’s time to play for real I think we’ll be ready for whatever comes.”