Derek Holmes has had a lot of successes over the past couple years at Northwestern Lehigh.
He’s played in states in both basketball and baseball, reaching the state semifinals with the Northwestern baseball team in 2018. In football, the 2018 team reached the semifinals of the District 11 playoffs and the finals of the Eastern Conference playoffs the previous season.
For his accomplishments, Holmes has been named this year’s Northwestern Press Male Athlete of the Year.
For three games in a row, the Northern Valley Chargers had their backs against the wall. A loss to undefeated South Parkland on Friday forced them to play the rest of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs one loss away from being eliminated.
The situation didn’t faze the Chargers. They played some of their best baseball of the season after that second-round loss in the double-elimination LVL playoff tournament.
Northern Valley won three straight games to get another shot at South Parkland in the tournament finals.
Like every other Lehigh Valley Legion team, the Northern Valley Chargers were bitten by players missing games for one reason or another.
Chargers head coach Brad Rauch stressed to his players how important it was to honor their commitment to the team, but it’s summertime and families have vacations and there’s a lot going on. Nobody knows that better than Rauch, who found himself with his family in Lake Seneca, NY as his team won two games on Sunday and then faced the potential of two games against South Parkland early this week for the LVL championship.
The Northern Valley Chargers (7-9) have been inconsistent to say the least over the past week. They’ve gone from an 11-1 loss to Carbon to a 13-1 win over Emmaus, only to follow up the Emmaus win with a loss in the second game of a double-header, 9-2.
A slide late in the regular season dropped the Chargers from a potential third seed down to a fifth seed, taking away the chance for a first-round home game, where the Chargers have played pretty well.
The Northern Valley Chargers faced something of a perfect storm Monday when Lower Macungie rolled into New Tripoli. The Chargers were missing two key players, their pitching was thin and the Mustangs have spent the last week pounding the ball on a four-game winning streak that brought them back to the .500 mark on the season. The result was a particularly bad storm that saw the Chargers fall to Lower Macungie in a 16-2 loss.
After a stretch of 10 days off, the Northern Valley American Legion baseball team has had a tough time getting back into the win column.
The Chargers were on a three-game winning streak when rains wiped out a big chunk of their schedule. Since returning, Northern Valley has dropped games to North Parkland, South Parkland and Salisbury.
Against North Parkland (8-3), Northern Valley looked to work its way back from a 7-3 deficit.
The Colonial League released its all-star team last month during the league championship tournament.
The first team was made of mostly of players from Northwestern Lehigh and Notre Dame (Green Pond) as all but three players selected to the first team were not part of the two league finalists.
The Tigers’ Derek Holmes, Rafe Perich, Nick Henry and Carter Welch all earned first-team honors, while teammates Nathan Goodolf and Connor Snyder were named to the second team. Welch, who made first team as a pitcher, earned honorable mention as a first baseman.
The Colonial League released this year’s softball all-star team last month during the league playoff tournament.
Northwestern saw six players honored, highlighted by pitcher Emily Akelaitis’ named to the first team as an at-large selection.
Tiger teammate Molly Mitman was named to the second team, while Ashley Sisco, Brynn Balliet, Morgan Farthing and Anna Akelaitis earned honorable mentions.
The following is this year’s All-Colonial League softball team.
The Northwestern Lehigh baseball season consisted basically of two long winning streaks. The first one went seven games after a season-opening loss to Saucon Valley. Then, after a 7-2 loss to Blue Mountain, the Tigers rattled off 11 straight regular season wins. They entered the postseason at 18-2.
Throughout the season, Northwestern and North Schuylkill, who also finished at 18-2, seemed to be on a collision course that would end in districts. North Schuylkill was the defending champion in the 3A classification, but was moved up to 4A for the 2019 season.
Three student-athletes from Northwestern Lehigh will continue their academic and athletic careers at Division 1 schools next season. The three were among a group of 21 student-athletes who were saluted recently in the high school gym, signing letters of intent to attend various colleges and universities.
Madeline Consuelos will run track at the University of Michigan, while Elena Smargiassi will attend the University of Connecticut and will play field hockey and Maggie Motolese will continue her soccer career at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York.