The Northern Valley Legion team is proof that you can have too much of a good thing. The Chargers season started late because of Northwestern Lehigh’s long run into the PIAA playoffs. Most of the Chargers players come from Northwestern, so the season didn’t open until after the Tigers were eliminated from the postseason. Then, a rainout postponed the start of the season for three more days so that the Chargers first game wasn’t until June 12.
After a successful 2017-2018 school year that saw one Tiger boys team reach the state title game (soccer), another win its first district title in several years (baseball) and every other boys team qualify for the postseason, several of the players from those teams had opportunities to play in college.
At a recent letter of intent signing ceremony, eleven athletes from Northwestern boys sports announced their college intentions. One is headed to the Division 1 level, while three are going to Division 2 programs and seven others will play in Division 3 or junior college.
Northwestern High School recently held a letter of intent signing ceremony at which it honored student athletes that are going on to compete in college sports.
Nine Lady Tiger athletes will join women’s’ programs in college next season. Three are headed to Division 2 schools and six will compete in NCAA’s Division 3.
For Nic Henry, the approach was simple: put the ball in play and run hard.
That’s exactly what the Northwestern freshman did with the bases loaded and the District 11 Class 4A championship game with Central Catholic tied 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning. As he headed down the first-base line, Henry wasn’t quite sure whether or not he had just knocked in the game-winning run, but he figured that out pretty quickly.
“I just wanted to get to first as fast as possible,” said Henry. “I didn’t know what was going on behind me. I just ran through the bag.
Playoff baseball is always exciting, but when you get to play big games in big venues it becomes even more exciting. During Northwestern’s run to states they’ve been able to play games on some pretty big stages. It started with a regular season game at Scranton’s PNC Field, home of the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. From there, they reached the district semifinals with a win at Lehigh University’s Legacy Park. The finale, their first District 11 championship since 1989, came at the home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Coca-Cola Park.
As a sophomore, Caleb Clymer finished sixth in the state in wrestling and followed that up with a third-place finish in his junior season. He captured gold this season in Hershey, following his brothers Ben and Scott as PIAA gold medalists. Those credentials helped him earn a choice of scholarships from a number of schools and he recently made Lock Haven his choice.
Northwestern baseball had its streak of three straight appearances in the Colonial League finals snapped with a 4-0 loss to Southern Lehigh in the semifinals.
The game started last Tuesday at Parkland High School and was finished three days later at Hamburg Area High School because of rain. Hamburg was chosen because its turf field that would provide a drier, more stable playing field than natural grass that had been soaked by rains.
Len Smith wrapped up his long run as the Northwestern baseball coach with the 2015 season. Duran Porrino coached the next season, Bob Fatzinger took over for a season before Porrino returned this season. While the coaching has changed over the past four years, one constant for the Tigers has been behind the plate where Tyler Wiik is now a senior. He has been camped out in that role for each of his four high school seasons.
Nic Henry has a way of making a good first impression on his coaches. For football coach Josh Snyder, Henry rushed for 100 yards against a good Southern Lehigh team in his first varsity start as a running back. On Saturday, Duran Porrino put him in the starting lineup against Northern Lehigh for his first varsity action with the baseball team and the freshman didn’t disappoint in Northwestern’s 13-0 win over the Bulldogs.
“I’m pretty good friends with coach Snyder and I know he had a big varsity debut for him, so I guess he likes making debuts,” said Porrino.
The season didn’t finish the way that the Northwestern girls had hoped that it might. While an 18-6 season, including a 16-2 finish in the Colonial League is impressive, this team had hoped for more. After breezing through much of the regular season, the Lady Tigers found just one obstacle in their way; Southern Lehigh.
The Spartans (24-2) simply weren’t going to be beaten, which is one reason why they’re still playing basketball in states. Southern Lehigh took gold in District 11 and easily won their first-round matchup in the PIAA tournament.