Devon Bollinger’s first varsity football game was a start at quarterback for Northwestern Lehigh during his freshman year. In his first two seasons he took his share of lumps as the team struggled to find an identity and Bollinger struggled to find a rhythm. Now in his junior season, everything could be coming together for the six-foot, four-inch signal caller.
It always seems that when one is tired, things go wrong. That was the case for Northern Valley late this season, and in particular against regular season champion Salisbury last Friday.
The Chargers played 17 games in a 14-day span and were simply worn out. It showed as they committed six errors and seemed a little rough around the edges against the Falcons.
The six errors led to four unearned runs that helped Salisbury to an 8-3 win.
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.