It wasn’t quick and it sure wasn’t easy.
But after over two years of discussions, debates, arguments and compromises, the Colonial League and Schuylkill League came up with a cooperative football scheduling agreement that allows 28 teams to play their 10 regular season games against more opponents from schools of a similar size.
Officials from both leagues announced the agreement Thursday at a press conference at Blue Mountain Resort. The agreement will take affect in 2020 and schedules for the first two seasons were handed out at the event.
Officials from the Colonial and Schuylkill leagues held a press conference Thursday announcing their new cooperative football scheduling model, which will take affect in the 2020 season.
The 12 Colonial League football teams and 16 from the Schuylkill League will form four divisions based on enrollments and PIAA Classifications. While Colonial League president Bryan Geist insisted the move was not a merger, the cooperative in effect creates a new 28-team league.
“It’s not a perfect system, but we’re getting closer,” said Northwestern Lehigh athletic director Jason Zimmerman.
With a win over Hamburg last Thursday, the Northwestern girls basketball team completed its nonleague schedule without a blemish.
The Tigers started fast and pulled away in the second half last week in a 49-31 win on the Hawks’ home floor.
That completes a 5-0 nonleague slate and allows Northwestern (9-1 overall) to focus entirely on Colonial League games the rest of the way.
There might not be a wrestling team in the area that has to replace as strong of a graduating class as the one Northwestern said goodbye to last year.
The Tigers had four state qualifiers last year, and all are gone, including state champ Caleb Clymer.
Northwestern had two primary goals last Friday night. The Tigers wanted to get off to a quick start on offense. Defensively, they wanted contain Saucon Valley’s explosive running back.
They did both in a 49-28 win that knocked the Panthers from the ranks of the unbeaten and put a damper on their Homecoming.
“One of our points of emphasis this week was to get out to a fast start,” said Northwestern head coach Josh Snyder. “We felt like we could get ahead and maintain a lead we could get them uncomfortable offensively.
The Northwestern girls cross country team had something to prove at Tuesday’s Colonial League Championships.
The Lady Tigers had big plans for this season. They were going to go unbeaten in the Colonial League and continue an unbeaten streak that included a 24-0 record in 2017.
Many of this year’s juniors and seniors were part of the program’s last win streak, which spanned 134 victories and ended in 2016.
Emmaus and Freedom both won football games Friday night to improve to 7-0 and set up next week’s match up of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference’s last two unbeaten teams. Parkland won a rivalry game over Whitehall Friday night, while Bethlehem Catholic picked up a win on Saturday.
Here’s a recap of this week’s games from around the Lehigh Valley Press area.
The Trojans picked up a 49-21 win over Whitehall Friday night in Orefield.
Last year at this time golf was barely on Cole Norman’s mind.
This year he is one of a select group of high school players to qualify for the District 11 Championship Tournament Monday at Lehigh Country Club.
Norman qualified for districts by taking third place at last week’s Colonial League Championship at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Cousre.
The Northwestern senior played one of the best rounds of his young career to shoot 84 and earn third place at leagues.
Over her first three seasons, Maddie Consuelos has been one of the top runners on her team and in the Colonial League.
This year she’s added a new strength to her game as the Northwestern girls cross country team tries to defend the league title it won last year and return to the state championships.
The Tigers had one of their first big tests of the season Saturday at the 30th Annual Centaur Invitational at DeSales University. Consuelos employed a strategy she’s been working on the entire offseason and it helped her take fourth place overall at 20:40.2.
Northwestern had the defending league champs on the ropes Friday night. The Tigers took an early led and never let Palisades in front through four quarters.
In the end, they came one play away from handing the Pirates their first Colonial League loss since Sept. 16 of 2016. When the Tigers failed to convert their two-point conversion attempt in overtime, Palisades had it’s 18th straight league win, 35-34.
While the loss certainly stings, the Tigers know didn’t play their best Friday night, but they still nearly beat a very good team.