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.
Northwestern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh are two teams fighting for spots in the District 11 postseason tournament.
So when they squared off against each other Tuesday night there was a lot on the line. Unfortunately for Northwestern, the Spartans pulled off a 52-47 win over the Tigers that put Southern Lehigh (9-8 overall, 9-3 Colonial League) into districts. Northwestern (8-9, 6-6) is going to have to keep fighting if it wants to join the Spartans in the District 11 race.
With back-to-back games against two of the better Colonial League teams, Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch was hoping that his team would send a message that the Lady Tigers (14-3 overall, 9-3 Colonial League) were the team to beat. Instead, they came away with two losses. After falling to the Notre Dame Crusaders 46-29 last week, Southern Lehigh downed Northwestern Lehigh 51-34 Tuesday night.
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.
One gets the feeling that at any time, Northwestern Lehigh boys basketball team is going to start flexing its muscles and start blowing teams off the court. The up-and-down season continued with a current two-game slide against Kutztown and Palmerton, breaking up a three-game winning streak, with all three wins coming on the road against Colonial League teams. That’s just the way the season has gone, at least so far.
“We can play better,” said coach Billy Hallman. “Right now, we’re playing well, but we just can’t quite put everything together consistently.”
Senior Ryan Haas has been wrestling since the third grade, but he took a two-year break during his sophomore and junior seasons.
Two years removed from the sport and a jump in eight weight classes later, and Haas is in the midst of another successful season. Last week’s match against Salisbury was another indicator of that.
Northwestern Lehigh had three players in double-digits in scoring and pulled away in the third quarter to take a 67-42 win over Palmerton Monday night. Sydney Sevrain led all scorers with 17 points, followed closely by Emily Sekerak’s 15 and Sage Christopher’s 13-point night.
After a slow start in an overtime game against Bangor a day earlier, Northwestern senior Sage Christopher thought the Tigers might come out of the gate a bit slow against Salisbury last Friday.
The opposite turned out to be true, as Northwestern had one of its best starts to a game this season.
The Tigers raced out to a 19-3 lead in the first quarter and exploded for 28 points in the opening eight minutes. That is more than the Tigers would need as they disposed Salisbury Friday night, 63-22, at Northwestern High School.
Wednesday, Jan. 2
Northwestern-No. Dame GP
Notre Dame of Green Pond dropped Northwestern, 54-15, in Colonial League action.
Ryan Haas recorded the Tigers’ only pin at 160 pounds, while Donovan White posted a decision at 138.
Notre Dame-GP 54, Northwestern 15
After a tough loss to Bangor, the Northwestern Lehigh boys basketball team took out some frustrations on Salisbury in a 69-50 win over the Falcons.
Devin Thomas picked up a game-high 20 points in the win over Salisbury (5-6 overall, 3-4 Colonial) that brought Northwestern back to a 5-5 overall record and a 4-3 Colonial League mark.