Every high school athlete dreams of having the type of senior season that Trevor Cunningham had at Northwestern. The three-sport star had big seasons in football, basketball and track.
“I really wanted to have a big year as a senior,” admits Cunningham. “I think every kid wants to do that and go out with a really strong performance. I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and I got to be around some great guys and have a lot of fun along the way.”
Having a player you can plug into multiple spots in a lineup is a blessing most coaches aren’t fortunate enough to have. Northwestern incoming senior Abby Chisdak might be the prototypical athlete for that role.
During last school year, Chisdak’s coaches utilized her in a number of different positions. Soccer head coach Kelly Bleam shifted her between defense and the midfield/forward area. Chris Deutsch, the basketball head coach, was able to use her as a guard or forward depending on matchups.
Seven games into the season, Northern Valley fell to Nazareth in a closely contested 6-5 loss, the first in a series of defeats that put the Chargers’ playoff hopes in question. But almost a month later, after earning the seventh seed in the league tournament and besting first round opponent Northeast Bethlehem 8-4, Northern Valley would get the rematch they deserved. Thirteen games after that bitter loss, they would face Nazareth once more on the road to the championship, this time in the league quarterfinals.
The Northwestern boys’ basketball team won its opening game of the SportsFest A-Town Throwdown tournament last week. And the team was on its way to a second win on Saturday, a victory that would have at least kept the Tigers’ hopes of a Sunday berth alive.
Instead, it was their kryptonite that not only cost the Tigers Saturday’s game against Morris Hills, but also ended any shot of an appearance on the final day.
Northwestern, which led 16-14 against Morris Hills in the first half, saw that lead shrink to a 24-16 deficit minutes later.
The goal for most teams is to make it to Sunday of the annual SportsFest A-Town Throwdown basketball tournament. More games means more of an opportunity for coaches to evaluate their team’s positive and negatives throughout the summer.
Head coach Chris Deutsch and the Northwestern girls hoops team didn’t get off on the best foot when it opened play on Thursday. However, it ended with an impressive showing from the Lady Tigers.
The Northern Valley Connie Mack baseball team earned the No. 7 seed for the recent Lehigh Valley league tournament.
The Chargers finished the regular season at 14-7-1 and went on to beat No. 10 seed Northeast Bethlehem in a play-in game that put Northern Valley in the league’s eight-team tournament. The win also clinched one of eight state playoff berths for the team.
The Chargers upset Nazareth in their next game, taking down the No. 2 seed by a 12-3 score. They were ousted from the tournament by eventual champ Bethlehem Catholic on Saturday evening.
Northern Valley team ran into the hottest team in the league at the wrong time.
Last week in the first round of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, No. 2 seed Northern Valley faced Carbon County, which had won a play-in game a day earlier to make the eight-team LVL tournament field.
The Monarchs stayed hot. Just a day after sending North Parkland home with a 4-1 win in the play-game, Carbon defeated last year’s league champ, Northern Valley, 9-3 to end the Chargers’ season.
When Northern Valley stepped onto the field for its matchup against Northampton, the Chargers knew that the next seven innings carried heavy implications for the upcoming Lehigh Valley Connie Mack postseason.
The Chargers entered the contest with momentum on their side; with three consecutive wins under their belts, the players felt confident they could continue their streak and climb a bit higher in the standings.
Despite their positive outlook, the Chargers would ultimately fall to Northampton 5-3 in a well-fought defensive showing by both teams.
The Northwestern boys soccer team entered last fall’s season with a daunting task—replacing the program’s single-season goal-scoring leader in JD Haaf. All Northwestern did was follow up that departure with a 24-1-1 record, league and district titles and a return trip to the state tournament, where the Tigers advanced to the PIAA Class 3A title game.
Now, over eight months later, Northwestern suddenly finds itself in a similar setting during summer league play.
With three games left in the Allentown Summer Basketball League season, defending state champ Reading sits atop the Large-School Division, while undefeated Faith Christian leads the Small-School Division.
Teams will have off Thursday while many partake in this weekend’s A-Town Throwdown, which is part of the annual SportsFest. The summer league will be back at Cedar Beach on Tuesday, July 18.
LARGE SCHOOL DIVISION
Reading 7 - 1
Central Catholic 7 - 2
Allen 4 - 2
Bangor 7 - 3
Wilson West Lawn 7 - 3
Dieruff 6 - 3