It’s not the first time Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch has seen a large portion of his team graduate. And it might not be the last.
The Tigers graduated three key players from last year and saw another one transfer, leaving the team with just two seniors and two players with starting experience at the varsity level.
“For our group, it’s going to take some time to jell together,” said Deutsch. “I really believe as the season goes along we’re going to get much better. And our patience will be tested as a staff. We have to be patient and let the process work out.
Just about every high school sports program goes through some down times. Northwestern had a few years where numbers were low and results showed it.
Those days seem to be over.
The Tigers returned to the district team tournament last season for the first time since 2010. They sent seven wrestlers to regionals and four to states last winter.
This year, with all but one of those regional qualifiers back with the team, the Tigers set a goal of winning their first district title sicne 2008.
After taking a step forward last season, the Northwestern boys basketball program looks to keep up the progress this year.
It won’t be easy. The Tigers graduated 10 seniors, including five of their top seven scorers from last season.
On the bright side, last year’s leading scorer is back in senior guard Parker Jones.
“Parker has to do everything for us,” said third-year head coach Billy Hallman. “He’s going to make us go. He was a starter last year and was really the main guy last year.”
Jones, a 5-10 guard, averaged 11.14 points last year.
With 1:19 left to play in Friday night’s District 11 Class AA championship game, a small group of Northwestern fans started to chant.
As time was winding down on the Tigers’ season the sidelines were serenaded with “Thank you seniors.”
It was a fitting ending for a group of players that began their freshman year the same time Josh Snyder took over as head coach.
The much awaited and anticipated rifle deer-hunting season is upon us. The traditional post-Thanksgiving Monday deer season opener includes antlered and antlerless deer in most parts of the state. It’s a time when 750,000 orange-clad hunters head to state game lands, big woods country and small local woodlots in search of a big buck and some venison for the freezer.
This football season featured a bevy of playmakers in District 11.
Many of those players eclipsed school records and some even took down district records on their way to memorable season.
The following is a list of those accomplishments compiled by statistician Duke Helm through the first week of the postseason.
Coming into their match up with Notre Dame in the District 11 Class AA Championship, Northwestern coach Josh Snyder knew that the team that protected the football the best would likely be wearing gold medals at the end of the night. And he was right.
Five turnovers by the Tigers helped Notre Dame take a 32-22 win over Northwestern and the district championship, which was won by Northwestern last season.
It was the same formula that worked for Northwestern in the District 11 boys soccer title game. The Tigers played superb defense and made the most of a few scoring opportunities to beat Gettysburg 2-0 Saturday and advance to the PIAA Class AA semifinals.
“I said at halftime that the two things that are going to win this game are heart and execution,” said Northwestern head coach Nate Hunsicker. “We had two quality goal-scoring opportunities at the end there and we executed on them and that was the difference in the game.”
The first week of the football season holds promise for a lot of teams. Now, nearly three months later, most of those teams have fallen by the wayside, with the exception of a few of the strongest teams.
In the Class AA ranks, Notre Dame (Green Pond) and defending district champ Northwestern met in week one, when a rejuvenated Notre Dame squad, complete with reinforcements from the closing of Pius X High School, sent a message.
You can call them opportunistic. Northwestern took advantage of early mistakes by Salisbury and came away with a 27-14 win over the Falcons in the District 11 semifinal game at Tiger Stadium.
On the opening drive, it was a bad snap on a punt that wound up netting just six yards to give the Tigers good starting position, which led to an early 7-0 lead.