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COACH CARNES’ CORNER – Episode 3

January 26, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Liberty Girls Basketball Head Coach Jarrett Carnes joined the Astound TV Network in 2022, contributing a regular “video blog” on the local hoops scene during the winter sports season and putting the spotlight on the top news, teams and players in the ATVN viewing area.

In his third podcast this winter, Coach Carnes reviews the first half of the high school basketball season in the Lehigh Valley and previews the final weeks of the regular season leading up to the league playoffs.

Check back for more of Coach Carnes’ insights and highlights on Eastern Pennsylvania girls basketball in a couple weeks!

 

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PROGRAMMING NOTE:

You’ll be able to see Coach Carnes’s Liberty Hurricanes girls basketball program against Bethlehem Catholic, this Tuesday, January 31, live at 9:30pm on ATVN.

It will follow our live coverage of Northampton at Parkland girls basketball earlier that same evening. We will also have the undefeated Easton girls basketball team against Nazareth next Friday, February 3.

Make sure you bookmark and refer back to our broadcast schedule here on our website for all the exciting local sports action as we close out the final few weeks of the winter sports regular season before the playoffs get underway!

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

 

eSport Champions: Fall/Winter 2023

January 23, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

I have had the pleasure to be around a great number of championship ceremonies and “medal ceremonies,” where sports champions have their gold and silver medals draped around their necks after a winning season.

I have also had coaches tell me that these ceremonies are some of the most memorable moments of their entire career, and the exchanges between a head coach and their student-athletes are some of the most emotional and heart-telling conversations that one can experience.

Many coaches work with their students for many months, if not years…often starting before the students enter high school and spend incalculable amounts of hours working and training their kids which help them to reach their ultimate goal.

But I had a very unique experience when I and several representatives from Astound had the pleasure of attending the EPSEL Awards Ceremony this past week.

Astound was the sole sponsor of this year’s eSports league competition, which featured 15 different school districts in our coverage area and had 30 different teams participating.  The event was the Rocket League soc cer event, complete with student-athletes competing in virtual race cars.

The trophy and gold medal ceremony was held at Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township, which was appropriate since the Trojans had been one of the first to have an organized team

And, for the second year in a row, they captured both the varsity and the JV level championships.

But when student-athletes, whose ages ran the gamut from freshman to senior levels, met at the Parkland High School conference center to get their medals from their head coach, they did something I had never before seen at a medal crowning ceremony…

They introduced themselves to each other!

The middle ceremony was the first time the participants actually got to meet each other in person and in fact, this was the first time that their head coach had seen his students face to face. Through the miracle of the internet, all previous conversations and meetings were done online.

Such is life for the most successful program of the hottest sport in the world right now.

These students worked together this past fall competing amongst the other best programs in Eastern Pennsylvania.  They did not discuss strategies in advance, they did not game plan each event and they didn’t even know their teammates’ real names.

But, to quote one of these athletes at the ceremony, they were “just that good.”

Truly, they were and enabled themselves to come up with a winning formula on the spot each time, culminating with a defended league championship.

In April, they will embark on a six-week state championship competition.  The finals are tentatively slated to take place at Harrisburg University near the state capitol.

But the other certainty is that eSports is here to stay and the ways and methods that student-athletes use to capture a title now-a-days is not like anything we have ever seen before.

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Mayberry “LKF”

January 19, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.

Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on ATVN with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.

 

This winter, the Astound TV Network is debuting The Andy Griffith Show as part of a rotation of some of the best classic television shows of all-time on ATVN’s Classic TV Showcase.

Typically, when a show makes its first-ever appearance on our network I usually delve into my personal library of classic programs and/or do other research to find the early origins and facts about a sitcom’s very beginnings and behind-the-scenes challenges involved in just getting a show on the air.  Often, this reveals lengthy backstories of early versions of programs that sometimes vary quite a bit from what eventually becomes a successful entity.

However, I’m going to do something a little different for this week’s entry.

It’s pretty common knowledge that Griffith guest-starred on The Danny Thomas Show in a skit in which he played a hick sheriff in a fictional North Carolina town and had unconventional techniques in keeping law and order.  (In the skit, Thomas was arrested for speeding).

The response was so positive that Thomas helped create a spinoff series with Griffith in the starring role and the program was an instant success.

However, there are a number of “little known facts” (“LKFs”) about the popular program…and that’s what we will tackle in today’s blog entry.

  1. Andy was NOT the “straight man” that he turned out to be.
    When you watch early episodes of the program, you’ll notice that Andy has most of the funny lines and, in fact, seems like just one of the other somewhat strange characters in the town.  Griffith had revealed in many interviews that after the first few episodes, he felt the show would be stronger if he was the “normal” one and at the center of all the craziness and quirky Mayberry citizens that were all around him.  In turn, he slowly suggested more of the funny bits should go to his supporting characters.
  2. Don Knotts’s Barney Fife was never intended to be a regular character.
    It seems impossible to believe but Barney was only intended to be in the first episode, playing Andy’s cousin who he helps out by giving him a job.  Even after the quick developing chemistry between Griffith and Knotts was apparent after the first episode, only a single-season contract was offered to “Barney” and the original intent was to bring in different deputies throughout the show’s run. (Dick Van Dyke’s brother Jerry was offered the role to replace Knotts but turned it down.)
    Fortunately, this plan was abandoned and Knotts was offered a multi-year contract which lasted until he decided to leave after the fifth season.
  3. Elinor Donahue WAS intended to be a long-serving cast member.
    The popular actress from Father’s Knows Best was the producers’ favorite for being the long-term love interest of Andy.  For creativity sake, they wanted to establish other characters on the show first (mainly Ronny Howard’s Opie and Francis Bavier’s Aunt Bee) before introducing her into the cast.  In the fourth episode Donahue made her debut and they even put her name in the show’s opening sequence (more on that in a moment).
    Unfortunately for Donahue, the delay in bringing her aboard hurt the chemistry that quickly developed amongst the cast.  Elinor revealed in later interviews that jokes originally intended for her wouldn’t “work” as well as they did for other cast members and Griffith would suggest giving her lines to other actors.  Eventually, Donahue asked to be removed from her long-term contract and left the show.
  4. Speaking of the show’s theme song….
    Griffith actually became known for his singing before appearing on TV.  The popular instrumental theme song to his show actually had words written for Andy to sing.  Upon hearing “The Fishing Hole” with co-writer Earle Hagen whistling the melody in the background, the producers felt the non-vocal version was more appropriate to open the show.  However, Andy’s vocal rendition was added to a very popular vinyl record that was released early in the show’s run, which included “The Mayberry March,” “Sourwood Mountain,” “Aunt Bee’s Theme” and other popular songs used on the program.

There are many more “LKFs” about this show, like…

Did you know that is actually NOT Ronny Howard skipping the stone across the pond in the show’s opening sequence?

…but we’ll address that and other trivial bits in a future edition of “The Showplace.”

In the meantime, you can see The Andy Griffith Show, as part of a rotation of some of the best classic television shows of all-time on ATVN’s Classic TV Showcase, Tuesday at 12 noon on the Astound TV Network.

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on ATVN, check out the weekly listings here.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Renee Washington & More “Firsts”

January 17, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

We have been blessed to add several new guests to our “ATVN SportsTalk” show over the last year and I’m pleased to announce that Renee Washington will be making her debut on our program this Thursday, live at 7pm.

Renee graduated just a few years ago from Lehigh University, yet already has had some amazing experiences in her career!

She is a three-time All-American and Hall of Fame soccer player. Renee has worked with ESPN, Fox Sports, and MLB Network. She is the host of “Beyond the Headlines with Renee Washington” podcast, covering all things sports, music, and entertainment. She has also contributed to the “Daily Dive” covering the NLL, and “Swinging and Missing” covering Major League Baseball. She has covered all sports collegiately or professionally and most recently worked with the NBA, WNBA, NFL, NLL, MLS, and MLB.

Outside of reporting, Washington is also a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, small business owner and author. In December of 2020, she launched the organization “Planted, Not Buried” focused on empowering, educating, and inspiring others through access to resources, events, and more.
This past week she worked the Penn versus Harvard Men’s Basketball game for ESPN.

On this Thursday’s show we’ll be talking about all of those experiences as well as discussing some local college basketball in both the Lehigh and Delaware Valley regions.

Additionally, we’ll have insights on some of the recent developments locally so far this winter in the Lehigh Valley–including the controversial Emmaus vs. Pocono Mountain West game last weekend.

Be sure to tune in or set your DVDs for this Thursday’s “SportsTalk.”

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And speaking of local sports…

We have a busy week – and will be breaking new ground – coming up over the next several days on ATVN!

In addition to having two Lafayette College basketball games, we will be presenting the first-ever regular season girls basketball game in our network’s history. Two of the top teams in our area, Emmaus and currently undefeated Easton, will face off against each other. Our “other” matchup Tuesday will be Whitehall versus Freedom–a game that the Pennsylvania Cable Network has selected to pick up our feed and broadcast across the Commonwealth.

We also will have our first-ever Colonial League wrestling broadcast, featuring Saucon Valley and Notre Dame–two schools who faced off in the state championship tournament last season.

In two weeks on “SportsTalk,” we will have District XI Chairman Bob Hartman on to preview this year’s revamped district wrestling playoff formula, discuss his hiring of former Elon University assistant Andy Marino as the new head coach of the Whitehall football team, and a number of other local issues that are affecting the sports communities in our coverage area.

Also coming up, more insights on the march for women’s wrestling as it looks to gain official sanctioning in Pennsylvania with commentary from our own Cameron Nunez, and another edition of “Coach Carnes’ Corner” focusing on the local women’s basketball landscape.

Don’t look now, but we are also already less than a month away from the winter league and district high school playoff contests getting underway, which means a TON more scholastic sports action coming to the Astound TV Network through the entire postseason for the next two months.

Make sure you bookmark and keep checking back to our website for more basketball game and wrestling match updates as we bring you even more “firsts” to our television audience this winter!

 

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

The Dick Van Dyke Show – Origins

January 12, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.

Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on ATVN with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.

 

Several of its episodes ranked among the greatest comedy episodes of all-time.  In its comparatively short-run among classic television programs, it captured a whopping 15 Emmy Awards.  And it is regularly ranked among the best shows ever to come out of the 1960s.

What show are we talking about?

It’s The Dick Van Dyke Show.

The original premise for this highly successful sitcom was actually based on a failed pilot show starring television comedy writer Carl Reiner.  A key member of the writing dream-team that made up Sid Caeser’s Your Show of Shows (which also included Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Selma Diamond, Larry Gelbart and other genius scribes), Reiner created the idea for a show based on his own life.

Part-work based, part-home life…the idea of a story dealing with the hectic lifestyle of balancing a career and young family seemed perfect for an early 1960s audience.

The working title of the show was called “Head of the Family,” with Reiner’s character (then named Robbie Peetree) dealing with a zany staff of television comedy writers and then going home to deal with all the fun that comes with a newly-wed couple raising a young son.

Robbie’s wife, Laura, was played by Barbara Britton in the pilot and his son was played by Gary Morgan.  Robbie’s co-workers were portrayed by Morty Gunty and Sylvia Miles.  Robbie’s boss was played by Alan Sturdy, who, like the early years of The Dick Van Dyke Show, remained either off-screen or his face was not seen by the audience. (Ironically, Reiner took this role in the revamped format, but, after the first three years allowed HIS character to be seen on screen).

By his own admission in many interviews since that time, he said the original pilot had one major flaw:  he cast himself as the lead!

When all three networks passed on his pilot episode (which still exists today on YouTube), Reiner scrambled to rework the show, including spotting new talent for all the lead roles.

For the role of “himself,” he changed the character’s name to Rob Petrie and sought out the versatile actor/singer/dancer, Dick Van Dyke.  Many of Van Dyke’s “real life” interests spilled over into the “new” Rob Petrie character like pantomime, love of cowboys, old time radio show references, his “Stan Laurel” impressions, et al. Van Dyke’s multi-talented skills allowed Reiner to broaden the character to incorporate physical comedy, song-and-dance numbers and many other elements that the original pilot’s “Robbie” would never have attempted.

Rose Marie (“Sally Rogers”) was probably the most popular personality of all the main characters at this particular time.  She had starred in several films in the 1950s and had become a major attraction because of her hilarious Las Vegas stand-up routines.

For the “Buddy Sorrell” character, Reiner tried to liken this character to the real life, smart-mouth (as much as early-1960’s network censors would tolerate) antics of Mel Brooks.  Veteran jokeman Morey Amsterdam quickly bought into that characterization and instantly made the wise-cracking “Buddy” a likable supporting role on the program who always got quick laughs despite not always getting a ton of on-screen time.

For the role of his wife, Reiner remembered a talented young actress who Sid Caesar really liked and auditioned for his own show but passed on her because he felt the audience wouldn’t believe that he could have an on-screen daughter that was so pretty.

While Mary Tyler Moore’s political views were diametrically opposite her television husband in real life, their on-screen chemistry was magical.  Reiner quickly added more “home life” scenes to the pilot (and subsequent episodes) to build on that relationship which, Reiner correctly assumed, audiences would most closely bond with.

The revamped show did receive a ringing endorsement from CBS and was immediately added to the network’s fall schedule.  But the successes of this show’s new look were just beginning.  We’ll have more on the successes of this wildly popular show coming up in a future blog entry here at “The Showplace.”

In the meantime, you can see The Dick Van Dyke Show, as part of a rotation of some of the best classic television shows of all-time on ATVN’s Classic TV Showcase, Tuesdays at 12 noon on the Astound TV Network.

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on ATVN, check out the weekly listings here.

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

One Step Closer (by Cameron Nunez)

January 9, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Introduction from Chris Michael: Last month we welcomed Cameron Nunez as the newest member of the ATVN Sports family.

She brings several unique experiences to the table.  A member of the National Honor Society and field hockey program, Cameron gained attention as a student-athlete with the first-ever Easton girls wrestling program (one of the first sanctioned programs in Pennsylvania). She is currently an athletic training major while wrestling collegiately at East Stroudsburg University.

This week, she continues her story as the sport continues towards scholastic sanctioning in Pennsylvania.

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Growing up, I was always told that “growth takes time” which has shown to be a deception in recent years for the sanctioning of girls/women’s wrestling. “Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest-growing sports at the scholastic and collegiate levels,” according to the NWCA, which is one of the most astonishing things to hear and see. As much as this is a new developing sport, it is necessary for me to first discuss who came before and broke the stigma of wrestling being a “male” sport.

I had spent most of my life watching male against male wrestling contests until one cold day in 2011 when I saw Kasey Kruczek. My father and I went to watch Easton Wrestling on a frigid winter day when I was nine years old. I was sitting in the bleachers when I noticed this blonde-haired girl from Easton wrestling some boy. Of course, I was taken aback by this and asked my father who she was. His response was, “Oh, that’s Kasey Kruczek, she used to wrestle for the Forks program when Nick was a novice and now she wrestles for Easton.”

This, I believe, was the turning point in my realization that wrestling is not simply a male sport. She will always be my inspiration and one of the people who helped me fall in love with the sport. I’m grateful to her for paving the road for female wrestling in the Lehigh Valley.

When my parents decided to let me wrestle when I was a junior in high school, I was ecstatic and eager to take on the challenge. Of course, you’d assume I beat every boy every time I stepped on the mat. Unfortunately, such was never the case. They’d fling me around even if I weighed twenty pounds more than some of the guys at practice. It made me apprehensive when I had to wrestle boys my own weight.

So, when it came to JV districts, I was mostly worried about what would happen. I believe I put up a good fight but was always pinned in the end. During this time, I hoped I could have wrestled a girl for some friendly competition. We then learned about the MyHouse PA Girls State Championship, which was to be held in Gettysburg, PA. Unfortunately, there were no girls in the room to wrestle at the time, and the boys were preparing for their states. My father chose to contact Kasey Kruczek because she was one of the girls’ coaches at Parkland High School, which had a large number of female wrestlers.

I had no idea those few practices would be the entire reason I wanted to seriously tackle wrestling!

The Parkland High School practices remain some of my favorite wrestling experiences to this day. It was one of the first times I felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself. I also met Brooke Zumas, the head coach of Parkland Girls Wrestling and a key figure in the “#Sanction PA” movement. She would later pave the way for me to speak about women’s wrestling in Pennsylvania. It was my first-ever girls “states” (March 2020), the day following boys states, and I was ready to wrestle. When I stepped in the gym, there were about a hundred females in this small gym, ranging from novice to high school, all vying for the same gold medal.

Unfortunately, I did not place, but it was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

A few weeks later, I received a text from Brooke Zumas asking if I was interested in doing a Zoom interview with a reporter, which of course I said yes to and was thrilled that she thought of me. This led to other interviews with numerous local and state news organizations. I even got to meet 2004 Olympic wrestler Tela O’Donnell via Zoom. It was a fantastic start to something wonderful.

May 26th, 2020 was a significant day – not just for the Easton wrestling community, but also for the state of Pennsylvania. My alma mater, Easton Area High School, officially established girls wrestling as a sport on this day. I was overjoyed to learn that I would be able to practice and compete on my school’s official girls team during my senior year.

In the weeks leading up to the start of the season, Pennsylvania would sanction seven more female wrestling  teams. In my final season as an Easton Red Rover, I had numerous wins but also several losses.

Then came March, and it was time for my second MyHouse PA State Championships appearance. There were roughly a hundred more girls this year than last. It was a breathtaking sight to behold!

Again, I did not place, but I was able to see the development of my teammates and other girls I met the previous year, which was far more rewarding than any gold medal.

For those who are unaware of what is going on with Sanction PA, there are currently ninety teams sanctioned out of the required one hundred. Girls wrestling is on the verge of becoming an official sport in Pennsylvania. Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Leighton, Liberty, Palisades, Parkland, Pocono Mountain East, and Pocono Mountain West are among the district eleven teams that have already been sanctioned. We can have formal state finals like the boys state tournaments in Hershey, Pennsylvania, once we get 100 teams sanctioned.       .   

Meanwhile, some collegiate women’s wrestling teams include Alvernia, Cedar Crest, Delaware Valley, East Stroudsburg, Gannon, Lock Haven, and York. Every day, I am grateful for all of the people I have met via this sport, as well as those who have inspired me to continue doing so. As Sally Roberts, one of my inspirations, had written “be a Trailblazer” and “Wrestle Like a Girl!”

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Carnes’ Corner – Episode 2

January 6, 2023 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Liberty Girls Basketball Head Coach Jarrett Carnes joined the Astound TV Network in 2022, contributing a regular “video blog” on the local hoops scene during the winter sports season and putting the spotlight on the top news, teams and players in the ATVN viewing area.

Here in the second episode of “Coach Carnes’ Corner,” he talks about the first month of the women’s high school basketball season, along with the Christmas/Holiday tournaments and a busy start to the 2023 schedule in the Lehigh Valley.


Check back for more of Coach Carnes’ insights and highlights on girls basketball in a few weeks!

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PROGRAMMING NOTE:

Among our upcoming scheduling highlights will be a rare “EPC-Colonial League” wrestling crossover event this Saturday, live, at 7pm on ATVN.

It will feature Notre Dame and Bethlehem Catholic–two schools that feature some of the top wrestlers in the nation!

Don’t miss a minute of the wrestling action, in addition to our Lafayette College and high school basketball games coming up over the next several days.

Make sure you bookmark and refer back to our broadcast schedule here on our website for all the exciting local sports action!

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

A Part of Me

December 20, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Today here at “The Shop,” our newest member of the ATVN Sports Department introduces herself as we look to enhance our coverage of local wrestling–women’s wrestling–in particular, as it continues its march to get sanctioned as an official sport in Pennsylvania.

 

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I, Cameron Nunez, grew up in the beautiful suburban township of Forks in Easton, Pennsylvania, where wrestling tradition has lived for many years. Since I was two years old, my weekends have always been spent in a huge, musty gym. Even though my body hurt so much, and it smelled so horrible on some days, I fell in love with it so quickly that it eventually became a part of me.

In October 2005, my parents decided they wanted my older brother Nick to start wrestling for the local Forks Township pee wee wrestling team. From then on I spent some weekdays in that large maroon and gold wrestling room just running around while my dad watched my brother practice. As the little sister, I occasionally served as the “dummy” for my brother to perform some excruciating techniques on.

Naturally, most of my winter mornings started at abnormal hours as I was hauled to wrestling matches that were sometimes nearby but other times several hours away. The presence of hundreds of sweaty males on the weekends was not something a six-year-old girl would want to do, yet there was something about it that felt like home. I may have seen one or two girl wrestlers at this period, but I didn’t give it any thought until I was older.

Once I got older (about 11 years old), I started to do my own thing in the winter, which was basketball. I loved and enjoyed it so much, but it made me sad that I had to miss many of my brother’s matches for the historic wrestling program of Easton Area High School.

So, in the winter of my seventh-grade year, my closest friend and I agreed to oversee the wrestling program for middle school. Every day I would clean the filthy mats for the boys, which caused my socks to become the most hideous color brown. I enjoyed keeping the score for the middle school team on match nights before seeing my brother wrestle for the high school team. I recall attending my first-ever Easton match against Phillipsburg, our century-long rival. I was astounded by how crowded the gym would become with spectators on both sides, as well as by the powerful electric chemistry between the male competitors. It felt like a fever dream every time and I could not wait to officially be a part of it in the fall of 2017.

I was so excited to be a part of such a legendary program, even if it was just being a wrestling manager at the time.  I lived for waking up at five o’clock in the morning to go to tournaments like the Bethlehem Holiday Classic or Districts. In the winter of 2019, I remember going to Districts and seeing a girl wrestle one of our boys and thinking to myself, “Wow, I wish I could wrestle.”  Little did I know what next season was going to bring and that girl would later be my college teammate, Avia Bibeau.

The fall of my junior year came; I had just finished my field hockey season and was ready to start cleaning the mats. The night before the yearly winter sports meetings, I saw a post on the Easton Wrestling Twitter page saying, “Girls are more than welcome to join the team this year.” I told my parents.  They were a little concerned since I would be wrestling boys but as long as I did not care, they were ready to fully support me. My passion for the sport grew more and more every day in that room. All the wins and losses did not matter; I was happy to be part of many events, like the first match against Parkland. The thing that helped me realize that this was the right sport for me was when I won the 2020 Dick Rutt Memorial Award for my hard work/dedication in the room. Ironically this was the same award my brother won his senior year. It made me realize that if I keep pushing myself maybe this sport could open doors for me.

The summer before my senior season, my dad found a wrestling club in Stroudsburg where East Stroudsburg University Wrestling Coach Anibal Nieves would be coaching practices.  Little did I know by going to them, it would open up a major opportunity for me. I would go Mondays and Wednesdays to learn from him. I loved going so much that even in the fall after field hockey practice on those specific weeknights, I would head up to Stroudsburg for wrestling practice. One night after practice, Coach Nieves walked up to me and asked if I would be interested in taking a tour of ESU and possibly committing to wrestle at ESU. I remember thinking, “Wow, I really could wrestle in college”. A couple of weeks later, I took an official tour of ESU where I got to meet the Department Chairman of Athletic Training and got to see the wrestling room. I knew right after this would be my home for the next four years because I could wrestle, they had a top-of-line Athletic Training program, and it was close to home. A few months later on November 11, 2020, I officially signed my letter of intent to pursue my athletic and academic career as part of the Warrior Nation, aka East Stroudsburg University.

A few weeks later, my official senior wrestling season came but this year would be different because I would be a part of Easton’s first official girls wrestling team. I was excited to finally be able to wrestle only girls and get a feel for what was going to happen in college. I was lucky enough to have two Division One Leigh wrestlers to coach me through it.

The practices were hard, but nothing ever deterred my passion for the sport. Many wins and losses came that season, but it was great to be able to represent the Easton Red Rovers one last time throughout it all. One memory I carry with me forever is being able to go with my team to PA MyHouse State Championships and seeing hundreds of girls there. Sadly, I did not finish how I wanted, and then, just like that my high school wrestling career was over. This got me motivated for what the next four years were going to bring at ESU.

During the summer, I went to many freestyle tournaments and practices to learn freestyle, which helped me prepare for what women’s college wrestling was going to bring. The fall 2021 semester came;  it was time for my first two days, extra workouts, and weight management. Our preseason was a little thrown off due to Covid-19, but I managed to get in my multiple workouts a day. Early November was our first competition – the ESU Open – and I was tired from cutting weight but overall excited to wrestle in my first collegiate match. Sadly, it did not go my way, but it was an awesome experience. For the next couple of months, I continuously worked on my craft and just got better in the room every day. Our match against Elmira came and Coach Nieves told me I would not be able to wrestle in the actual match, but I would get an extra match against a girl that pinned me at the beginning of the season. Finally earning my first collegiate victory by pinning her, it got me motivated to compete in Regionals in February. My regional tournament did not go as I had hoped, but Coach assured me that if I wrestled the way I had in my two previous matches, I would be unbeatable the next season, and I was therefore eager to get ready for my sophomore campaign.

We are starting to get ready for winter break as I write this. Unfortunately, I am now sidelined due to back and shoulder concerns, so I did not participate in many matches this fall semester. However, I am hoping to resolve my back problems during the break so I can return stronger for the next semester. Although wrestling is essential to me, ultimately my health comes first. Young Cam would probably be awestruck but also proud of where she is now.  “Wrestling is a way of life” is one of my favorite Rudis shirts, and I’m delighted that it is!

 

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Christmas Takeover “Tease” 2022

December 19, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.

Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on ATVN with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.

Tyler Brackbill is our newest employee at our ATVN studio. He has been doing a great job directing sports events, handling replay, shooting sports events, editing packages and pretty much everything that has been thrown his way.

One additional responsibility that he has also taken over this past fall is coordinating and “importing” the programming for our “Christmas Takeover” – a special marathon of holiday-only programming that runs from early Christmas Eve morning straight through until the late hours on Christmas night.

I am proud to say that this popular viewing event will be back again here in 2022.  Today, Tyler gives our website readers a “sneak peek” and inside information on his Top 10 list of special, unique holiday programs and movies that he thinks our audience will thoroughly enjoy.

  Here’s Tyler’s top takeover picks…

  1. Sidewalks”
    Back-to-back editions of this popular entertainment show regularly features mainstream celebrities, musicians and up-and-coming performers.  These particular shows will focus on how celebs will spend the holiday season.
  2. “Scrooge”
    A special version of the popular Charles’ Dickens holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.”
  3. Larry’s Tree: Journey To The White House”
    A look at the incredible journey one large evergreen tree takes in order to become a holiday focus for the First Family of the United States of America.
  4. “The Beverly Hillbillies”
    A mini-marathon of some of the best Christmas-themed episodes of one of CBS’s most-popular and longest running situation comedies.  It stars Buddy Ebson, Irene Dunne, Max Baer and Donna Douglas as the lovable hillbillies who benefitted from their discovery of “Texas Tea.”
  5. Mad Dog and Merrill Midwest Grillin’ 
    The stars of this show are always entertaining while fixing up special, succulent items each episode.  Tune in for a mini-marathon of their holiday-based programs.
  6. Mark Millovets’ Christmas Wonderland 2022
    This popular annual show returns for a special post-COVID edition of the program!
  7. Miracle on 34th Street
    This is the 1959 made-for-television special and not the one produced by 20th Century Fox, although some prefer this version compared to the one released in 1947.  Tune in and see for yourself which you think is better.
  8. The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
    No classic television show garnered more success and lasted longer than any other ABC network show before 1972.  The show, featuring the real-life married couple (and their two real-life children and, later, their wives), amassed an amazing collection of Christmas-themed episodes.  Tune in and see them for yourself in a marathon of this family-based sitcom.
  9. A Stetson Mansion Christmas
    A special that features this famous Florida mansion that is decorated beyond-belief with holiday cheer, amazing light displays and glorious Christmas trimmings.
  10. The Littlest Angel
    This not-to-be missed classic film from the ATVN Movie Vault is a MUST-SEE airing on ATVN at 8:30pm on Christmas night.  It features an all-star cast which includes Johnny Walker (“Family Affair”), Fred Gwynne (“My Cousin Vinny,” “Pet Semetary,” “The Munsters”), Tony Randall (“The Odd Couple,” “Mister Peepers”) and more!

 

And as always, the yule log will burn brightly on viewers’ screens (accompanied by holiday music) from 6:30am-10:00am on Christmas morning!

Granted, there are many more special shows and classic films that will be featured this Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on ATVN, but you’ll have to check back to our website in a few days to get more information on this year’s “takeover.”

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on the Astound TV Network, check out the weekly listings here.

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

 

Winter Scheduling Highlights ‘22

December 12, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

The high school winter sports season is just under way!

We already did two games (both games featured two of the hottest teams through the first nine days of the season) and have seven games/matches coming up over the next ten days (one wrestling match was canceled by the hosting school).

As you check out the new schedule here on our website, I want to point out a few of the highlights for this winter and the next few months…

MORE WRESTLING MATCHES

The Lehigh Valley has been known for years as the best area for wrestling in Pennsylvania (and on a short-list of the top wrestling regions in the nation) with many recent and not-so-recent graduates from local high schools capturing success at Division-I colleges throughout the USA.

Between COVID and other scheduling issues in recent years, it was a priority for us this season to get back to scheduling a wrestling match every Wednesday during the regular season.  PLUS…with some creative techniques…we have added a couple more nights during the winter that will focus on this sport.  We are also going to feature more wrestling schools than any other year in our network’s history, including all four schools that participated in last year’s PIAA championships.

MORE BOYS BASKETBALL TEAMS

As long as Mother Nature doesn’t cancel a ton of games this winter, we are going to be featuring more schools than ever before!

Our schedule will include every Eastern Pennsylvania Conference team from the Lehigh Valley at least once.  Our early season schedule will feature Parkland, Bethlehem Catholic and Northampton–the three boys teams that “lasted the longest” in last year’s state playoffs.  We also will feature some of the up-and-coming teams, including Central Catholic and Liberty–teams that have had really good fall seasons and are predicted to do well this winter.

Additionally we have scheduled games with nearly every team from the Colonial League from our viewing area, including a few schools we have not had on our network in decades.  As always, the weather could ruin our plans and changes beyond our control may occur, but we did work very hard to try to be as fair to as many teams as we could, while putting together a comprehensive schedule at the same time.

GIRLS BASKETBALL GAMES

I know we have had viewers asking about the lack of girls basketball games in the past and we have heard your opinions!

Our winter 2022-23 schedule will feature some of the top girls basketball teams from our area, including Easton, Parkland, Northampton, Bethlehem Catholic, Nazareth and others…plus we will make sure to allow for a number of girls playoff games in February and March.  We believe the girls games we have picked will not only feature some of the top athletes from our area, but will be just as competitive (or maybe more so?) than many of the other boys games that will be played on those nights.

 

Please note:  All of the above upgrades to our schedule should not take away from featuring all the top games as we get closer to playoff times.  We look to accomplish all of the above before we get to the final three weeks of the regular season, when many of our viewers are looking forward to seeing the most competitive games as squads jockey for playoff positioning.

It was a busy fall preparing for all these new editions to our broadcast schedule for the upcoming months.  We hope we will be able to bring you a very balanced and entertaining selection of games to tune in for all winter long.  As always, your feedback and suggestions will continue to be welcomed for the new year and I look forward to hearing your opinions throughout the seasons by emailing me.

Check back next week for more exciting local sports news and more on our winter coverage this season!

 

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

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  • UPCOMING EVENTS

    🏀HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL:
    1/24 at 7pm: Freedom at Bethlehem Catholic (boys) – LIVE
    1/27 at 7pm: Northampton at Central (boys) – LIVE

    🏅HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING:
    1/26 at 7pm: Easton at Parkland – LIVE

    🏀LAFAYETTE BASKETBALL:
    1/28 at 2pm: Women – Lafayette vs. Colgate LIVE

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