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AN ‘INTERESTING’ START

January 10, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Before we take a look at highlights of recent games broadcast on RCN-TV, a few observations on what has been an interesting start to the winter 2022 sports season in our viewing area.
Of our first five broadcasts for the winter season, three of the games’ outcomes have been decided by a COMBINED total of nine points, including last Friday’s broadcast featuring a thrilling victory by the defending state champion, Central Catholic basketball team. The fourth game was a five-point contest with less than two minutes left in the game.
With the exception of Parkland’s size being a little too much for Allen to handle, we’ve seen some very competitive games on RCN-TV to start this winter. We are very excited and remain optimistic on bringing you more great match-ups on the horizon.
As most people know, the big challenge high schools are facing right now is keeping everyone healthy while trying to get on the court. Easton High School, for example, is already five games behind other schools in terms of games played due to health issues, and just lost another game last Friday due to the snow storm.
Unlike last year when COVID protocols allowed for flexible scheduling, a team like the Red Rovers are going to be playing a TON of games over the next few weeks in order to get caught up to other schools, just to complete district requirements and have a chance at postseason action.
Our friends at Lafayette College have had an even more arduous time trying to play this season. Although we are less than a week away from the midpoint of the collegiate season, the Leopards have played ZERO league games so far, and our RCN/LSN crew is still waiting to broadcast our first game of the winter season.
Everyone’s health remains a priority – as it should be. But with COVID numbers currently on the rise, collegiate and scholastic administrators will continue to be tested and a rollercoaster type of season will not level off anytime soon this winter.

Now, here’s highlights of our recent high school broadcasts on RCN-TV.

1. RCN Sports: Southern Col. vs. Northern Lehigh (12/21)
https://youtu.be/P2fyMiwMuKk
2. RCN Sports: Dieruff vs. Easton (12/21)
https://youtu.be/8IraCae4jN4
3. RCN Sports: Northampton vs. Liberty (12/21)
https://youtu.be/_o7kyTicbPw
4. RCN Sports: Catasauqua vs. Northern Lehigh (12/21)
https://youtu.be/Dxo9yUVtlUI
5. RCN Sports: Allen vs. Parkland (12/21)
https://youtu.be/Fb4y9lHscGM

All of these games will be available to watch for free for RCN customers through RCN On-Demand for two months. DVD copies are available to be purchased when you call 610-443-2909!
Also…be on the lookout for some big news coming to our website and RCN-TV very soon!

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

FINISHING UP & LOOKING AHEAD

January 3, 2022 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

First of all, we hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and your new year is off to a great start!

There’s lots of exciting things happening within the RCN family…new faces, different approaches and other news that we will be unveiling soon, so keep checking back to “The Shop” so you don’t miss any of the surprises and changes occurring over the upcoming weeks.

Secondly, we have some highlights from the last few weeks of the high school football season, along with our first look at highlights from broadcasts of our first wrestling matches and basketball games of the new season.

Here’s a look…

RCN Sports: Northampton vs. Freedom (11/21)
https://youtu.be/rj1DdRthtLQ

RCN Sports: Parkland vs. Emmaus (11/21)
https://youtu.be/TnuQkSCpJlQ

RCN Sports: Freedom vs. St. Joseph’s Prep (11/21)
https://youtu.be/VakjiyFQVIM

RCN Sports: Emmaus vs. Freedom (11/21)
https://youtu.be/ssznMJ2eGlw

RCN Sports: West Catholic vs. Northern Lehigh (11/21)
https://youtu.be/t36mQGDqsuM

All of these games are still available for free for RCN customers through RCN On-Demand and DVD copies are available by calling 610-443-2909 during normal business hours!

Remember to check back to our website over the next few weeks for some exciting news concerning RCN and our sports coverage!

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

FALL ‘21 HIGHLIGHTS #3

December 21, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

It was another unique fall sports season!
As we continue to reflect back on this past year, we saw two more Lehigh Valley teams win state championships (Emmaus field hockey, Central Catholic girls soccer) and several individuals do well in golf, tennis and cross country. We actually had less teams than normal advance to the state playoffs in football, but were represented well with several impressive showings from Freedom and Northern Lehigh.
There’s also a bunch of talented players coming back and squads like Emmaus, Nazareth, Notre-Dame (to name a few) should be fun to watch in 2022.
Now, here’s part three of our look back at the best plays and highlights of this past season for games we broadcast on RCN-TV…

RCN Sports: Freedom vs. Liberty (10/21)
https://youtu.be/gxMt9sLXQLs

RCN Sports: Easton vs. Emmaus (10/21)
https://youtu.be/1cdK82N2j3A

RCN Sports: Polo (10/21)
https://youtu.be/hMKfxc5dySA

RCN Sports: Easton vs. Freedom (11/21)
https://youtu.be/efchTzUSTTk

RCN Sports:Nazareth vs. Emmaus (11/21
https://youtu.be/K9-csJIKo_w

RCN Sports: Notre Dame vs. Jim Thorpe (11/21)
https://youtu.be/RjL4137zsy0

Don’t forget, RCN customers can still watch many of these games–for free–at any time by visiting our Video On Demand platform. In addition to viewing these games, you can also purchase DVD copies of all of our sports productions and studio shows by calling (610) 443-2909.
Happy holidays everyone!

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

FALL ‘21 HIGHLIGHTS #2

December 15, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Last week we started our annual recap of the top plays from this past high school football season.
Before we continue that trip through the best highlights of 2021, a quick reminder that RCN customers can still watch many of these games–for free–at any time by visiting our Video On Demand platform.
In addition to viewing these games, you can also purchase DVD copies of all of our sports productions and studio shows by calling (610) 443-2909.
Now, here’s part two of our look back at the best plays and highlights of this past season for games we broadcast on RCN-TV.

RCN Sports: Catasauqua vs. Pine Grove (10/21)
https://youtu.be/08ZNrpC77rk

RCN Sports: Freedom vs. Bethlehem Catholic High School (10/21)
https://youtu.be/lBNQOXSJVE8

RCN Sports: Whitehall vs. Freedom (10/21)
https://youtu.be/NasLQp3RPzk

RCN Sports: Easton vs. Nazareth (10/21)
https://youtu.be/XZIQwbycvHo

RCN Sports: Emmaus vs. Parkland (10/21)
https://youtu.be/EGKtbtms-Fs

RCN Sports Whitehall vs. Liberty (10/21)
https://youtu.be/0TRFeSu8MKw

RCN Sports: Parkland vs. Freedom (10/21)
https://youtu.be/688MVhW3q18

Check back next week for more samples of the best plays from this past high school football season, along with some final thoughts on the season gone by!

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

FALL ‘21 HIGHLIGHTS # 1

December 8, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

FALL ‘21 HIGHLIGHTS # 1

Before we start our look back at the top teams and plays that you saw on RCN-TV this fall, a quick programming note.
The RCN SportsTalk show is getting ready for the winter sports season.

Our upcoming programs will include:

  • Our annual high school basketball and wrestling preview shows, featuring members of the RCN Sports team
  • Local basketball statistician Karl Gilbert discussing a brand new venture in the Lehigh Valley promoting sports memorabilia for area teams
  • New DeMatha Interim Head Basketball Coach Pete Strickland discussing his new program, this winter’s nationally-ranked schedule and details on his playing and coaching experience from around the country and around the world
  • District XI administrators updating us on the winter sports season, how teams are adjusting with COVID and other rule changes and the latest news on local sports issues and scheduling
  • Members of the first-ever sanctioned girls wrestling team from Parkland High School. They’ll talk about their struggle to get the sport PIAA-approved for this season, scheduling and logistical issues for the new year and more on this glass-ceiling-busting initiative
    ….and more!
    Now, here’s part one of our look back at the best plays and highlights of this past season for games we broadcast on RCN-TV…

RCN Sports: Parkland vs. Easton
https://youtu.be/YOIrmqmiX-8
RCN Sports: Bethlehem Catholic vs. Whitehall (9/21)
https://youtu.be/MS9ZYhlXVkU
RCN Sports: Notre Dame vs. Saucon Valley (8/21)
https://youtu.be/RoEUkpjvTCA
RCN Sports: Emmaus vs. Allentown Central Catholic (10/21)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAFI6uRohGs
RCN Sports: Freedom vs. Nazareth (9/21)
https://youtu.be/odPM_SspxaA

Check back next week for more samples of the best plays from this past high school football season, along with some final thoughts on the season gone by!

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

The SportsTalk Shop: FINAL 2121 FB POLL

November 29, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Full disclosure time!

With the high school football playoff season winding down, it’s time to take a look back to our preseason predictions from early August and see how our SportsTalk pollsters did this year.

Most years we can brag a little (although we really don’t do much of that) or, if we were completely off base, we are fully prepared to offer up a mea culpa to our readers and viewers.

This year, instead of having a big school and small school poll as in seasons past, we are going to break the two polls down into EPC and Colonial League schools within the RCN broadcast area.  This season was the first year in which Colonial teams cross-scheduled and played teams from the Schuylkill League, so our poll reflected teams in the Lehigh Valley while many local teams did not play a majority of teams within the Lehigh Valley area. 

So below we have both our preseason and our final high school polls for both leagues in the RCN viewing area, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.

EPC-LV TOP 5 (PRESEASON)

1) Freedom
2) Parkland
3) Emmaus
4) Nazareth
5) Bethlehem Catholic

Eligible Teams (in no particular order):

Allentown Central Catholic, Northampton, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, and Nazareth.

EPC-LV TOP 5 (FINAL)

1) Freedom
2) Emmaus
3) Parkland
4) Nazareth
5) Central Catholic

Our posters were correct in naming Freedom as our preseason number one team as they captured District XI 6A title for the first time since 2018. Emmaus, Parkland and Nazareth were also in our top four, both before this season back in August and in our final tabulation.

Central Catholic Head Coach Tim McGorry was on our “SportsTalk” program recently and freely stated that his younger players developed much quicker than he had anticipated. SportsTalk co-host Keith Groller also admitted vastly underestimating the Vikings in his preseason prognostications on our last episode, citing that he ranked them eight out of 10 teams back in August.

Regarding Bethlehem Catholic as our preseason “number five,” the Golden Hawks ended up going through a transition under their new coaching staff. It was clear late in the season when I talked to Head Coach Kyle Haas that his emphasis with the program was more on changing the culture, instilling more discipline and building for the future than on winning games this year.

COLONIAL TOP 5 (PRESEASON)

1) Notre Dame-GP
2) Northwestern
3) Palisades
4) Saucon Valley
5) Southern Lehigh

Eligible Teams (in no particular order):

Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh, Palmerton and Palisades

COLONIAL TOP 5 (FINAL)

1) Northwestern
2) Northern Lehigh
3) Notre Dame-GP
4) Palmerton
5) Southern Lehigh

It’s clear this wasn’t our most accurate poll we’ve ever done, but it’s due to many good reasons and we are quite happy to be proven wrong in a few circumstances.

One of the area’s nicest head coaches, Northern Lehigh’s Joe Tout, has had an incredible season after his program really struggled the last few years with injuries and low participation numbers.

Tout was quite vocal when the schedule came out.  He complained his school, one of the smallest in the area, had a disadvantage in playing much larger schools and much better football teams – on paper – than other schools his size.

Joe’s team lost to three teams this fall (including our “number one” team, Northwestern), but remains the last school “alive” from our viewing area in the state playoffs. RCN TV is looking forward to bringing you live coverage of his team’s game against PIAA powerhouse Southern Columbia this Friday night!

Palmerton was another team that had struggled to keep their program going in recent years but became another feel-good story by becoming one of the top teams in the Colonial League this fall.

The resurgence of these two teams was reflected in their appearance in our poll, complete with the Bulldogs defeating the Blue Bombers for the 2A championship.

Notre Dame suffered an incredible rash of injuries and, in one of the biggest surprises of the year, failed to even reach the 3A championship this year.

Palisades also had a disappointing season.  Fresh off a district championship in 2020, the Pirates struggled mightily this fall and saw their head coach resign at season’s end.

Of course, these polls are for amusement purposes only and we hope you enjoyed following along all season. Keep checking back to “The Shop” and to our “SportsTalk” show on RCN TV as we get you ready for the winter sports season, rapidly approaching!

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

HS FB POLL: 11/17/21

November 16, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Here are three local sports observations before we take a look at this week’s “SportsTalk” high school football poll for teams in the RCN viewing area.

#1
2021 continues to be a banner year for Allentown Central Catholic athletics!
The Vikings have already captured two state titles this year. This fall, they’ve won four district titles and have three teams still alive in the state playoffs.
Central Catholic will also be on the short list of “teams to beat” this winter in boys’ basketball and the girls’ team will likely be in the state playoffs as well. With several spring sports teams returning a bunch of solid players, there’s no reason why their string of gold medals won’t continue into 2022.

#2
You couldn’t have asked for a much better night of high school football last Friday.
As you saw on RCN TV, Emmaus came from behind with 21 unanswered points in pulling the upset over the number one seed, Parkland, to advance to the 6A title game.
In the 4A championship, Central Catholic came from behind with two straight scores to beat Northwestern.
In the 5A title game, East Stroudsburg South scored two very late touchdowns to force overtime and win in their championship contest over Whitehall.
Let’s hope the 6A championship game this Friday will be just as exciting!

#3
When looking at the Northampton football 2021 season, a lot depends on whether you typically think the glass is half full or half empty.
The K-Kids, playing in the EPC North division this fall, had a record-breaking season in terms of wins and earned their first-ever district playoff victory. The playoff win, along with every other victory the team had this year, was against teams that averaged less than three wins on the season.
The community enjoyed the successes that came with an 11-0 season. However, as is often the case when playing a weak schedule, the lack of quality opponents seemed to hurt them in preparing for the postseason and for the stronger opponents from the Lehigh Valley.
Northampton suffered its first loss of the year last weekend against Freedom and their potential playoff run came to a grinding halt. At no point was the team ever ranked in the top five among any local media outlets, nor received any regional accolades whatsoever, while other teams with as many as three losses were ranked in the state polls.
Yes, this year’s team will go down in the record books as one of Northampton football’s best squads ever.
But the question remains – did the team have an overly successful season or something less?
With their administration choosing to stay in the North division for the foreseeable future, a season like this – for better or for worse – will probably continue for the next few years.

**********
That brings us to this week’s input from the RCN SportsTalk pollsters — a random collection of local coaches, athletic directors and media members. We never announce nor release the names of our non-media voters to get their honest opinions on the local football landscape while avoiding any thoughts of retribution or potential “bulletin board” material. Our “media voters” usually reveal themselves when we have the pleasure of having them on our weekly SportsTalk program, seen on Thursday nights on RCN TV and available through RCN on Demand.
This year, instead of having a big school and small school poll as in seasons past, we are going to break the two polls down into EPC and Colonial League schools, within the RCN broadcast area. This season will be unique in which Colonial teams will be cross-scheduling and playing teams from the Schuylkill League, so our poll will be an interesting barometer for teams in the Lehigh Valley since many local teams will not be playing the majority of teams within their own leagues!
So below we have high school polls for both leagues in the RCN viewing area, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.
Feel free to email me at Chris.Michael@rcn.net for your thoughts on this week’s poll and we might read and respond to your emails on this week’s SportsTalk show.

EPC-LV TOP 5
1) Freedom
2) Emmaus
3) Parkland
4) Nazareth
5) Central Catholic

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, Nazareth, and Northampton

COLONIAL TOP 5
1) Northwestern
2) Northern Lehigh
3) Notre Dame-GP
4) Palmerton
5) Southern Lehigh

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh and Palisades

Be sure to view the “upcoming eventshere on the website and check it frequently for our playoff broadcast schedule information for each week.

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

HS FB POLL: 11/9/21

November 9, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Before we take a look at this week’s “SportsTalk” high school football poll for teams in the RCN viewing area, a quick programming note for our RCN TV viewers.

Join us on Thursday’s “SportsTalk” show at 7pm for a comprehensive recap of last weekend’s first-round playoff games and a look ahead to this Friday and Saturday’s high school playoff football action.
RCN commentators will sound off on some interesting results last week along with a couple interesting matchups coming up this weekend.
That brings us to this week’s input from the RCN SportsTalk pollsters — a random collection of local coaches, athletic directors and media members. We never announce nor release the names of our non-media voters to get their honest opinions on the local football landscape while avoiding any thoughts of retribution or potential “bulletin board” material. Our “media voters” usually reveal themselves when we have the pleasure of having them on our weekly SportsTalk program, seen on Thursday nights on RCN TV and available through RCN on Demand.
This year, instead of having a big school and small school poll as in seasons past, we are going to break the two polls down into EPC and Colonial League schools, within the RCN broadcast area. This season will be unique in which Colonial teams will be cross-scheduling and playing teams from the Schuylkill League, so our poll will be an interesting barometer for teams in the Lehigh Valley since many local teams will not be playing the majority of teams within their own leagues!
So below we have high school polls for both leagues in the RCN viewing area, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.

EPC TOP 5
1) Parkland
2) Freedom
3) Emmaus
4) Nazareth
5) Easton

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, Nazareth, and Northampton

There weren’t very many surprises here–if you have been following along with our polls all season long.
Last weekend, Parkland had no trouble dispatching Pocono Mountain West I their District XI 6A quarter-final. As you saw on RCN TV, Emmaus edged Nazareth in an exciting contest that went down to the final play.
The Trojans and Hornets will be the live game this Friday on RCN TV.
Freedom, meanwhile, jumped out to an early 30-0 lead before dispatching Easton from postseason action. Northampton continued to roll against teams from the Poconos. We’ll get a look at the K-Kids next weekend as well as they will host the Patriots on RCN TV.

COLONIAL TOP 5
1) Northwestern
2) Northern Lehigh
3) Notre Dame-GP
4) Palmerton
5) Wilson

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh and Palisades

Northwestern, Northern Lehigh and Palmerton all scored “mercy rule” victories over Wilson, Minersville and Catasauqua, respectively, in District XI semi-final matchups and Central Catholic scored a two touchdown victory over Pottsville.
As you saw last Saturday on RCN TV, Jim Thorpe edged Notre Dame – Green Pond in a very exciting contest that went down to the final minutes. With the Crusaders’ elimination, this means there will be no 3A representative from the Lehigh Valley in the state playoffs this fall. The Bulldogs’ win combined with Notre Dame’s loss also moved Northern Lehigh into the second spot in our Colonial League rankings.
Be sure to check back to the “upcoming events” section here on our website and check it frequently for any changes and for our ongoing playoff broadcast schedule information throughout the postseason.

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

HS FB POLL: 11/1/21

November 1, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Before we take a look at this week’s “SportsTalk” high school football poll for teams in the RCN viewing area, I just want to take a moment to recap some news from the past several days.
Thanks to District XI Football Chair Jason Zimmerman for being on last week’s “SportsTalk” show and explaining the playoff system. If you’re scratching your head wondering why things shook out the way they did, you really need to go back and watch last week’s show through RCN On Demand.
Jason did a tremendous (and thorough) job explaining the weighted “ratings” system that is used for determining who gets in and how the teams are seated.
Speaking of “SportsTalk,” Tom Housenick of The Morning Call will be joining us this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. to preview this weekend’s district playoff games, highlight the key players, match-ups and teams to watch and give a comprehensive overview of the high school football postseason for all the teams in our coverage area.
Be sure to watch both last week’s and this Thursday’s shows before jumping into a busy weekend of playoff action.
Don’t forget to bookmark our website and check back for our playoff broadcast schedule each week.
Lastly, a big pat on the back to our crew members and all the people who worked last Friday night’s football game. It was one of the worst games in terms of the weather that I, and many others who have been around high school sports longer than me, had ever seen.
Rain, in particular, wreaks havoc with television equipment and our crew had to adjust on the fly and correct issues while we were live on the air during our broadcasts. Because of their hard work, I didn’t run into anyone this weekend who signaled a drop off in our broadcast quality and, in fact, we received a number of great comments from our viewers about our ability to broadcast in such treacherous conditions. Many of those viewers were able to stay home (and warm and dry!) while not missing a minute of the action, thanks to the efforts of our RCNTV crew members!

**********
That brings us to this week’s input from the RCN SportsTalk pollsters — a random collection of local coaches, athletic directors and media members. We never announce nor release the names of our non-media voters to get their honest opinions on the local football landscape while avoiding any thoughts of retribution or potential “bulletin board” material.
Below we have high school polls for both leagues in the RCN viewing area, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.
Feel free to email me at Chris.Michael@rcn.net for your thoughts on this week’s poll and we might read and respond to your emails on this week’s SportsTalk show.

EPC-LV TOP 5
1) Parkland
2) Freedom
3) Nazareth
4) Easton
5) Emmaus

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, Nazareth, and Northampton

COLONIAL TOP 5
1) Northwestern
2) Notre Dame-GP
3) Northern Lehigh
4) Palmerton
5) Wilson

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh and Palisades

Be sure to view the “upcoming events” here on the website and check it frequently for our playoff broadcast schedule information for each week.

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

HS FB POLL: 10/25/21

October 25, 2021 By Chris Michael Leave a Comment

Before we take a look at this week’s high school football polls, just a little bit about how the RCN sports department is getting you ready for “Rivalry Week” in the Valley and setting up the final weekend of regular season football in the Lehigh Valley for our viewers.
On Thursday, we’ll have District XI Football Chair Jason Zimmerman on our “SportsTalk” show to give his thoughts on another intriguing high school football season, his opinions on the top teams and players and the latest local sports policies. Also, he will answer questions about the often-confusing playoff format system, outline the preliminary plans for this fall’s playoff schedule and discuss how COVID-cancelled games will impact the postseason seeding.
If you have any questions you’d like us to ask Jason about this year’s fall playoffs, email them to me at chris.michael@rcn.net by noon this Tuesday and we’ll try to ask on this week’s show, that will air at 7pm on Thursday night on RCN-TV.
On Friday, we’ll feature the number one (Parkland) and number two (Emmaus) ranked EPC teams in our coverage area, squaring off against each other, live at 7 pm. That game will be followed by the number 4 (Easton) and number 5 team (Nazareth) in our high school football poll (see more below).
We wrap up the weekend with the annual Christmas City battle between our third-ranked team (Freedom) taking on the hard-luck team of the fall, Liberty. The Hurricanes are clearly moving in the right direction under new head coach Shawn Daignault, but only have seven tough losses to show for it.
Liberty quite possibly could have won any of those last seven games–they lead Parkland 7-0 through most of the first half last week before losing to the Trojans, 22-10.
Saturday’s annual game is always filled with emotion and features a spectacular half-time show featuring the Liberty and Freedom bands, as well as Bethlehem’s middle school bands.
Many Bethlehem alums refer to this game as an “event” that starts on Monday. New sideline reporter Okezie Alozie (a Freedom alum) will be giving his insights on all that goes on during Freedom-Liberty week as well as analysis of the game as it unfolds this Saturday afternoon on RCN-TV.
All three of these games will also be important in determining matchups for next week’s district playoffs, and reveal who gets the top four seeds, which determines which schools will secure home field advantage for the first two rounds of the postseason.
Keep checking back to RCN TV to get your high school football fix this week!
**********
That brings us to this week’s input from the RCN SportsTalk pollsters — a random collection of local coaches, athletic directors and media members. We never announce nor release the names of our non-media voters to get their honest opinions on the local football landscape while avoiding any thoughts of retribution or potential “bulletin board” material. Our “media voters” usually reveal themselves when we have the pleasure of having them on our weekly SportsTalk program, seen on Thursday nights on RCN TV and available through RCN on Demand.
This year, instead of having a big school and small school poll as in seasons past, we are going to break the two polls down into EPC and Colonial League schools, within the RCN broadcast area. This season will be unique in which Colonial teams will be cross-scheduling and playing teams from the Schuylkill League, so our poll will be an interesting barometer for teams in the Lehigh Valley since many local teams will not be playing the majority of teams within their own leagues!
So below we have high school polls for both leagues in the RCN viewing area, along with the listing of all of the teams that are included in our respective categories.
Feel free to email me at Chris.Michael@rcn.net for your thoughts on this week’s poll and we might read and respond to your emails on this week’s SportsTalk show.

EPC-LV TOP 5
1) Parkland
2) Emmaus
3) Freedom
4) Easton
5) Nazareth

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Allentown Central Catholic, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, Nazareth, and Northampton

COLONIAL TOP 5
1) Northwestern
2) Notre Dame-GP
3) Northern Lehigh
4) Palmerton
5) Bangor

Eligible Teams (in no particular order): Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh, Southern Lehigh and Palisades

Be sure to check the “upcoming events” here on the website and check it frequently as there continues to be changes from day to day.

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

  • Where to watch Astound TV Network!
    Lehigh Valley – Channel 4, or 1004 in HD
    Delaware Valley – Channel 8, or 608 in HD
    Washington, DC - Channel 8, or 678 in HD
    ATVN Valley Connection - Channel 96

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