Sports, The SportsTalk Shop

HS FB POLL: 10/18/21

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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.

Unfortunately, police activity ended up being the big story of the weekend, instead of any individual or team “on the field” highlights – as it should be.
For the second time in as many weeks, the Nazareth football team (this time at the Emmaus high school stadium) was besieged with a shooting threat to their game.
The anonymous 911 call, threatening bodily harm, precipitated radical changes to what should have been one of the biggest and most exciting regular season nights for high school football in the Lehigh Valley.
Fans were banned from attending, single-handedly ruining the Hornets’ homecoming activities – one of the biggest highlights of the students’ school year.
Sports has always been a means to escape the tribulations of the more serious aspects of life. But more and more over the last 18 months, it has been the more sinister elements of society invading what should be fun events for everyone.

As we head down the home stretch of the high school football season, it’ll be an interesting final couple weeks as the district playoff picture comes into shape. This is always an interesting time for local sports fans, media members and even coaches and athletic directors to try to get a handle on the rather complex system used to see playoff teams and decide who gets into the postseason…and who doesn’t.
The system is based on having every team play the same amount of games and, in most cases, the same teams as everybody else.
This is certainly not the case this year, with many schools electing to play teams outside of the Lehigh valley and of course, the fact that Covid-19 has mangled this fall schedule.
A bunch of teams will, at best, play only nine games this fall and a few other teams will only play eight…and that’s if we don’t have any more disruptions over the next few weeks.
While very complicated and occasionally controversial, the weighted “PowerPoint” system has overall been very fair for all sports and District XI. The formula, however, is based on the concept that every team plays exactly the same amount of games. This year, its’ strategy will obviously be tested with all the different elements and problems that local schools have had to deal with.

Head coaches from the school districts that have been more extremely cautious about protecting their kids from the virus report being hampered in terms of their “on the field” productivity. At some schools, any sign of a single symptom requires at least a three-day quarantine from the rest of the team which, depending on what day this diagnosis takes place, virtually eliminates that player from preparing for that week’s game.
There are clearly larger issues here and the student athletes’ health is the primary concern, as it should be. But in terms of sports, it has already made a challenging fall season even tougher to navigate for local coaches trying to prepare for games each 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.

Feel free to email me at for your thoughts on this week’s poll and we might read and respond to your emails on this week’s SportsTalk show.

1) Emmaus
2) Parkland
3) Freedom
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

1) Northwestern
2) Notre Dame-GP
3) Palmerton
4) Bangor
5) Northern 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 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.