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The SportsTalk Shop: Non-Football Fall Sports Highlights

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While high school football is extremely popular in Eastern Pennsylvania, there was a plethora of great athletic accomplishments achieved by boys and girls in many different sports this fall season.  On our “RCN SportsTalk” show, we highlighted many of these outstanding programs this past year and we’d also like to add more honors in today’s blog entry.  Here’s a sampling of the great non-football Lehigh Valley sports stories that took place.

It was not a surprise the Saucon Valley boys soccer team captured this year’s District XI 2A title—they were one of the preseason favorites, but the girls’ team relished the role of underdogs all season long and joined the boys in action on championship day before falling to Northwestern.  The Panthers’ program was just one of the top soccer squads in the area.  Here’s some interviews with local coaches and athletes on their fall teams.

Southern Lehigh turned in a great storyline in its win over Emmaus in the District 3A soccer final.  The Spartans, led by long-time coach Terry Nevill, who announced he was stepping down after this season, turned in a run few soccer fans will forget anytime soon.  The Spartans defeated the teams ranked first, second and third en route to the championship.  The win marked the first time in Nevill’s career that he won a 3A title.

An exciting season for girls’ volleyball fans ended with very few surprises, as four of the most dominating programs – Parkland, Emmaus, Bethlehem Catholic and Notre Dame – advanced to the district finals.  We caught up with the ladies from the Trojans and Hornets to talk with them about their season and on facing each other four times this season.

The Whitehall girls’ soccer team captured another District XI championship by beating Nazareth.  The Zephyrs’ program, one of the last “big schools” to form a girls’ soccer team in Lehigh County, has established itself as one of the premiere programs in the region.  We highlighted Kourtney Cunningham (who scored the game winner in the district final) and her sisters playing two fall sports at the same time on a recent “SportsTalk” show.  Whitehall’s field hockey program was also strong once again this year, as was Nazareth, Northampton, Parkland and others, but perennial state qualifier (and often state champ) Emmaus once again won the District XI 3A title.

The Easton cross country team became just the second Lehigh Valley team ever to sweep the 3A District Title in their sport.  The Northwestern girls’ program (guests on “SportsTalk” this past fall) had another successful season as they shared 2A honors with Central Catholic.

The local tennis scene might have had the biggest news of them all.  The Parkland girls’ team that had gone years without a league loss, suffered a few defeats in what turned out to be a “retooling” year for the Trojans in the new Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.  Several teams that had some success in previous years rose to new heights this fall.  We had a chance to interview some of the top girls’ tennis players in the area, including the District XI’s doubles pairings.

And it was a win-win fall season for Emmaus coach Mike Mihalik.  His team not only won a District XI 3A golf title for the second consecutive year, but he was also unanimously approved by the East Penn School Board to be named the new head coach of the highly successful Hornets baseball program, succeeding longtime skipper John Schreiner.  Mihalik was a former Parkland graduate who spent time pitching in several minor league affiliates after originally being drafted by the Phillies.

We welcome you to post or email (rcnsportstalk@rcn.com) other fall sports team or individual highlights to us. We constantly look to honor the young men’s and women’s accomplishments in the RCN viewing area.  Also, to see more of these interviews and as well as recent news on our local sports programs, you can check “SportsTalk” out for yourself through RCN On Demand or live every Thursday at 6pm on RCN-TV.