Before we look at the final results of this fall’s EPC and Colonial Leagues high school football polls, a quick reminder that starting next week at “The SportsTalk Shop,” we will start showcasing some of the best football plays of teams inside the ATVN footprint from this past season.
Make sure you bookmark this page and check back over the next several weeks as we post highlights!
Now, here’s a look at our “final” poll results for 2023.
EPC TOP 5
- Bethlehem Catholic
Eligible Teams (in no particular order):
Northampton, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton, Freedom, Liberty, Dieruff, Allen, Allentown Central Catholic, Parkland, Whitehall, Emmaus, and Nazareth.
COMMENTS: Both Parkland and Nazareth participated in a battle for the ages for last weekend’s District XI 6A championship–a game that truly was disappointing that one team’s season had to come to an end. Both the Blue Eagles and the Trojans featured two of the best senior classes that I have ever seen in my 20-plus years of calling games.
That being said, both Nazareth and Parkland have an abundance of talent coming back ready to fill some big shoes. Parkland’s TJ Lawrence may have turned in the most complete performance of any freshman in eastern Pennsylvania. The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, might have the best trio at quarterback, running back and wide receiver going into next year (Peyton Falzone, Marquez Wimberly, Caleb Newsome.)
Emmaus also impressed me how they battled back from a tough 1-3 start to reach the playoffs. They have a number of good returning players for next season and should be right among those final four teams again next year in the district playoffs.
Bethlehem Catholic pulled off one of the biggest wins of the year by upsetting defending champion Central Catholic in the 4A title game. With the Vassa brothers returning, along with several strong lineman and key defensive players, I would expect them also to be playing deep in November a year from now.
Whitehall also battled back following a bad loss to Becahi week two and played well the rest of the season. In all probability, the Zephyrs will probably move up and play in the 6A classification next fall, but have the returning talent to be a major player in 2024.
COLONIAL TOP 4
- Southern Lehigh
- Notre Dame
Eligible Teams (in no particular order):
Bangor, Pen Argyl, Notre Dame – Green Pond, Wilson, Catasauqua, Salisbury, Saucon Valley, Northwestern, Northern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh.
COMMENTS: As we mentioned a few weeks ago, when we had Northwestern as our number one team while others had Southern Lehigh, Palmerton or other schools atop their polls, Northwestern has a very special team this year and they’ve proven it with big victory after big victory over very good teams.
They will be just one of two teams from our region to move on into the quarterfinal round of the PIAA playoffs this upcoming weekend.
Bangor once again reached the district semi-finals this fall. Even with the departure of Head Coach Paul Reduzzi, the Slaters looked to be back and remain one of the most competitive teams in the colonial league for 2024.
(We never announce nor release the names of our non-media voters as we randomly select representatives from different school districts each year 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 the Astound TV Network, is streamed line on YouTube Live and is available to watch at any time for free through ATVN on Demand.)
Be on the lookout for some exciting news concerning our local coverage of upcoming winter sports on ATVN starting next week.
In the meantime, best of luck to our remaining local teams still playing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
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.