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Around District 11 We Go: The Travels of Guy & Pam @PIAADistrictXI @EastPennConf18 @Colonial_League @SchLeague

Written by: on Tuesday, October 26th, 2021

 

Around District 11 We Go: The Travels of Guy & Pam

Guy and Pam are PA high school football fans. We are not affiliated with any team

Pam and I went to a trio of District 11 games in Week 9, but only two of them added to our total number of D11 schools for the season. We didn’t count Freedom on Saturday afternoon even though they were playing on their home field, as they were the away team and Bethlehem Catholic, who we had already seen, was home. Hopefully we can add the Pates at a home playoff game. On Friday we got to see the new turf field at our former home team Catasauqua Rough Riders, and on Monday the third time was the charm for the Lehighton JV squad.

With nine weeks in of the ten-week regular season, we’ve seen 33 schools play a home game (22 varsity, 11 JV). That leaves 14 schools still on the table. We have three more different teams penciled in for Week 10, and if all goes as planned (and it often doesn’t due to cancellations, postponements, or weather), we can end the regular season 36 out of 47. Some teams will likely end their season next week, and that will obviously eliminate our chance to see them this year.

31) FRIDAY, OCTOBER 22. CATASAUQUA ROUGH RIDERS. The first three home games for Catty were moved, two to Northampton and one to Whitehall. A week ago, they finally had their first home game on the turf field. This was their second game on the new rug. At one time this stadium was less than a five-minute walk from home for us.

Catty is having a good season. Winless just two years ago, they entered this game 6-2 and needed a win to clinch a district playoff spot. Some are saying Catty is only doing well due to their “weak” schedule. I say it’s due to a more fair and equitable schedule. This year only three of their regular season games were against schools in larger classifications, rather than in the pure Colonial League days when Notre Dame & Salisbury (3A); Northwestern Lehigh, Wilson, Bangor, and Saucon Valley (4A), and Southern Lehigh (5A) were all bigger schools that Catty faced.

While not everything in the stadium refurbishing project is complete, the new field and scoreboard are a welcome upgrade. And the Roughies took care of business, methodically building up a 35-0 mercy rule lead over the visiting Schuylkill Haven Hurricanes, thus increasing their record to 7-2 and clinching a district playoff spot.

The band booster refreshment stand on the visitor side has always offered some unique food choices and still does, but the change from a fresh cut fry truck to pre-cut frozen fries at the main refreshment stand was a disappointment.

–) SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23. BETHLEHEM CATHOLIC GOLDEN HAWKS (2). With no D11 teams playing at home on Saturday that we haven’t seen this year, we headed to the BASD Stadium for the third time this year, and the second time for Bethlehem Catholic (plus one Liberty). This time we were really here to see the Freedom Pates, the school where I taught for nearly 30 years. With our unique priority this year, we had not seen Freedom since Week 2 when they lost at Emmaus.

The Pates started off 2-2 but were riding a four-game win streak. They have not lost since “The Rock” Dwayne Johnson (he was in my FBLA club at Freedom) got involved with the current team. But this was a game for the Bethlehem “City Championship” so anything could happen. Besides, Bethlehem Catholic has to be the best two-win team around, playing in the grueling EPC South. They gave the Pates a heck of a game, falling just three points short, but the Pates upped their record to 7-2 and clinched a 6A D11 playoff spot. Meanwhile, going into the final week of the regular season, the Golden Hawks are in the catbird seat to head to the Eastern PA Conference Playoff 4A title game against Bangor.

As one of the largest districts and stadiums, the refreshment stand offerings at BASD are limited and mostly unimaginative. If you were hungry, I’d recommend the turkey barbeque. Pam would recommend eating before arrival.

There were no Saturday night games for any D11 teams. We looked outside the district to see if there were any games, but found nothing closer than at the Philadelphia Supersites, and decided to pass.

33) MONDAY, OCTOBER 25. LEHIGHTON INDIANS. They say the third time is the charm and it was for us as we finally got to see the Indians JV team after two planned Saturday morning games were cancelled. As with last week at Marian Catholic, this still doesn’t erase our “Woulda” since we still had a good number of other JV options (see below).

The JV games have far exceeded our expectations in terms of the number we have been able to see, the attendance, and the quality of football. If you don’t usually attend JV games, we definitely recommend giving them a try. This was our 11th school of the year for JV (6 Mondays, 3 Saturday mornings, 2 Tuesdays). The only Mondays we didn’t go to a JV game were on Labor Day when there was none, and two other Mondays when we had varsity options. Eight of the 11 have had free admission. Lehighton had a $3 admission, the lowest of the three that did charge.

We expected weather to be a factor as this was a late starting game (6:30) and bad weather was expected by 8:00. We packed gear for a potential wet second half. Overall, the weather has been good to us this year. The only time we got really wet was the second half at Pine Grove. We also got a little damp at the Nazareth JV game. But we made it to the car seconds before the deluge at Tamaqua, and it never even rained at the Salisbury halftime postponement. Good luck followed us again last night, as the rain held off, not only for the entire game, but the entire drive home. I’m not exaggerating in that we heard thunder while still in the garage, and it was raining hard three minutes after entering the house.

We saw another entertaining close JV game, with visiting Southern Lehigh edging the Indians 10-6. The Spartans got their ten the hard way: TD, conversion, safety (on the final play of the first half).

If the plan holds, we will be able to see schools 34-36 in the final week of the regular season.

JV ALTERNA-SITES UPDATE

A couple of coaches supplied additional information on alternative JV game sites, bringing that total, which we plan to attack next year, from four to six. Nativity BVM plays their JV games at their school, as they would have to pay rent to play at the field in Saint Clair where the varsity plays. And Nazareth played a one-off JV game at the Middle School when both the boys and girls had varsity soccer games at their stadium.

Allentown Central Catholic Vikings (Percy Ruhe Park)
Freedom Patriots (FHS Turf Field)
Lehighton Indians (Occasionally at Old Football Stadium)
Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks (High School)
Nativity BVM Green Wave (High School)
Nazareth Blue Eagles (Occasionally at Middle School)

Also, the Easton Red Rovers play their annual varsity Thanksgiving Day game against Phillipsburg (NJ) at Lafayette College.

SEASON SUMMARY (33 DIFFERENT D11 SCHOOLS/TEAMS)

 

Week 1

 

1a)  Friday—Salisbury Township Falcons (3A).   Note:  First half—game suspended due to lightning

2)  Saturday (Noon)–Allentown Central Catholic Vikings (4A).  Note:  Conclusion of final three quarters of game suspended by lightning

–) Saturday (Noon)—Dieruff Huskies (6A).  On their home field but the away team)

3)  Saturday (Afternoon)—Wilson Area Warriors (4A)

1b) Saturday (Evening)—Salisbury Township Falcons (3A).  Note:  Returned for second half of game suspended by lightning

4)  Monday—Northwestern Lehigh Tigers JV (4A)

Week 2

5)  Thursday—Northern Lehigh Bulldogs (2A)

6)  Friday—Emmaus Hornets (6A)

7)  Saturday (Morning)—Northampton Area Konkrete Kids JV (6A)

8)  Saturday (Afternoon)—Pen Argyl Green Knights.  (2A)

9)  Saturday (Evening)—Pleasant Valley Bears (6A)

Week 3

10)  Tuesday—East Stroudsburg South Cavaliers JV (5A).

11)  Friday—Nativity BVM Green Wave (1A)

12)  Saturday—Saucon Valley Panthers JV (4A)

13)  Sunday—Shenandoah Valley Blue Devils (2A)

14)  Monday—Tamaqua Blue Raiders (3A).  Note: Game suspended at halftime but called complete

Week 4

15)  Tuesday—Bangor Slaters JV (4A)

16)  Friday—Panther Valley Panthers (2A)

17)  Saturday (Afternoon)—Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks (4A)

18)  Saturday (Evening)—Pine Grove Cardinals (3A)

19)  Monday—Stroudsburg Mountaineers JV (6A)

Week 5

20) Friday—Mahanoy Area Golden Bears (A)

21) Monday—Notre Dame-Green Pond Crusaders (3A)

Week 6

22) Thursday—Blue Mountain Eagles (4A)

23) Friday—Pocono Mountain West Panthers (5A)

24) Saturday—Bethlehem Liberty Hurricanes (6A)

25) Monday—Nazareth Blue Eagles JV (6A)

Week 7

26) Friday—Minersville Battlin Miners (2A)

27) Saturday Morning—Jim Thorpe Olympians JV (3A)

28) Saturday Evening—Executive Education Raptors (2A)

29) Monday—Southern Lehigh Spartans JV (5A)

Week 8

30) Friday—Marian Catholic Colts (1A)

31) Monday—Whitehall Zephyrs JV (5A)

Week 9

32) Friday—Catasauqua Rough Riders (2A)

–)  Saturday—Freedom Patriots (6A) (on home field but away team)

33) Monday—Lehighton Indians (4A)

COULDAS & WOULDAS

COULDA.  Week 1—Tri Valley.  A Friday team that played Saturday evening due to rain.  We returned to Salisbury to see the second half of the Catty game instead.

COULDA.  Week 1—Marian Catholic.  Played Sunday due to rain, but we had already committed to the sprint car races at Bloomsburg Fair Raceway.

Update: Went to see Marian in Week 8.  However, we are still down one potential team for the season as by picking Marian we bypassed: Freedom, Catasauqua, Tri-Valley, Parkland, Palmerton, Schuylkill Haven, Lehighton, Easton, Dieruff, and North Schuylkill.  They are all teams we have yet to see this year and were all home.

Update 2: Saw Catasauqua in Week 9.

WOULDA.  Week 3—Dieruff.  We were all set to go to see Dieruff on Saturday night, but their game was postponed to a day when we already had another game scheduled, and there were no other Saturday night options.

WOULDA.  Week 5—Lehighton.  Saturday morning/afternoon JV game cancelled but Big Teams calendar not updated and we made the trip.  There was no other D11 replacement for us as the Jim Thorpe game was cancelled due to COVID.

Update:  Week 6—Lehighton again.  For the second straight week, the late morning Saturday JV game at Lehighton was cancelled.  This time the online schedule was updated so we didn’t make the trip for nothing.  But there was no other different D11 replacement for us.

Update 2: Saw Lehighton in Week 9.  But we could have gone to Dieruff, Easton, Parkland, North Schuylkill, Pottsville, or Williams Valley so we are still down a potential school for the season.

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