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Written by: Billy Splain on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
Another good week on the D11 trail, as we saw home games for an additional five teams to raise our total for the season to 14 different schools in the first three weeks. We did lose one this week, as the Saturday evening Dieruff Huskies game was postponed, and there were no other D11 games on Saturday night.
When I told Pam I wanted to go to Easton at Freedom, she protested. It was Pam’s thinking that our D11 Quest was only honest in fact but not in spirit, as we had not visited any brand new places. Pam felt we needed to get out of our EPC comfort zone. She said, only half kidding, that she didn’t want the Schuylkill fans to think we were Lehigh Valley 6A snobs.
OK, I said, then you pick. Pam said she wanted to go see the team we knew the least about, because learning about new teams is the most fun. That’s why I have the best wife in the world, and that’s why we ended up at…. The Nativity BVM Green Wave.
This was our first single ‘A’ team to see and they appear to have the lowest male enrollment of any of the 47 teams in D11. Nativity was home, but playing a non-conference game. On thing that I found very interesting was that the school is located in Pottsville but their home stadium is located in a different town, Saint Clair.
The bean soup at this stadium is a shoo-in for First Team D11 All-Snack-Bar.
12) SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 (AFTERNOON). SAUCON VALLEY SPARTANS (JV). I thought it best to check to see if any teams play their home JV games on Saturday mornings/afternoons. Good thing I checked, as there are indeed a couple that do.
One was the Saucon Valley Spartans, hosting Pottsville. This was our fourth JV game and third with free admission. How can you beat free football? The crowds have been bigger at the JV games than I was expecting, and each has had their refreshment stand open. Life is good with live Saturday morning football.
Since the Dieruff game, which was our evening plan, was moved to Sunday, there were no other games for us to hit on Saturday and we went to New Egypt Speedway, NJ for the stock car races instead.
13) SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13. SHENANDOAH VALLEY BLUE DEVILS. This was our first-ever Sunday high school football game. I’ve now seen high school football every day of the week. In fact, this season alone it’s already been six days, every day except Wednesday. I do remember going to a Wednesday game many years ago, when Emmaus played Whitehall the night before Thanksgiving.
Not only was it our first Sunday game, but we even had a choice! The Dieruff game originally scheduled for Saturday was now Sunday at 6:00, and also Shenendoah Valley was playing at 5:00. After such a fun time visiting a new stadium on Friday night, we opted to do it again on Sunday and went with the Blue Devils.
The Battlin’ Miners from Minersville were the visitors, and handled the host team fairly easily in a mercy rule win.
The refreshment stands here are the best I’ve ever encountered at a high school football game. Pork chops on a stick! For three bucks! Are you kidding me? The variety offered is mind boggling to first time visitors. They go out on a limb by proclaiming their fresh cut fries as the “best french fries around.” If you’re going to talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. And they delivered! They may be a 2A school, but their fries play 6A, and at half the price or less of the fry trucks at the big Lehigh Valley schools.
I thought this game should have been at 6:00 instead of 7:00 since it’s a school night, and if they had done that, it probably would have been able to finish. We had seen visiting Northern Leigh drop a one-point loss against Northwestern Lehigh a week earlier, and figured them to be the favorite. We had been to this stadium several times previous, but only for playoffs. I commented to Pam that this was the first time we were ever here that we weren’t freezing.
This is another school with tremendous variety of refreshment stand offerings in three different stands. The senior class runs one of them. I can’t recall ever seeing that before.
Northern Lehigh was up 21-0 at halftime, but this was a game that was actually closer than the score appeared.
In week one at Salisbury, they went on a weather delay due at halftime due to lightning being reported in the area. We never actually saw it. At this game, they went on weather delay at halftime after we had already seen lighting dozens of times. We were blessed, as we walked up the hill behind the visitor side to our car, and I swear we arrived no more than ten seconds before the deluge hit.
Another difference between week one at Salisbury and week three at Tamaqua is that even though both games were called at halftime and neither would have been in mercy rule to start the third quarter, the Salisbury game was suspended and finished, while the Tamaqua game was ruled a final. Not sure how that is determined, mutual agreement I suppose.
Three weeks in and we have been to see 14 D11 teams play at home. Even after skipping a pair of possibilities in week one before getting serious about it and losing one this weekend due to a postponement, we are still doing better than I would have expected would be possible. Of course, the more different teams we see play means fewer that we have not, so the weekly count will drop as the pot to choose from shrinks. The highlight of the week was going to see two Schuylkill teams we had never seen before. I’d expect more visits to the 17 we have never seen in the weeks to come.
SEASON SUMMARY (14 SCHOOLS/TEAMS)
1a) Friday—Salisbury Township Falcons (3A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Red). Note: First half—game suspended due to lightning
2) Saturday (Noon)–Allentown Central Catholic Vikings (4A). Eastern PA (South).
Note: Conclusion of final three quarters of game suspended by lightning.
3) Saturday (Afternoon)—Wilson Area Warriors (4A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Gold).
1b) Saturday (Evening)—Salisbury Township Falcons (3A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Red). Note: Second half of game suspended by lightning
4) Monday—Northwestern Lehigh Tigers (4A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Gold). JV game.
5) Thursday—Northern Lehigh Bulldogs (2A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Red).
6) Friday—Emmaus Hornets (6A). Eastern PA (South).
7) Saturday (Morning)—Northampton Konkrete Kids (6A). Eastern PA (North) JV game.
8) Saturday (Afternoon)—Pen Argyl Green Knights. (2A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Red).
9) Saturday (Evening)—Pleasant Valley Bears (6A). Eastern PA (North).
10) Tuesday—East Stroudsburg South Cavaliers (5A). Eastern PA (North).
11) Friday—Nativity BVM Green Wave (1A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Blue).
12) Saturday—Saucon Valley Panthers (4A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Gold).
13) Sunday—Shenendoah Valley Blue Devils (2A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Blue).
14) Monday—Tamaqua Blue Raiders (3A). Schuylkill-Colonial League (Red). Note: Game suspended at halftime but called complete.
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