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Around District 11 We Go: The Travels of Guy & Pam Quest: D11 (Week 5)

Written by: on Tuesday, September 28th, 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,

Quest: D11 (Week 5)

After four fantastic weeks of 4-5-5-5 games, we were down to only two more schools this week, bringing our total for the year to 21 different D11 schools at the halfway point of the regular season.

Friday night we again headed to Schuylkill County and another first time visit.  This time it was the Mahanoy Area Golden Bears.  On Saturday morning in Lehighton we got skunked for the first time this year.  A COVID-related postponement changed our Monday plans from JV to varsity, and another first-ever visit.  We headed to Notre Dame—Green Pond to see the Crusaders.  This was the last of the Colonial League stadiums we had yet to ever see.  I had originally figured on trying to find a JV game every Monday, but after five weeks, one holiday and two varsity postponements have us 2-2 between Monday varsity and JV on Mondays.

20)  FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24.  MAHANOY CITY GOLDEN BEARS.  Pam and I had never been to Mahanoy City, and Pam’s great-great-grandfather lived there in the 1870s.  So on the way to the stadium we drove by the address where he lived.

This was a great game, and did not have the outcome we expected.  The Bears were winless after four games, and didn’t even score a point in the first three.  On top of that, the visiting Minersville Battlin’ Miners had just one blemish on their record and had handed Williams Valley (4-1) their only loss.

When the Golden Bears had the ball, especially in the second half after their speedy starting QB was out, it looked like a throwback to 1920s football.  Mahanoy ran dives and QB sneaks over and over, and the push they got from their O-line was amazing.  Many of the plays looked like a rugby scrum, and the old term “three yards and a cloud of dust” never fit better except it was often for five or six yards.  I think they only threw three or four passes all night.  This was about ball control and time of possession.  Probably saw more QB sneaks in the second half of this one than we will see the rest of the year in all games combined.

The defense stepped up and limited Minersville, who had scored in the 40s the previous two weeks, to two touchdowns, only one on offense.  Thoroughly enjoyed seeing the upset, and an old-school style of football I haven’t seen in years.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25.  LEHIGHTON INDIANS JV.  NO GAME.  Up until this point, I had been using the “Big Teams” athletics calendars for each school to plan and confirm our games.  It hadn’t let us down so far.  Our Saturday plan was to head to Lehighton for the JV football game against Pottsville.  I checked both the Lehighton and Pottsville Big Teams sites before leaving, and neither showed the game as postponed/cancelled.

When we arrived at Lehighton, we found an empty football field.  There was a varsity soccer game happening at the all-purpose field, and so I asked at the refreshment stand and was told that the JV football game had been cancelled the day before.  At least I got to enjoy a meatball sandwich, and Pam breakfast casserole, before we headed out.

Although we used up several hours of our Saturday and didn’t see any football, we didn’t miss any opportunities to see any additional high school teams play for the season.  The only other game I had found was the Notre Dame @ Jim Thorpe JV game, and we were sure that game was at the very least postponed, since the varsity game scheduled for the night before was moved to Monday due to COVID.  The cancellation was confirmed on the Notre Dame schedule page from Big Teams.  As for Lehighton, they are scheduled to be home again this Saturday late morning/afternoon against Blue Mountain, a game that originally showed as scheduled for Monday.  As long as that one is not cancelled, we will get to see them play anyway, so it will be no harm/no foul in terms of the football quest.  Had we known there was no game, we would have gone to the harness races at the Bloomsburg Fair, so we did miss out on an event.

As I write this on Tuesday morning, the Lehighton game from this past Saturday is still not showing as having been cancelled on either schools Big Teams schedule.  Schools, if you postpone or cancel a scheduled game, please take the couple of minutes it would take to update your published schedules on all sites in which they appear.  It could save a couple hours for supporters.  Not everyone interested in your school’s sports teams are among the inner circle that would get the info through word of mouth.  Perhaps the Big Teams schedules aren’t the “go to” source I thought.

21)  MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27.  NOTRE DAME–GREEN POND CRUSADERS.  In our years living in Catasauqua, we followed the Rough Riders to most of the Colonial League school stadiums.  Before this season, the only two I had not seen were Bangor and Notre Dame.  After having been to Bangor earlier in the season, this was the last of the Colonials.  It’s extra surprising that this was the last to visit, as it’s just down the road from Freedom High School, where I spent almost thirty years teaching.

Not only were we excited to see the seventh new stadium of the year, we were excited to see the current Notre Dame team play.  They were undefeated going into this game, and ranked #4 in the state in their classification by PA Football News.  Pam was especially thankful for the earlier 6:00 Monday start, as the alarm rings at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesdays, and we are in the gym at 6:15 for our daily workout. But while I spend the rest of the day at home enjoying retirement, Pam leaves for work at 7:45 and doesn’t return for over 14 hours, at 11:00 p.m.

Jim Thorpe came into the game at 2-2, but is no pushover as they pinned the only loss to date on the backs of the Palmerton Blue Bombers.  Notre Dame jumped out 21-0, the Olympians got it to 28-21, and then the Crusaders regained control and added three more TDs.  This game got quite chippy just before and after halftime, and that included players, coaches, and students.  I thought the refs might lose control of the game but they did a good job and so did everyone on both sides in regaining composure and getting emotions back in check.

The Crusaders offense was really fun to watch, and I hope we get to see them play again this year come playoff time.

ALTERNA-SITE FIELDS.  Our Quest has evolved several times during the first five weeks.  At first, it was to see a different school play every week.  Then it became seeing how many of the 47 different D11 schools we could see play this season.  Then it was seeing all 47 teams play a varsity or JV home game this season and next.

The Quest has evolved again.  While researching teams and game schedules, we learned that at least three schools play their JV games at locations different from the varsity.  My Freedom Pates play their JV games on the turf field at Freedom, not across town at the BASD Stadium adjacent to Liberty.  Allentown Central Catholic plays JV at Percy Ruhe (Alton) Park, not at the city owned J. Birney Crum Stadium.  And last week we learned Lehighton plays most of their JV games (save the rivalry game vs. Jim Thorpe which is played at the main all-purpose field) at the old football stadium.  We have decided to add the “Alterna-Site Fields” to the list as well, giving us an even fifty school/field combinations to visit as of now.  I’ll continue to investigate to see if any other schools play their JV games at different sites, and if so, add them to the list too.

If no games are postponed, cancelled, or relocated this coming week, we should have another big week of watching PA District 11 High School Footbal

 

SEASON SUMMARY (21 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

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)

 

COULDAS & WOULDAS

COULDA.  Week 1—Blue Mountain.  A Friday team that played Saturday afternoon due to rain.  But we stuck with our plan to see Saturday teams, which we could have done in subsequent weeks.  Thursday game coming up should wipe this Coulda off the board.

COULDA.  Week 1—Tri Valley.  Another 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.

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.  Another game is scheduled for this Saturday, so hoping to wipe out this Woulda then.

 

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