July 24, 2017
By: Erica Rose
So last night I was out at Whitehall high school, it was hot and humid and I had sweat running down me just standing there! (EWW!!) I can’t even imagine how the girls felt who were playing in the field hockey games! But that has nothing to do with this blog!! While I was there (sweating!) I began talking with Whitehall field hockey head coach, Jenn Bodnar, and I discovered a story that she was really excited about. Here it is:
Since the establishment of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference or better known as the EPC, there have been divisions for most of the sports, field hockey being one of them. The three divisions are: Mountain, Steel, and Skyline. However several coaches were not happy with this, as it was unfair for several teams.
The way it worked: the teams would play everyone in their division twice and only a few teams once. So they didn’t even play every opponent in the conference. Some may say what’s wrong with that? If you look at the NFL, a home and an away game is played each year with the teams in the same division. Well news flash this isn’t football. Field hockey is a growing sport, but not all of the schools in the Lehigh Valley even have it. Also, this is high school, yes competitive, but at the same time, fun.
Let me put it in perspective for you. Everyone knows that Emmaus is the power house when it comes to field hockey, so why should teams like Whitehall and Northampton have to face them twice, giving them two losses on their schedule; when other teams may not even face them. Still not convinced this isn’t fair? Those two losses on the schedule have impacted playoff scenarios. Whitehall, for instance, crushed teams last year that ended up with a better record all because they didn’t have to face Emmaus.
So what is being done? This year, there will no longer be divisions in the EPC for field hockey. Instead all teams will see each other once. They will still have their rivalry games, and schedule two games outside the league, but when it comes to the season, the playing field is now even. I understand a change wouldn’t work for every sport, but right now it works for field hockey; and clearly others agree because this year things will be different. It will be interesting to see the standings at the end of the year. Don’t be surprised when teams are in different positions