December 26, 2017
By: Tom Meikrantz
Time to take stock on the 2017 high school sporting moments that I covered involving Lehigh Valley teams and individuals in PIAA championships.

1…..Wrestling: What a year for District 11 in the PIAA 3A meet at Hershey’s Giant Center. Nazareth won the team title with Bethlehem Catholic runner-up and Northampton 3rd. Four District 11 wrestlers won individual crowns with Northampton’s Julian Chlebove winning his 2nd as a sophomore at 120, Nazareth junior Sammy Sasso at 138, Becahi’s Mike Labriola repeats at 170 and Nazareth’s Travis Stefanik wins his first as a senior. Nazareth head coach Dave Crowell was named PIAA 3A coach of the year.

2…..Swimming: District 11 didn’t win any events in the PIAA 3A meet but had its’ share of glory in 2A. Moravian Academy’s Kyra Manson won the school’s first ever gold medal in swimming in the 100 butterfly. Salisbury’s Marlon Reihman won the 200 free for the 3rd straight year while Central’s Gabe Castano was a repeat gold medalist in the 50 free. Castano and Reihman finished 1-2 in the 100 free. In 2016 Reihman topped Castano. Salisbury’s Daniel Bonge won the 100 fly despite being seeded 5th while teammate Tyler Keller was 2nd in diving.

3….Baseball: Whitehall was one win away from giving the Zephyrs their 2nd ever team state championship in June. Playing in the 5A title game at  Penn State, Whitehall saw that dream come up short in a rain-shortened 7-0 loss to Latrobe. The zenith was upsetting Wallenpaupack which was 18-2 in the semifinals. Whitehall’s loss in the final put them at even .500 13-13.

4…..Golf: Moravian Academy led by two-time singles champion Drew Warner won both the Colonial League and District 2A team titles for the 4th straight year. That’s a record the seniors can certainly be proud of. Liberty swept the EPC and 3A crowns. Moravian Academy made to states as a team for the first time but settled for 4th just two strokes off the 2nd place score.

5…..Girls Tennis:  Bethlehem Catholic’s Brenna Magliochetti reached the PIAA 2A singles final last year but had to settle for second. Not this year. After winning the first three rounds in straight sets, the junior breezed in the first set 6-2 against Laura Kreb of Knoch but survived a more competitive 2nd set 7-6 to win the gold. Notre Dame’s doubles team of Logan Lencheski and Emma Anmolsingh were in the 2A consolation match but lost and got 4th place medals.

6…..Soccer: Both the Northwestern girls and boys teams made it to the PIAA semifinals but only the boys would advance landing in the championship against the same team Lower Dauphin for the 2nd year in a row with a perfect 25-0 record. The Falcons won last year 3-0 and again proved to be too much winning by the same goal differential 4-1. A sense of deja vu for yours truly covering both matches.

Thanks for the ride to all the fore mentioned PIAA participants. Looking forward to more to come in 2018!