Friday, February 01, 2008

Big Games This Weekend

I'll keep posting information on recruiting on the thread below, but I want to mention to those of you out there that tomorrow's men's basketball game at Holy Cross (12:00PM) will be broadcast on ESPNU for those of you out there that get that. (I don't, so I'll be listening to the game on AM 1230/1320 in the Lehigh Valley instead.)

The men's basketball team (11-9, 4-2) will be playing a desperate Holy Cross team that is 10-9 and 1-5 in the Patriot League. Racked by injury, they are Dangerous with a capital D - not only that, their strong frontcourt matches up well against our strength in sophomore F Zahir Carrington and senior F Bryan White. It should be a great game.

Speaking of men's basketball, the Morning Call speculates - could there be a Lehigh vs. Lafayette final in the Patriot League tournament? A bit early for that speculation - but imagine that ticket if it were to happen? Imagine that tension in Kirby or Stabler? It would be a must-attend event.

What they didn't say that in women's basketball, a Lehigh vs. Lafayette final already happened in 1997 - which Lehigh (the sixth seed) won and then promptly got sent to UConn in the NCAA tournament! The 13-8 (5-1) Lady Hawks, who are sitting tied for 1st place with Army, want to keep the ball rolling with their balanced attack versus Holy Cross 11-10 (4-2) in what will be a litmus test to see if these Hawks, led by senior G Kaela Pearce (8.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg), can remain in the front of the Patriot League pack.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Recruiting: What Do We Know?

For football, it's definitely the middle of recruiting season, and I'm starting to get some news of "verbal commits" from local papers around the nation. From this list, there are exactly four recruits that have reported that they have verbally committed over the past few weeks, and I thought I'd make as complete a report as I could on each.

C Vinny Pellegrini (Boca Raton HS, FL). A huge lineman (6'3 290 lbs), Pellegrini played in the prestigious Outback Senior All-Star game in Florida as one of the best linemen in the state (to give some perspective on this, he played alongside recruits who have committed to FBS schools Wake Forest and Florida Atlantic).

TE Kyle Holmes (Camden Catholic HS, NJ). 6'2 and 220 lbs as a senior (pictured), he attended Rutgers' spring game in 2006 and has had interest from the big boys around the area. On Rivals he's listed as an "athletic player" which could give the Mountain Hawks an intriguing target at TE in the years to come.

P/K Alex Smith (Lake Brantley, FL). Lehigh may have lucked out with Smith's leg injury his senior year, perhaps dropping him off the radar of FBS schools. Before them he was one of the state's best kickers, booting 45 yard FGs for Lake Brantley. The rumors are he's 100% healed from his injury, and with rising senior P/K Jason Leo graduating next year, getting a powerful leg to replace him will be very, very welcome in 2009 and beyond. [UPDATE: In an article about the growing trend of high school athletes engaging in the services of personal trainers, Smith appears. "He said he used to kick the ball about 40 yards, but now his punts are in the 45- to 50-yard range."]

DB/QB John Littlejohn (Colonial HS, FL). Although he played a bit of quarterback, it's likely he's being recruited to play defensive back with a monster senior year for Colonial. As a defensive back, he racked up an eye-popping 49 solo tackles, 3 interceptions, and 3 pass breakups. I always love to get speed, and he sounds like a nice speedster for the secondary.

[UPDATED LIST]
LB Bryce Arruda (Haddonfield HS, NJ). A first-team Colonial Conference all-star at linebacker, this 6'1, 220 lb LB is yet another monster at LB that the coaching staff has nabbed for the defense. Who says "that school in State College" is Linebacker U., anyway?

LB Alex Petroff (Chardon HS, OH). Another 6'2, 225 lb linebacker, this time from Ohio. He made the Northeast Lakes All-District second team. Again, there are no shortage of linebackers coming into Bethlehem...

WR/RS DeVaughn Gordon (North Plainfiled, NJ). Turning down a full scholarship from Maine to come to Bethlehem, he was also on Temple's radar before coming here. He was first team all-Somerset county where he led his team in interceptions with 4. Speed kills... (Don't confuse him with the runningback of the same name out of West Virginia.)

ATH Colin Netwon (Lake Brantley, FL). Our third Lake Brantley product (we already have rising sophomore DB Casey Eldemire from there) and our second solid verbal from there in this recruiting class, it's evident that the Lehigh coaching staff is mining the vein of talent in Florida extremely well this year. The 6'0, 172 lb Newton was a RB/DB and return guy in high school who was a second team all-Central Florida and also had a playoff-clinching interception in his last regular-season game in high school. Appears to be a big playmaker in high school. The remaining question is: offense or defense?

ATH Isadore Carrie (Ben Franklin HS, LA). A three-sport star at Ben Franklin (football, basketball, and track), Carrie is 5'11 190 lbs and averaged 6.86 yards per carry as a running back and notched 42 tackles as a middle linebacker. This article mentions that Carrie helped carry Ben Franklin to their first-ever playoff appearance last season.

More will be posted here if I get any more information, so come back often.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lehigh Puts 19 On Patriot League's Academic Honor Roll

Senior WR Pete Donchez highlights this year's academic honor roll in the Patriot League, where a record 122 student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.2 or better and earned a varsity letter. Specifically, Lehigh saw 19 of its student-athletes qualify for the "honor roll" with Donchez being only one of two athletes who scored a perfect 4.0.

Other football starters that were on the honor roll including the LFN "Hawk of the Year" in junior LB Tim Diamond (3.32), senior LB Rusty Campion (3.32), senior DT Kyle Adams (3.43), sophomore QB Chris Bokosky (3.66), junior RB Matt McGowan (3.28), senior C John Reese (3.80), senior TE Joe Sutherland (3.54), senior CB Brannan Thomas (3.23), and junior WR Sekou Yansane (3.47). Congratulation's to these standouts, and to all the Mountain Hawks that made the honor roll - proving that indeed these guys get it done in the classroom as well. It's what it's all about.

Donchez was injured a lot last year - though rumor has it he may be eligible for a 5th year should he choose to stay at Lehigh for graduate school. Stay tuned.

Finally, hope you were able to catch the end of Lehigh's thrilling men's basketball win (60-55) against the hated Leopards on Saturday, putting Lehigh right in the thick of the Patriot League title race. Aside from setting up an exciting February and March for hoops, some even better news from football: unconfirmed reports that a bunch of potential football recruits were at the game visiting Bethlehem to get just a small taste of "The Rivalry".
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