Friday, February 15, 2008

High-Def And Weekend Hoops

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and I hope everyone gets ESPNU.

The Lehigh women's hoops team (14-10, 6-3) will be playing at 2PM at first-place Army (16-8, 7-2) in their first-ever national TV appearance. I'm hoping to be able to go on the road to see this game in High-Def, be we'll just see about that.

Then you can either go to Stabler to see if the Lehigh men's team (11-12, 4-5) can make an important stand at home against Army (11-12, 4-5) or watch it on Patriot League All-Access.

Completing the trifecta against Army will be the wrestling match at Army at 4:00PM on Sunday. Lehigh is 11-12, just like the men's basketball team, and have to be dying to reach .500.

Have a great weekend, everybody.

Monday, February 11, 2008

...And I Don't Think It Involves Drinking

Lost in all the fanfare about recruiting, Lehigh landed three players on the all-fraternity all-American team last week. It's admittedly the first I'd heard of this all-American team, but it's a great honor for senior C John Reese (Chi Psi), senior OL Jimmy Kehs (DU) and junior DL Brian Jackson (Chi Psi) to be included on the same team as players from FBS schools such as Colorado, Miami (Fl), Oklahoma State and others. Congratulations to all three!

Also potentially lost in the fanfare about recruiting is another nugget of information: that senior WR Pete Donchez was saluted at the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Football foundation this past weekend. Of interest to all those bleeding Brown & White will be the following:

Donchez, who was recently honored by the Patriot League for a 4.0 GPA during the fall semester, had an option to return for a fifth year at Lehigh. Instead, he has accepted a job offer in the global finance division of IBM.

''I'm at the point in my life where I'm ready to take the next step,'' Donchez said.

I can't say I totally blame him - after all, right out of Lehigh I also worked for the global finance division of IBM, of all places - but as a football fan I was secretly hoping he would be returning for a 5th year to give him another chance to play after several injury-riddled seasons. Still, with a job like that, he can rightfully say that his time at Lehigh will have been a true success - and in reality that's what a Lehigh education is all about in the end.

Finally, concluding the NFF meeting was the honoring of high school senior Joshua Hontz, who received a $2,000 scholarship. He's going to East Stroudsburg:

Blending an impeccable academic resumé with a stellar career on the football field, Hontz was honored Sunday night as the winner of the Albert M. Beneck Memorial Scholarship.

He was a Class 2A second-team all-state selection in 2007 after catching 60 passes for 1,006 yards and scoring 11 touchdowns.

...

As impressive as those numbers were, Hontz has been just as impressive in the classroom where he is ranked eighth in a class of 160 and has a GPA of over 100 percent. He's a member of the National Honor Society and his school's student government association.

''He's a great young man and tonight is a culmination of what Josh has accomplished over four years and what our football program has accomplished,'' said Olympians coach Mark Rosenberger. ''Having people like Josh in the program makes it very easy for me to coach.

''He's a hard worker on and off the field and a role model for our football team and everyone in the entire Jim Thorpe School District.''

Rosenberger expects more big things from the 6-2, 205-pound Hontz at ESU.

''He's a great catch for Coach [Denny] Douds at East Stroudsburg,'' Rosenberger said. ''But as great a football player he is, he's an even better person. He did whatever was asked of him and more.''

Sounds like a terrific kid, right, a perfect fit for Lehigh? Yet he's going to Division II East Stroudsburg. Honestly, I take a look at this kid's impeccable academic credentials, his stats, his height (6'2, 205 lbs), his great work ethic, and see "Lehigh material". But he's not going to be playing Division I football.

Why? There are only two possible reasons: that he really doesn't have D-I talent, that he chose a full ride at ESU after Patriot League school wouldn't pay enough of his aid, or some combination of the two.

If we had athletic scholarships, would Hontz be enrolling at Lehigh?
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