It's been a stellar sports year in Wayne and Pike County

Seasons Greetings from the News Eagle Sports Department!

Well, 2018 has come and gone and I’d like to share a few of my favorite moments, insights, and experiences from over the past twelve months.

There were some trying times, but overall, it was a fun year keeping up with your kids’ sports, my own kid’s sports, and a plethora of outdoor adventures to boot.

Pesky Precipitation

It was a record shattering year for rain and snow here in NEPA.

Nuisance flakes and freezing drizzle plagued the winter sports schedule and then the massive dump came the first weekend in March that shut down school for a whole week.

While many people were out of power and many roads made inaccessible by the snowstorm, the upside was that for a week or so, we had excellent snowmobiling and cross-country skiing conditions.

The melting snow and persistent rains through the spring also kept the streams up and made for good paddling, however, at a cost. Downed trees through much of the area made many recreation areas in the Delaware Water Gap shut down for a lengthy spell or close indefinitely.

The sustained sogginess hampered the spring and autumn schedules as well.

Ballfields turned to quagmires and cross-country courses were a muddy mess.

I dreaded getting the early morning text messages stating my son’s little league games were cancelled and was more forlorn in the fall when I scrambled to contact the families of soccer players to let them know that “once again” our Saturday games were scratched.

Teenage student-athletes took it in stride. Telling my six-year-old that T-Ball was a no-go was a different matter altogether.

Despite the downpours, Delaware Valley and Wallenpaupack squads carried on.

In addition to the numerous medal winners both schools placed on the podium for individual accomplishments, the Warriors racked up District Two titles in...

Boys swimming (AAA); girls swimming (AAA); wrestling duals (AAA); wrestling (AAA); boys lacrosse (AAA); girls lacrosse (AAA); boys volleyball (AAA); girls volleyball (AAA); girls soccer (AAAA); field hockey (AAA); and football (6A).

The Buckhorns copped championships in...

Boys track (tied with Scranton) (AAA); boys cross country (AAA); and football (5A).

Outdoor Adventures

I logged my first full year as a “sports parent” in 2018.

In March my oldest put in his once-a-week shift at the Buckhorns Indoor Soccer Clinic, and then played his first season in T-Ball.

June meant a week at the Buckhorns Soccer Academy, and we capped off the year with his second fall in Wallenpaupack Youth Soccer and my first stint as a 6U coach.

In a weird twist of fate, my wife became the “outdoorsy” person and took the kids on more hiking adventures than I did. However, I did get the oldest onto the ski slope over the winter for his first time, so she can’t have all the glory.

Summer gave me more time to pursue wilderness adventures. I paddled a few places I’d never been before and got to test out my new life vest the hard way trying to shoot the rapids created by the construction project at the Pond Eddy Bridge.

All that, though, was somewhat bittersweet. The extra time on my hands came from the demise of the Wayne County Men’s Softball League. The ladies all but ceased to exist the previous summer and after a long spiral downward from their halcyon days, the gents finally called it quits this year.

Softball was among the first things I covered when I began writing for the News Eagle and I got to know many of the players well over the past few summers.

While some of the teams reorganized and are playing in the Wednesday night league, others remained intact for tournaments only.

The silent ball fields are a testament to another tradition that has sadly slipped away from our rural summers.

More in Store

I’m not a great predictor of outcomes.

However, given the current PIAA classification system, it’s difficult to not believe DV won’t post repeat championships in 6A and 4A sports, and even possibly add a title or two.

The Warriors will meet some stiffer resistance in the larger 3A brackets, but even there, they have a lot going in favor of maintaining their titleholder statuses.

Expect Paupack to continue track and cross-country domination on the boys’ side. Individually, both schools should produce champions in swimming, wrestling, and track and field as well as a hefty batch of company on the podium wearing medals.

DV’s Tomas Reese will be back to defend his D2 tennis title, too.

For as many certainties as I can see, my crystal ball remains cloudy on more subjects.

Both the Buckhorns and the Warriors have some fine athletes when it comes to team sports, but in nearly every instance there’s one or two pieces of the puzzle missing that prevent me from saying there are other surefire bets when it comes to additional titles.

There’s as much potential for teams taking their fans on wild rides as there is for squads to be stuck in the doldrums. How it all shakes out is something t o be determined.