Archive For The “Keith Sherman” Category
It wasn’t a typical Lehigh weekend for me as I headed to Murray Goodman.
With my family, including my mother and father visiting Murray Goodman stadium for the first time in a long time, I spent most of the game experiencing most of the game in a place where I haven’t been in a while: the “stands”.
When you cover a team, it’s a bit too easy sometimes to take refuge in the press box, hermetically sealed from the rest of the fans out in the fresh air. Too often, too, that’s what I do: plop in the press box, not to emerge until after the clock reads zero.
This time around, though, I had the incredible experience once again to enjoy most of the game in the stands, thanks to my family, and it couldn’t have been a better one, thanks to the best efforts of the other fans.
The picture above was taken on my phone, from where I was sitting on Saturday.
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The term being bandied about the season in regards to the 2013 Mountain Hawks was the “Cardiac Kids”.
Every week, the Mountain Hawks would fall behind. Every week, there would be hiccups, issues, and heart-stopping moments, but most often would end up in Lehigh victories.
Most fans wondered: Could it be possible, would it be possible, for Lehigh to put the pedal to the metal against an opponent, to surge to a huge lead, go for he jugular early, and never look back?
This Saturday, the Mountain Hawks answered.
Lehigh scored the most points they’d scored in the first half since 2002, scoring on seven of their eight drives of the first half and narrowly missing the eighth. They’d cruise to a 38-3 halftime lead before the second stringers would make the final score look a lot closer.
In short, it was exactly what most of the 9,866 fans in attendance were looking for in the first Patriot League conference game of the season. Never trailing. Making the game’s outcome not be in doubt early. Winning.
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(Photo Credit: The Morning Call)
Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” for the Fordham game.
(Photo Credit: Howard Smith/USA Today Sports)
So on the morning of October 5th, I got out of bed.
The Lehigh football team was undefeated, of course.
WR Ryan Spadola was a receiver on the NFL’s New York Jets, and by many indications was in line for more playing time on the biggest of stages, Monday Night football.
And G C.J. McCollum, after ripping up the NBA summer league for the Portland Trailblazers, seemed poised to enter the NBA season with a flourish, maybe even competing for Rookie of the Year.
By the end of my trip to the Big Apple, all three dreams were shattered.
Athletically, most Lehigh people of all stripes had three things in which they take an immense amount of “pride” – the football team, successful on the field for so long, the battle of Ryan Spadola against the odds to make the 53 man roster of the New York Jets, and the first Lehigh player ever taken in the NBA draft, C.J. McCollum. By the end of Saturday, Lehigh’s “pride” had been run over by a truck on the upper level of the George Washington bridge.
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(Photo Credit: Keith A. Muccilli/Trenton Times)
“Once you have some positive things going, you start saying, ‘Wow, I know Lehigh is a great team’. We started playing football, and it was nice to see. After this game, there’s going to be some ‘attaboys’, ‘good efforts’ and everything else, but for us to improve as a team it’s got to go beyond the great effort, the good effort, the hanging in there. It’s not enough. It can’t be the case. It needs to be winning a game that we gave ourselves an opportunity to win.”
That was Princeton head football coach Bob Surace last year after his Tigers came close to beating the Mountain Hawks at Murray Goodman last season, but coming up just a bit short, 17-14.
Princeton’s strong effort that Saturday last season was an indicator that the Tigers, who were 1-9 in 2011, were poised to be a much better team in 2012.
After a 5-5 season, where the Tigers beat Harvard and Yale – their two biggest rivals – they enter 2013 with goals a lot bigger than a “good effort against Lehigh”. Their goal is re-establishing themselves atop the Ivy League, with their first stop hosting a nationally-ranked Mountain Hawks team on national television.
(Photo Credit: Justin LaFleur/Lehigh Athletics)
Below the flip, enjoy this week’s “LFN Players of the Week” and a Two Minute drill on the quotes from this Saturday’s game.
I’ve decided to break out the sneak peek at Princeton into a different blog post – for reasons that will be come clear.
It looked pretty grim – so grim, in fact, that many of the announced attendance of 6,386 had already left the stadium by th beginning of the 4th quarter.
Central Connecticut State, behind a monster offensive performance by RB Rob Holloman, was methodically beating up the Lehigh defense.
There the Blue Devils were, driving to start the 4th quarter, a Lehigh facemask penalty keeping their drive alive, and finally reaching 1st and goal at the Lehigh 9.
It was the end of that drive, unbeknownst to all, that would be the difference between winning and losing their home opener.
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“At least we have him returning.”
That’s what Lehigh fans have been able to say to themselves each offseason for the last five years.
Some first-team all-Patriot League offensive weapon. Some top Patriot League defensive leader. Something… measurable. “We lose a lot, but at least we have him.”
When Lehigh saw record-breaking QB Chris Lum lost to graduation, the Nation turned to QB Michael Colvin and WR Ryan Spadola to keep the offensive machine humming.
During the past three season, Mountain Hawk fans have grown accustomed to head coach Andy Coen and offensive coordinator Dave Cecchini’s abilities to mold new players and plug them in, not missing a beat.
But they’ve never had to replace this much. Last season’s top rushers are gone. The receiver who’s noe made the 53 man roster of the Jets. The linchpin of the offense – the quarterback – gone.
As we finally enter the 2013 Mountain Hawk football season, the biggest question to answer is: can Lehigh reload on offense?
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(Photo Credit: The Baltimore Sun)
It’s a huge day, with the long-anticipated preseason matchup today between the NFL’s New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars. Lehigh alumni OG Will Rackley and WR Ryan Spadola will be showing the folks on the NFL Network how Lehigh football players play in the pros.
Even this, though, does not stop the countdown.
Today, our honored athlete is senior RB Keith Sherman, who is one of this year’s co-captains and one of the two players I interviewed at Patriot League Media Day.
In the run-up to the game versus New Hampshire, you can bet New Hampshire head coach Sean McDonnell and Lehigh head coach Andy Coen will want to talk about lots of things.
The Wildcats lead off the year against an FBS squad, Central Michigan, and the defending Patriot League champions, Colgate. They’re both very winnable games, and they’ll hope to be 2-0 going into Bethlehem off of a bye week and a tough first two games.
Lehigh will have come off opening games against Central Connecticut State, Monmouth and Princeton, and hope to have solidified all the questions going into training camp – and, hopefully, justified their ranking at No. 17 in the preseason coaches’ poll.
You can bet, though, what New Hampshire and Lehigh won’t want to talk at all about the Wildcats’s last visit to Murray Goodman Stadium.
That’s because they’d then have to talk about “the Divot”.
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