December 3, 2013 at 9:14 pm #12517
There is no debate that the win vs Duke opened some doors that might have been shut previously. CJ McCollum and Liz Lucas both said they never even heard of Lehigh before being recruited. This year’s freshman class is the 1st one since that big win. Although so far, our athletic results have not been overwhelming, there is one constant among most teams this year…youth. I attended a men’s soccer game. 5 of the 11 starters were freshmen. Our two leading scorers, starting defender and goalie on our field hockey team were all freshmen. In our big football wins vs Holy Cross and Colgate we were led by a freshman QB, 2nd leading tackler, kicker and KR. Our starting wrestlers this year has 1 senior 3 sophomores and 6 freshmen (many redshirt). We suited up 10 players for the Sacred Heart game which we won by 12. (1 senior, 1 junior, 2 sophs and 6 freshmen). The recruiting class for women’s basketball has the best credentials of any class that I can remember, possibly ever. Our swimming teams swept Lafayette a couple of weeks ago. In the process they broke a school record (freshman) and 13 pool records which involved 7 freshman and 3 sophs. A recent chat with Fran Troyan indicated that there may be as many as 7 frosh and sophs in the starting lineup this year.
I don’t know if this is normal for Lehigh or the rest of the PL but if these young men and women progress as they should, the future does seem bright.December 3, 2013 at 9:56 pm #12520
Love your thread title. Very Nostradamus like :). The quality of this year’s frosh across the board is remarkable. M & W BBall have the best groups that I have ever seen. Vball and SBall impressive as is cross country. Leary ,as usual as done quite well with his local recruits. Nice to see him expanding out West and down South.Lax has so many top kids coming in over the next 3 years, I am starting to worry that Kevin will get poached soon.
Football is my passion. Since the very early 70s, other than a few yrs in the 80s,we have been very consistent in bringing in solid classes with a number of excellent players in each. This world of schollies is a substantially different scene for us and for the PL. The impact of frosh at all the PL schollie schools was greater than I expected. One fact tho stands out. Most of our prior classes had a numbe of recruits that could play most anywhere, but very ,very few had the depth of athletic talent that this class does.Any better or wosre than the other classes in PL? Dont really know,but I am satisfied with our classes impact and potential. My expectation was that the 3rd class of schollies would be the make or break for progress in our program. I am wrong. The class Andy is recruiting this yr is the most important. Partly beause of Yankee Stadium but more to me because most squads go thru up and down cycles. I dread sliding back into the 3-4 yrs good followed by a similar down period. This past yr reasonably was a down yr saved by the emergence of BB and Keith. W/o them we were not a good team. We face the same possibility for next year. Talent levels in P not remarkably different except for difference makers. We had 4 or 5 this year. Will we have any for next?December 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm #12529
Great comments, perceptions …
There’s another issue as seen through the eyes of my kids when they have attended games — and as I get older, I’m really starting to see it.
Look at attendance at football and wrestling in particular: It seems to skew older — fewer students, more (older) alumni/retirees, longtime older Bethlehem fans.
If, proportionally, fewer students attend games than in the the 1950s (guys still attending today) on, what does that bode for the (attendance and dollar) future of these programs?
I’ve heard stories about freshmen or other students “required” in the 1950s to attend ballgames; almost all of my friends went in the 1970s. You saw a lot of students in the 1980s. But the school has evolved in many ways, attracting more students who stereotypically, at least, have little interest in these sports (pardon the political incorrectness, but internationals, women, academics, kids who do not come from “wrestling” states).
Increasing the diversity at Lehigh benefits the school and student experience in untold numbers of ways, but maybe not in attendance and future alumni support of football and wrestling, especially, as compared to today.December 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm #12530
True for many schools. And, in my day , frosh “had” to be at Taylor for frosh tu.nel.Easier in a way all sports were a short walk down the hill. Less distractions. No girls,internet.
Expect it is cyclical. More pressure to sell sports to kids now. Look at lax Kevin built it and crowds have come.December 4, 2013 at 10:53 pm #12540
Do not despair gentlemen. Their is a metamorphisis going on :-). A few years ago, in a focus group, I discussed Pitt’s policy of allocating tickets for big games based on attendance at the lesser games. I thought it would be a good way for Lehigh to allocate L-L tickets. Apparently, they are implementing some variation of that suggestion and students are getting their cards scanned at halftime of all sporting events.
I attended at least one match in most of the fall and winter sports and I can tell you that the student attendance is up considerably over the last few years and they are vocal too. Part of the reason is because the athletic community at Lehigh is really tight and the athletes like to support each other.December 5, 2013 at 12:17 am #12543
I’m glad they are trying something and that its working. The athletes particularly Fball and M&WBB show up at bunches of matches. The guys do seem to go to Vball FH and WBB most. Wonder why?
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