Northwestern football team wins the officials sportsmanship award

The Tigers earned an 'A' in how they treated the officials and acted during games.

Northwestern Lehigh athletic director Jason Zimmerman said winning games and championships aren't the only goals for his football program each year.

"Not only do you want to win championships, but you want to do things right on the field," Zimmerman said.

The Tigers must have done plenty of things right this season because the program was honored with the Sportsmanship Award from the Eastern Pennsylvania Football Officials Association.

Northwestern received the award Thursday night at the EPFOA's annual banquet in Coplay.

"I was always taught to do things the right way from the coaches I had at Northwestern like Bob Mitchell and Tom Linette and it was the same way at Lehigh playing for Kevin Higgins and Pete Lembo," Tigers coach Josh Snyder said in receiving the award along with Zimmerman and Principal Aileen Yadush.

"Zimmy wants all of his coaches to act like a professional. Dress the part, act the part and that's the way it is in the entire school. You look in our hallway and it's not just the athletes, but it's all of the students acting the right way. For us to be recognized in this way is a tremendous honor."

The Tigers' season still has one more night left. Northwestern (8-3) will host North Schuylkill on Friday night for the Eastern Conference Class 2A championship.

"We've known about the award for a while, but I told the guys today and they were all pretty pumped up about the honor," Snyder said. "We appreciate what the officials do on a nightly basis. We respect them."

Chapter President Glenn Rissmiller said the officials hope to be treated well from the moment they arrive at the stadium.

"We look at a lot of factors — the behavior of the players, the behavior of the coaches on the sideline, the facility and how you're treated when you get there," Rissmiller said. "We consider ourselves professionals and we expect to be treated that way.

"Northwestern Lehigh certainly got an A in every category. It's not to say that their coaches don't complain. But when they do, there's no carrying on. That's all we ask. We're not going to get everything right and the coaches have a right to let us know, but let's move on because it's not going to change. Plus, the kids at Northwestern are excellent. They never say a word."

It's no accident that Northwestern has won the sportsmanship twice in five years and three times since 1997.

BML takes two from Tri-Co

We'll have more on this later, but we've learned that the Blue Mountain League has added three franchises for the 2014 season and two of them are former Tri-County League members.

The league's website unveiled the news, saying that the Northern Yankees and Limeport Bulls from the Tri-Co have joined the BML, as has a team to be called the Roseto Bandits.

The league will no longer have the Vynecrest Reds, leaving it at 11 teams.

Moondogs senior baseball

The Lehigh Valley Moondogs, coached by Dick Prue, was the Lehigh Valley's first-ever entry in the 65-and-over division of the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series held in late October in Phoenix. And the Moondogs became the area's first 65-and-over champs.

After wins over Philadelphia, St. Paul, Minn., Phoenix and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, in bracket play, the Moondogs defeated Rhode Island 9-3 behind a complete game from Dennis Hock to advance to the title game and then unleashed an 18-hit attack to defeat Philadelphia 9-4.

Tony Spidale played steady defense and delivered a key triple in the title game.





Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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