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MVC looking for a rebound

Written by: on Monday, September 1st, 2008. Follow Mark Zovak on Twitter.


The Mountain Valley Conference did not do well in week one. Every MVC team lost and some by big margins. Against the Lehigh Valley Conference foes the scores were big.  Pleasant Valley fell to Nazareth (lvc) 40-0, Northampton (lvc) put one on Stroudsburg 43-7. Dieruff (lvc) opened eyes by pounding Pocono Mountain East 47-7 and Easton (lvc) stuck it to MVC power East Stroudsburg South 34-7. Other conference teams didn’t do much better as East Stroudsburg North got smacked by Delaware Valley 41-11. Wallenpaupack stuck it to defending MVC champion Pocono Mountain West 37-20 and Lehighton miscued badly against Marian Catholic 28-14. The MVC was outscored 270 to 65 in week one play. No wonder the conference is considered to be weak by many area football fans. The MVC has to take a look into the mirror and find the reason for the poor play of it’s football teams. Most of these teams are in the fastest growing region in the state. The school districts are all class AAAA except for Lehighton at AA. Every year these schools get bigger, with most of these schools averaging 747 boys in enrollment. Pleasant Valley is the largest MVC school with 891, Pocono Mountain West at 862, Stroudsburg at 811, Pocono Mountain East at 775, East Stroudsburg South at 590, East Stroudsburg North at 555 and class AA Lehighton at 327. Let’s compare the MVC teams that played the LVC schools in week one. Noting that none of these LVC teams are football powers except for Easton. All of the LVC schools that played in week one are all class AAAA programs. Nazareth at 645, Northampton at 799, Dieruff at 830 and Easton at 1301. All are pretty close in enrollment for football except for Easton and they played East Stroudsburg South with a 590 enrollment. Looking beyond the LVC at the other teams that played MVC teams in week one. We have two more class AAAA schools, Wallenpaupack at 583, Delaware Valley at 760 and class A Marian Catholic at 118. Is it growing pains, poor coaching or the football players in these programs? Growing pains could be a cause for the lack luster football in the conference. The East Stroudsburg school district divided into two schools in 2002 creating North and South. Pocono Mountain did the same in 2002 creating East and West. That gives four teams six full seasons to build new football programs. East Stroudsburg South has not missed a beat since the break up of the school district and has had it’s share of MVC titles. Pocono Mountain West got it’s first MVC title last season. But those accomplishments are in the MVC. None of the teams in the conference has made noise in the post season. Those that did make the post season were done after the first round of  playoffs. The MVC does have two of the longest tenure coaches in the area with Stroudsburg’s Fred Ross and East Stroudsburg South’s Ed Christian. All of the other coaches in the conference have less than six full years under their belt. Now for the players in the conference. Some of the student athletes entering the Pocono area schools are from New York and New Jersey. Football is not the major sport for some of these athletes entering the school districts. But basketball is and the MVC does very well against any LVC team. The Mountain Valley Conference is going through growing pains. New schools, young coaches and new students taking up a new sport could be the cause of the MVC’s troubles at the moment. The Pocono Record did an article last year about teams in the MVC that have football tradition. The article concluded that many of the teams have little in the way of football tradition. The author of the article went on to say that Lehighton was the team with the best football tradition in the MVC. Concluding that the teams in the Pocono Record coverage area have lost or just don’t have football traditions. Only time will tell if football is going to be a power sport for the MVC. In other sports the conference is doing well and can mix it up with the LVC or other leagues in the area. Rebounding a basketball maybe the ticket for the MVC for now.

MVC week two games: East Stroudsburg North @ Wallenpaupack, East Stroudsburg South @ Delaware Valley, Lehighton @ Tamaqua, Pleasant Valley @ Honesdale, Pius X @ Pocono Mountain East, Pocono Mountain West @ Crestwood, Stroudsburg @ Hazleton.

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