Category Archives: Mike Groome

Lehigh 46, Holy Cross 14 Postgame Commentary: Does This Team Have Shades Of 2011?

I've been doing this long enough to know that every Lehigh football team is different.  The dynamics running through every team is different; what motivates one team has no impact on the team of the following year.

But every big win this 2016 team gets, many of the fans who have been here a while keep whispering:

2011.

Like an Adele Spotify channel, you can't help but be reminded of 2011 when you go to Murray Goodman Stadium or Fitton Field or wherever they're playing.  The popular online game between fans on the Lehigh football message board is: Who was better, 2011, or 2016?

The answer is still, beyond a shadow of a doubt, 2011 - for now - but the only reason for that is that 2016 is still in the midst of writing their story.  Yet it can hardly be helped that fans look at the potential of this 2016 team and think, with apologies to Adele, that they are rolling in the same sort of wins that they were in 2011.
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Lehigh 46, Holy Cross 14 Postgame Commentary: Does This Team Have Shades Of 2011?

I've been doing this long enough to know that every Lehigh football team is different.  The dynamics running through every team is different; what motivates one team has no impact on the team of the following year.

But every big win this 2016 team gets, many of the fans who have been here a while keep whispering:

2011.

Like an Adele Spotify channel, you can't help but be reminded of 2011 when you go to Murray Goodman Stadium or Fitton Field or wherever they're playing.  The popular online game between fans on the Lehigh football message board is: Who was better, 2011, or 2016?

The answer is still, beyond a shadow of a doubt, 2011 - for now - but the only reason for that is that 2016 is still in the midst of writing their story.  Yet it can hardly be helped that fans look at the potential of this 2016 team and think, with apologies to Adele, that they are rolling in the same sort of wins that they were in 2011.
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Game Preview, #Rivalry151, Lafayette at Lehigh, 11/22/2015

Chuck laid down on the couch, his therapist staring at his pencil.  He focused at a spor on the celing, listing to the pelt of rain on the thin roof overhead.

"Do you remember it now?" the balding doctor with the shaggy salt-and-pepper beard asked.

"I... I don't remember," Chuck said.  "I have a vague recollection, some faint memories, about being... excited.  About being excited for a football game, but not The Rivalry I expected.  It was being played... in a stadium I didn't recognize.  It was a dream.  A nightmare.  It had to be a nightmare."

"Go on," the doctor said.  "This is good.  Very good.  By confronting what.... happened last year, you can finally face up to it and defeat it.  Defeat your nightmare.  Defeat a year's worth of angst.  Defeat it."

"I don't know," Chuck said.  "It's all so hazy."

"Let's see if we can work this out," the doctor said.  "We'll work it out, and fix this."

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LFN Look Back: A Goal Line Stand Brings Victory in Easton in 2010

Express-Times File Photo, Lehigh 20, Lafayette 13, 2010
It was destined to be a day of defense, and any number of hard-hitting inside linebackers could have been the MVP of the 146th meeting between Lehigh and Lafayette.

Lehigh's defense was on the field thirty-six minutes, and never let a tough Lafayette run game wear them down.

Almost right out of the gates, Lehigh's defense seemed to want to put their mark on this game.

The first three defensive plays featured three straight tackles by senior LB Al Pierce, pounding Lafayette's RB Alan Elder and hurrying QB Ryan O'Neil into throwing the ball out of play.

And it only got better from there.
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Flashback: November 20th, 2010: Lehigh 20, Lafayette 13

(Photo Credit: Joe Gill/The Express-Times)

(Note: I wrote this two years ago after Lehigh beat Lafayette in an impressive defensive struggle in the Mountain Hawks' last trip to Fisher Field.  The "more" link takes you to the rest of the original article.)

Two years ago at Fisher Field, J.B. Clark clutched onto the Lehigh/Lafayette MVP trophy throughout the post-game press conference as if someone were going to snatch it away from him.

This year in Easton, bearded senior LB Al Pierce, a man of fewer words than J.B., didn't have the hardware with him after Lehigh's 20-13 victory over Lafayette in the 146th edition of "The Rivalry". He won the MVP trophy, though - the first defensive player to do so since 2000, when CB Matt Salvaterra did so - but when he spoke to the media after the game, the trophy was nowhere to be found.  When asked about the award, he said that it hadn't really "set in yet".


Somehow, that was fitting for a senior leader that is a lot more about letting his play do the talking on the field than in a press conference. (more)