The 2021-2022 athletic year was filled with ups and downs for every high school in our coverage area. We saw a variety of exciting games, countless breakout performances, and even some dark moments that showed how much these athletes were willing to sacrifice for the sport they love. With so many highs and lows, it’s difficult to narrow down the best moments of this season alone. From games so intense that you could feel the tension on the screen to a story of redemption that you couldn’t have seen coming; there were many great moments this past high school sports season. But which ones stood out above the rest? Here are some of our editor’s favorite moments from the 2021-2022 high school sports season:
Lower Merion Football Wins First State Title in 52 Years
One of the most anticipated football games of the season took place when Lower Merion and Central Bucks West met in the PIAA Class 6A Championship game. In what has the first state title game in 52 years for Lower Merion, the Red and Black prevailed with a 21-14 win over Central Bucks West. Throughout the game, the Phantoms had their fair share of opportunities to score and take the lead, but Lower Merion kept them out of the endzone with some key plays by their defense. The Red and Black’s defense headlined the state title game, but the offense also deserves credit for getting them into the red zone. At the end of the game, Lower Merion claimed their first state title since 1965, ending a 52-year drought.
One of the most exciting games of the season took place at Central Bucks West when the Bucks hosted Downingtown East for a Thursday night game. In what became known as the “Thursday Night Football Game of the Year,” CB West and DE came out with a resounding victory. The Bucks’ defense came out on top throughout the game, keeping the Cougars out of the endzone and only allowing one touchdown. CB West’s offense sputtered through much of the game, but they managed to get the ball into the endzone, putting up a modest 24 points. With the final score of 24-7 in favor of the Bucks, CB West proved to be the top team in their district, winning the Central Bucks East matchup by a wide margin.
The Caledonia High School Football Team’s Comeback Win Over Ypsilanti
One of the most memorable football games of the season took place when Ypsilanti traveled to Caledonia in a game that could decide the league championship. Caledonia held a 13-10 lead in what felt like a defensive battle for the entire game, but Ypsilanti scored a touchdown to put themselves within one point of claiming the league title. With just a few minutes left in the game, Caledonia’s offense finally broke through, scoring a touchdown and an additional two-point conversion to take the lead. As the game came to a close, the Cougars’ defense was able to hold Ypsilanti to a field goal and secure the win. Caledonia’s win over Ypsilanti secured them the Eastern Michigan Conference title and propelled them to a 10-0 season.
Rochester Adams Baseball’s Run to the MHSAA Final Four
The Adams boys’ baseball team was able to make it to the MHSAA Final Four after upsetting defending state champions Oak Park in the first round. The Raiders were able to defeat the heavily-favored Patriots in a 3-2 game, sending them to the next round of the playoffs. After defeating Trenton in the quarterfinals, Adams moved on to the semifinals where they defeated Rochester Hills Lutheran. The Raiders’ run came to an end in the state finals as they fell to Grandville 3-2 in a competitive game. Despite falling short in the state finals, the Raiders’ season was one of the best in recent history, cementing Adams as one of the best teams in the state, if not the country.
Upsetting the Champs: Evanston Football
When the Blueboys took on the Upper St. Clair Panthers in a Week 8 matchup, no one expected the Blueboys to pull off the win. Upper St. Clair was coming off an undefeated season in which they ended with a state championship. However, Evanston managed to upset the Panthers with a score of 22-19. This victory came at an important time for the Blueboys as it was their first win of the season, and it pulled them out of last place in the league. It was also the first win for the Blueboys since the 2016 season. This win by Evanston helped to prove that the Blueboys are a team to be reckoned with this season, especially with the next two games against Upper St. Clair.
The Best Moments of the 2021-2022 High School Athletic Year: Our Columist’s Favorite
While there were many great moments on the field during the 2021-2022 athletic year, there are plenty of other moments that deserve recognition. For example, there was the incredible story of a softball player who was diagnosed with cancer and the community that came together to support her through her journey. There was the moment when a high school athlete made his mark on the basketball court by making a shot from behind the backboard. There was a basketball player who broke an unwritten rule by dunking over an opponent. There was a lacrosse player who scored a goal by putting the ball through his legs. And there was a football player who made an incredible touchdown when he caught the ball with one hand as he jumped over a defender. There were many great moments this past high school sports season, but there were even more moments that are worth remembering.
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