Archive for Pleasant Valley

Photo of the Month

Posted in Brandon Leap, Football, High School Football, Lehighton High School, Photo of the Month, Pleasant Valley High School, Pocono Record, Poconos, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , on October 1, 2013 by bobshank

Pleasant Valley v. Lehighton

September’s Photo of the Month was likely to be a football photograph. For one thing, this is the time of year for football. After all, is there any better season than fall, and is there any better season than football season? I think not! We are definitely in the midst of football season!

It is incredible to me, but I still find myself getting butterflies on Friday nights before the games. I certainly did when I played high school football back in the early ’80s, but even now, as I am preparing to photograph a game, I find myself pacing back and forth a little bit and fighting off those nervous butterflies that fly around inside my stomach. Will I capture the moment at the exact right time with my camera? Will the photo be in focus? Will the referee run between my camera and the play? Yep, butterflies are still there flying all around in my stomach. There isn’t a feeling in the world to match it!

Some of my goals for a good, quality football photograph include: 1) the face should be showing in the frame and hopefully the eyes will be visible, 2) the ball should appear in the frame, 3) a special moment or peak action should be captured. This photograph accomplishes all three of these goals. It was a special moment in time captured by a camera so it can be recorded for all time. This to me, is the goal of good, quality photography. It is a worthy pursuit and it keeps me coming back time after time to the field to try to capture another special moment.

The next day, this photo ran six columns wide in the sports section of the Pocono Record.

You can view this new Photo of the Month and previous ones here.

High School Football Kickoff

Posted in Football, High School, Nazareth, Pleasant Valley, Pocono Record, Poconos, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on August 31, 2013 by bobshank

FB20130830-1137The High School football season kicked off last night in the #Poconos . I attended the Pleasant Valley v. Nazareth match up. Excitement was in the air well before the kickoff as fans drove and walked to the stadium, some bringing their back-supporting chairs for the bleachers. The bands’ music added to the excitement. The crowd was filled with excitement and enthusiasm for the first game of the season!

The above photo was printed in today’s Pocono Record, our local newspaper here in the #Poconos . I work as a stringer for the Pocono Record and enjoy photographing sports, which is one of my passions. There is something exhilarating about being on the field on a Friday night! It brings back many fond memories of my days of playing high school football and now I get to capture the action on the field with my cameras!

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The anticipation rose to a crescendo as the two teams were announced and ran onto the field through banners held by the cheerleaders. Then the players stood at attention as the Star Spangled Banner was played by the home band. The kickoff to open the game and the new season was greeted with cheers and the game was under way!

The Blue Eagles attacked first by putting up 6 points after a missed extra point. Then they struck again by tacking on another touchdown, this time with a successful extra point. The game was 13-0 going into halftime.

Nazareth's Marion Johnson receives a pass in the first half against PV.

The visiting band of Pleasant Valley took the field at halftime to put on a show that maintained the enthusiasm of the crowd on this opening night to the football season. The opposing band cheered loudly at times in support of the band on the field. Trumpets blared and drums kept steady beat as the band marched across the field.

Pleasant Valley v. Nazareth, 8/30/2013

The second half started with as much enthusiasm as the first. The teams rushed onto the field and the kickoff ensued. Nazareth received the kickoff this time and ran the field to score a TD on the opening play of the second half and went up by three touchdowns. PV could have rolled over. Instead, they put up 9 points of their own.

By the end of the game the players were showing some battle wounds and the final score was 31-9 in favor of Nazareth. Players and fans exited the stadium through the gates. The first game of the new season was complete!

PV's Austin Borre looks for daylight in the opener against Nazareth.

First Round District 11 Playoffs – Bangor @ Pleasant Valley

Posted in Action Photography, Bangor, Baseball, District 11 Playoffs, Pleasant Valley, Scary Moment, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by bobshank
Pleasant Valley's Jordan Caffrey slides into third on the way to victory over Bangor in the first round of District 11 playoffs.

Pleasant Valley’s Jordan Caffrey slides into third on the way to victory over Bangor in the first round of District 11 playoffs.

The Pleasant Valley hosted Bangor for the first round of District 11 playoffs. It was a beautiful, sunny day–a great day to play baseball! The Bears struck first and scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning. It was a good game on many levels. PV’s starting pitcher, Dan Hrbek, pitched a one-hit game through 6 innings. Bases were loaded with no out in the top of the 4th inning on two walks and the one hit, but Hrbek pitched out of trouble with three straight strikeouts!

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, throws to first base on a grounder back at him.

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, throws to first base on a grounder back at him.

Bangor’s third baseman, Ryan Hydock, hit a solo home run off relief pitcher, Howie Stevens, in the bottom of the 7th. But that was the lone threat Bangor was able to mount in this playoff game. It was a pretty solid game from both sides, but PV prevailed through regulation to win 5-1.

There was a scary moment, however, in the bottom of the 5th inning. With Dan Hrbek on first base with a walk,  James Shank stepped up to the plate. Shank swung at the first pitch to protect Hrbek, who stole second base. Then the count went to 1-2. The next pitch tailed to the inside of the right-handed batter and hit the bill of Shank’s helmet, breaking it with a clean break! Shank fell to the ground after the ball bounced off the helmet, hit is cheek, and then caromed off his shoulder. These sequence of photos show the scary action…

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PV Wins a Big Game in the Bottom of the 7th!

Posted in Baseball, Lehighton, Pleasant Valley High School, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on May 4, 2013 by bobshank
Shortstop, Dan Hrbek, charges a slow roller to make an excellent play in the field as PV went on to win 3-2 in seven innings

Shortstop, Dan Hrbek, charges a slow roller to make an excellent play in the field as PV went on to win 3-2 in seven innings

It wasn’t easy and it was just what the doctor ordered after a tough loss in their last game. PV went up 1-0 on an RBI single by catcher, James Shank. But the fightin’ Indians came back heartily to go up 2-1 in the middle innings.

First baseman, Jordan Caffrey, flips to pitcher, Howie Stevens to record the out.

First baseman, Jordan Caffrey, flips to pitcher, Howie Stevens to record the out.

Howie Stevens pitched a great game, pitching out of trouble in several innings to keep the game close. Without his effort, this game would most likely have ended up much differently. As it was, he pitched 6 strong innings by mixing an effective curve ball in with his fastball to keep hitters off balance just about every time it was needed.

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, flips to first baseman, Howie Stevens, to record an out in the 7th inning. Hrbek threw hard and recoded outs on all three batters he faced.

Pitcher, Dan Hrbek, flips to first baseman, Howie Stevens, to record an out in the 7th inning. Hrbek threw hard and recorded outs on all three batters he faced.

Dan Hrbek came in to pitch the 7th inning with the game hanging in the balance, tied up 2-2. He threw hard stuff and recorded 2 Ks. His fastball was arguably as fast as its been all season. He was hitting his spots and throwing hard, which resulted in 3 up and 3 down in the top of the 7th inning. Then it was time for the PV Bears to have last dibs!

James Shank went 3-4. He lead off the 7th inning with a double down the 3rd base line.

James Shank went 3-4. He led off the bottom of the 7th inning with a double down the 3rd base line.

The bottom of the last inning was started off by a line drive double down the 3rd base line by James Shank. He rolled into the second, representing the potential winning run if PV could get him across the plate. Howie Stevens earned a walk and Troy Van Houten also earned a base on balls to load the bases with one out. Nick Domenici hit a fly ball to right field, but Shank did not tag up at third base, so the bases remained loaded with two outs. That brought up third baseman, Austin Yoffredo, who hit a wickedly spinning ball down the first base line. Somehow it snuck through the legs of the Lehighton first baseman. Shank crossed home plate and the Bears snagged the much needed victory!

James Shank celebrates the PV victory after crossing home plate.

James Shank celebrates the PV victory after crossing home plate.

PV Baseball Team Goes 11-2

Posted in Adam Raseley, Baseball, Dan Hrbek, Dylan Pasnak, East Stroudsburg South, High School, Howie Stevens, James Shank, Jordan Caffrey, Pleasant Valley, Sports Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2013 by bobshank

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Pleasant Valley’s baseball team was propelled by James Shank as he went 2-3 at the plate and recorded 2 RBIs. Howie Stevens and Jordan Caffrey contributed well-placed hits in the line-up to score 6 runs in six innings.

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Dylan Pasnak, pitched a masterful 1-hitter to secure a solid defensive game and record the shut-out.

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In the above photo, #3 Adam Raseley is running to first base. PV’s record is now 11-2 for the season!

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Here, shortstop, Dan Hrbek, turns a self-assisted double-play as #13 Zack Werner slides into the second base for East Stroudsburg South.

Opening Day!

Posted in Baseball, Freedom, Opening Day, Pleasant Valley, Sports Photography with tags , , , , on March 23, 2013 by bobshank

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Opening Day of the Pleasant Valley Baseball Season took place today at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, PA. The wind was blustery and cold, but there was excitement in the air as the 2013 Baseball Season got under way!

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Howie Stevens took the mound for the PV Bears. The senior pitcher mixed it up with fast balls, curves, and change ups. He provided a very solid performance for the first game of the season and went the distance!

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Dylan Frankenfield took the mound for Freedom and also pitched a great game! He overcame a slight defensive problem in the first inning and pitched out of the trouble. His complete game was very solid, too!

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The game was scoreless through three innings. Then Freedom put together a good inning when PV committed a few errors. Freedom mixed in some well-placed hits and scored three runs to take the lead.

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Frankenfield came to the plate later in the game and hit an rbi single to go up 4-0.

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PV made a valiant effort in the bottom of the last inning to make a sizable threat. Hits by Stevens, Hrbek and Domenici helped to put a crooked number up with only one out in the inning!

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The Bears produced three runs to make it a one-run game. What an exciting Opening Day for both teams!

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To view more photographs from today’s game click on the following links:

Pleasant Valley Baseball

Freedom Baseball

PV Wins a Thriller in the Rematch

Posted in Football, Pleasant Valley, Rematch, Sports Photography, Stroudsburg with tags , , , on November 14, 2012 by bobshank

It was a rematch from a week before–Pleasant Valley vs. Stroudsburg, and it was a thriller!

As sometimes happens, all the hard-fought battles came down to a few huge plays. A flea flicker, a field goal, and an interception were the big plays as PV fought to victory on Saturday night. It was a game for the ages!

The first big play of the game didn’t take long to develop. A flea flicker put the ball back in Leap’s hands and he threw a bomb to his receiver, Romeo. So began the rematch  and subsequent plays would not disappoint. PV scored three touchdowns in the 1st half, which was reminiscent of the previous week’s game when Stroudsburg did the same.

The battle was fought out in the trenches on the line of scrimmage. This is typical from two well-matched teams, but few fans ever notice the battles fought here. Most watch the quarterback, running backs, and receivers, as they focus on the ball. But without these battles being won, the big plays would never develop. Stroudsburg fought back twice to eventually tie the game at 21. PV’s kicker, Jordan Caffrey was called on to break the tie with a 28-yard field goal attempt. Here, in the photo below, all eyes were on that ball as it made its way toward the goal post. The kick was good and this would be the play that propelled PV to victory in this thrilling rematch!

Stroudsburg was not finished though. They put together a final drive with hopes of getting into field goal range before time ran out. But Romeo had other plans. Just as his big reception started off the scoring for the evening’s rematch, an interception late in the fourth quarter stopped the scoring and the final drive. It was then just a matter of running a few plays for PV as time ran out.

The scoreboard shows the vital statistics of a game, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. It does not, for example, show the preparation that goes into a game like this, nor does it show the hard work of each player on the line of scrimmage as they battle it out play after play. Still, the scoreboard does indicate the victor, and on this night PV would not be denied. The rematch was a thriller and lets PV continue playing deeper into the playoffs! You can view more photos of this game here.