Easton had largely dominated the East Penn League in the 1970’s with Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic breaking through as well. The Lehigh-Northampton and Lehigh Valley leagues gave way to the Colonial and Centennial Leagues. Saucon Valley and Nazareth had a fierce rivalry in the LNL / Colonial Leagues. As the 1980’s began District XI was looking to build on some hugely successful years at the state level.
The Easton Red Rovers led the way during first half of the 1980’s decade – both at the EPC and District XI level. While Nazareth had always been strong in the LNL and early Colonial League, they completed a clean sweep of all 10 Colonial League titles in the 1980’s. With the arrival of Coach Don Rohn at Northampton in 1982, the K-Kids became contenders within a few short years and by the end of the 1980’s, Northampton and Nazareth had developed a premiere rivalry and were battling with Easton for District XI titles. Phillipsburg, Liberty, Bethlehem Catholic and a resurgent Allen team were also contending and had some very good years in the 1980’s.
In AA, North Schuylkill, under Coach Joe Cesari, were racked up District XI and State accolades. The Spartans were 1st or 2nd every year, but saw Northwestern, Northern Lehigh and later Catasauqua claim titles in the late 1980’s / 1990.
Teams were expanding their horizons and beginning to compete out-of-state. National team rankings were beginning to gain attention as the 1990’s approached and would launch a whole new level of competition in the decades to come.
The 1980’s by Season: