The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Rivals today, Leopards forever

Football alumni to face off in high school coaching duel
Tim Moncman ’92 and Tom Falzone ’00 face off in their high school rivalry matchup tonight. (Photos by Brandon Santiago and Saed Hindash for Lehigh Valley Live)

It is Rivalry week in the Lehigh Valley, but Lafayette and Lehigh are not the only teams battling for a title — two Lafayette alumni have their own high school football rivalry.

Tom Falzone ‘00 and Tim Moncman ‘92 are the head coaches of the Nazareth and Parkland high school football teams, respectively, and will be facing off in the District XI 6A final tonight.

Falzone and Moncman, who both played football at Lafayette, decided that they wanted to coach soon after graduating.

“I think that [coaching] was something that was with me from the start,” Falzone said. “You spend your time as a player and you love your time out there, but when that ends, you want to compete still, want to be a part of it somehow, and this was the way that I’ve been able to do that through the years.”

“I was captain my senior year [and] played linebacker,” Moncman said. “And then my senior year, I had a spiral fracture in my foot, so I only got to play in three games and started helping out at practice a little bit in the offseason.”

While Falzone and Moncman never played on the same team at Lafayette, they have built a rapport as fellow Lafayette alumni and local football coaches. 

“We developed a relationship over the years — a fun one,” Falzone said. “We definitely have a great mutual respect for each other. [Moncman] just done so much in the coaching world, in the high school coaching world and I look up to him.”

“Tom and I have developed a good rapport as coaches and friends,” Moncman said. “That’s why I have utter respect for him, and we’ll text back and forth about things. It’s not one of those [times] you’re coaching against someone that you dislike. It’s always a challenge to coach against him because he does such a good job.”

Falzone spent 10 years as an assistant coach at both Catasauqua High School and Whitehall High School. He then landed his first head coach position at Catasauqua, where he won two Colonial League titles and a district championship. Then, in 2014, he decided to take the head coaching role at Nazareth to move with his family. He is now serving in his 10th year as head coach, in addition to teaching at Nazareth and serving as an assistant athletic director.

“I got there, I think we had two wins my first year, and I’m wondering, ‘What did I do? Why did I leave [Catasauqua] when we were really comfortable and winning?’” Falzone said. “To build it up like we did and to become league champs, district champs like we have at Nazareth, it’s been so rewarding.”

After graduating from Lafayette, Moncman served on the football staffs of the University of Albany, Lehigh and Moravian as he got his teaching degree, then transitioned to coaching high school football.

Now in his 30th year of coaching and his eighth year at the helm at Parkland, Moncman is looking to extend an impressive undefeated regular season into a strong postseason run. However, Falzone and the Blue Eagles are looking to spoil those plans after suffering a narrow 31-24 loss in the regular season.

Parkland and Nazareth have both been some of the strongest teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District XI during Moncman’s and Falzone’s tenures. In Moncman’s eight seasons as head coach, Parkland has won three district championships and three EPC championships, one of which came this season. The Blue Eagles are looking to win their third district championship under Falzone since 2014. Falzone has also led the team to three EPC championships.

While Moncman and Falzone will be on opposing sidelines on Friday night, they both plan to wear maroon and white on Saturday.

“It’s cool that two Lafayette guys are able to do this and be on this big stage together,” Falzone said. “Of course we want to see the big game the day after, we want to see them beat Lehigh, too. That’s one thing we can agree on the next day.”

“Our conference is so competitive, but [Nazareth and Parkland] have ended up playing in some big games,” Moncman said. “I think the media looks at it as it’s developed into a pretty big rivalry, but nothing’s as big as Lafayette-Lehigh.”

The Trojans and Blue Eagles will face off tonight at 7:05 p.m. in the Bethlehem Area School District Stadium.

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Grace Sanborn, Sports Editor

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