In only their second year as a varsity program, the Freedom boys lacrosse team has faced some bumps and bruises.
Last year they finished 4-11 overall and 3-7 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. With aspirations of a District 11 berth in 2016, the Patriots hoped a new year brought new and better outcomes this time around.
But 2015 EPC runner-up Parkland did not help out. The Trojans dominated on both ends of the field in a 17-1 victory last Monday afternoon at Bethlehem Area School District stadium.
Zachary Thatcher brought the Hellertown community to life last fall, helping to lead Saucon Valley further than any other program in school history.
The Panthers won the Colonial League and the District 11 Class AAA championships, and advanced all the way to the PIAA state semifinals.
And Sunday night at the 2016 Scholar-Athlete awards banquet for the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Football Foundation at the Northampton Community Center, Thatcher was named the overall winner.
It has been a year the senior won’t ever forget.
Michael McDaniel was a thorn in the side of Lehighton all night, and on both sides of the ball. The senior tailback/cornerback rushed for 251 yards on 31 carries and four touchdowns on offense and threw in a 73-yard fumble return on defense as Bethlehem Catholic (10-1) earned a berth to a second straight District 11 Class 3A final with a resounding 55-18 win at Bethlehem Area School District stadium.