Even though a handful of races began the 2016 racing season, a traditional Lehigh Valley favorite kicked the running season into gear.
474 runners from throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond participated in the 15th annual Super Bowl 10K on the morning of the annual game at the Lehigh Valley Parkway Feb. 7. The race was sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Road Runners (LVRR).
Despite a pocket of cold weather that recently crept into the area, the race’s pace was a relatively fast one.
With the unusual batch of unseasonal warm weather that has engulfed the early parts of winters, there should have been plenty of incentive to embark on a run or walk.
It provided most of us with a comfortable start to the often cumbersome task of training through the cold for our spring and summer events ahead. If you’re not a runner but thinking about it, this period should have provided you the extra boost.
Catasauqua head boys' basketball coach and tournament director Eric Snyder thought the recent version of the 26th annual Tournament of Champions final was one of the better ones in recent years.
He just isn't sure how many more may be on the horizon.
"We have three adult leagues left in the area (North Catasauqua, Catasauqua, and Stiles)," said Snyder. "It is not like it used to be for a number of reasons. We all would like to see more teams and players in the area."
Like they have in recent years across the country, running races have found a home in the Lehigh Valley.
"It is definitely one of the hot things going on right now," said Rochelle Romeo, managing director of Run Lehigh Valley. "There have been more and more events popping up lately.
"More running events have been coming to the Lehigh Valley. It really seems to be growing quickly."
In his first year at the helm of Lehigh Bethlehem in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack, Mike Gehringer is enjoying the ride.
His team hasn't been in the playoff hunt with an overall 5-9 record entering this week's play, but Gehringer has been around the game long enough to understand the situation.
"We have a young team and we are getting better with each game," said Gehringer. "Half of our players haven't played high school baseball yet. We do have some guys who have played high school baseball.
Freemansburg Connie Mack manager Keith Buss could envision his current season before it actually did.
With a number of players from last year's squad advancing to the next level, Buss believed his squad would take some time to develop. Having three wins heading into this weeks' play, Buss has kept a realistic perspective of the situation.
Last season, Freemansburg finished with a 6-12 mark. Their overall team depth also has wallowed as they have suited anywhere from 14 to 18 players.
Based on their comparative seasons, Becahi looked like they would likely advance to the PIAA Class 3A semifinal against high-powered Archbishop Wood this weekend.
Somerset, their opponent, did enter Chambersburg High School with an overall 12-1 record, but they tangled with mostly Class A and AA teams, while Becahi also posted 12 wins and appeared primed to advance as they marched through the ever-competitive East Penn Conference this fall. A lopsided victory could have been in the offing.
It did happen, however, Becahi was on the wrong side of the onslaught.
Freedom head hockey coach Brandon Zittrer believes his team is right in the cusp of being a contender in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) this winter.
The Patriots began with an overall 3-2 record in the LVSHL. They returned a core of players that muddled through four wins last season.
Freedom and Liberty are scheduled to meet in the second annual Bethlehem Winter Classic Feb. 4, a year after they both had a successful inaugural meeting last winter.
Until then, both teams will be jockeying for positions in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL). Earlier this season, Freedom downed Liberty, 7-3, on Oct. 27.
All season long, Liberty's offensive efforts centered around Doug Erney's passing as the senior set a new school mark by surpassing Dan Persa's seasonal mark of 2,104 yards.
In addition, Ryan Lawrence provided the perfect complement in the backfield.
So, it was no surprise when the duo once again combined their efforts in a balanced plan to help the Hurricanes capture the Eastern Conference Class 4A title with a 35-27 victory over Emmaus Friday night.
It was the fourth Eastern Conference title for Liberty, their last since they defeated Whitehall, 42-35, in 2011.