Liberty’s boys’ tennis team left everything on the court at Emmaus on March 13 and took with them a 4-2 victory, for what Hurricane coach Chris Conrad told them could be their last match of the season, and for senior singles players Louis Gruber and David Lynn, their last match of their high school careers.
“They are tremendous kids, and that it’s their senior season, it’s heartbreaking,” Conrad said. “I thanked them for their contributions. I wanted to recognize them.”
Bethlehem Catholic track and field coach Fred Rice was in the process of starting up practices, crunching the roster numbers affected by lacrosse, and waiting for some girls’ basketball players to get through the state tournament before returning to track, when news came that there would be no sports until further notice because of the coronavirus.
In the weeks since, Rice has been feeling like more than just a coach.
Everything was falling into place in preparation for the start of Freedom’s softball season when the Patriots were informed that games and practices would be on hold for an unknown length of time due to concerns about the contagiousness of the coronavirus.
“I think we were all confused and in shock, and at that time, not many details were shared,” said Freedom coach Michele Laubach, who was out of town when the news broke. “My assistant coach Lauren Frederick was in charge in my absence, and I instructed her to gather the team and explain what was happening.”
Liberty’s softball team was at their practice field, having a laid back whiffle ball game when they were informed that the season they were looking forward to was being postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak with no resume date given.
“I am brokenhearted,” said Liberty coach Sam Carrodo. “Thirteen out of 15 of my players are seniors.”
Senior Paige Zigmund will return to the pitcher’s circle with Kat Borda doing the catching.
“I hadn’t seen Paige throw that hard and that good as she was throwing this year,” Carrodo said. “She is doing really, really well.”
“A little anxious,” is how Bethlehem Catholic softball coach Rich Mazza and the Hawks have been feeling since receiving the news that “everything is off” hours before their scrimmage was to be played against Pen Argyl on March 12.
The Allentown Diocese closed all its schools early that day to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, which meant no sports practices, matches, and scrimmages for Becahi student athletes. The shutdown was then extended to the state of Pennsylvania by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Freedom’s boys’ tennis team was in the middle of a match at Pocono Mountain East on March 13 when the Patriots became aware that the season was being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bethlehem Catholic’s second round of PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball playoffs ended in a 70-49 victory over Gwynedd Mercy Academy last Tuesday at the Geigle Complex at Reading Senior High School, two days before the tournament was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Some states canceled it, and some states are playing down south,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “It’s a fluid situation. New Jersey canceled, and that’s our next door neighbor. We remain optimistic but understand the severity of the situation, and safety prevails.”
Liberty’s tennis team opened its season by winning three straight matches last week, defeating Whitehall, 6-1, Nazareth, 6-1, and Emmaus, 4-2.
In singles play against the Zephyrs on Mar. 9, Louis Gruber won his match, 6-2, 6-1, as did David Lynn, 6-0, 6-0, and Shayaan Farhad, 6-0, 6-0.
All of Liberty’s doubles pairs won their matches 6-0, 6-0: Sid Tekumalla and Gavin Evans-Gartley, Matt Bilger and Tyler Markovich, and Will Lotto and Jiaming Wang.
Freedom’s Lady Patriots emerged from their locker room and were greeted by applause, cheers, and fans yelling “quarterfinals” after defeating Central Bucks West, 60-47, in the second round of PIAA State Class 6A girls’ basketball playoffs on Wednesday at Pottsgrove High School in Pottstown.
“The last two years we couldn’t seem to get over the second game and tonight we did,” said Freedom senior Jennifer Kokolus. “We beat a really good team, so this game is going to give us a lot of confidence.”
Six of Liberty’s swimmers competed at the PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships, which began last Wednesday and were scheduled to go through Saturday, but their trip to Bucknell University was cut short when the meet was shut down on Thursday.
“It was actually kind of weird because the Class 2A divers were coming in, doing their warm-ups, and it was pretty congested in the diving area, so it was very hectic,” said Liberty swim coach Reik Foust. “Then, 10 minutes later, it was empty.”