The Liberty Hurricanes may have lost all its singles players to graduation, but Coach Leo Schnalzer has a number of players with some experience, as he attempts to find the right spot for each one for the 2013 boys' tennis season.
"We're still playing challenge matches, but we don't have to start them off from the ground floor," Schnalzer said.
Hurricane returners include junior, Brendan Cunningham, who played at number three doubles last year, and junior, Chris Kaposis, who played at number four doubles last year.
Liberty, the defending district softball champion, will look to its hitters to lead the Hurricanes to another winning season in 2013.
Already, the Hurricanes were victorious over Pocono Mountain East, 13-3 on Saturday, when Alyshia Dellatorre had three hits and Caitlyn Lavelle hit a home run for Liberty.
"We have a fence there now. A bunch of girls had hits. It was a good team effort," said Coach Rich Giering.
Former third baseman, Natalie Tannasso, was the winning pitcher.
After a hugely successful boys' tennis season in 2012, Freedom coach Jeff Young has a long way to go in 2013.
Only two varsity players are returning, Andrew Sinai and Bill Leeson, and most of the Patriots' team are underclassmen.
Sinai, a sophomore, will repeat as the Patriots' number one singles player.
"Andrew is just a great player. I saw him play a couple times this summer," said Young.
Leeson, a senior, will be the Patriots' number two singles player, after having played doubles last year.
The last thing Freedom swimmer, Sam Magnan, expected was a top seed, let alone a silver medal in the 500 free at the Class AAA PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at Bucknell University.
"I looked at the board, and my parents, and everyone cheering, and my coach. I felt relieved and happy, and I dropped seven seconds," Magnan said.
The Patriot sophomore finished the 20 lap race in 4:29.60. The gold medalist was Zach Buerger of North Allegheny, who finished with a time of 4:28.12.
Liberty track and field coach, Kevin Bush, is expecting the same strong Hurricane team that he has led over the past five years.
Key returners for the boys' team are seniors, Gerald Vital and Adam Uliana in sprints, senior, Matt Allred, in distance, and sophomore, Darius Jones, in jumping.
"As a whole, the jumpers are good. Our relays will be pretty good. We didn't graduate too many. Adam and Gerald were on the state relay team last year. We have a lot of new throwers, a lot of football guys. As a boys' team, they're just strong as a group," Bush said.
Kalista Walters's back-to-back three pointers in the opening minutes of the Class AAA quarterfinal of the PIAA state playoffs, with a Janelle Robinson jump shot in between, set the stage for Becahi's 67-46 victory over Prep Charter last Saturday.
"Absolutely, Kalista's first basket set the tone for the game. It allowed all the young kids to get comfortable, and Smitty [Bridget Smith] took it upon herself to handle the ball," said Becahi coach Bill Lanscek.
When the pressure was off, Freedom swimmer, Peter Conzola, turned the heat on and won the gold medal in the 100 backstroke at the Class AAA PIAA State Swimming and Diving Championships on Saturday at Bucknell University.
"I realized I won when I touched the wall and looked at the opposite corner from where I swam, and I saw everyone from my team and District XI freaking out," Conzola said.
The Patriot junior was seeded seventh after the preliminary swim and was in lane one for the final.
Freedom track and field coach, Artie Owens, is heading into his third year with the Patriots, and is finding a nice balance of leadership and youth for the 2013 season.
Owens may already have a head start with middle distance and distance runners who ran on Freedom's league and district champion cross country team, including Chris Kelly and Doo Park, who are also returners to the track team.
"Since cross country did so well, I'm hoping my mid-distance and distance runners will do well," Owens said.
Bethlehem Catholic girls basketball coach Bill Lanscek had a surprise up his sleeve in the Golden Hawks' 60-43 victory over Bonner Prendergast in the first round of the Class 3A PIAA state championships on Saturday, when he started junior guard, Janelle Robinson, after shoulder surgery had kept her on the bench for the past several weeks.
"The girls were thrilled to have her back. She takes the pressure off the other guards, and she was a great pick-me-up for the team. She's not 100%, but she is healed," Lanscek said.
2012 Liberty graduate and Washington College freshman, Eric Burcin, won five medals, including two gold, and broke several school records at the Centennial Conference Championship Swim Meet last month at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa.
Burcin's first gold medal came in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 58.54, breaking the school record he had set in preliminaries with a time of 58.68. Burcin's new record had not been broken in 16 years.