In their first official competition of the season, Bethlehem Catholic's cheerleaders won a bid to nationals on Nov. 18 at a competition in Toms River, NJ.
"It felt amazing," said Becahi captain, Rachel Rosa.
After an unusually long wait to perform, the Hawks competed in the small/medium varsity division and took fifth place.
"It was hard to wait. We were second-to-last in our division. We were really nervous. It was one of the biggest competitions we've ever been to, and the national champion was there," Rosa said.
In preparation for competition season, Bethlehem Catholic's competition cheerleading squad participated in a cheerleading showcase on Nov. 11 at Shawnee Middle School in Easton.
Evaluated by UCA judges, the Hawks were credited with "natural spirit."
Becahi's competition routine begins with standing tucks and ends with a pyramid.
"We've been working on it for awhile, and we had the full routine last week. The dance is really cool. All the music is made up of songs no one knows. That's why it's different. The dance is fierce," said Becahi co-captain, Haley Varju.
Freedom's competition cheerleading squad is preparing for its first competition on Dec. 8 at the Cheersport Philly Grand Competition at Villanova University.
The Patriots' routine begins with tumbling and a jump sequence and ends with a dance.
"We're using a lot of Celine Dion songs; a lot of old stuff; a lot of throwbacks this year," said Freedom captain, Emilee Strange.
The Patriots went to a cheerleading camp in July, when they first started working on their routine.
There is no love lost between Liberty High School's tennis teams and the filthy, crumbling tennis courts on which they are forced to play.
In 2007, Liberty tennis coach, Leo Schnalzer, decided to do something about it. Little did he know, his hands would be tied, and five years later, he continues to wait and hope and fight for any repairs to be made.
The good news is that it appears as though the tennis courts will be resurfaced this summer, according to Mark Stein, Director of Facilities and Operations for the Bethlehem Area School District.
Freedom graduate and Cabrini College freshman, Jen Grenauer, completed her first volleyball season as an outside hitter for the Cavaliers.
"It was definitely different than high school. There was different speed, different tactics. Everybody's tall. In high school, I was the tallest one. When we first started, we played against Johns Hopkins and DeSales. It was so fast- paced. High school wasn't like that at all," Grenauer said.
Coached by Eric Schaefer, Grenauer had her fair share of starts and playing time.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try to beat Parkland.
That was the advice Freedom cross country coach, Bob Thear, gave to his boys team, in a manner of speaking, prior to the PIAA State Cross Country championships last weekend at Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey, Pa.
So, for the fourth time this season, the Patriots defeated the Trojans on Saturday, placing 16th overall to Parkland's 17th.
"For such a young team and having never been to states before, I tried to tell them what it would be like, but you really can't," said Thear.
Bethlehem Catholic cross country runner, John Donchez, relied on his recent past experiences at leagues and districts to get through the unusually hilly Parkview Cross Country Course at the PIAA State Cross Country Championships last weekend in Hershey, Pa.
The Class AA state qualifier completed the race in 18:10, taking 145th.
"For the course, [my time] was pretty good, better than last year at states. I thought I ran a good race," Donchez said.
First-time cross country state qualifier, Shaina Palmer, represented the Freedom Patriots and District XI, placing in the top 100 at the Class AAA PIAA State Cross County Championships last weekend at Parkview Golf Course in Hershey, Pa.
"I'm pretty happy. My goal was top 80, top 75," said Palmer.
The Freedom sophomore finished the race in 83rd place with a time of 20:21.
"She ran great. She worked superhard and had a fantastic time. It was one of her best races," said Freedom coach Bob Thear.
While Liberty celebrated its district playoff victory in the middle of the soccer field at BASD Stadium, Freedom coaches maneuvered their way through the Hurricanes to lift the heartbroken Patriots to their feet after their 1-0 loss last Wednesday night.
In the first round of District XI Class AAA playoffs, the archrivals would meet for the third time this season. Freedom won the first match in September, and both teams played to a 1-1 tie earlier this month, but this time, it was Liberty who landed on top.
Freedom cross country runner, Shaina Palmer, won a trip to the PIAA State Meet after taking sixth place at the District XI Class AAA Cross Country Championships last week at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
"I tried to start out strong but not too hard. I didn't really notice the hills, actually. I didn't go up as fast, but I kept my speed up to get over them. I just gave it as much as I had," Palmer said.
Palmer finished the race in 20:06.
As a team, the Patriot girls placed seventh with 185 points.