Winning a state championship usually comes with awards and Bethlehem Catholic earned their share of recognition when the Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Girls Basketball Team was announced over the weekend.
Head coach Jose Medina was named the 4A coach of the year and saw senior Neila Luma make the 4A first team.
Medina’s freshman daughter, Taliyah, made the 4A third team.
In 6A, three local seniors were named to the second team, as Northampton’s Aja Blount, Nazareth’s Tessa Brugler and Emmaus’ Kiyae White led an EPC contingent.
Bethlehem Catholic’s volleyball team is slowly working their way back to the level of respectability that head coach Jeff Koch has hoped for since returning back to the sidelines for the Hawks.
Following a 1-15 campaign a year ago, the Hawks have jumped out to a 5-3 start this season.
Despite getting swept in each of their losses to Parkland, Whitehall and Northampton, teams with a combined record of 19-3, Koch is pleased with the direction things are moving for the Hawks.
Freedom’s girls lacrosse team has played motivated all season after falling just short of reaching the postseason a year ago, but the Patriots appear to be well on their way to qualifying for districts this season after their 6-1 start to the year.
Last week’s 9-1 victory over Central Catholic made it five straight wins for the Pates, as they’ve entered the year with a determined mentality.
It appears to be a two horse race in the East Penn Conference’s Steel Division, as Liberty (7-1, 4-0) and Freedom (7-0, 4-0) headed into this week in poll position atop the division.
With a full slate of games this week, both teams could enter their Saturday showdown (1 p.m. at Liberty) with more at stake than their rivalry.
First place in the division and the overall top spot in the conference can be had if both teams can navigate their week, as Liberty has three games on the slate before Saturday, while Freedom only has two scheduled.
Parkland’s Sam Iorio capped off his senior season with one last source of recognition when he was selected to the Pennsylvania sports writers Class 6A All-State first team. Iorio was one of five East Penn Conference players to be named to one of the three 6A teams, leading a strong class of local seniors from a tremendous winter.
Allen’s Tyrese Martin, Emmaus’ David Kachelries and Pocono Mountain West’s Jalen Vaughns were each named to the 6A second team, while Allen’s Tyreek Williams earned 6A third team honors.
Coming off an 0-16 season, the only way is up.
That’s the prognosis for Liberty’s boys’ lacrosse as they head into this spring, as head coach Shaughn Bittner is banking on returning experience to improve the team’s compete level, despite still having many players that are new to the sport.
It may be a slow start to the baseball season for all teams across the Lehigh Valley, but things will heat up this week when the schedule looks to kick into high gear before the Easter weekend hits.
With most teams having played three games heading into this week, the dismal March has pushed the schedule back for most teams, giving teams loaded schedules the rest of the month of April.
Freedom (3-0) will see the uptick this week with three games in three days, starting on Tuesday with Easton, Wilson and Whitehall and capping the week off on Saturday against Allen.
Bethlehem Catholic is looking to make progress this season on the lacrosse field following a 5-13 campaign from a year ago.
Andrew Kroeckel enters his second year as head coach and is optimistic about the Hawks potential this season.
After losing only one player graduation, the Hawks return 19 players in the program and nine starters including Soph. G JoJo Korpics, Sr. D Ray Glemser, Sr. D Mike Barattini, Soph. D Kyle Young (played attack last year), Sr. M Anthony Parise, Jr. FO/M Jimmy VanOsdol, Jr. LSM Luke Talpas, Sr. A Liam McGregor and Sr. A Liam Foley
Laurie Muller enters her first year with Liberty’s girls’ lacrosse team and the Hurricanes are just looking for an improvement this season.
After last year’s 0-16 mark, Muller is hoping to create something sustainable for the program.
“Liberty lacrosse is a building program,” Muller said. “We’re looking forward to success this season on the field with many returning players that have improved over the off season. We also have a lot of new girls that came out and we can’t wait to see how quickly they will progress.”
Freedom hopes that this spring can be a breakout campaign for the girls lacrosse program.
After an 8-10 finish a year ago, head coach Charis Innarella enters her fourth year at the helm optimistic with what this year’s crop of girls can achieve.
“We have exceptional leadership this season within our core players,” said Innarella. “Our stick skills continue to improve and we have gained valuable experience over the past season. The success of our team will feed off of the closeness and passion our kids have for each other and for the game of lacrosse.”