When it comes to knowing where his team is in the landscape of District 11 volleyball, Freedom’s John Yanek has the pulse of his Patriots.
Freedom comes into the week at 7-2 overall with wins over everyone they expected to beat, but losses to Whitehall and Parkland, in contests that Yanek would like to reverse.
Momentum can be a powerful force in sports and Liberty’s girls’ lacrosse team is riding the wave heading into this week.
The Hurricanes (5-5) were winners of three-straight entering the remaining week’s action and are keeping themselves near the .500 mark as the season winds toward the midpoint.
Head coach Laurie Ann Muller saw some of the steps toward progress in the beginning of the season, especially after an early win over Nazareth.
You can say that Liberty is the best baseball team around, but that won’t change the Hurricanes mindset moving forward.
Liberty (8-1, 6-0) stands at the top of the District 11 6A power rankings coming into the week and are one of only two East Penn Conference schools that are undefeated.
With a nonleague win over Parkland last week, the ‘Canes get a chance to test their mettle again this week when they host Emmaus (8-2, 7-1) on Wednesday afternoon.
Liberty suffered their first loss of the season last weekend and then they went out and gave Parkland its first beating of the season on Monday.
The Hurricanes (7-1) pounded out 13 hits on the road to post a 12-3 rout over the Trojans (6-1).
Head coach Andy Pitsilos relished the opportunity to play the Trojans on Monday, as the contest was considered a nonleague affair.
Freedom’s start to the season has been slow, but it’s not discouraging for head coach Tony Fabrizio.
The Patriots are off to a 2-3 start, playing in the EPC West for the first time and while losses to Easton and Emmaus have been early blemishes on their mark, Fabrizio is happy with the progress so far this season.
The Pates fell to Easton 11-7 and suffered a 14-5 setback to Emmaus. Both programs are perennial contenders for the league and district crown and playing against the best only strengthens what the Patriot program hopes to become.
They might not look like the toughest team on paper at the moment, but Liberty’s volleyball team might be a sleeper as the season gets deeper.
The Hurricanes enter this week with a 3-2 record, but both of their losses have come in five set defeats to perennial district title contenders Emmaus and Parkland.
That gives head coach Neiad Ammary confidence about where his team is at the moment and where they can be once the postseason comes along, especially with how they performed at the Bobcat Invitational earlier this season.
Mike Grasso has been a mainstay at Bethlehem Catholic since 1974 and has spent the majority of his adult life coaching sports for the Golden Hawks.
This week the 68-year-old Grasso was slated to add another feather in his cap when the Hawks were slated to take on Pocono Mountain West on Friday, in what would be Grasso’s 1,500th career game coaching at Bethlehem Catholic.
Grasso has coached baseball for the past 44 years, but also spent 21 years as a soccer coach, five years coaching girls basketball and 10 years coaching football.
Freedom’s girls lacrosse program is off to a blistering start to the season, but can the Pates sustain their form?
Coming out of the gate with a 6-1 mark, the Patriots have faced little resistance so far this season for a team with as much youth that Charis Innarella’s squad has.
But that youth has been turning out results, as the Pates have pushed themselves to the top of the District 11 power points.
More success for Freedom’s boys lacrosse program will now lead to a harder climb in the East Penn Conference, as the Patriots will be moving up in the EPC this season.
After winning their division the past two seasons, the Pates will move up with the likes of Parkland, Emmaus, Central Catholic and Easton to make things more challenging.
“We are much younger than we were last year,” said head coach Tony Fabrizio. “We were moved to a tougher division in our conference and I believe we can do well once we figure out where we need to put certain players to be successful.
Liberty’s boys lacrosse is looking for improvement as new head coach Joe Fortunato enters his first season in charge of the program.
Fortunato will have his work cut out, as the Hurricanes finished 2-14 last season and have struggled to find their footing every season in the East Penn Conference.
Still, Fortunato remains positive that the program can take steps this spring.
“We have a bunch of returning seniors and juniors that are eager to get the program facing into a new direction,” Fortunato said.