Youth will be a theme for Bethlehem Catholic’s baseball team this season, but head coach Mike Grasso won’t let that stop the Hawks from pursuing their goals this season.
Grasso, who enters his 32nd season, is always optimistic about his team’s chances.
“You know we have a young team and a young group of pitchers,” he said, “but these kids are working hard and I’m sure that they’re going to fight to be very competitive.”
After winning the District 11 6A title last season, Freedom now has the bull’s-eye on their backs heading into this spring.
The Pates, who won their first district title since 1999 last spring in a 2-1 win over Parkland, enter with expectations, but also with a lack of experience from last year’s Cinderella run through the district tournament as a seventh seed.
If Andy Pitsilos is the coach of Liberty’s baseball program the goals will never change. The Hurricanes are coming off a 17-6 campaign last season, which saw them make a run to the District 11 6A semifinals. Pitsilos expects the team to be in similar position this spring, as the Hurricanes hope to continue to reload.
“Our outlook for the team and our goals never change,” Pitsilos said. “We want to win our division, then the league, and then the district title and compete in states. With the team we have all of our goals can be achieved.”
Liberty’s volleyball team brings plenty of experience heading into spring and that usually equates to success on the court.
With veteran coach Neiad Ammary entering his 15th season at the helm, the Hurricanes, who finished 10-8 last year, look to improve upon that mark and hopefully have a bigger push through the District 11 tournament.
This season might shape up to be a memorable run for Freedom’s volleyball team, as the Patriots return their entire squad from last year’s 15-6 campaign.
Head coach John Yanek, coming into his 28th season, has high expectations for the group, as they hope to be in district and conference title contention.
EPC girls volleyball all-stars
The East Penn Conference volleyball all-stars for the fall saw Emmaus’ Caroline Bond coming away with MVP honors.
Liberty seniors Linda Perugini and Julia Burcin were both named to the first team list as well.
The complete all-star list is below.
Caroline Bond (MVP), senior, Emmaus; Rachel Hess, senior, Central; Lina Perugini, senior, Liberty; Maria Harding, senior, Nazareth; Macy Van Den Elzen, junior, Emmaus; Julia Burcin, senior, Liberty; Grace Steurer, senior, Parkland
Bethlehem Catholic won the District 11 2A title last season and the Hawks show no signs that they want to relinquish that crown.
Despite bringing in a team with no seniors this year, head coach Jeff Koch doesn’t think it’ll be a rebuilding season for the Hawks, who finished last year 9-8.
Bethlehem Catholic’s run through the PIAA basketball tournament came to a sudden end last week following the Hawks 69-57 loss to Lower Moreland at Souderton High School in the second round of the state tournament.
It marked the end of a tremendous season for the Hawks, who finished 26-4 and came away as champions of the East Penn Conference and the District 11 4A title.
Still, for head coach Scott McClary, his first season under the helm was filled with highlights, but ending the campaign prematurely leaves a sting.
Bethlehem Catholic made a run to the PIAA semifinals a year ago and the Hawks might be poised to equal that journey again this season. After easily dispatching Prep Charter 89-61 last Friday night, Becahi (26-3) traveled to Souderton on Tuesday night to take on District One champion Lower Moreland in the second round of the tournament.
The results of that contest are past Press deadlines, but Lower Moreland came into the game with a 23-3 mark after topping John Bartram 75-61 in their PIAA opener.
Bethlehem will be well represented when the Big 33 football game takes place on Memorial Day weekend this year.
The Pennsylvania squad will feature five players from District 11, three of which are from Bethlehem Catholic, as the game will be played at 2 p.m. on May 27 at Central Dauphin High School.
Golden Hawk linemen Dalton Daddona and Elias Marte will be joined by kicker Anthony DaSilva, as the trio representing Becahi.