It was a historic moment for Liberty’s wrestling program last Friday night and one that every Hurricane alumni will cherish in the wake of the Hurricanes riveting 32-30 victory over Bethlehem Catholic at Memorial Gymnasium.
Senior Jake Ahmad (220) secured a takedown in the final 30 seconds of the final bout of the night against Joe Kurtz for a 3-1 decision that clinched the biggest result of the season in District 11, and perhaps in recent memory.
Bethlehem had a complementary contingent of football players being named to the Pennsylvania Writers 2018 All-State list, as Liberty, Freedom and Bethlehem Catholic had members selected to their respective squads.
Liberty defensive end Trevor Harris and Freedom linebacker Tristan Wheeler were each named to the 6A team, while a trio of Golden Hawks were named to the 4A team including Dalton Daddona (G), Tavion Banks (RB) and Paul Carreras (LB).
Bethlehem Catholic knows they are a group of marked men every night on the basketball court, but in last Friday’s showdown with Liberty at Memorial Gymnasium, the Hawks made sure to take care of business.
Justin Paz scored a game-high 24 points to lead Becahi (3-1) to an 80-39 rout over their crosstown rivals. It was the first loss of the season for the Hurricanes heading into last weekend, while it was the Hawks most convincing victory of the year, as they jumped out to a 31-9 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back.
Liberty continued their torrid start to the wrestling season over the weekend with an overwhelming championship at the Penn Manor tournament. The Hurricanes took home the team title, crowned four champions and medaled 10 wrestlers en route to racking up 246 points, easily outdistancing themselves from second place New Oxford (143 points).
Tal-Reese Flemming (113) and Matt Maloney (120) posted their second consecutive championships from the event, while Connor Werner (106) and Damen Moyer (195) won gold medals as well.
Bethlehem Catholic hopes Mike Reilly can give their boys’ soccer program a needed kick-start, just like he did during his two-year tenure at Notre Dame.
Reilly was officially hired to take over the program last week, coming from across town with the Crusaders, where he helped the program win back-to-back District 11 2A titles for the first time in school history.
He compiled a 36-11-1 record in his first two years as a varsity coach in the Colonial League, reaching the Colonial League championship in 2017 and the PIAA quarterfinals the past two seasons.
Bethlehem Catholic already made a change in their boys soccer search and the Hawks just completed the double by hiring a new girls coach.
The Hawks formally made Angelo Amato their new head coach of the girls program last week, giving them two new voices in an effort to upstart the programs.
Amato comes to Bethlehem Catholic after eight years as the Director and Head Coach of East Allen Township Soccer and looks to improve upon last season’s 8-11 record.
The team qualified for the District 11 2A tournament, losing to eventual champion Palisades 2-1 in overtime.
Liberty’s basketball team is in for a season that have them relying on inexperience and a tough division, but it’s something that doesn’t scare off head coach Chad Landis about his team’s chances to improve from last year’s 11-12 finish.
The Hurricanes will be led by junior forward Will Harper, who averaged eight points a game last season, as the team’s most experienced player back on the floor. Other returning players include Alijah Cannon (so., G), Aflolabi Jemi-Alade (sr., G) and Eric Ludwick (so., G/F).
Freedom is starting a new chapter this season on the wrestling mats and new head coach Dante Terenzio hopes it’s a story that involves progress and winning.
After spending the last 10 years at Western Wayne High School, Terenzio is looking to cut his teeth in the East Penn Conference.
The Patriots, who finished last year 13-8, bring back a core that Terenzio hopes can make a push numbers into regionals, as they don’t have a regional qualifier on the roster.
Bethlehem Catholic might have a new coach, but they’ll bring in the same expectations that have made them the best wrestling program in the state over the past five years.
Rick Thompson steps into his first season as boss of the Golden Hawks, who won the 3A state title a year ago and bring back the majority of their state championship squad this year.
Bethlehem Catholic may have a new coach in charge this winter on the hardwood, but the Golden Hawks will still carry high expectations when the season gets underway this weekend.
Becahi is coming off a 28-4 season a year ago, which saw them make a run all the way to the PIAA 4A state semifinals, only falling to Imhotep.
The Hawks won their first EPC title a year ago and enter the year as back-to-back District 11 champions.