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.
For Bethlehem Catholic’s lacrosse team, the goals are simple: just get a win.
The Hawks are coming off a winless 0-14 season from a year ago and head coach Joe Assise, who enters his second season, understands the position he’s in leading the program.
“Following last season’s record, the boys are hungry for a win,” Assise said. “Seasoned players should help to put the ball in the back of the net against opposing teams for us.”
Freedom’s girls lacrosse program will look to build off what they accomplished last season when they made a run to the District 11 quarterfinals.
The Pates finished 14-7 a year ago and hope to build on that with head coach Charis Innarella back at the helm.
“We have an awesome group of players who are very coachable,” said Innarella. “This team has been putting in the work and continues to push and support each other everyday.”
After finishing last season with a 5-12 record, Liberty’s girls lacrosse team is hoping they can take a leap into postseason contention.
Laurie Muller enters her third season at the helm of the program and expects to take steps forward from last year’s campaign.
“My goal for our team is to make the playoffs for the first time,” said Muller. “I feel that we have the ability to make a presence this year in the league and force competitive games.”
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.