Bethlehem Catholic was on the watch list of EPC teams that could surprise this year, but the secret is out for the Hawks two weeks through the regular season.
Becahi is off to a 4-0 start and head coach Ray Barbosa feels that his team has been deserving of their unblemished start.
“I think we knew we would be capable of this,” said Barbosa. “We knew this was a talented group and as of now they’ve been playing well.”
There’s a reason Mikey Labriola is the top ranked 170-pound wrestler in the country.
Labriola continued his quest toward a dominating senior season by taking home the Outstanding Wrestler award at the Beast of the East tournament over weekend, winning the 170-pound bracket in relative ease, following a fall over Dom Mandarino of Don Bosco Prep in 5:42.
Labriola was the only Golden Hawk to come away with a title, as Becahi finished in second place in the team standings with 174.5 points, only behind Blair Academy (290 points).
The 2016 Pennsylvania Football Writers’ All-State football team was announced this week and 11 players from the area were honored by their respective classes.
Liberty senior defensive end Jaohne Duggan was the only Bethlehem player named to the class 6A team, as he was joined by Parkland senior defensive lineman DJ Hohman and junior linebacker Jahan Worth. Emmaus kicker Carson Landis also made the team.
Freedom boys basketball coach Joe Stellato feels his team is right on schedule with where he thought they would be entering the season, as the Patriots entered this week at 3-2 overall.
With back-to-back wins against East Stroudsburg South and Quakertown over the weekend, the Patriots rebounded from an 88-63 defeat to Allen earlier last week.
“We’re playing more consistent now on offense, but we’re still struggling on defense,” said Stellato. “I think when you look at what we’ve been able to do so far, we’re pretty much where we expected to be.”
Not many people will look at this year’s Freedom team and expect a championship run, but the Patriots are set to make their own path this winter on the hardwood.
The Patriots return three starters from last year’s 11-12 team and hope to push themselves to be playing their best basketball at the end of the season.
Bethlehem Catholic could be one of the sleeper teams in the East Penn Conference this season, as the Hawks may be a young team, but will bring plenty of talent to the table.
The Hawks finished 15-11 season a year ago, after losing to Parkland in the EPC quarterfinals and then falling short of a state tournament bid with losses in the District 11 3A tournament to Pottsville (semifinals) and Salisbury (consolation).
Freedom’s wrestling team is looking to get past some of the early hurdles they’ll be facing this season with an eye towards a run in the new year.
The Patriots, coming off a 12-6 campaign last season, enter this year lacking depth and feeling the effects of that early on, as Brandon Hall’s squad is dealing with the loss of two starters to injuries, which will likely be out until January.
You always know that Liberty’s wrestling team will come out and compete on a nightly basis and that’s exactly what team’s should expect from the 2016-17 version of the Hurricanes.
After losing Andrew Gunning, the program’s first state champion since 1985, to graduation and seeing their top wrestler in the program, senior KJ Fenstermacher, transfer to Northampton this year, you could say the Hurricanes could be in for a slight dip.
But, as with every Liberty team, the Hurricanes plan to battle in every match.
It’s another wrestling season, but more of the same expectations at Bethlehem Catholic.
The Hawks enter the season as the top-ranked 3A team in the state by PA Power Wrestling and boast the likes of the nation’s top-ranked 170-pounder and returning state champion Mikey Labriola.
After finishing last year 20-1 en route to the PIAA 3A dual meet crown, as well as another District 11 title, Becahi is again the team to beat heading into this season.
While Allen enters the winter as one of the league favorites to win the East Penn Conference title, Liberty will always be lurking in the division as one of the perennial contenders.
That’ll be the case for the Hurricanes again this season as head coach Chad Landis enters his ninth season after a 13-12 finish a year ago.
The ’Canes were eliminated by Parkland in the District 11 4A quarterfinals last season, but expect Liberty to be back in the league and district mix this season.