Despite recent injuries, Freedom’s cheerleaders competed in the EPC Cheerleading Championships last Wednesday at Easton Area Middle School where they placed 10th out of 15 squads.
“We had a couple injuries so it was hard but we worked around it. I thought it was good. I was pretty impressed,” said Patriot captain Jordan Collins. “I know we could have done better, but for all the injuries, I thought it turned out pretty good.”
If the opening weekend of the wrestling season means anything for Freedom, it shows the Patriots will put in the work to continually improve this season.
The Patriots jumped out to a 5-0 start on the season with an undefeated march through the Battle at Bethlehem Duals at Freedom.
The Pates knocked off Southern Lehigh (59-15), St. Joe’s Prep (66-6), Neshaminy (46-23), Abington Heights (54-18) en route to topping Honesdale 60-12 in the final.
It was a weekend where Freedom dominated and one where they improved
Liberty wrestling is entering a new era with head coach Brandon Hall taking over the reigns for longtime Liberty boss Jody Karam.
With the former Freedom coach coming into his ninth season overall leading a program, Hall has expectations lined up for him, but is also ready for the challenge of leading the Hurricane program, that enjoyed a 19-4 season a year ago.
With Liberty losing a lot of experience to graduation last year, this year’s team may have its share of growing pains, but Hall won’t let that build in as an excuse.
It was an impressive weekend for our local teams, as they kicked off the basketball season Friday night.
Freedom and Liberty both jumped out to 2-0 marks on the year, as the Patriots won the Jeff Dailey Memorial Tip-Off Classic at Notre Dame.
Freedom pulled away from Bethlehem Catholic (1-1) in Saturday’s championship contest 68-47. After trailing the Hawks 30-26 with 3:49 in the third quarter, the Patriots exploded to finish the game on a 42-17 run.
A Stabler Arena athletics record of 6,047 fans saw the 13th-ranked Mountain Hawks battle No. 3 Penn State Friday night, but the visiting Nittany Lions claimed seven bouts to defeat Lehigh 23-10. The Mountain Hawks won three bouts in the evening and gave strong efforts in many of the losses, but came up short against the four-time defending national champions.
Liberty’s swim team will face its toughest competition in its first two meets of the new season, taking on Parkland and Emmaus, both this week.
“It would be nice to have them later in the season because we don’t have year round swimmers except for a handful,” said Liberty coach Reik Foust. “Most are coming off a fall sport or just coming out for the team, so we don’t have much time to get ourselves together.
“They’re a good bunch and super fun to work with, but 10 days is 10 days. To swim their fastest at the beginning of the season is hard, but somebody’s got to do it.”
The East Penn Conference’s Steel Division might be the toughest slate in the area this season and Freedom head coach Joe Stellato certainly notices.
Stellato enters his 20th season at the helm of the program with the Pates fresh off a 16-6 season last year. They’re now thrust into conference play with Allen being one of the best teams in the area, as well as Easton being considered a league favorite. Throw in city rivalry games with Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic and the Steel Division will be a tough out every night.
Freedom’s varsity cheerleading squad took third place in a competition at Parkland High School on Nov. 23.
The Patriots, 15 in all, competed in the small varsity division.
“We definitely improved from our first competition at Nazareth and scored a few more points,” said Freedom cheerleading coach Breanna Bishamber. “We added a bit more difficulty to our routine, and we were better with timing and sharpness.”
For sportsmen clamoring for more weekend hunting time afield, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Senate Bill 147, which permits additional hunting on three Sundays per calendar year - one within the archery deer season, one within the firearms deer season and one selected by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The law will take effect Feb. 25, 2020, and the first new Sunday hunting opportunities will be identified by the Game Commission thereafter.