If at first you don't succeed, try, try to beat Parkland.
That was the advice Freedom cross country coach, Bob Thear, gave to his boys team, in a manner of speaking, prior to the PIAA State Cross Country championships last weekend at Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey, Pa.
So, for the fourth time this season, the Patriots defeated the Trojans on Saturday, placing 16th overall to Parkland's 17th.
"For such a young team and having never been to states before, I tried to tell them what it would be like, but you really can't," said Thear.
Bethlehem Catholic cross country runner, John Donchez, relied on his recent past experiences at leagues and districts to get through the unusually hilly Parkview Cross Country Course at the PIAA State Cross Country Championships last weekend in Hershey, Pa.
The Class AA state qualifier completed the race in 18:10, taking 145th.
"For the course, [my time] was pretty good, better than last year at states. I thought I ran a good race," Donchez said.
Liberty may have walked away with an inferior record to Freedom last Saturday, but you couldn't tell by all the smiles plastered across the faces of the Hurricane faithful.
The Hurricanes turned around a 7-6 halftime deficit with a 29-point third quarter to barrel there way through Freedom 41-14 to force a three-way split for the city championship.
It was Liberty's third win of the season, but the 'Canes (3-7) felt like they came away with more over the last month, when they finished the year 3-1 in their final four games.
It was the conclusion to a long football season last Friday night for Bethlehem Catholic. The Hawks finished out their 2012 campaign with a 42-7 defeat at the hands of Central Catholic.
Vikings running back Colin McDermot stole the show by rushing for a Lehigh Valley Conference record 422 yards, while adding five touchdowns to lead Central (5-5) into the district playoffs.
On the other side of the coin, Becahi struggled through a 1-9 campaign and head coach Joe Henrich fully understands the frustration that everyone related to the program feels.
First-time cross country state qualifier, Shaina Palmer, represented the Freedom Patriots and District XI, placing in the top 100 at the Class AAA PIAA State Cross County Championships last weekend at Parkview Golf Course in Hershey, Pa.
"I'm pretty happy. My goal was top 80, top 75," said Palmer.
The Freedom sophomore finished the race in 83rd place with a time of 20:21.
"She ran great. She worked superhard and had a fantastic time. It was one of her best races," said Freedom coach Bob Thear.
Well it's finally the postseason and this is the time of year that everyone has been waiting for. Unfortunately, computers have nudged their way into the process of making this fair, as you'll see below with some of the matchups.
But like they say, it is what it is.
1. Parkland (8-2)
Last week's rank: #1
Just goes to show you that power points still are not the answer when determining postseason seedings. It's a travesty that these two teams are playing this week.
The Pick: Parkland 21- Easton 14
2. Whitehall (8-2)
Last week's rank: #2
It's been three years too long since Bethlehem Catholic's last volleyball title, but the girls brought it home Saturday night in sweeping fashion after dismantling Central Catholic in three games 25-17, 25-21, 25-15 in the District 11 2A final.
Lauren Hess led the way again with 15 kills, while Kelsey Mower added nine kills and Julie Kollar had eight kills. Maddie Titus added 40 assists and Jean Titus had 15 digs to lead Becahi to an easier victory over Central this time around, compared to their five game win at Rockne Hall during the regular season.
While Liberty celebrated its district playoff victory in the middle of the soccer field at BASD Stadium, Freedom coaches maneuvered their way through the Hurricanes to lift the heartbroken Patriots to their feet after their 1-0 loss last Wednesday night.
In the first round of District XI Class AAA playoffs, the archrivals would meet for the third time this season. Freedom won the first match in September, and both teams played to a 1-1 tie earlier this month, but this time, it was Liberty who landed on top.
Freedom cross country runner, Shaina Palmer, won a trip to the PIAA State Meet after taking sixth place at the District XI Class AAA Cross Country Championships last week at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
"I tried to start out strong but not too hard. I didn't really notice the hills, actually. I didn't go up as fast, but I kept my speed up to get over them. I just gave it as much as I had," Palmer said.
Palmer finished the race in 20:06.
As a team, the Patriot girls placed seventh with 185 points.
If there's one thing that Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Todora wanted to get out of the way before wrestling season, it's having college destination figured out.
Todora, a senior at Becahi, verbally committed to Bloomsburg last week to give head coach Jeff Karam his second Division-I wrestler on the roster.
Senior Darian Cruz committed to Lehigh in August and Todora followed a similar path to finalizing his collegiate path before the season kicks off in two weeks.