Freedom’s girls lacrosse team made a run to the District 11 3A semifinals last season and Patriots hope they can keep growing their program this spring.
The Pates finished last season 13-7 before losing to EPC stalwart Easton 15-3 in the district semis, but moving into a top four finish in the class was an achievement that head coach Charis Innarella looks to build upon.
“Our expectations are high as we continue to build upon the successes of last season,” Innarella said. “These girls have a great work ethic and are extremely coachable.”
Getting an EPC win is the major goal for the girls lacrosse program at Liberty this season.
After a 1-17 finish last year, positive steps are what head coach Laurie Muller is looking for in her second season at the helm and that’s what has already occurred for the program, as the first week of April approaches and the Hurricanes have a 2-1 record in tact.
Liberty knocked off Quakertown 12-5 and Scranton Prep 10-9 before falling to Pleasant Valley 13-11 last week.
Bethlehem Catholic’s softball team has been fortunate in that the Hawks were able to get outside practice time before last week’s snowstorm in preparation for the 2018 season.
“We were able to practice on the turf in the back of the school; of course, we have to share that with track, and baseball, and lacrosse, but we were able to get 45 to 50 minutes a day,” said Becahi softball coach Rich Mazza.
The Hawks hope their season opener will take place against Parkland on Wednesday, but that depends on how fast the snow melts and the field conditions at Parkland.
Potential might be the key word when describing Liberty’s volleyball team this season.
The Hurricanes return six starters from last season, but lost their most important offensive piece in all-star Samwel Omwega to graduation following last year’s 12-6 campaign.
But the Hurricanes have always been consistent under head coach Neiad Ammary and should be considered in the top tier of teams heading into this season, as Ammary is confident this year’s group can put results together to keep them in the conversation.
Freedom always finds a way to compete with the best in the EPC, so how will the Patriots fare in 2018?
Head coach Nick D’Amico knows he needs to replace some offensive production in the lineup, but is also confident the group coming back this spring will be one that should be able to compete for a District 11 playoff berth following last year’s 16-6 campaign.
Freedom High School softball coach Nora Lorady will be looking to seniors Julia Roman, Maddy Sheffer, Leah Thomas, and Samantha Barton for necessary leadership for the 2018 season.
“We have really good leadership, and good speed, good hitting. A bunch of them are out hitting on their own today,” said Lorady, the day after last week’s snowstorm. “They will be helpful in our success. We’re pretty aggressive and we’re ready.”
Roman will play center field, Sheffer will be at first base, Thomas will be at shortstop or second base, and Barton will play right field.
Because the Liberty Hurricanes are a team with not as much varsity experience as others, Coach Sam Carrodo and his staff will be working on maturing the team during the 2018 season.
“That’s going to be the goal, to get them ready for the next two years,” Carrodo said. “We’re going to win some games; just maybe not a district championship.”
Returning for the Hurricanes are seniors Mikayla Ruppert, Apryl Cruz, Kyla Benner, and Brooke Zigmund.
Kira Kuhns, also a senior, is a relative newcomer, who played some softball her sophomore year.
During the Saquon Barkley Day celebration in Coplay, Whitehall Athletic Director Bob Hartman announced that no one will wear the maroon-and-gold No. 21 jersey at Zephyr Stadium after Barkley.
Ali Barkley, that is.
Saquon’s younger brother, a sophomore who also plays running back, currently wears No. 21 for the Whitehall football team. Hartman said that the school will retire the number after Ali is finished playing, with a ceremony whenever Saquon’s schedule permits.
Liberty’s 2017 spring was one for the record books. Now it’s time for their encore.
Coming off a 25-4 district championship campaign and a run to the state semifinals, Liberty comes back looking for more in 2018 with another highly talented, but young group under head coach Andy Pitsilos.
Last year’s win total was the best in school history, which came to a close in the PIAA 6A semifinals with a 12-0 loss to Pennsbury.
Now, Pitsilos enters this season with a young core returning, looking to defend their district title.
The Phantoms believe that the road to the 2018 Calder Cup goes through the Lehigh Valley.
The team clinched a playoff berth with a 5-4, overtime loss at Providence which combined nicely with Bridgeport’s 4-1 loss at Syracuse to lock up their playoff ticket. This will be the 12th playoff appearance for the Phantoms, dating back to their days in Philadelphia, and second in a row as they look for their third Calder Cup championship.