With the major portion of the deer hunting seasons now over, Lehigh Valley sportsmen may be wondering how it went. According to local deer processors and a taxidermist, the numbers are about the same as last year, perhaps a tad off.
While many nice, heavily tined bucks were taken, overall numbers appear to be down ever slightly.
Something happened on the way to Liberty's wrestling tournament at Penn Manor two weeks ago that prompted a slight change to this weekend's Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic plans. Following the tragic events that transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on December 14, Liberty's wrestling team had other things on their mind as they geared up for a wrestling tournament.
Bethlehem Catholic romped their way to the team title during last year's Tony Iasiello Christmas City Wrestling Tournament when they placed 10 wrestlers in the finals, with seven coming away with gold medals.
Whether that happens in the 45th version of this Bethlehem tournament will all unfold Friday and Saturday at Bethlehem Catholic's gymnasium. Head coach Jeff Karam hopes for more of the same this Christmas, but with Darian Cruz (120), Ryan Todora (145) and Jose Ortiz (182) returning as the only champions from last year, the Hawks will need to find new gold medalists.
In its second swim meet of the season, the Freedom Patriots gave their best effort against the Emmaus Hornets on Dec. 18, but were defeated, 112-71 (boys) and 107-79 (girls).
Helen Hsu, Carly DelFranco, Brooke Munion, and Shannon Howell opened the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay in 1:53.03 for the Patriots.
Hsu said, "We didn't lose any [relay swimmers from last year], so hopefully, we'll keep getting better as the season goes on."
With only two games under their belts heading into this week, Liberty's boys' basketball team had a slow start to December.
That all changes this week, as the Hurricanes (2-0) have a three-game slate the week before Christmas, none of which are easy contests.
Starting with last night's contest against Easton, followed by tonight's home tilt against Stroudsburg, the 'Canes have a busy two-night stretch.
Then they close out the week with everyone's favorite basketball contest in the Lehigh Valley when they host Freedom Friday night.
With any type of loss, there's always a lesson to be learned and Freedom's basketball team took a valuable experience from their setback to Easton last Friday night.
Closing out games and finishing contests that you can win are always important steps towards becoming an elite team and the Patriots (3-1) are certainly aware of that following a 47-45 overtime loss to the Rovers (3-0).
The Freedom Patriots swam to two victories over Northampton last week when the boys defeated the Konkrete Kids, 111-65, and the girls defeated the K-Kids, 111-65.
Freedom's Peter Conzola, Trevor Watlington, Scott DelFranco, and Brandon Burnette opened the boys events with a victory in the 200 medley relay in 1:47.59.
Anytime you can place half your roster at a wrestling tournament, it's been a good weekend.
Those were the words of Liberty head coach Jody Karam, as his Hurricanes came off a third place finish from the Penn Manor tournament last weekend.
Grimaldi Gonzalez was one of three finalists for the 'Canes, but the only one to come home with a championship, claiming the 126-pound crown following a 6-5 decision over Ronnie Perry of Solanco.
Noah Klingborg (170) and Jake Gunning (220) each took silver for Liberty, as eight Hurricanes came home with medals.
Brandon Hall has a knack for calculating team scores for Freedom's dual meets.
He says it's a blessing and a curse and the Patriots got the wrong end of the stick in last week's 29-27 loss to Emmaus.
Hall knew the bout was going to be tight heading in, but was disappointed walking away with a defeat.
Liberty's first conference swim meet of the 2012-2013 season resulted in a 115-34 victory for the Hurricane boys and a 95-75 victory for the Hurricane girls last Thursday over Whitehall.
Sean Vanatta, Nolan Vanatta, Matt Buell, and Jacob Jones won the 200 medley relay for Liberty in 1:55.08.
Alex Fitch won the 200 free in 2:08.48, James Sheplock took first place in the 200 IM in 2:18.27, and Ryan Spadt swam to a first place finish in the 50 free in 24.60.