It's not quite how Brandon Hall expected to ring in the New Year for Freedom's wrestling program. The Patriots were forced to cancel their January 3 wrestling meet against Parkland, as well as postpone tonight's bout against Northampton because of a suspected skin infection.
Hall's program was shut down for 10 days, including tonight's match against Northampton, with no skin-to-skin contact for his wrestlers.
Even though the skin infection was limited, he felt the best decision was to wipe the slate clean and shut things down to halt any potential of further infections.
Liberty girl swimmers were victorious over Central last week, 130-47.
Emily Cecchini, Maggie Olock, Grace Walters, and Emma Williams won the 200 medley relay in 2:01.53.
Madison Sauers won two events, the 200 free in 2:04.43, and the 100 free in 57.98.
Jocelyn Baker placed first in the 200 IM in 2:21.01.
Baker said, "My time [in the 200 IM] was pretty good today. We've been training hard over Christmas break. We weren't really sure about Central. They've given us a hard time in the past, so we did the best we could."
Baker also won the 500 free in 5:24.98.
From Little League through the college level, aluminum and carbon-fiber composite bats reign supreme. With names like Voodoo, Stealth and Attack, manufacturers attempt to instill some baseball magic into these metal and plastic bats.
Coaches love them. Parents, not so much.
They can cost $450. But what about the kids?
Freedom's swimmers scored two victories before the Christmas break when the Patriot girls defeated Whitehall, 100-83, and the Patriot boys also defeated the Zephyrs, 108-55.
Carly DelFranco, Helen Hsu, Brooke Munion, and Shannon Howell opened the meet with a first place finish in the 200 medley relay in 1:54.29.
Howell won the 200 free in 1:57.91 and the 100 free in 55.14. DelFranco was also a double event winner with victories in the 200 IM in 2:16.12, and the 100 backstroke in 1:02.31.
In the first of two meetings between archrivals Liberty and Freedom, it was the Lady Hurricanes who came out on top, 46-40, on Dec. 21, right before the Christmas break.
Relatively even after the first quarter, the Patriots picked up on defense, holding the Hurricanes to just two points in the second quarter.
Freedom guard, Kelly Rosete, said, "Our man defense kept us in the game. [At halftime], we went over how to get open and how to get our plays in."
The problem for the Patriots was that the Hurricanes were defending just as hard.
The Liberty Hurricanes remain undefeated after the boys swim team defeated Dieruff, 75-26, and the girls swim team also defeated the Huskies, 73-25.
The Hurricane boys won all events except for the 400 free relay.
Individual event winners for Liberty were Alex Fitch in the 200 free in 2:07.52, Brice Kessler in the 200 IM in 2:33.34, and John Butillo in the 50 free in 26.50.
Bryan Rivera won the diving event with 157.5 points.
Bethlehem Catholic may have a lineup full of new wrestlers, but the Hawks haven't changed much from a year ago, at least when it comes to the Tony Iasiello Christmas City Tournament.
Becahi ran away with the team title for a second consecutive year, walloping the competition with 310.5 team points, while sending 12 wrestlers into the finals and crowning eight champions.
At this point last season, Bethlehem Catholic was struggling to find wins on the basketball court. As they entered the York Catholic tournament a year ago at 0-5, they finally found some salvation with their first victory of the season during their Christmas break.
A year later, the Hawks return home with a tournament championship as they knocked off York Catholic 68-38 in last Friday's championship game.
Matt Husek led Becahi (4-4) with 17 points, while Justin Lenzer added 14, including four 3-pointers, to get the Hawks to .500 as they enter this week's action.
Liberty breezed through their first five games of the regular season, but the Hurricanes ran into some hiccups during the holiday season.
After a 5-0 start in the month of December, the 'Canes dropped their final two games before the new year, falling to Rancocas Valley 53-50 in double overtime last week, coupled by a 56-53 defeat to Arch Bishop Carroll last Saturday.
Head coach Chad Landis hopes that after his team's buzzsaw approach to the first five games of the year, the Christmas break provided a dose of reality.
It wasn't long ago that most of the best teams in Bethlehem's Holiday Wrestling Classic came from District 11.
That time has passed.
This year's Classic saw District 2's Wyoming Seminary cruise to the team title while the highest-finishing District 11 team was the Colonial League's Saucon Valley in seventh place.
Freedom finished higher than any other Lehigh Valley big school team, taking 10th place. Liberty was a few places behind in 12th.
The Hurricanes had the top finisher among the two Bethlehem high schools.