Freedom’s boys’ tennis season begins this week with Matt Potts as the Patriots’ new head coach.
Potts is a tennis instructor at Northwood Racquet Club whose grandfather was Joseph McIntyre, Freedom’s first principal.
“I never coached high school tennis before, but I coach all the high school players [at Northwood], and I thought it would be fun,” Potts said. “I like building things, and I think we have a team that will be good.”
Yes, the Freedom Patriots lost to Abington, 63-55, in the second round of PIAA State Class 6A girls’ basketball playoffs last week at Spring-Ford High School in Royersford, but according to the Patriots and Freedom coach Dean Reiman, the season was an overall success story.
Liberty’s boys’ tennis team opened the season with a 5-2 victory over Stroudsburg on Monday at Liberty.
Louis Gruber won 6-0, 6-0 at number one singles, David Lynn won 6-0, 6-2 at number two singles, and Gavin Snyder won 6-0, 6-0 at number three singles.
Snyder, who played doubles last year, is happy to be playing singles this year.
“It’s relieving. It was my goal since freshman year to get a singles spot,” Snyder said. “It’s something new. I haven’t played singles in awhile. I’m used to doubles, so it’s something to get used to.
Bethlehem Catholic’s 40-38 loss to Bonner-Prendergast in the second round of PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball playoffs was arguably about as painful as it gets.
With seconds left in a tied game, the Hawks were called for two fouls, and Bonner-Prendergast’s Dakota McCaughan made two free throws, ending Becahi’s season.
“We win together, and we lose together,” said Becahi coach Jose Medina. “We picked a bad game to not shoot the ball well.”
Lehigh senior Darian Cruz enjoyed the limelight of being a national champion last year, but got treated the harsh reality of competing in a tough weight class at last weekend’s NCAA Division-I wrestling championships.
Cruz took fifth at 125-pounds during the tournament held at Quicken Loan Arenas in Cleveland, finishing his Lehigh career with a 120-20 record.
After losing 2-0 to Rutgers’ Nick Suriano in the semifinals, Parkland graduate and Minnesota wrestler Ethan Lizak gave him his second loss of the tournament with a 5-2 defeat in the consolation semifinals.
Steel, Royals win
Led by a strong offensive showing, Bethlehem Steel FC picked up its first victory of the season, defeating the Richmond Kickers, 4-1, in the club’s home opener at Goodman Stadium.
Playing on the campus of Lehigh University, Steel FC saw Philadelphia Union midfielders Derrick Jones and Eric Ayuk score first-half goals while forward Brandon Allen tallied a second-half brace in his Steel FC debut.
Playoffs? We’re talking about playoffs?
Yeah, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms are talking about playoffs. After a shootout loss in Hartford Friday night, Lehigh Valley welcomed Providence to town Saturday night. The Bruins stand third in the Atlantic Division and would seem to have a pretty good grip on a playoff spot, but certainly don’t want to make any assumptions.
Editor’s note - This story was modified from the version that ran in this week’s Bethlehem Press.
New IronPigs manager Gary Jones made his first visit to the Lehigh Valley recently, but it somehow felt somewhat familiar to him. Jones last served in baseball as the third base coach of the Chicago Cubs, managed by Joe Maddon. The Cubs manager may be the most famous resident of Hazleton and Jones said that his old boss talked often about his hometown and the Lehigh Valley.
Saturday, March 24, kicks off the Mentored Youth Trout Days whereby youngsters under age 16 can join a mentor (adult) with a valid fishing license and trout stamp to fish stocked waters within 18 southeastern regional counties prior to the opening of trout season. This opportunity gives the kids a chance to catch a trout before the crush of anglers on opening day, March 31 in 18 southeastern counties of Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill and York.
Tal-Reese Flemming was hoping he’d have a rematch with Bethlehem Catholic’s Matt Mayer following a loss in the District 11 semifinals. His shot at redemption finally came in Hershey.
Flemming (106) battled back from a quarterfinal loss at the PIAA 3A wrestling championships all the way through the consolation bracket to top Mayer 5-4 to grab a bronze medal Saturday night at the Giant Center.
He was one of two Liberty wrestlers to come home with hardware, as Matt Maloney finished fifth at 113.