It might be difficult for Freedom to replicate the type of success they had a year ago, but the Pates will certainly look to make another run at the league and district titles this spring.
Coming off a 19-5 campaign, which saw them go 12-4 in the East Penn Conference regular season, to go along with their first EPC championship, expectations are elevated for the 2016 spring.
Head coach Nick D’Amico enters his 11th season at the helm and hopes that the loss in graduation won’t overshadow the potential of this year’s returning group.
All-star games are meant to be fun for the players and entertaining for its crowds. After a high school basketball season that saw plenty of local area teams reach the state tournament, Saturday’s Via All-Star Basketball Classic was a refreshing ending to plenty senior players’ careers.
In the first two contests of a four-game schedule of the 42nd Annual Via All Star Basketball Classic at Northampton Community College, the North and South teams split the outcomes. The South girls defeated the North, 45-38, in the first game, followed by a 102-85 victory for the North boys.
Liberty’s 14-3 victory over Easton last Thursday at Easton was a huge confidence boost for the Hurricanes to start the 2017 softball season.
“I think their confidence went way up, not overconfident, but good,” said Liberty head coach Sam Carrodo, who is beginning his third season with the Hurricanes.
“We knew Easton played Central Bucks South the day before and beat them, and Central Bucks South has a pretty good team. So we came out and did what we did, and I was very happy, but, yes, I was a little bit surprised with the amount of runs we scored.”
Last week’s high school tennis matches were more a matter of hit or miss than win or lose because of inclement weather, so with only two matches played by Liberty so far this season, Bethlehem Catholic has played five, and both will face off this Thursday at Liberty.
The Hurricanes are currently 2-0, scoring 6-1 victories over Pleasant Valley and Stroudsburg.
Liberty coach Leo Schnalzer has kept Dan Lynn and Jacob Berg at number one and three singles, respectively, and both won their individual matches against the Bears and the Mountaineers.
Two runs in the first inning and two runs in the third were enough for Parkland to hold Bethlehem Catholic at bay in the Trojans’ 4-1 victory over the Hawks on Monday at Becahi.
“That was nice,” said Parkland pitcher Aubree Fritzinger. “[The early lead] really helped everyone settle in. We knew it would be a tough game from the beginning.”
Becahi scored its only run in the bottom of the first on an RBI triple to deep right field by third baseman Alexis Lopez, driving in Alyssa Jimenez who had a bunt single.
Freedom High School’s softball team will roster a squad of 14, including five returners and a new pitcher, for the 2017 season.
“We have a large squad this year,” said Patriot head coach Nora Borger, who is beginning her fifth season at Freedom. “They all worked really hard in the off season.”
Returning for the Patriots are Jana Boksan at catcher, and Arielle Gonzalez, Shalyn Banas, Julia Roman, and Taylor Resetar, all outfielders.
It’s been two years since Bethlehem Catholic’s baseball team has made the District 11 playoffs and the Hawks are hoping this spring can be the year that ends that mini-slump.
Head coach Mike Grasso returns for his 30th season in charge, as the Hawks look to bounce back from an 8-12 campaign a year ago.
“The senior leadership we have is very good,” said Grasso. “Two of our top pitchers are seniors and we’re looking forward to see how they do and the defense behind them holds up.”
Shortly after the final horn sounded and Bethlehem Catholic’s girls’ basketball team celebrated its PIAA State Class 4A championship game victory over Villa Maria, the Hawks and the Victors shook hands, but what happened next caused onlookers pause.
As Becahi coach Jose Medina told it, Villa Maria coach Doug Chuzie suggested the two teams pray, and that since the Hawks won, Medina should lead the prayer.
Instead of waiting all day last Sunday to find out whom they would face in the PIAA State Class 4A girls’ basketball semifinal, some of the Bethlehem Catholic Golden Hawks went to see for themselves.
“We got to see what [Gwynned-Mercy] had,” said Becahi forward Tessa Zamolyi, regarding the Monarchs’ 43-42 quarterfinal win over Northern Lebanon at Santander Arena in Reading. “We knew them as a quick team.”