Catasauqua head girls’ basketball coach Mark Seremula is confident his team is ready to take the next steps in the big picture.
The Rough Riders managed just an overall 5-17 record, but they more than double their two wins from last year.
“We were in games longer and that didn’t happen before,” said Seremula. “We were right there with a lot of teams like Moravian Academy and Northwestern.
“We become better offensively, and we tightened things defensively. We have to find a way to become better scorers.”
Austin Brett and Jaryn Hartranft both realize what is ahead and believe they are taking the right path to get there.
Brett and Hartranft both share at least once incentive – they were district runners-up at the respective weights last season.
Brett, a junior, will enter the PIAA District 11 individual championships in two weeks with an overall 24-9 record at 120 pounds, and Hartranft, a sophomore, will bring a 29-3 mark at 113 pounds. Hartranft wrestled at 106 pounds last season.
Catasauqua’s football program will be taking a new direction next season.
Mike McClarin, who guided the team the past two seasons, recently resigned his position as head coach.
Under McClarin, the Rough Riders posted a 1-21 mark the past two seasons. He succeeded Phil Dorn, who had a 9-36 record over the previous four seasons.
McClarin, a former Liberty High standout who played at both the Naval Academy and Moravian College, cited differences with the athletic administration that prompted his move.
With their 51-46 win over Northwestern in their regular season finale at home Tuesday night, Catasauqua’s boys’ basketball team still may have a chance at a district playoff berth. It would accentuate a rather disheartening season.
The Rough Riders (9-13 overall) began Tuesday night as the sixth seed in the PIAA District 11 Class 3A bracket. Depending on the outcomes of games involving Panther Valley, Collegium Charter, and new Hope, the Roughies could snatch the fourth spot.
And then there were two.
Beginning Thursday night at Notre Dame of Green Pond, the Rough Riders had to win their two remaining regular-season games in order to secure a postseason spot in the District 11 Class 3A tournament.
After a 54-52 victory at Northern Lehigh Tuesday night, the Roughies had an overall 8-12 mark and a 7-8 Colonial League mark. They host Northwestern in their home and season finale Tuesday.
Over the last few years, Catasauqua’s wrestling team has used the annual Coal Cracker Tournament in Lehighton as a measuring stick for the upcoming postseason.
This season wasn’t an exception.
The Rough Riders placed 21st out of the 42-team field that annually attracts some of the top programs in the state and beyond.
It was a good tuneup for their District 11 Class 2A dual meet against Jim Thorpe Thursday night.
Catasauqua girls’ basketball Mark Seremula has likened his team to the adage, “one step forward, two steps back.”
But Seremula lately has seen his young team take more steps forward. In fact, the Rough Riders (4-14) have one more victory than last year’s total and believe they can double last year’s mark in the final stretch that includes Northern Lehigh, Notre Dame Green Pond, Notre Dame East Stroudsburg, and Northwestern.
“We’re getting better,” offered Seremula. “We have a few games left, and we have a legitimate chance to double our win total from last year.
Adam Reinhart and Austin Brett both believe they are battle-tested for upcoming leagues and districts ahead.
They both have endured their share of obstacles along the way and have won most of their challenges much like their team.
Reinhart (195 pounds) and Brett (120 pounds) both had successful days in the always competitive Berwick Duals Jan. 18. Reinhart went 5-0 with a pair of pins, two forfeits and a decision over the five dual meets, while Brett went 4-1 with a pair of falls and forfeits.
Derek Troxell knew it was his time.
The Catasauqua junior was one of two returning starters to the team this winter, and Troxell saw himself in a leadership role for the team.
So far, the tri-captain with experience since his freshman year has played his part.
“Derek has done a nice job for us and he has been a leader out there,” said Rough Riders’ head basketball coach Eric Snyder. “He has been our leading scorer and has taken control of the offense. He is the guy who will take the big shot.
“But Derek does all the little things and is a student of the game.”
Catasauqua’s girls’ basketball team needed a win, especially a character one. Four straight losses could have spun them further down the cycle in the final stage of their season.
Tuesday night at Salisbury, fate shined on the Rough Riders.
After they battled the Falcons throughout the first half, the Roughies had control most of the second half before they hung on for a 39-36 victory.
With the win, the Roughies raised their overall record to 3-10, while Salisbury (0-15) remained winless on the season.