Catasauqua’s wrestling program was looking for a springboard for the upcoming dual meet season that began against Southern Lehigh Wednesday night.
They found one in their own tournament.
Catty finished fourth from a 10-team field in their annual Rough Rider Tournament last weekend. The Roughies accumulated 121 points behind champion Lake Lehman.
“The kids wrestled really tough,” said Roughies’ head coach Joe Russo. “We can now look forward to building off this success for our dual meet season. We had a number of kids who did well.”
Last season, Isaiah Graves shot his way into the Roughies’ record books as one of their all-time leading scorers.
Jaylen Green was the perfect complement to Graves, and the duo paced the team to the district Class 3A semifinals and an overall 15-10 record.
This season, it won’t be as easy. For starters, Graves graduated and Green transferred to Allentown Central Catholic.
As a result, the Roughies are left with primarily an energetic group of seniors and sophomores who are looking to maintain their status.
Catasauqua’s girls’ basketball program achieved their first goal at the Tamaqua tournament last weekend.
They certainly did it with some grit and determination.
Gaining a split in their two games, the Roughies were confident as they began Colonial League play this week. Catty dropped its opening game to host and eventual tournament champion Tamaqua, 61-10, and then rebounded the next day with a 44-25 win over Lincoln Leadership.
For a team coming off a 4-18 record, expectations may not be expected to be high.
But don’t tell that to Catasauqua head girls basketball coach Mark Seremula. The Roughies’ first-year coach has liked what he has seen from his team on the verge of the upcoming season.
“Things are going well,” said Seremula. “We are ahead of where I thought we would be at this stage. We still have a ways to go to where we want to be. We missed some practices due to the weather.
“We just have to keep working hard to keep a good feel for things.”
Since his youth, Zack Bradley always has been infatuated with coaching.
It stemmed from his father Steve’s long career as well as former Liberty head football coach and longtime family friend Tim Moncman.
“Since I was little, I used to watch the Liberty team practice and their games,” said Bradley, the former Roughies quarterback who is the school’s all-time passing yards and touchdown leader. “I always wanted to coach and looked up to a coach Moncman.
“He and my father always have had a big influence over me.”
Now that connection is much closer.
Catasauqua first –year head field hockey coach Emily Marley didn’t base her season on wins and losses.
Instead, it was adjusting to a new system in place as well as a process. The Roughies recently ended their season with an 0-18 mark.
Their campaign was marred by a series of mishaps.
“It was not exactly how I wanted it to go,” said Marley about the season. “This definitely was a rebuilding year. We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores out there.
For the Catasauqua girls’ soccer team, it was about getting to the next level.
That didn’t necessary involve wins and losses, but it was about effort.
The sixth-seeded Roughies stunned third-seeded Tri-Valley, 3-2, in the opening round of districts, but they then suffered a hard-fought, 1-0 defeat to second-seeded Moravian Academy in the semifinals. It was Catty’s first win in district play since 2007 when they eventually advanced to the state finals.
With his first season under his belt, Mike McClarin realizes there is still plenty of football education ahead in all phases.
“We are still learning as players and as coaches,” said McClarin. “We are learning how to play better and how to coach better. It is really a process.
“We all became better as the season went on. We all made sacrifices and it will help us in the end.”
The Roughies ended their season with a 49-14 loss to Northampton on Alumni Field Thanksgiving morning that left them with an overall 1-10 record.
For seniors Brad Panto, Wilquon Clemons, and Devon Troxell, the recent annual Thanksgiving Day clash with Northampton marked an end to their memorable careers as well as a cavalcade of memories in the Brown and White.
Panto was among the team’s leading tacklers on defense from his middle linebacker spot and also the leader on the offensive front. It likely marked the end of his football playing days, but the lessons and experiences that will linger.
The Roughies’ overall record of 4-19 the past two seasons is an insignificant factor.
Mike McClarin knows about rivalries.
While he spent part of his college football career at Navy, McClarin was involved in arguably football’s most notable rivalry against Army.
Now, the first-year head coach is experiencing the same kind of intensity closer to home.
McClarin will lead his Roughies squad into Alumni Field Thursday morning for the 96th annual meeting with rival Northampton.
Northampton (7-4) has won the last four contests and has an overall 58-33-4 advantage in the series.