Travis Brett watched and waited.
He is one of the few coaches in the Catasauqua football community who has either coached or befriended the majority of players who have passed through the program at the 130-pound level through high school.
In recent years, Brett had entertained thoughts about taking over the varsity program, as he had served as the junior high head coach for the past six years.
Now, his time has come.
When he reviewed his anticipations about the past two seasons, Catasauqua head boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder was rather optimistic.
“I saw us with at least 30 wins,” said the veteran coach. “We really came together well during the summer, and I could see us making the district playoffs last year and this year.
“But for a number of reasons, it was a different story. This year was a frustrating and disappointing year, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort.”
Catasauqua sophomore Jaryn Hartranft and senior Adam Reinhart both ended their seasons lately with their first appearances at the PIAA Class 2A state wrestling tournament.
Hartranft, who wrestled at 106 after spending most of the season at 113, won an opening match, 8-5, over Bald Eagle’s Coen Bailey. But he then suffered a defeat in the quarterfinals and eventually was eliminated in the third round of consolations. He was the runner-up at districts for the second consecutive year.
Even though it didn’t begin well, Adam Reinhart’s plan eventually worked out.
“It was a great weekend,” said the Catasauqua 195-pound senior. “Everything fell right into place like we planned.
“Losing my second match was tough, but coming back the next day, and winning both my next two matches that qualified me to go to states was awesome.”
Reinhart and junior Jaryn Hartranft will begin wrestling Thursday night in the PIAA state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
When he was in third grade, Chris Gerhard remembered when he wanted to join the Boy Scouts.
His father, Ernie, thought otherwise.
“I came home from school and was excited about joining the Boy Scouts,” recalled Gerhard. “He told me that I wasn’t joining the Boy Scouts, but I was wrestling instead.
“That night, he dragged me and my brother Matt down to see John Stofko, who was the Midget wrestling coach. After I got started, I was really on the fence about it. I didn’t like guys grabbing and throwing me around. Once I got to high school, it was different.”
After a successful regular season, Catasauqua’s wrestling team anticipates continuing their progress in the postseason.
Sophomore Jaryn Hartranft (103), junior Austin Brett (126), and senior Adam Reinhart (190) all were among the top-four finishers in their weight brackets at districts last weekend, and they will be advancing to the Class 2A Southeastern Regionals.
Hartranft (33-4) advanced to the finals and lost a 9-4 decision to Notre Dame’s Evan Maag, who beat him in the district final last year.
Over the years, Catasauqua’s wrestling program has been successful due to a number of reasons.
However, one major one has been their feeder system. The Rough Riders’ junior high program recently again proved its worth.
Catty placed five wrestlers among the top four in their respective weight classes in the Colonial League Junior High tournament.
Ready for a Challenge Zach Scheirer is preparing for another battle, hoping for a long run in the postseason
As he enters districts this week, Catasauqua senior Zach Scheirer realizes the challenges ahead as he will try to make it an eventful run.
Off the mat, however, Scheirer already has endured the rigors of working toward a gold medal.
He recently was named the school football scholar-athlete to be honored at the National Football Foundation Lehigh Valley Chapter Dinner in Northampton March 1.
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.