Even though they took some lumps, Catasauqua’s wrestling team was satisfied with their showing at the recent PIAA District 11 Class 2A team tournament.
“I think we had a good tournament and it was a great way to finish this part of the season,” said head coach Kyle Rusnock, whose team recorded a 2-2 record in four bouts. “It was one of our goals to make districts and they accomplished a number of things. I am proud of our effort.”
Catasauqua’s boys’ basketball team will advance to the upcoming district playoffs for the first time in two years, but the Roughies certainly will have to deal with some interesting circumstances along the way.
The Roughies closed out the regular season this week with games against Northwestern (a loss) and Notre Dame East Stroudsburg. Unfortunately, they just missed grabbing the sixth and final spot in the Colonial League playoffs when they lost a tight game to Moravian Academy in a winner-take-all for the space.
Jaylen Green can see clearly now. Literally.
Early in the season, the star freshman forward admittedly had trouble with his shooting. Green, who has a prescription for glasses, wasn’t wearing them and he knew something wasn’t right.
“I have glasses, but I wasn’t wearing them,” said Green. “I did have trouble shooting, and I realized my eyes were getting worse. I went back to get my eyes checked and I got a new prescription. From there, I got contacts and everything is much better.”
For Ryan Greene, reaching a major milestone in his wrestling career isn’t anything new.
Since he began his wrestling career in the early grades, Greene has been goal driven. He recalled how reaching an earlier high point in the Valley Youth Elementary Wrestling League was a challenge.
“I really wanted to win a championship then,” noted Greene. “I got silver in my second year when I was in fourth grade. Then I finally won it when I was in sixth (grade). I just knew I had to keep working and I figured I would get it.”
If the Catasauqua boys’ program is to get back to districts after a two-year layoff, they wanted to start the New Year and impending crammed Colonial league schedule on a high note.
For the most part, the Roughies did.
In a rescheduled game with Palmerton that was played Dec. 30, Catty held off the visiting blue Bombers in a 42-40 victory. They then picked up another win along the way in a 56-47 victory at Palisades Tuesday night.
On paper, it appears Catasauqua’s two-year drought from District 11 play subsequently will end.
The Roughies began the final two weeks of the season with an overall 8-11 record and an 8-8 slate in the Colonial League. More importantly, they were seated third in the District 11 Class 3A playoff bracket. Four teams will make the bracket from the district.
Although his wrestlers have been reaching new heights. Catasauqua head wrestling coach Kyle Rusnock is looking for some more dividends down the road.
“Our motto is that we are a team and a family,” said Rusnock. “We want to grow and come together. We want to be wrestling our best at the end of the season.”
The Roughies certainly appear to be heading in that direction. They recently placed five wrestlers in the top 10 positions of their respective brackets at the annual Coal Cracker Tournament at Panther Valley High School that featured 27 teams.
Catasauqua head girls’ basketball coach Ed Seidick believed his team’s fate and desire to get to the postseason could be decided by the end of this week.
“We should know where we stand,” said Seidick. “We believe we are playing three games that are winnable ones for us. But if it turns out to be a bad week, our run toward a district spot could be over.”
Over the next two weeks, Catasauqua’s boys’ basketball mission is clear.
“We need to win games,” said head coach Eric Snyder. “We also need to score. We haven’t been able to make the plays when we need them. We can still make districts, but we simply need to win.”
The Roughies began the week in an eight-game slide, a losing streak that suddenly has dampened their postseason hopes. Catty has missed the district playoffs the past two seasons, but they have been confident to make a return.
Ben Nosal still remembers his eighth-grade wrestling season. He lost all of his matches and quitting the sport suddenly became an option.
However, his older brother, Jared, convinced him to stay with the sport.
Now, five years later, Nosal is on the top of his game as one of the top wrestlers across the Lehigh Valley in the 220-pound bracket and also is one of the senior leaders for the Catasauqua program.