Over the past 25 years, Glenn Reightler literally has a sea of memories as Catasauqua’s head track and field coach, recalling interesting individuals as well as district champions. It’s a litany of both boys’ and girls’ standouts, many in the track portion of the program that was his specialty as an assistant coach under legendary head coach Will Strein.
With Reightler retiring from his teaching position at the high school, Reightler also will not return to the program for the 2018 season.
Hannah Edwards is coming home.
The former Catasauqua standout who rewrote the Roughies’ softball record books, as well as numerous state records in a storied high school career, is returning to the Lehigh Valley to continue her collegiate career at Lehigh University next season.
Edwards spent her freshman season at the University of Pittsburgh last season where she hit .274 with 15 runs, three triples, and 11 stolen bases in 43 games.
However, the two-time Pennsylvania Player of the Year didn’t see her Pitt experience as a good fit.
As they enter the final phase of the season, Northampton’s American Legion entry’s recent packed schedule hasn’t slowed their overall progress.
Instead, they have continued on their steady pace that has kept them near the top of the league standings. Heading into this week’s play, Northampton had an overall 11-4 record despite playing 11 games over a 14-day period.
They have three games left before the postseason begins.
Throughout most of the season, consistent hitting was a key to Catasauqua’s success in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League.
In their last few games, however, the Roughies’ ringing bats have been toned down.
As a result, Catty dropped a 4-1 decision to Wilson and an 8-1 loss to South Parkland. They did edge Bethlehem Catholic, 4-3.
“South Parkland leads the league and they are a really good team,” said Roughies’ head coach Jim Kober. “We just didn’t hit and we’re having a slump at the plate.
Luke Creyer understood that this could be the year.
Over the past two years, Creyer improved his play as a member of Catasauqua’s JV baseball team. He entered this season with high expectations and a world of potential.
“This year is a big step for me,” said Creyer. “I played JV the past two years and I knew this was the year for me to take the next step. I knew I had to work on my total game and I really feel good about things.
“The coaches have helped me with my hitting and my mechanics. I really feel everything is there for me now.”
At the end of her junior year last season, Shannon Gallagher has 99 career hits.
A consistent hitter, Gallagher figured she would achieve the milestone of 100 hits in the opening moments of this season. She also was looking forward to her final season on the mound for the Roughies, as she and junior Alexia Reichl could form an effective pitching tandem for a team in transition.
However, Gallagher’s season came to screeching halt.
She dislocated her left ankle in preseason and the upcoming season already seemed over.
Catasauqua Connie Mack coach Jim Kober kept his expectations in check in reference to his 2017 team.
The Roughies began the year losing a number of players from a team that finished fifth in the state last season. On the surface, it was a team that was primarily comprised of eighth graders coupled with mostly freshmen.
Fortunately, the Roughies didn’t follow the format.
Through their first six games, Catasauqua had a 4-2 record in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League and was among the league leaders.
So far, it has been a fast maturation.
As far as she can remember in her earlier youth, Tyra Brown has liked to run.
When she entered Catasauqua High School three years ago, Brown was indecisive about her athletic career. Brown spent the spring running track and playing softball, but knew she would soon be playing one sport.
The following year, Brown dedicated herself to track and there haven’t been any regrets.
Catasauqua’s girls’ 400 relay team didn’t come home from the PIAA state championships in Shippensburg with any medals, but they did return with plenty of motivation for the future.
The Roughies posted one of their better times of the season in the event as they clocked 51.36 in a preliminary heat, but they failed to qualify for the latter rounds. However, they have elevated themselves into one of the elite teams in Catty history.
All season long, Catasauqua struggled with consistent hitting.
In a game where the Roughies needed it the most, their major flaw surfaced at the wrong time.
Catty saw its season come to an end as they were no-hit and shutout recently by host Tamaqua in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 3A playoffs. The defeat left the Roughies with an overall 9-12 mark.
Tamaqua right-hander Brad Moyer struck out seven and walked four over 87 pitches. Rod Berger started the game for Catty and he left in the fifth when the Blue Raiders broke open a 2-0 game with five runs.