After an impressive showing at the Colonial League meet, Catasauqua’s track team took another step forward at the PIAA District 11 meet.
The Roughies’ Kenzie Bradley and Jacob Wittman will be heading to the PIAA state meet at Shippensburg University this weekend. Overall, the Catty girls’ unit finished sixth overall.
Bradley finished second in the long jump and high jump, and she also took a fifth-place finish in the triple jump. She finished just a half inch behind Palisades’ Lydia Bottelier (17.02-75) in the long jump with a mark of 17-02.25.
Mark Seremula again happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Three years ago, Seremula left his girls’ basketball assistant’s job at Wilson and met then Catty head girls’ basketball coach Ed Seidick at the Roughies’ annual athletic department golf tournament. Ironically, Seremula is a Catasauqua resident.
It proved to be a productive connection in many ways as Seremula joined Seidick’s staff.
After an impressive showing at the recent Colonial League meet, Catasauqua sent a strong contingent to the PIAA District 11 Track and Field Championships this week at Whitehall High School.
“We were very, very pleased with everything,” said head coach Kyle Rusnock. “All of the coaches did an outstanding job at getting the runners prepared. Everybody hit their PR (personal record).
“They were all ready to compete at a high level. We had a great work ethic”
Two years ago, Catasauqua’s softball program figure it would take a different turn.
Perennial Colonial League and District 11 contenders for a number of years, the loss of key veterans and a handful of budding players pointed to a rebuilding year that eventually resulted in a 2-17 season.
This year, the Roughies found themselves in a similar situation with four seniors and a number of inexperienced players on the varsity level for the first time. The final results again were similar, but the path taken was a different one.
Over the past year, Catasauqua’s baseball program came full circle.
A year ago, the Roughies clinched a district playoff spot when they won their final game against Northwestern, 2-1, during a night game at Parkland High School.
Tuesday night, the Roughies ended their regular season against Northwestern at Parkland, but they were eliminated from the playoff picture.
Catty entered Tuesday’s play with an overall 6-12 record and faced the task of playing at Palmerton in the afternoon from a rainout, and then they traveled down to Parkland for a 7 p.m. start.
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.”
For Catasauqua, they got one that was desperately needed.
Derek Troxell’s walkoff single to right field was the final piece of a five-run seventh inning that lifted the Roughies to a 7-6 win over Northern Lehigh Tuesday afternoon.
The victory gave the Roughies an overall 5-11 mark and kept their postseason hopes alive.
Jayden June had three of Catty’s 12 hits, and Cam Ritter went 2-for-3 and knocked in a pair of runs. Corey Raysely went 2-for-4, and Zach Bilder was 2-for-3. June had an RBI-triple in the seventh, and Ritter had a key squeeze bunt.
For Corey Raysely, it is all about getting to first base and beyond.
Raysely is one of a handful of seniors on the Roughies’ roster this spring, and he sees the transition phase of the team mainly with their pitching.
With a reduced ability in power in their lineup, Raysely and his teammates knew they needed a different approach.
“Being the young team that we are, we need to do everything in our power to generate runs,” said Raysely. “We have turned to some small ball to do that.
These days, Kenzie Bradley is a busy athlete.
Bradley, a senior, is making the most of the track season as she is involved in nearly every event. But, it is for a few good reasons.
Over the past few years, the multitalented Bradley has excelled at a number of events, being a primary scorer for the Roughies. Also, she will be a participant for the Bucknell University track program next spring.
So far, though, Bradley is enjoying the ride.
Zach Bilder soon won’t forget a game last season in which he fired a two-hitter with five strikeouts in a 2-1 victory over Northwestern in early May.
It helped the Roughies clinch a playoff spot. The game also was one of several strong starts that led Bilder to an overall 5-0 record with a stingy 0.75 ERA with 47 strikeouts during the regular season. Bilder also led the team with 17 RBIs and a team-high .361 average.
The senior arguably began the season as the team’s ace of a relatively young staff. Not bad for someone who began the season as a catcher last season.