Northampton Legion head coach Mike Bodnar likely will remember this past Father’s Day.
Aside from his family’s celebrations, Bodnar watched his Northampton Legion team take stock of itself and begin a rampage that has carried them to the top seed in the playoffs and Northampton County League finals.
“We lost to East Stroudsburg and we played badly” said Bodnar. “I benched four players and the coaches agreed with me that we had to send a message. Our play just wasn’t acceptable.
“That really sunk in because we haven’t lost since then.”
In the early part of the season, Zach Bilder was a mainstay on the mound for Catasauqua in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack League.
However, Bilder left the team in the middle of the season to join his Legion squad.
To their credit, Bilder made a timely return in the opening round of the playoffs.
Bilder tossed a complete-game three hitter and recorded 12 strikeouts to lead Catasauqua to a 3-1 victory over Pen Argyl Monday night.
With the win, Catty will advance to meet Northampton in the second round, single-elimination game Wednesday evening.
Catasauqua head boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder was impressed with his team’s showing in the recent prestigious Cedar Beach Bash as well as their overall showing in the Catty leagues this summer.
He also sees his team developing chemistry and depth, two key elements that could help produce a favorable winter season.
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.