For Catasauqua, a win over Northampton surely can quickly turn a dismal end of the season into a productive one.
“This is our Super Bowl,” said senior wide receiver Ryan Greene. “Everybody is really on board with that. We know what we went through this year, and a win can help us forgot all the bad feelings.”
The Roughies will take Alumni Field Thursday morning at 10 a.m. in the 94th annual meeting between the small-town rivals. Catty will look to reverse the fate from the previous two seasons in which Northampton won both contests, last year in a 40-26 victory.
Before the season, Catasauqua’s boys’ soccer team believed they could be in the hunt for a postseason bid, a goal that barely has eluded them the past few years.
If a few breaks had turned their way, the Roughies could have reached their goal. Unfortunately, they didn’t as they finished with an overall 5-13 mark.
Still, head coach Mike Baclawski liked what he saw from his team.
In her first year at the helm of the Catasauqua field hockey program, Julie Bisci took her first steps to build a new foundation.
They were, however, ones that had some potholes along the way.
With struggling overall numbers and lack of a consistent scoring punch, the Roughies finished the year with an overall 3-14-1 mark, ending the year with 11 consecutive losses. They scored 14 total goals and were shutout 10 times during the season.
KJ Reiss began the year with something to prove to himself, his peers and coaches. So far, he certainly has felt justified.
Reiss, a senior running back, has been the Roughies’ leading rusher throughout the season as he has accumulated 623 yards on 128 carries for a stellar 4.9 average per carry. He has found the end zone six times, accounting for half of the team’s rushing touchdowns.
It definitely has been redemption from last season.
Four years ago before his freshman season Alec Hartranft was ready to become a member of the Catasauqua football program.
But then he had a meeting with Roughies’ cross country coach Kyle Rusnock and his sports career path took a sudden turn. Recently, Hartranft ended a steady career as a Roughie harrier, a choice he will never forget.
With each passing game, Andrew Brett continues to adjust to being the starting quarterback for the Roughies this season.
Having nine games under his belt, the junior has developed into one of the more consistent signal callers in the Lehigh Valley as well as one of the most overall productive field generals. Brett has thrown over 1,500 yards this season.
Like his teammates, however, Brett likely would trade some of his statistics for wins.
Catasauqua’s runners knew the competition would be difficult at the annual recent Colonial League meet, but the Roughies put aside individual finishes for overall improvement.
Catty had seven girls and nine boys who participated at the meet. On the girls’ side, nine teams were involved, while 13 boys teams took part in the race at DeSales University. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished last among the team scores.
Through all of their mishaps and bad luck, Catasauqua’s girls’ soccer team nearly gained the top prize.
The Roughies entered their final regular season game against Bethlehem Catholic needing a victory to receive a District 11 Class 2A playoff bid. Unfortunately, Catty dropped a 3-1 decision and they missed the postseason by one game, finishing with an overall 6-11-1 record.
Catasauqua entered last Friday night’s game against Palmerton with a district berth literally hanging in the balance.
Both the visiting Blue Bombers and the Roughies began the contest with identical 2-5 records and were perched in the third and fourth spot respectively in the PIAA District 11 Class 2A bracket behind leader and undefeated Schuylkill Haven.
A win for either club possibly could elevate them to the second spot and also further secure their chances of gaining one of the four spots available for the playoffs.
In recent years, Catasauqua’s biggest gut-check, late-season game has been their traditional Thanksgiving Day tilt with Northampton. Unquestionably, there are plenty of reasons to justify the cause.
This season, that trek will take a different path.
The Roughies will look to further cement a District 11 Class 2A playoff berth with a win over Palmerton Friday night at Alumni Field. Beginning the week, Catty (2-5) was in the fourth and final spot for a playoff berth in the bracket.