A few weeks into the season, Zack Bradley received a first-hand look at college football.
In his fourth game of the season at Franklin and Marshall, Bradley got the nod at quarterback and the freshman delivered an impressive 19 of 26, 193-yard, four touchdown performance in helping his team to a 35-33 victory over Juniata.
From there, Bradley made two more starts and also became a strong candidate to take the Diplomats' starting signal caller next fall. Overall, he appeared in five games and threw for 588 yards with six touchdowns.
Catasauqua head track coach Glenn Reightler has a handful of returnees back for the spring season, but his overall club will need to mature during the season.
Reightler, who will begin his 21st year as part of two stints in the position, will welcome back some experienced seniors as well as 14 freshmen with potential. The Roughies have had more than 50 athletes in preseason, a slight increase over the past few years.
With a rash of recent success, Catasauqua's softball program will strive to keep the bar raised this spring.
"For us, it's about continued success," said head coach Bobby Thomas, who will begin his seventh season at the helm of the program. "We have reached a stage where we have high expectations for this season.
"When the freshmen girls come into the program, they are not in awe of playing high school softball. They have seen what the program has accomplished and the older girls have done a great job in helping them make the move."
Catasauqua head baseball coach Steve Bradley has one specific goal for his team this spring - win a playoff game.
The Roughies have been denied the honor over the past three years, a time period in which they have accumulated a maximum of 12 wins.
Last season, Catty finished with an overall 12-8 mark, but they lost to Southern Lehigh in the Colonial League playoffs and then suffered a district playoff defeat to Pen Argyl.
On the night before he left for the state tournament in Hershey, Catasauqua's Satchel Stauffer recalled when his wrestling career was nearly an afterthought.
When he was eight, Stauffer went out to the mat for his inaugural match. Four seconds later, it was over.
"I remember my mom being there with the camera and it seemed like the whistle rang and then the ref's hand hit the mat," said Stauffer. "The match was over before my mom had a chance to take a picture. At that point, I wanted to quit.
"It was a little rough for a while, but I decided to stay with it."
Catasauqua head wrestling coach Kyle Rusnock is optimistic his wrestlers' recent performances at the PIAA state tournament can further solidify a foundation as well acting as springboard for the future.
Both senior Satchel Stauffer (220) and sophomore Ryan Greene (132) both were eliminated in the opening round and the first round of consolations, Rusnock believes they both can impact the future of the program.
As he wrestles at the state tournament in Hershey this weekend, Catasauqua's Ryan Greene is back on the big stage after a few years away.
Greene and teammate Satchel Stauffer, who will wrestle at 132 and 220 pounds respectively, will represent the Roughies at the state tournament. It is the first trip to the big top for Greene, a sophomore, and Stauffer, a senior.
Greene finished sixth at regionals, while Stauffer was third. His finish was the highest since Luke Garner won the same regional bracket in 2012.
Catasauqua's wrestling team will enter this week's PIAA Southeastern Regional at Wilson West Lawn with a trio of three grapplers, looking to further extend a prosperous season.
Sophomore Ryan Greene (132), and seniors Mike Shutta (152), and Satchel Stauffer (220) will begin their new journey Friday night. Head coach Kyle Rusnock is optimistic his wrestlers can be one of the top six in their respective weight classes to earn a ticket to states at Hershey the following weekend.
Last year, Jake Rusnock, Zack Bradley, and Rhaine Sziy advanced to the regional tournament.
Catasauqua sophomores Ryan Green and Ben Nosal both had busy afternoons and new experiences when they participated in the PIAA District 11 Class 2A individual tournament last weekend at Freedom High School.
They both also have endured through injuries in the process.
Greene, a 132-pounder, was back on the district stage after he was eliminated in the third round of consolations last year, while Nosal was making his first appearance in the limelight.
When they enter the PIAA District 11 Class 2A individual championships this weekend at Freedom High School, Catasauqua's wrestlers will be monitoring the present as well as keeping an eye on the future.
Beginning Friday night, the Roughies will nearly fill a full lineup with few seasoned upperclassmen and handful of budding underclassmen.
Head coach Kyle Rusnock is optimistic all outcomes will lead to a productive future.