Catasauqua head boys' basketball coach Eric Snyder normally doesn't expect too much from his squad during the awakening moments of the season every winter.
Over the years, Snyder knows his teams are slow to mature through the season, as the steady, perennial flock of football players tend to take some time to acclimate themselves to the new season.
This year, Snyder expects the script to follow suit. Over his first few games, the veteran coach will juggle lineups to find a concoction for success.
Dakota Schiffer doesn't like to work on his outside shooting outdoors. Instead, he'll work to hone that part of his game indoors.
Schiffer will get his chance to work on that aspect of his game, as well his overall forte he'll bring to the Catasauqua boys' basketball program this winter.
During the summer, Schiffer - who has increased his playing time the past two seasons since his transfer from Dieruff - worked on his ball handling and driving to the basket.
After reaching the District 11 Class 2A final with a solid overall team, Catasauqua head boys basketball coach Eric Snyder realizes what his squad's strength likely will be this winter - speed and skills.
"We don't have a lot of height," said Snyder, who will begin his 23rd year at the helm of the Roughies program. "We will have a lot of medium-sized kids with good ball-handling skills. This will be a little bit of a different makeup of a team.
"But they had a good summer and there is a good chemistry here already. We're looking forward to another good year."
Mike Shutta has been waiting too long.
The senior running back weighted heavily in the Roughies' offensive attack this season and he fulfilled expectations with a string of steady performances. But a concussion sidelined Shutta in the second half of the season, and there were serious doubts whether he would return this season.
Thursday morning, Shutta will get his final chance in a Catty uniform to prove his worth. To say that he is anxious to get back on the field simply is putting it mildly.
Joe Harakal just wants another chance to kick again in a big game.
The Roughies' senior place kicker began the season on a high note as he was getting his share of kicks to begin the season. But Catty hit a major pothole along the way and they finished this season with four consecutive losses.
"I started the season pretty well, but I don't know what happened. The team had lost some starters, and I didn't receive as many chances as I thought I would. It was frustrating, but I understood what we were going through."
When the Roughies take the field for their annual showdown against Northampton Thanksgiving morning, it might to safe to say that it will be a different team that took the field several weeks ago.
Back then, the Roughies had an influx of several new and first-year players in starting spots, as their starting lineup was riddled with injuries.
Now, the Roughies will field a lineup in which they began the season having many starters returning from injuries in time for their 92nd annual meeting with the Konkrete Kids.
Until last season, Dave Wetherhold played point guard. It was a process that began in fifth grade and continued through his junior year.
Last season, Wetherhold moved to shooting guard alongside point guard Brandon Purrone. This time around, it was a move that he gradually became accustomed.
This past summer with Purrone graduating, Wetherhold took the first steps toward his senior season with the Roughies boys' basketball program when he moved back to the point, a position he will officially begin when practice began on Monday.
When he took over as head cross country coach two years ago, Kyle Rusnock joked with former athletic director Tom Moll that he only needed a van to transport his team.
But, Rusnock also stated that he would need two buses for the same task in a few years.
Based on some recent growth in the program, Rusnock's prognostication will apparently come to its fruition.
Sitting atop the standings of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) over the past few weeks, Northampton apparently has shaken off all the rust from an uncharacteristic 2013-14 season in which they finished with an overall 6-7-2 record.
The perennial champions have regained their winning ways as they were undefeated in the first five games of the season and likely will be a contender for the LVSHL crown this winter.
Catasauqua head field hockey coach Carrie Saul views this past season as one filled with anxiety and anticipation.
The Roughies recently concluded their season with a 7-0 defeat to Northern Lehigh in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 2A playoffs and finished with an overall 10-9 record.
It was the third consecutive appearance in the postseason for the Roughies in as many years as Saul has been in charge of the program. Yet, there were also some bittersweet moments for them this fall.