The night before literally taking over the reins of Catasauqua’s softball pitching staff, Alexia Reichl wasn’t nervous.
The sophomore previously has been on the big stage a few years earlier on a tournament team. She saw time in spots of relief last season for starter Alexi Ayache, who since has graduated.
Along with Reichl, head coach Bobby Thomas knows his pitcher is ready for the lead role. Reichl was a first-team, all-state choice last season as a utility player.
When asked how challenging it was for his team to win a district title, former Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone gave a half-hearted chuckle before his response.
“People don’t realize how difficult it was,” said Falzone in reference to the team’s title during the 2013 season. “The more you keep winning, the more stress it can put on your program to succeed.
In his high school baseball career, Corey Raysely is ready to take the next step. In one way, he almost has to do it.
Raysely began the year as one of two returning starters on the Roughies’ this spring, as the program lost eight starters from last year’s 10-11 squad that was a district qualifier. He and senior Nate Pontician will need to help lead a young squad that definitely will mature on the field this spring.
Over the past few weeks, I have begun a series about Catasauqua teams winning league, district and state titles.
I’ve enjoyed speaking to various coaches about how their teams made the trek toward a title. (Special thanks to Eric Snyder for providing me with the initial thought).
Catasauqua head track coach Glenn Reightler sees his program experiencing an ongoing maturation process this season.
The Roughies will begin the season with 42 candidates, but they did lose 18 seniors from last year’s unit. Among the most notable losses are Ricky Houser and Trinity Henderson, both of whom excelled at the league, district and state levels.
It will be a season where success will be measured late in the season.
With the bulk of returnees back, Catasauqua’s softball team is anxious to begin the 2016 campaign.
The Roughies will look to get out to a quick start with seven players back in the fold, most notably center fielder Hannah Edwards, rated as one of the top-25 players in the country by numerous media groups as well as a player that has been named to nine All-American teams.
On the mound, Alexia Reichl will carry the bulk of the pitching duties this spring. Reichl was the team’s number-two pitcher behind mainstay Lexi Ayache, who graduated in June.
Losing 13 seniors from last year’s roster, Catasauqua’s baseball team certainly will need to be flexible this season, as their roster is laced with players suiting up for varsity for the first time.
Head coach Steve Bradley certainly believes it.
“It will have to be,” responded Bradley about his team being flexible this season. “We’re likely to have some questions marks at the start of the season, probably in the outfield. But we have been ahead of schedule from last year because of the good weather we’ve had this winter.”
This is the first in a series of championships won by Catasauqua teams.
One of Dave Troxell’s favorite sports time of the year is the District 11 basketball playoffs.
For the past several years, Troxell has been an on-site official for the district, and his assignments have taken him throughout the counties. It has been a rewarding job, one that has kept his link to basketball since his days as a player and coach for the Roughies.
Juniors Ryan Greene and Tyler Youssef both know their recent experience at the PIAA Southeastern Regional tournament likely will be a repeat one in the future.
Greene and Youssef both won matches before both of them were eliminated in the second round. Greene was a district qualifier at 138 pounds, while Youssef was a late injury replacement at 182.
It wasn’t the first experience on the big stage for Greene. Last season, he finished sixth at regionals and advanced to the state tournament where he was eliminated in the early rounds.
After his initial experience at the PIAA Class 2A Southeastern Regional wrestling championships, Tyler Youssef can’t wait to get back.
“I get butterflies just thinking about it,” said the junior. “I want to have that feeling again. It was a great experience and it was huge. Something like that I will never forget.”
Youssef was a late injury replacement at regionals in the 182-pound weight class. He finished eighth in districts, winning a first-round match before he was the victim of a fall.