Despite having his team being ravaged by injuries and inexperience, Catasauqua head football coach Phil Dorn can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Dorn, who will be completing his first season at the helm, confirmed that his team will have nine players returning from injuries in time for the annual Thanksgiving Day tilt against Northampton Nov. 27.
Timing, lately, hasn't been on Catasauqua's side.
Over the past few weeks, the Roughies have been ravaged by injuries, losing as many as 19 players and nearly every starter. The recent rash has severely hampered Catty's offensive output as they have found themselves on the short end of a series of lopsided scores.
This weekend, the Roughies didn't get any breaks either. Senior wide receiver/linebacker Jake Kober was added to the injury list with a bothered ankle.
Jake Kober expected to see some changes during his senior year in the Roughies football program this fall.
He and his teammates - notably seniors - were a bit apprehensive and anxious when former head coach Tom Falzone and athletic director Tom Moll both headed northeast to Nazareth. For Kober and his seniors, it signaled a definitive change in direction with the departure of both key figures as well as a horde of seniors who all helped reshape the program over the past four years.
Still, Kober saw plenty of optimism ahead.
Over the years, Ed Seidick has always admired the work of his friend and former girls' basketball coach Dave Troxell at Catasauqua.
When Troxell recently stepped down as head coach to accept the school's athletic director's position, Seidick believed it was time to make a move in conjunction with his friend's latest ascent.
After being involved with the Northampton High School girls' program since 1992 and serving as a varsity assistant the past two seasons, Seidick was recently approved as the new head girls' basketball coach at a school board meeting.
If his team's season were to follow a preseason designated script, Catasauqua head football coach Phil Dorn would be inserting some of his younger players into the lineup.
However, due to an increasing rash of injuries that has spread throughout the Roughies' program in recent weeks, Dorn has had to expedite the process.
Catasauqua's recent reservation for a field hockey district playoff spot was accomplished with an exclamation point.
The Roughies clinched a spot during their final home game of the season as they shutout Salisbury, 4-0. It marked the third consecutive season they have secured a district berth.
Catty followed with an impressive 3-0 shutout over Lehighton.
"It is relaxing knowing that we will be back in the playoffs," said head coach Carrie Saul, who has led the team to the postseason in each of her first three seasons at the helm. "This was one of our preseason goals."
These days, Catasauqua's football program is looking more like an army MASH unit than a solid unit.
Injuries have begun to severely hamper the Roughies' depth and execution as 10 starters have missed at least one game this season. Beginning practice this week in preparation for their game at Salisbury Friday night, Catty has 13 players from their 42-man roster with injuries that kept them from participating.
Still, the injuries haven't depleted the Roughies' sense of will and determination.
Zack Bradley thought the Sept. 27 game against Juniata would be any of the other three previous routine weeks of the first year of his collegiate career at Franklin and Marshall. The former Roughies' quarterback and freshman signal caller is one of six quarterbacks on the roster, and he knew someday his time would come.
A few days before his team's game against Juniata, Bradley's call came sooner than expected.