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.
Like it has in other games this season, Catasauqua appeared to be on the verge of gaining the game’s momentum against Notre Dame, which entered the game with a pair consecutive shutouts.
The Roughies found themselves in a competitive tussle with the unbeaten Crusaders in the opening half and trailed 28-20 at the early stages of the third quarter.
But the Roughies couldn’t find the end zone the rest of the night and they fell to Notre Dame 42-20 last Friday night in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.
Catasauqua had plenty of positives in their 43-26 win over Wilson last week, and they hope to build on some much-needed momentum.
With the win, the Roughies did snap a three-game losing streak, one in which saw them struggle with consistency and execution. During the span, they were outscored 132-31.
Their previous outing, a 43-13 loss to Palisades, a game in which they had tied at 13 at halftime, only to sputter from a revved first-half.
Catasauqua girls’ soccer head coach Randy Gillespie isn’t one to make excuses, but if he wanted to he certainly could find some.
The second-year coach has watched his team be ravaged by injuries all season. In the process, the Roughies lost five starters, but they still have managed to piece together a 4-8 overall record through their first 12 games.