If he had his way, Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone would rather face another team rather than Northern Lehigh in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 2A playoffs Friday night at Alumni Field.
It is not that his team has any trepidation about facing the Bulldogs, but instead dealing with a case of familiarity.
In a season of unprecedented events, the Catasauqua football program reached one that is a true rarity in football circles.
Against Northwestern in their season finale last Friday night in New Tripoli, it wasn't that alarming the Roughies rolled up 57 points in their caging of the host Tigers. It was exceptional they scored all of those points in the first two quarters of football in their 57-3 pasting in which they tallied 36 second-quarter points.
Tony Brinkley knew it was his one and only shot to finish off his high school career at states. He made it last year and wasn't about to be denied a trip to the PIAA Cross Country Championships as a senior.
So he fought through the pain to make sure he reached that goal.
Brinkley finished seventh at last Wednesday's District 11 Class AA Championships while helping Catasauqua to a seventh-place finish as a team.
He hoped to place higher at districts, but when he didn't feel 100 percent from early in the race, he knew he had to run through it and get himself to states.
Even in a defeat, Catasauqua head field hockey coach Carrie Saul can see a silver lining. When he club recently dropped a District 11 Class 2A playoff game to Northern Lehigh by a 3-1 deficit, Saul can take some positives from the loss.
In fact, Saul believes it was another step in broadening her club's competitive appetite.
"It (loss) gave this club a taste of the postseason," said the first-year coach in the Roughies' program after a long stint at Phillipsburg. "Sure, it is frustrating and upsetting to lose, but this will definitely help them in the future."
Catasauqua's football team is in the process of adding a notable chapter to its football annals this fall, as they recently captured the Colonial League championship. When they travel to New Tripoli in their season finale with Northwestern Friday night, they are optimistic that history won't repeat itself as it did for the 1995 squad that shared a league title.
In that year, the Roughies lost a season-ending game to tarnish an undefeated regular season (9-1) and they eventually lost in the district playoffs.
Over the past four years, Ra'Von Burton and his brother Sa'Quon both figured their football program would someday soon win a Colonial League (CL) championship.
Ra'Von recalled how his older brother had the first inklings that a CL crown would return to Catasauqua for the first time since 1996 when head coach Tom Falzone was hired when Sa'Quon was sophomore.
"He (Sa'Quon) told me that he was different from the previous coach," said Ra'Von. "He (Falzone) was very positive and worked on different things. (Falzone) also turned it up in the weight room.
The story continues. This time, though, the Roughies vanquished one of the monsters from the north.
For a moment or definitely two, Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone had to stop to cherish the moment. His team had raised its record to 6-0 on the season with a convincing 35-14 victory over previously undefeated Bangor.
"We feel really good right now," said the fourth-year head coach whose clubs reached their recent pinnacle for the first time in his Catty coaching career. "It was really a heckuva high school football game.
In a few ways, Ra'Von Burton isn't about to look at the distant future.
For one, he battled through the pain of a high ankle sprain days before his team's crucial game in a clash of unbeaten teams against Bangor. In fact, it wasn't until the day before the game that Burton realized he was going to be in the lineup for the Roughies.
Simply speaking, Alissa Frederick is busy young woman.
This fall, Frederick is playing both volleyball and soccer, mainly due to the latter sport's switch to the fall season. When she isn't on a court or a field, Frederick can usually be found two days a week rehearsing her role in the school's marching band.
Aside from those activities, Frederick is also involved in a myriad of school activities and other as well, including taking piano lessons and being an active part in school dramas.
Yet, the senior wouldn't want it any other way.
Colin McDermott of Central Catholic rushed for 373 yards against Northampton to break his own school record of 279 yards he set in his sophomore year against Clearfield. McDermott also joins the 4,000 yard rushing club with his 4,022 yards, good enough for 19th place all-time in the area. His 6 TDs in the game falls one short of the school record held jointly by Komlan Lonergan and Rob Hauke. He is now tied with Chuck Dibilio of Nazareth for 20th place all-time in the area with 57 career TDs.