Rhaine Sziy certainly has some incentive to excel this winter on the mats for the Catasauqua wrestling program.
Sziy's season ended unceremoniously last season in the PIAA District 11 Class 2A 182-pound semifinals when he suffered a broken leg in his match against eventual semifinalist Lyle Troutman of Tri-Valley.
It was a bittersweet ending for Sziy, who many believed to be the favorite in the bracket with 36 wins during the season. Sziy eventually had to be disqualified in a match for third place and finished fourth overall in the district.
With Christmas gift giving only two weeks away, buying a gift for the outdoorsman can always be a trying task. To ease the burden a bit, here are some gift ideas that will please the hunter, angler and nature lover.
Since the deer hunting seasons are winding down, and anglers await safe ice for ice fishing, this is the "down time" when it's a good time to curl up with a good book.
While the Catasauqua football team had a lengthy postseason run this year, a number of the football players who also wrestled didn't get as much preparation going into the season.
Despite some of the wrestlers still making the transition from the football season, the Rough Riders opened up their conference schedule with a victory last week.
Zack Bradley is no stranger to pressure, and this winter should be no exception.
Bradley began his final season in the Roughies' wrestling program after an outstanding 13-week stint on the football field where he rewrote the team's individual passing records in attempts, completions, yardage, and touchdowns.
He also proved to be one of the team's leaders on and off the field that helped his program to a record 13 wins and a first-ever state playoff win and second-round appearance.
The Catasauqua girls fell to Moravian Academy 34-26 last week in a low-scoring game.
Catty led 6-4 after the first quarter but Moravian came back to take a 10-9 lead at the half before pulling away with a big third quarter to take a 26-16 lead into the fourth.
Shiloh Sziy led the way for the Roughs with nine points in the game, four of those game in the third quarter.
Eric Snyder knew this would be a different year on a few fronts for his program this winter.
For starters, the veteran coach had to revamp some of his initial plans when he had to deal with the potential losses of seniors Brandon Purrone and Ra'Von Burton due to injuries from the football season.
Miraculously, Purrone -battling through a torn ACL - has played in the Roughies' first three games, but he isn't at 100-percent capacity. Burton, however, recently underwent knee surgery that brought an end to his Roughies' career.
Heading into this year's Powder Puff football game against Northampton, Catasauqua was already at a slight disadvantage.
The Rough Riders' 15 players were just a fraction compared to nearly 80 for the Konkrete Kids. And Catasauqua quarterback Danielle Lilly was trying to overcome a sickness as well, and was able to recover just in time for the game.
Every year around this time the 1983 classic movie "A Christmas Story" will be shown multiple times on a cable TV channel. It tells the story of Ralphie Parker (born in NYC on April 16, 1971) who wants a Daisy "Red Ryder" BB gun for Christmas. Every time he asked for one, he'd get the same famous reply: "You'll shoot your eye out."
A few weeks ago, Catasauqua head boys basketball coach Eric Snyder had a pretty good feeling about his team's potential despite losing some starters from last year's squad that fell to Notre Dame in the District 11 Class 2A final.
Brandon Purrone, Ra'Von Burton, Paryss Marshall, and Derrick Bond were back from a team that had responded from spinning its wheels after Christmas to reeling off a 10-game winning streak that helped catapult them into the district final.
In spite of a notable five-year run in the postseason during his first stay at the helm of the Roughies' girls' program, Dave Troxell admittedly has a case of butterflies in the stomach when his team opened the season against Mahanoy Area last Friday night.