In most tournaments, golfers are playing to win and second place means about as much as fifth or tenth or last.
The District 11 Championship Qualifying Tournament is a little different. There's no medal for first place, no prize for winning. And for most golfers, 10th place or 15th place feels just as good as first. The only thing that matters is getting through the tournament and advancing to the district championships.
After an unblemished week of picks, I've come to realize that it's not that hard picking games around here this year.
The reality is that there aren't any super teams in the Valley like we've had in the past in either conference, with Catasauqua being the lone exception of a team that appears to be superior to everyone in their league.
Easton could have two losses on its resume at this point, Parkland looks to be heating up and Central Catholic is making a push in the poll.
Who will take another step toward the playoffs this week? Check out the picks below.
Catty field hockey traveled to Saucon Valley on Saturday morning and won by a score of 1-0 over the Panthers.
Most of the first half the ball was on the Lady Roughies offensive end. Catty had some nice give-and-go passes and moved the ball efficently. Rachel Peters scored on an unassisted blast into the goal with 17:12 left in the the first half.
The Rough Riders had a few opportunities to score in the game but came up short.
Catasauqua head football coach Tom Falzone knows timing can be everything.
Through the first five games of this season, Falzone and his troops have hit all the high notes in timely fashion as they have established themselves as one of the football powers in the Lehigh Valley. One just has to look at their unprecedented 206-17 point differential from offense to defense.
Alex Parker is a young man of few words, but his actions on the field for the Catasauqua Rough Riders have certainly reverberated louder this season.
The soft-spoke senior has been one of the major reasons for the Roughies' fast 5-0 start out of the gate this fall. Through the first five games, Parker has caught 15 passes for 257 yards and has scored five touchdowns.
Catty High volleyball lost 25-1,25-12, 25-10 to powerhouse Southern Lehigh, squad that starts four sophomores, one junior and one senior.
Spartan sophomore middle hitter Maggie Gamble registered nine leaping kills in the first set. Kathy Giering added eight and Mady Campbell and Milan Ammary both had seven throughout the match.
Lauren Pluchinsky had Catty's lone kill in the first set.
In the second game, Pluchinsky socred on blocks and one kill. Megan Murawski had three digs and a block.
Catty was unlucky with out of bounds balls and fell 25-12 in game two.
Catasauqua head cross country coach Charlie Post recently equated his team's season of success to the once fabled four-minute mile, a barrier once believed no human could break.
"We have accomplished similar achievements this year for our program," said the veteran coach. "Our runners have really benefitted from our summer workout program and they have carried that initiative throughout the season.
"We have had a number of runners hit career milestones this season. Once they thought they couldn't get there, but they worked hard to break some barriers."
The Catasauqua girls soccer team got their first win of the year at Palmerton last Tuesday night.
Senior Natalie Leggett was a blur on the field getting all of Catty's four goals in a 4-2 Lady Rough Riders win over the Blue Bombers.
Catty was in the Palmerton end of the field for most of the match.
Rough Rider coach Trajano Bastidas said, "It was a great win for us. Natalie Leggett was fantastic. Palmerton is not a bad team. I was impressed with their speed and physicality. It was a much needed win."
Catty hosted Notre Dame-East Stroudsburg, but came up on the short side 1-0 at Thomas Field.
With ten minutes gone by in the contest Catty High coach Mike Baclawski wanted the team to be more active and play simple and recover.
Matt Rodger got off a shot with 27 minutes to play and Chris Sobrinski headed a ball down field to Ethan Hill and Martin Nalbadian shot as the Roughies tried to get the offense going.
Christian Bahara a freshman forward for the Spartans was in Catty's end a lot.
With a total of 169 points and a scoring average of 42.2 points per game through their first four contests, it may be hard to debate whether Catasauqua may have trouble with Saucon Valley Friday night.
The visiting Panthers will enter Alumni Field with an overall 1-3 record and they gained their lone victory last weekend in a 42-7 rout of Palmerton.
Still, Roughies' head coach Tom Falzone isn't about to celebrate any anticipated victories or a Colonial League title just yet. Instead, he had been preparing his team in regular fashion for another clash.