The Champ is Here! The Champ is Here! It may be an overused song in Boxing and MMA but it's a tune Catasauqua High School wrestling team likes listening to.
The Roughs did it again at Panther Valley High School in the Coal Cracker Open, winning the team title.
The Rough Riders took to the mat with a swagger and used Saturday's tournament as a tuneup to take on Pen Argyl on Wednesday night, after Press deadlines, in the Colonial League wrestling tournament.
Editor's note - Wednesday evening's Colonial League wrestling tournament takes place after Catasauqua Press deadlines.
By virtue of their head-to-head victory with visiting Catasauqua, Pen Argyl gave Catty their first Colonial League loss of the season 36-33.
The Green Knights had been upset earlier in the season by the Palisades Pirates and as a result both teams finished with 7-1 records in the Colonial League North. Pen Argyl is 10-3 and Catty is 16-10 overall.
This season, Catasauqua's Brandon Purrone has enjoyed taking charge as well as creating and taking direction of his life in several ways.
The junior, who transferred from Bethlehem Catholic, became a primary part of the Roughies' football team as his play on the offensive line was steady and impressive enough to gain him an honorable mention berth on the Colonial League (CL) All-Star football selections.
This winter, Purrone has been thrust into the starting point guard role on the basketball team and has continued to grow and excel with each passing game.
Saucon Valley girls basketball coach Craig Mogel used 11 players and eight of them scored in a 48-13 Colonial League victory over shorthanded Catty. The Panthers subbed freely and had fresh legs to the end.
Catty was missing starting point guard Olivia Falko (soccer commitment) and power forward Katie Buczynski, who suffered a concussion at Palisades last Friday night.
Over the past two seasons, the thought of the final few weeks of the season was a disrupting thought for the Catasauqua boys' basketball program.
Before the 2011-12 season, the Roughies qualified for the District 11 Class 2A playoffs, but they had a quick exit after a first-round game. Last year, Catty fell two games short of clinching a postseason berth.
This week, the Roughies began the week with an overall 8-6 mark and a 6-4 slate in the Colonial League. They had eight games remaining and need an overall .500 mark or one in their league mark to return to the postseason.
It was Catasauqua wrestling senior night last Wednesday and the match with rebuilding Northern Lehigh.
Senior 145 pounder Casey Simmons beginning the meet and wrestled like there was no tomorrow. Simmons won 10-4 over Nate Farber to set the tone and Catty cruised past the Bulldogs 45-19.
The Roughies rode hard over host Saucon Valley, 70-54, outscoring the Panthers 36-16 in the fourth frame. Catty actually trailed 23-19 at halftime in Lower Saucon.
Tony Brinkley was on fire again, being on the scoring end of junior point guard Brandon Purrone's passes. He finished with a game-high 23 points. Fellow senior Zac Edwards sank two threes to finish with 14.
For Saucon, Cameron Weeks drained 14 points. Keith Mosher swished two treys popping in 12 points.
Catasauqua heavyweight Jake Schlinkman believes his team's time has come in the Colonial League.
This season, the Roughies have thrust themselves into the spotlight of the league, most notably with a convincing 46-25 victory over Palmerton last Saturday. The victory brought them another step closer to a North Division title and berth in the Class 2A District Duals, both prominent team goals before the season.
There has been a predominant feeling in the wrestling room that they belong.
As a unit, they inconceivably may have among the most accumulated number of years combined as any coaching staff across the Lehigh Valley and the state.
As a staff, they have shared the unique bonds of player – coach and coach-coach that has expanded among several generations of Catasauqua football.
The Roughies' football staff is distinctive in its own manner, one that features three former head coaches – two former Catty field generals – and several members who have played for their current colleagues.
Catty celebrated a great win over Palmerton 46-25.
It was especially nice because the Bombers got their lineup back intact after the flu bug hit them for the Pen Argyl match that had to be delayed a day, causing a 58-9 loss to Pen Argyl.
Jared Nosal started it off with a tremendous win, 5-2 at 220, over Skyler Rosenberry. Rosenberry was coming off a pin victory against Pen Argyl.
At 285 senior Jacob Schlinkman hooked up in a battle with Andrew Strauss before losing by decision. Nick Mark won by forfeit at 106.