With the setbacks of the recent winter storms, Catasauqua’s track team is anxious to begin the regular season.
New head coach Kyle Rusnock is a big part.
The always energetic Rusnock has brought a high level of energy into the program.
The Roughies will have to wait until April 3 with a home meet against Palisades to get underway as their scheduled season opener Tuesday at Wilson was postponed.
Catasauqua head baseball coach Steve Bradley may have been surprised by the deficit in his team’s opener against Notre Dame Monday.
But he wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
The Roughies made two first-inning errors that led to four runs and they eventually fell, 13-0, to the Crusaders at Green Pond. Overall, Catty had three hits.
“We were not ready and we’re young,” said head coach Steve Bradley. “We are inexperienced at key spots, especially on the right side of the infield. They got four runs in the first inning and that was basically it.
With some sun and warmer temperatures, the snow we had last week should hopefully melt enough to allow access to area stream banks and lake shores for the Saturday, March 31, regional trout opener in 18 southeastern counties.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission adds that their Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters program stocks 21 streams across the state with 14-20-inch trout. The trout, they say, will be stocked at a rate of 175-225 per mile. Anglers are invited to visit the agency’s website to see the list of these selected waters.
The following are quotes captured from the March 24 Saquon Barkley Day celebration in the Whitehall-Coplay area.
• “I had the pleasure of seeing Saquon play quite a few of his high school games, and I could tell that he was developing into a special player. But when a player develops a deeper love and commitment to the game to take it to the college level, that’s a whole other ballgame. Watching Saquon play for Penn State was always something to look forward to, knowing that he came from our little organization.” - Terry Cramsey - President of the Hokendauqua Athletic Association
The Phantoms believe that the road to the 2018 Calder Cup goes through the Lehigh Valley.
The team clinched a playoff berth with a 5-4, overtime loss at Providence which combined nicely with Bridgeport’s 4-1 loss at Syracuse to lock up their playoff ticket. This will be the 12th playoff appearance for the Phantoms, dating back to their days in Philadelphia, and second in a row as they look for their third Calder Cup championship.
During the Saquon Barkley Day celebration in Coplay, Whitehall Athletic Director Bob Hartman announced that no one will wear the maroon-and-gold No. 21 jersey at Zephyr Stadium after Barkley.
Ali Barkley, that is.
Saquon’s younger brother, a sophomore who also plays running back, currently wears No. 21 for the Whitehall football team. Hartman said that the school will retire the number after Ali is finished playing, with a ceremony whenever Saquon’s schedule permits.
Northampton’s and Catasauqua’s baseball seasons got underway Monday afternoon, but it certainly was a long journey to get there.
The series of nor’easter snow storms that rocked the Lehigh Valley and beyond during the month of March placed practice schedules in a state of frenzy and pushed back scheduled starting dates nearly a week.
It will yet to be seen how the sudden and untimely winter weather will affect timing of hitters and pitchers as well as cause havoc on the sprinters and throwers.
Steel, Royals win
Led by a strong offensive showing, Bethlehem Steel FC picked up its first victory of the season, defeating the Richmond Kickers, 4-1, in the club’s home opener at Goodman Stadium.
Playing on the campus of Lehigh University, Steel FC saw Philadelphia Union midfielders Derrick Jones and Eric Ayuk score first-half goals while forward Brandon Allen tallied a second-half brace in his Steel FC debut.
For the upcoming 2018 season, Catasauqua will return seven senior starters to its lineup. It should be a solid core that will allow the Roughies to steadily fill some holes.
Last season, the Roughies finished with an overall 9-12 mark and their season ended in the opening round of the PIAA District 11 Class 3A playoffs with a 2-0 loss to Tamaqua. They lost four seniors to graduation, two of them fixtures on the mound in Rod Berger and Colin Hawk.
New IronPigs manager Gary Jones made his first visit to the Lehigh Valley recently, but it somehow felt somewhat familiar to him. Jones last served in baseball as the third base coach of the Chicago Cubs, managed by Joe Maddon. The Cubs manager may be the most famous resident of Hazleton and Jones said that his old boss talked often about his hometown and the Lehigh Valley.
“He often talked about being home and how much he loved this area,” said Jones. “He talked about the people, how beautiful the area was. You could tell he had a special spot for this area.”