Whitehall’s swimming team recently began their quest for the upcoming season with an increase in their overall numbers on both their girls’ and boys’ teams.
However, the Zephyrs likely will need to be patient to see how their teams perform and improve down the stretch.
“Our girls team looks to be pretty solid,” said veteran head coach Pete Rile after the recent first day of practice. “It is typical to have about 20 girls out and we may have as many as 30. We do have a lot of new faces out for both our girls and boys.
The local District 11 postseason is over.
The Catasauqua-Northampton Thanksgiving Day clash will formally pull down the curtain on the overall season.
Except for Tamaqua, both Nazareth and Southern Lehigh had its seasons end at the hands of District 1 suburban Philadelphia powerhouses last weekend.
For Devon Roberts, these are the trying times.
The Whitehall senior is admittedly antsy to begin the winter track season. Her recent cross country year didn’t end the way she anticipated.
Roberts battled with an ear infection and later an allergic reaction to her medication that dealt a severe blow to her league and district performances, both seen as a springboard to the state tournament.
Northampton head football coach Kyle Haas understands the impact and the ripple effects of his team’s recent East Penn Conference (EPC) North title.
“Winning a championship is huge for the school and the community,” said Haas. “There hasn’t been one in a long time.
“Our younger kids are working harder to get on the field. They want to be part of the success. For us, it really was a big boost of confidence.”
Regarded as one of the top receivers in the Lehigh Valley, Whitehall’s Allen Negrete has been living up to his reputation all season.
Through eight games, Negrete leads all receivers with 51 catches for 611 yards for a 11.9 average per catch with seven touchdowns. He also tied the school record for receptions (10) in one game.
Yet, his success among some other’s has not been able to equate into success for the Zephyrs this season.
Whitehall (0-8) has allowed 40 or more point in seven of their games this season, the latest in a 56-21 loss to Nazareth last week.
After his team participated in the East Penn Conference (EPC) cross country meet at DeSales University Tuesday, Whitehall head coach Mike Lelko was having all of his runners take ice baths the following day.
Some may have been for rewards, while others may have been for the injuries. They were as a result of the current state of both teams.
Overall, the girls finished 12th out of 14 teams, and the boys were 13th in the 18-team field.
“We did about what I expected,” said Lelko. “Our girls have been battling through some injuries, and our boys continue to grow.”
It hasn’t been the season Ali Barkley expected.
Heading into Friday’s game, the Zephyrs have a 0-5 record after their 49-26 loss to Freedom last week in a game that they battled back after a 42-0 deficit.
“We’re not playing to our potential,” said Barkley. “We just have to do what the right thing is to do.
“We have been in games, but we have been up and down in those games. We just haven’t been able to put it together.”
Heading into the second half last week, Whitehall had a 15-9 lead as well as momentum against Central Catholic as they appeared poised for its first win of the season.
Unfortunately, it didn’t hold up.
The Zephyrs suffered a safety on a high snap that went into the end zone and allowed a late score that sent them to a 16-15 defeat.
“We ended up losing at the end,” said Whitehall head coach Matt Senneca. “We didn’t stop them and we didn’t score.
“We went out and battled and did some positive things out there. Our kids played hard and that’s all we can really do.”
With a young team, Whitehall head cross country coach Mike Lelko didn’t mince his words about the state of his team.
“This is a rebuilding year for us,” said Lelko. “We have 20 freshmen out of the 38 boys runners on our roster.
“We expect them to get stronger as the year goes on. They already are gaining valuable experience and they should be improved at the end of the season.”
Sophomores Gavin Hagley and Sean Connolly have helped set the pace in the early going. Hagley was the boys’ top finisher in the 41st annual DeSales High School Invitational in a time of 19:11
Whitehall’s football season already may be at a crossroads.
The Zephyrs return home Friday night to host Emmaus in a key East Penn Conference (EPC) showdown for both teams. Whitehall (0-2) is looking for its first win of the season after they suffered a 46-28 loss at Easton last week.
Against Easton, Whitehall found itself in a 21-7 hole in the opening half as they struggled to stop Red Rovers’ running back Nahjee Adams, who scored on runs of 75 and 78 yards and rambled for 192 of his game-high 278 yards in the opening half.