When Christopher Bastidas was named as the new head boys' soccer coach at Whitehall High School, he was literally left speechless by the announcement.
Actually Bastidas was battling allergies, but he certainly was ecstatic with the prospects of accepting his inaugural head boys' soccer position. He replaces Gus Garcia, who went 20-30-5 over the previous three seasons. The Zephyrs had an overall 7-9-2 mark and a 5-8-1 slate in the Lehigh Valley Conference (LVC) last season.
Tony Hanna remembered when he first got the nod as a freshman to enter a varsity game for the Whitehall program.
At the time, Hanna decided to forgo a potential football career and turn his attention to volleyball, a sport he recently began to grow an affection toward.
"When I got put in the game, I was a little shocked," recalled Hanna. "I couldn't believe it was me going into the game. I thought I was out there having fun, but then I realized I had to get serious."
Sunday mornings in the high school gymnasium aren't normally filled with Roughie athletes from their various teams gathered for a few hours.
Yet, April 6, proved to be a special gathering for a worthy cause. More than 200 athletes, parents, and supporters gathered in the Roughies' gym to participate in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to benefit Cam Miller, an eight-grade student at Catasauqua Middle School who recently underwent brain surgery.
The event, which is sponsored by the Catasauqua High School Student Council, began at 10 a.m and ended at approximately 3 p.m.
Catasauqua athletes will be gathering at the high school this Sunday with a special cause in mind.
A 3-on-3 basketball tournament will be held to benefit an eight-grade student at Catasauqua Middle School who recently underwent brain surgery. The event, which is sponsored by the Catasauqua High School Student Council, will begin at 10 a.m.
Cost is $5 per player and it is a double elimination with each team guaranteed two games in the blind draw. There will be two, 6-minute halves with a two-minute halftime. If there is overtime, it will be sudden-death foul shots.
In their opening match against Neshaminy, Whitehall didn't see a mirror image of themselves, but it did get a good look at how to take its game to the next level.
The Zephyrs, who were the runners-up to Emmaus in the District 11 Class 4A final, and lost an opening-round state game last season, dropped a 25-15, 25-20,and 25-23 decision to Neshaminy, a team considered this spring to be among the top-five programs in the state.
Late last week, Whitehall dropped its home opener to Northampton, 25-15, 20-25, 25-21, and 27-25.
Whitehall's recent performance at the PIAA District 11 Class AAA swimming championships proved to be a continuous sign for the present, as well as the future.
Junior Mina Feyrer, and sophomore Alexus Merkert, both earned the right to represent the Zephyrs at the PIAA State meet next week after their performances at the district meet.
Feyrer, who finished sixth in the 100 fly at states last year, took top honors in the same event at the district meet with a time of 57.14. Feyrer, who was the top seed in the event, was just a half-second off the district record.
Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff and his club recently walked away from a 5-4 loss to Parkland in a Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) playoff game from Feb. 21, without any regrets.
"What a great hockey game," boasted Ruff. "It was the best losing game I have ever been involved with. It was just back and forth all night, and it truly was a game that neither team deserved to lose."
When she was in fifth grade, Jess Marselles remembered how older brother David - then a member of the Whitehall swimming program - encouraged her to try the sport.
"I wasn't involved in anything and he (David) thought it might be a good idea," said Marselles, whose brother is seven years older than her. "I got involved with the Whitehall Waves and started swimming competitively.
"I really love the sport now, and I'm swimming as much as I can."
At this point of the season, Northampton head hockey Brian Ruff and his players will take what is given them in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) this season.
It hasn't been a typical season for the defending Non-Pure division champions. With the LVSHL adopting a one-league format of eight teams having the top four make the postseason, Northampton appeared to be a lock to make another title run, likely facing former perennial Pure Division champion Parkland for the new title.
With a few weeks remaining in the regular schedule before the anticipated district and state meets, Whitehall's swimming program continues to make plenty of waves in the positive direction.
"We have been doing very well," said head coach Pete Rile. "Recently, we have had a number of new qualifiers for districts. Our girls are where they should be, and our boys have been near the .500 mark and that has been a big surprise with their ongoing number problems.
"We'll look to keep moving forward toward a positive finish in districts and states."