Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff has been searching all season long for solutions to his team's season-long slump.
The defending Non-Pure division champions won just one of their first nine and the normal prolific scoring machine had trouble putting the puck in the net as they were the third-lowest scoring team in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL).
Ruff and his staff were perplexed by his team's status and didn't have any new possible solutions on the horizon.
With each passing meet, Kailyn Beil approaches every dive she makes for the Whitehall swim program with a growing confidence and passion.
But it wasn't that long ago that Beil had some second thoughts about plunging into the pool.
"When I first started (diving), it was scary and frustrating," said the senior, who only joined the program her junior year. "I really had to learn in a hurry to get all of the tricks and formations that I needed.
"But it has been a good transition for me so far."
Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff remembered a similar scenario last season when his club struggled before the holidays and then responded with a second-half season flurry that resulted in a Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) Non-Pure division championship.
So, this season with his club again sputtering, Ruff has a point of reference to fall back upon. But the veteran coach realizes he can rely on another transformation down the stretch. Heading into Monday night, the Kids had an overall 1-4-2 mark and sat in sixth-place of the eight-team division.
Whitehall head swimming coach Pete Rile knows his team has lost some key swimmers to graduation from last year's versatile squad, but the veteran coach also believes his returning core can continue the program's high standards.
"We should have a strong girls team coming back, and our boys program should also be competitive," said Rile. "We did lose a number of girls who went to states and who were a big part of our program over the past few years.
"But we have two girls back who went to states last year, and we also have a good underclassmen class that can fill those spots."
Gus Garcia, Whitehall's former head coach who will not be coming back to the program next year, was convinced Whitehall would have made the District 11 Class 3A playoffs this past fall. But the Zephyrs lost out in the end to a recurring theme of falling short in many ways throughout the season.
Whitehall dropped its final two regular season games to finish with an overall 8-9-1 record, missing the playoffs by one win. The Zephyrs made districts for the first time in more than 10 years last season and were eliminated in the first round after they posted an 8-9-2 overall record.
Whitehall head girls' soccer coach George Romano knew it was just one of those games. He wasn't going to mince any words about the outcome either.
For the better part of his team's District 11 Class 3A semifinal against Parkland, his squad had arguably outplayed their opponent in nearly every phase. In fact, Whitehall outshot Parkland, 15-5.
However, Whitehall left the field frustrated in a 2-1 loss. It was the second consecutive year that Whitehall lost to Parkland in the final.
Becky Tyson didn't hesitate in reference to her reaction to being a participant in the third annual Football for a Cure Powder Puff Football game that is a fundraiser for breast cancer.
"Absolutely," boasted the Hokendauqua player, who has played all three years of the contests. "Heck, yeah, I love it! We all played hard and it is very intense. It is for a great cause and a terrific fundraiser.
"We all want to win, but we're really playing to help stop breast cancer."
Unlike the previous two seasons, Whitehall's girls' soccer team recently ended its regular season with little fanfare. However, there are a handful of players who remember when the end of the regular season two years ago was just the igniter for a run to the state championship game.
Last season, the Zephyrs didn't make the Lehigh Valley Conference playoffs and were eventually eliminated in the district playoffs.
This season, Whitehall split their final four regular season games and finished with an overall 10-8 mark, earning them a district berth next week.
Shelly Laudenslager expects an intense battle when four women's powder puff football teams take to the field in Hokendauqua.
More importantly, though, women will be playing for a fight toward a worthy national cause during the month.
Teams from Catasauqua, Emmaus, Hokendauqua, and Northampton will participate in the third annual Football for the Cure Powder Puff games at the Bob Warke Fields in Hokendauqua this Sunday.
As a senior captain, Jen Davis has had her share of experiences in the Whitehall girls' soccer program and easily can relate and equate them and their effects through the years. In fact, Davis believes she can see a reflection of recent success in this year's club.
Two years ago, Davis, along with her sister, Emily, both proved to be integral players on the Zephyrs' run to the state final game in which they were defeated.
Since then, she has seen her sister and other notable players leave and has also watched the program take a different revolution.