Whitehall head girls' soccer coach George Romano knew this would different season. For the most part, it has for the veteran head coach and his players.
Yet, there have been lingering signs of a new culture that was established by Romano that eventually led his program to the state title game two seasons ago.
This year, the Zephyrs began with a new tweed of fabric woven from the same cloth from two seasons ago. Gone was a core of the nucleus that was a state runner-up team, but a smaller unit of veterans returned to help extend the existing foundation.
Whitehall's Gus Garcia didn't envision having his team with a 4-6 record entering this week's play. Instead, Garcia thought his team's win total would be nearly or double the mark.
"It's been tough," he stated. "I really thought we would have seven or eight wins at this point. Having four wins is very surprising to me. Our talent level is good and so is the level of play. We just can't seem to put the ball in the net enough.
"It has been frustrating."
Kurt Koehler is all about soccer.
Since he began playing the sport at the age of six, Koehler has had an admitted love affair with the sport.
In fact, he plans to continue being associated with his passion when he graduates from Whitehall in June.
Until then, Koehler plans to help his club rebound from a 2-5 start and get back to districts.
"We're off to rough start," said Koehler. "To be honest, we should have a better record. But we have been coming around more as a team and we're getting better team chemistry. We seniors know we have to start to pick it up."
Over the past 50 years, Pete "Doc" Peters has visited places as a Civil War re-enactor, believing he once fought in the battles as a soldier.
"My wife [Beverly] always tells me that I have been reincarnated," Peters said. "I have really had feelings at different functions and places that were actually part of a battle in the 1800s. I have been in barns and houses from the Civil War and I felt like I have been there before. It is just that I have researched and played the part of a surgeon as well as I could, and it becomes very surreal.
Through their first four games, Whitehall's boys' soccer program had some mixed emotions and feeling about their performance.
Over the past three seasons, Whitehall's girls' soccer program has raised its awareness and respectability to rise from the ranks of pretender to contender. Two seasons ago, the Zephyrs rode some early season momentum all the way to the state Class AAA championship game.
As a result, Whitehall has found itself with a target on its back. That target was tarnished slightly when the Zephyrs didn't receive an invite to the state tournament.
Nearly a year ago, Chris Polony opened the season as Villanova's starting quarterback in their season opener.
The former Whitehall standout had laid a solid foundation the previous year when he strung together a series of impressive showing as a starter and reliever down the stretch for the Wildcats as they waded through a 2-9 season. He finished the year by completing 69 of 110 attempts for 713 yards with seven touchdowns and six interceptions.
When he is at the top of his game, Ronald Cruz doesn't like to waste time.
He is optimistic any medical issues won't slow him don't either.
Cruz proved it once again when he knocked out Rondolfo Armenta in the second round of their scheduled 10-round welterweight fight Saturday night, Aug. 10, at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Bethlehem.
With the knockout, the Freedom High graduate and Bethlehem native raised his overall record to 18-2 with 13 knockouts. It was a welcome victory for Cruz, who had consecutively suffered his first two defeats in his last two fights.
Fullerton's Connie Mack team had a tale of two seasons this past year.
First, there was the regular season in which it made a late-season rush to the playoffs and eliminated Lehigh Township in two consecutive games. Second, there was a disappointing showing in the Connie Mack state playoffs.
Overall, Fullerton finished with an overall 12-8-1 mark and gained some satisfaction along the way.
Twenty years ago, both Brian Strauss and Chris Messinger were teenagers and were convinced they would someday have a chance to host a sports talk show, as the duo created and presented their own version on a Super Nintendo game system.
Now, both years later, both are in their late 30s and taking a shot at fulfilling a lifelong dream.