Whitehall will hit the mat this season with a strong contingent of returning grapplers, and that foundation will be their guiding force this season.
Another guiding force will be the implementation of a vision statement and core values, something that head coach Tim Cunningham decided to roll out this season. He said that their first core value will be integrity.
“We’re hoping that the seniors can be the first ones to follow through the system that we’re going through, and lead by example,” said Cunningham. “It’s more important than even winning and losing.”
For most of his tenure, head coach Pete Rile has been tasked with molding a boys swim team with limited numbers at his disposal.
That’s not the case this year, and the explosion of willing participants to dive into the sport has swelled to possibly 25 swimmers. Rile said that in prior years, the most they’ve ever had was 12, and by the end of the swimming season, that number got whittled down to eight.
As they’ve begun to prepare for the upcoming season, he said that 16 boys are currently on the active roster with the potential to reach that targeted 25.
When the new swim season commences, the Whitehall girls will have some solid swimmers back in the fold, and that will hopefully serve as springboard for another strong season.
Last year the girls finished 12-4 and qualified seven swimmers for the district tourney. Head coach Pete Rile said that graduation took its toll, so they may be experiencing a bit of a rebuilding year. However, that’s a dilemma that can be mitigated by their numbers, a figure that’s at 25 as they ramp up for the new season.
“That’s good; it gives you a lot to work with,” said Rile.
From the midway point of last year’s basketball season, the Whitehall girls basketball team began laying the foundation for what could be a very bright upcoming season.
Every season writes its own script, and this year’s boys basketball team with its mix of talent and experience, could offer an intriguing tale that features a possible postseason run.
In any story a protagonist is needed, and the Zephyrs have plenty of returning players to fill that role led by senior Dylan McGinley who can play both inside and out, displaying a feathery touch from the perimeter and strong post skills as well. He averaged 12.5 points per game last season to lead the team.
With the final chapter closed on another Whitehall girls tennis season, the storyline will reflect another strong season for the Zephyrs.
They finished the season 7-8, losing a couple of tight matches down the stretch that prevented them from qualifying for the District XI AAA Girls Team Tennis Championship.
The Whitehall golf team finished strong down the stretch, winning three of their final five matches, including a 398-418 victory over Tamaqua to close out the regular season.
In that match against the Blue Raiders, Cody Suhaka shot an 89 to lead the Zephyrs, while both A.J. Capille and Kevin Landis shot a 101, and Jayden Kuhn finished his round with a 107.
With that final victory, the Zephyrs finished 5-9 this season.
The Zephyrs’ bid to topple Parkland in the opening round of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys soccer playoffs gained some early steam, but the Trojans took control in the second half to earn the victory.
It didn’t take too long for forward Jacob Gier to stake the visiting team to a 1-0 lead, and that held up through most of the first half until the Trojans were awarded a penalty kick at the 3:53 mark as Bryce Shalbert’s low shot slid past Justin Mattison for the equalizer.
It was a positive end to an otherwise challenging year for the Whitehall girls volleyball team as they defeated Saucon Valley in their final game of the season.
The Zephyrs swept the Panthers on their home court, showcasing a well-balanced attack that had them winning points at the net and the service line.
As the Whitehall field hockey team heads into the postseason, they’ll be relying on the strength of a strong senior class to help them advance through a tough field of competitors.
Two of those seniors who will help them hopefully navigate upward through the brackets in pursuit of a district championship are Joyce Lu and Hallie Kern. The two defenders have been paired together since seventh grade. I guess it’s safe to say that they’re joined at the stick.