The Whitehall girls basketball team stopped history in its tracks.
When Bethlehem Catholic entered their gym last Friday night, they were on the verge of establishing a new record for consecutive wins. They had won 58 consecutive conference games, tying Allentown Central Catholic’s mark. A win on Coach Tracy Court and the record would be theirs.
When Mikey Esquilin converted two foul shots midway through the third quarter to put the Zephyrs ahead against William Allen on Tuesday night, it looked as if they were on track for another comeback victory.
They were trailing the Canaries by eight heading into the third, but a succession of baskets by Esquilin and Logan McGinley, the latter resulting in a three-point play after getting fouled, drew them within two at 53-51, and clearly established momentum in their favor.
In a repeat performance from last season, Wyalusing Valley took home top honors at the annual Zephyr Duals by outlasting Emmaus 33-27 last Saturday.
Wyalusing emerged as the champs after defeating the Green Hornets in the title match, giving the Rams their third championship at the Zephyr Duals.
Last year they defeated Emmaus 41-33 to capture their second crown. Their first title came in 2002 when they defeated Whitehall in the finals, claiming the trophy on criteria (they won more individual bouts after the match ended tied at 33.)
If the summer is any indication about the upcoming Whitehall girls basketball season, then it's safe to say that the kids will be all right.
Veterans Taylor George, Ivanna Jones, Jillian Rex, Jill Kreglow and Alix Buskirk will be the foundation heading into this season, games in the Stellar Tournament, for example, featured some solid interior play from Ariana Hines, who played junior varsity last year, and Kylee Cunningham who was deadly from the perimeter in the second half of the game.
It's always a good idea to refine your skills as a baseball player when the opportunity arises, and it doesn't matter if you're learning the game, or a seasoned pro, each chance to work on your game offers an avenue for improvement.
That's the idea behind the baseball summer camps that just concluded for kids in the Whitehall-Coplay School District. Whitehall High School manager Shaun O'Boyle and coach Steve Weidner lent their baseball expertise to kids ranging from grades 3-9, covering all aspects of the game.
It's been a busy summer for the Whitehall football team as they prepare for the upcoming season.
While every offseason is busy, this one holds special significance since a number of roster spots are up for grabs, allowing players to seize the most of their opportunities as they participate in a number of camps leading up to the official start of football practice in August.
Last week was a chance for the younger football players in the Whitehall school district to get into the spirit of competition while learning about the game from the Zephyr varsity coaching staff.
They gathered at the Whitehall practice field from Monday to Thursday to learn about the game from Whitehall head coach Brian Gilbert and his staff who run the program every summer. It's an opportunity for kids from ages 6 through 13 to learn about the intricacies of football as well as compete in a number of exercises and games that made it a fun learning experience for everyone.
Editor's note: This is the final part of our series of Whitehall athletes signing to compete at the next level.
Shadimon Navarro's next stop will be Kutztown University. The senior will be part of the women's tennis program once enrolled, joining a program that finished 4-11 last year competing in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.
The Golden Bears, a Division II school, are currently coached by Janice Regan.
It simply wasn't in the cards for the Coplay Legion baseball team this season.
Injuries to their pitching staff dealt them a blow that had them searching for some arms to carry them through the season. They wound up using eight different pitchers over the course of the year. And even when they got outstanding pitching, they found themselves on the short end of close games, often losing by a single run. That happened seven times during the course of their 18-game season.
"It was just a tough year," said manager Jim Murphy who completed his first year as the team's skipper.
The Fullerton Legion baseball team proved that getting into the playoffs is what really matters, dispelling the notion that wins during the regular season equates to playoff success.