It turned into an exceptional district tournament for Natalia Pedraza and Noel Yacoub as they won two matches en route to the best finish for a Whitehall doubles team in a number of years.
The pair made it all the way to the quarterfinals in the District 11 AAA bracket before being ousted by the eventual champs from Freedom, Natalie Sinai and Rebecca Packo.
It will be round two when Whitehall and Southern Lehigh meet for the District 11 5A football championship this Friday.
The same two teams met in the inaugural championship last year at Bethlehem Area School District Stadium as Whitehall won 35-15 to claim the district prize.
The Spartans come into the game at 10-1, their ticket punched into the finals with a 48-19 win over East Stroudsburg South in the semifinals. Whitehall, who is now 8-3, earned its berth by defeating East Stroudsburg North 56-7 last Friday.
The Whitehall field hockey season ended in the district quarterfinals, marking another successful season for the maroon and gold.
The season ended that way it started with a loss to Easton. They were shut out by the Red Rovers in their opener, but managed to score a goal in the district playoffs, losing 6-1 to the third-seeded Red Rovers in the AAA quarterfinals.
Easton rode that victory into the finals, defeating Liberty 1-0 in the semis, setting up a date against Emmaus for the District 11 championship.
The Whitehall football team’s cornucopia of touchdowns involved a variety of players as they grew one step closer to repeating as district champs.
As the playoff game began under a harvest moon at Zephyr Stadium, the Zephyrs needed only three plays to score two touchdowns, setting the stage for a 56-7 win over East Stroudsburg North last Friday night. The win puts them in the title game where they’ll once again face Southern Lehigh for the 5A championship.
With the district game against East Stroudsburg North set for this Friday, the Whitehall coaching staff will be tasked with making sure their players stay sharp heading into the game.
The Timberwolves are 0-10 on the season, and head coach Brian Gilbert said that they’ll be focusing more on individual coaching while making sure they don’t get distracted by their won-loss record.
“You don’t prepare like they’re 0-10,” said Gilbert.
With Whitehall’s win over Northampton last Friday night, the Zephyrs completed another winning football season, their fifth of the Brian Gilbert-led era.
That’s pretty impressive considering that Gilbert has been the head coach for six years, their only losing campaign coming in 2015. With that final regular season win in their pocket, the Zephs remain as the top seed in the District 11 5A playoffs and will host East Stroudsburg North this Friday.
It was a feisty Whitehall girls volleyball team that won four games in the district playoffs, advancing to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Liberty.
They came in the 4A playoffs as the ninth seed and met Pleasant Valley, the eighth seed, in the opening round. The Bears were 11-6 heading into the tourney, and were undefeated in the Mountain Division of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Friday’s road to victory over visiting Stroudsburg began much earlier than the opening kickoff as quarterback Ethan Parvel was determined to erase last week’s loss as soon as they sat down to prepare for the Mounties.
After watching the film from last Friday’s loss, Parvel said that the focus shifted to their upcoming opponent.
“It definitely starts on Sunday,” said Parvel. “We all had a sour taste in our mouths from that loss, especially a loss like that to Bethlehem Catholic. We all said on Sunday that we don’t want to lose any more like that, and that’s what we did.”
With the game against Northampton on tap for this weekend, the Zephyr football team knows that they’ll be in a for a fight in their annual end-of-season grudge match.
While Northampton’s record is sub .500, the Zephyrs can’t afford to be complacent knowing that the Kids would like nothing better to end their season on a winning note.
They’ll once again be playing for the Cement Bowl Trophy, with Whitehall keeping a firm grip on the hardware since 2009.
When the Whitehall field hockey team steps onto the field to begin the district tournament, you can bet they’ll remember their season opener against Easton as they look to exact some revenge in the quarterfinals.
They lost 9-0 to the Red Rovers who are their opening round opponent in the District XI AAA playoffs which began on Wednesday. The Zephs, who are the sixth seed enter the tourney at 10-8-1, while Easton, the third seed, are 17-3.