Limeport head coach Mike Cudwadie and plenty of other Bulls remember when Northampton swept them in the championship series in its first season of the Blue Mountain League (BML). That was back in 2014.
Jorge Montes doesn’t recall the deflating feeling five years ago. Montes is from Puerto Rico, and recently moved back to the Lehigh Valley area in 2017.
Daron Whitmore spent his first postseason in the Blue Mountain League sidelined with a shoulder injury as the Northampton Giants won their first league championship in 2014.
On Sunday, he pitched a gem to lead the Giants back to the Blue Mountain League championship series.
Whitmore pitched six stellar innings, allowing just two runs on four hits as Northampton completed the sweep of the Northern Yankees with a 3-2 victory at Northampton High School. The Giants will face the winner of the Limeport Bulls and Orioles in the championship series beginning this week.
Before the Whitehall cross country team embarked on its EPC season this week, the Zephyr runners took the course at the 39th DeSales Centaur Invitational over the weekend. And a number of runners had impressive showings on the tough course.
Juanita Flores led all Whitehall runners with a 39th-place finish on Saturday afternoon, clocking a time of 22:19.46 in the team’s first race of the season. A number of other Zephyr girls followed close behind, beginning with Devon Roberts (55th) and Rachel Herr (65th).
As a two-sport star for Whitehall in the fall season alone, senior Kylee Cunningham couldn’t afford to waste any time. In between a pivotal early afternoon EPC girls soccer tournament game last Saturday up in Pleasant Valley, followed by a league field hockey game back in Emmaus just hours later, the Zephyr senior knew it would be a hectic day.
So, with the clock winding down in regulation and Whitehall and Pleasant Valley deadlocked at a 1-1 tie, it looked as if overtime was on the horizon. But Cunningham had other plans in mind.
Even with the Bulls just coming off a five-run inning in the top of the third, Limeport co-manager Mike Cudwadie had a few words for his teammates and players going into the fourth: "We're not done yet."
The Bulls' offense certainly wasn't finished, but that would have been more than enough with pitcher Jared Schaffer dealing on the mound.
Just a week ago, it looked as if the road to another championship appearance in the Blue Mountain League would be easy for Limeport.
The Bulls, who finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 25-11, quickly built a 2-0 series lead against the Northampton Giants. A pitching spectacle from ace Adam Maini in Game 1 led to an 8-0 win. A 7-5 victory the next day brought the Bulls within one win of their fourth championship appearance in six years.
After plenty of success in the Tri-County ranks in recent years, the Northern Yankees transitioned to the Blue Mountain League a year ago with much of the same triumph. In their inaugural BML season, the Yankees were one of the final four teams standing in last year's playoffs.
But a 1-0 series lead in the semifinals against Limeport quickly diminished to a 3-1 series defeat in a matter of days, leaving an uneasy feeling in the Yankees' stomachs.
The first day of spring, Friday, March 20, is just a couple days away, but like recent years, high school spring sports teams are in a familiar position in early March.
A late winter with periods of heavy snow has once again caused baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis and track and field teams issues with their outdoor practice schedules. Due to covered playing fields across the area, most teams have been forced inside gymnasiums to replicate their practice situations. Boys volleyball, on the other hand, is fortunate enough to remain practicing on their normal courts.
Southern Lehigh's Travis Edmond and Whitehall's Jacob Buskirk were separated by one seat at Sunday's Lehigh Valley Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame banquet.
By the end of the 55th annual awards ceremony at Northampton Community Center, the two shared the evening's prestigious award.
Of the 34 high school football scholar-athlete nominees, Edmond and Buskirk were recognized as the award winners. It was the first time since 2011, when Bangor's Scott LaValva and Nazareth's Chuck Dibilio won the award, that two athletes shared the honor.
Whitehall senior Game Lamm knew it would be tough.
But despite running in the most competitive event of the cross country season, his goals were set high. Not only did Lamm want to finish last Saturday's PIAA State Championships below 17 minutes, he also wanted to earn a medal by finishing among the top 25 finishers of Class AAA.
And while Lamm missed out on reaching the podium to earn a medal, the senior capped off his third trip to states with a 96th-place finish in a time of 17:10 at Hershey's Entertainment Complex.