The Whitehall cross country teams opened the season by taking part in the Lion Invitational at Moravian Academy on Friday, Aug. 30.
The Zephyr boys started with a bang as they captured first overall with a score of 99 points. They finished ahead of second-place Northwestern, which had 144 points. Jim Thorpe was third with 145 points.
Gabe Lamm was the first overall boy to cross, coming in first with a time of 16:59. He just edged out Liberty's Alex Fitch who ran a 17:00. Teammate Brian Plucinsky also finished in the top-five, taking home fourth with a time of 17:17.
The Zephyr girls volleyball team fended off game points twice in the third game, finally winning the back-and-forth battle to complete the sweep against Freedom High School Monday night.
That decisive 28-26 victory was the closest of the three, with the Zephs winning the prior contests, 25-18, 25-16 at Liberty High School's Memorial Gymnasium as part of the Lehigh Valley Showcase to kickoff the 2013 season.
The win showcased the Zephs ability to play strong fundamental volleyball as they rarely mishit a ball or made unforced errors.
After generating 402 yards of total offense in their opener against Spring-Ford High School, a critical question surrounding the Zephyr football team was met with a resounding answer.
That prolific output was a testament to the effectiveness of their line play, one of the main concerns heading into the 2013 campaign.
However, when the bell rang to kickoff the season, the line made their presence felt in helping to guide the Zephs to a 37-21 victory over the visiting Rams.
The Whitehall field hockey team roared out of the gate with sticks a-blazin' as they blanked Pocono Mountain West High School to begin the season.
The Zephs erupted for 12 goals, as six players found the back of the cage en route to the 12-0 win.
That offensive surge was led by Taylor George who had five goals against the Panthers. Tianna Rivers rattled the ball home twice, while Kourtney Cunningham duplicated that feat. Additionally, Erin Everett, Brianna Peacock and Kylee Cunningham each scored one goal in the opener.
Newly-minted head coach John Conrad had to get into the swing of things rather quickly.
After new head coach John Szerencsits stepped down right before the start of the 2013 Zephyr golf season, Conrad was tapped to lead the program.
Szerencsits had replaced Curt Beer who guided the program the last two years, Conrad said that since he was a member of the coaching staff, Whitehall Athletic Director Robert Hartman asked him to lead the program.
So, what did we learn from week one of football. Well, one thing for sure is that there are a lot of bad teams out there. On the bright side, Dieruff has actually improved and that should give everyone on the East Side a feel good story. Whitehall came away with the most surprising win last week, while Liberty kicked off the John Truby era with a big win.
Major showdowns across the board in the LVC and Colonial League this week, which makes for an interesting poll.
1. Parkland (1-0)
Last week's rank: 2
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.
Press photos by Linda Rothrock
As the Zephyr football team heads into the 2013 season, they'll have an early test to see where they stand right out of the chute.
They'll be facing Spring-Ford High School once again to kick off the year, a tough nonconference opponent who went 12-3 last year before being bounced out of the PIAA AAAA playoffs by Coatesville High School in the second round.
Whitehall head coach Brian Gilbert said that the Zephs will start senior Jeff Charles under center, while junior Chad Rex will also feature prominently at the position.