With another season tucked away until the sweltering days of 2014 when fall sports get under way, the Zephyr field hockey team can look back on another successful campaign.
The Zephs finished 12-8 overall, 7-7 in the Lehigh Valley Conference. They made it to the District XI 3A playoffs, winning an overtime thriller against William Allen High School in the pigtail round, before succumbing to eventual state finalist Emmaus High School in the quarterfinals.
Since Thanksgiving is a bit late this year, so is the start of the general deer season that kicks off at 7 a.m. Dec. 2 in most parts of the state. As it's a full week later compared to past seasons, this is, says the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the latest starting season in several years.
With the clubs officially packed away until next summer, it was a season of transition for the Whitehall golf team in 2013.
First, a new coach came on board just as the season was about to tee off. Secondly, they were consistently outmanned by their competition in the Lehigh Valley Conference, forcing them to play at a disadvantage.
But through it all, head coach John Conrad said the team never complained or made excuses. They just played each match to the best of their ability.
In fact, their willingness to compete made an impression on Conrad.
Gus Garcia, Whitehall's former head coach who will not be coming back to the program next year, was convinced Whitehall would have made the District 11 Class 3A playoffs this past fall. But the Zephyrs lost out in the end to a recurring theme of falling short in many ways throughout the season.
Whitehall dropped its final two regular season games to finish with an overall 8-9-1 record, missing the playoffs by one win. The Zephyrs made districts for the first time in more than 10 years last season and were eliminated in the first round after they posted an 8-9-2 overall record.
When safety Ryan Bonshak steps on the field, his ability to succeed reaches far beyond his physical skills.
If you were to encounter Bonshak in the hallway at Whitehall High School, his physical presence would not immediately elicit thoughts of an all-star football player. While he can deliver a hit that will knock the stuffing out of bigger players like the block he put on Parkland's Nezar Haddad in the district semifinals, his physicals talents are augmented by his preparation and experience.
If numbers are any indication, the Whitehall girls volleyball team is primed to have a successful season next year.
In looking at those numbers, the team only loses two seniors from a squad that finished 9-10 and qualified for the District XI tournament. Granted, those are big shoes to fill with kill leader Olivia Bobyak, departing, along with talented veteran Madison Scarfaro, but the team retains a number of experienced players that should make that transition smooth.
Although Parkland's bread and butter is their ground game, it was a pass that proved to be Whitehall's undoing last week in the district semifinals at Zephyr Stadium.
With the score tied 3-3, and five seconds left on the clock until halftime, Devante Cross found Eli Redmond streaking to the post and delivered a strike over the outstretched arms of Ryan Bonshak to give the Trojans a 10-3 lead going into the break.
It's difficult enough playing golf under ideal conditions, but throw in wind and rain, and that makes a tough sport even tougher.
That's what Whitehall golfer Loran Pritchard experienced when she teed up to begin her round at the District XI AAA Championships at Blue Ridge Country Club last month.
Facing those conditions, Pritchard said the winds were so strong that it meant going up a club. But that was tempered by the fact that a bad swing could get the golfer in trouble. That adjustment meant for a tricky decision every time she pulled a club from her bag.
Cementon Fall Biddy Baseball team played in the Allen Township Youth Association (ATYA) Fall League. There were 18 other teams and during the regular reason they won 9 out of 12 games making it to the playoffs. During the playoffs they lost one game early and went through the losers bracket to the finals and finished in second place in the Championship game played on Oct. 12. The coaches included: Ben Kovalcik, Rob Reitenauer, Sean Trump, Jeremy Graf and missing from photo Ed Foster.
The Zephyr girls volleyball season ended with the Trojans providing the exodus in the opening round of districts.
Granted, it was a daunting task facing undefeated Parkland High School to kick off the AAA tourney, but the Zephyrs were very familiar with their Lehigh Valley Conference foes, and they have been steadily improving all year.