When the Whitehall girls basketball team hits the floor this season, speed will be the operative word as they look to make it back to the playoffs.
Last year the Zephs went they went 16-10 and made both the Lehigh Valley Conference and District 11 playoffs, the former the first ever for a girls team at Whitehall. They also made it to the consolation round of the D-11 postseason, missing the PIAA playoffs with a loss to Pleasant Valley High School.
It's the dawn of a new basketball season, and the Zephyr boys will once again look to rise above the competition and get back into the postseason.
The Zephs finished last season 12-12 and made it to the district playoffs. With no margin for error, that team responded to the challenge of winning tough games down the stretch to secure a D-11 berth. This year's team will also need to find that same mental reserve since it's a fairly inexperienced team that's going to need to rely on heart as well as talent.
Even though winter is fast approaching, two Whitehall athletes thoughts turned toward spring as they made their plans official for the next four years.
With pens in hand instead of the their preferred bats, Madison Kelly and Jacob Wloczewski, signed their National Letters of Intent on November 14 at a ceremony in the high school.
Wloczewski will attend Binghamton University in the fall, a Division I school that rests in a valley at the confluence of the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers in New York. He will play baseball and lean toward a degree in health or science.
Tim Drevitch scored two goals, the first of the game, and the game winner, to lead Easton past Salisbury/Whitehall 4-2 last Monday night at the Lehigh Valley Ice Arena in Whitehall.
Salisbury/Whitehall had good looks on net seemingly all game, but could not take advantage of the chances. They outshot the Red Rovers 32-28, and created more chances in open play.
After Monday's general deer season opener when 750,000 orange clad hunters took to Penn's Woods, there will have been some successful hunters and not so successful ones. If the former, hunter numbers will decline somewhat, however, so will buck numbers, which makes scoring on one a lot tougher.
Deer have a way to become scarce when hunters invade their home turf. They'll either go underground or move elsewhere when the going gets tough.
Gavin Carey (Salisbury) tapped in a centered pass from his brother Ian to put the Whitehall/Salisbury hockey team in front late in the first period. There wasn't much time to celebrate, however, as four second period goals from Emmaus shifted the momentum towards a 5-2 Green Hornets win.
"We were feeling pretty confident," said head coach Rich Crowley. "We know we're not a high scoring team, so we get one goal and a bit of momentum."
Who said that watching television isn't good for you?
The father and son duo of Tim and Dan Caffrey obviously used the television to spark an idea to help people that were ravaged from Hurricane Sandy.
As coaches at Northampton and Whitehall's freshman football teams, the Caffrey's decided to team up their high school allegiances for a greater cause by collecting donated goods to help people in the town of Union Bay, NJ earlier this month.
The 2012 football season proved to be a year of pulling out the Sharpie and making bold check marks for the Zephyrs.
Coming into the season, new head coach Brian Gilbert enumerated their goals, beginning with winning a Lehigh Valley Conference Championship. Under his guidance, the team fulfilled that mission, earning a share of the LVC crown, and losing only one conference game in the process. That was the check mark with the fattest stroke, winning a league title for the first time since 2005.
District 11 notes provided by Duke Helm
Pleasant Valley's Brandon Leap became the first Bear to throw for over 2,000 yards in a season. In doing so, he broke Derrik Walling's 2-year-old school record of 1,978 yards that he set in 2010. Leap now has 2,035 yards passing with 22 TD passes. Walling still holds the school record for TD passes in a season with 23.
With the volleyball season packed away for the winter, the Zephyr girls look to build on the positives they displayed this year.
Coming into the year, head coach Robert Gardner defined them as scrappy. Although outsized, and short on varsity experience, they put that label to use, winning seven games in a tough conference that boasts some powerhouse teams.
That effort landed them a bit short, missing the playoffs for the first time in four years. However, the team made some strides and Gardner said it was a group that relied on grit to bang out those wins.