Whitehall High School cross country coach Mike Lelko told his Zephyrs that any real runner has to be able to say they ran the Van Cortlandt course in Bronx, New York at least once in their lifetime.
So, Gabe Lamm and Calvin Schneck took Lelko up on his offer to compete at the Footlocker Cross Country Championships on Nov. 30.
Lamm walked away with a fifth place medal in the Junior/Senior Boys Race of the Northeast Regionals. The Whitehall junior was the top Pennsylvania boy with a time of 17:13 over the 5,000 meter course.
Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff remembered a similar scenario last season when his club struggled before the holidays and then responded with a second-half season flurry that resulted in a Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) Non-Pure division championship.
So, this season with his club again sputtering, Ruff has a point of reference to fall back upon. But the veteran coach realizes he can rely on another transformation down the stretch. Heading into Monday night, the Kids had an overall 1-4-2 mark and sat in sixth-place of the eight-team division.
When assessing the upcoming girls basketball season, one glaring fact stands out as the Zephyrs embark on their new campaign.
They have no seniors on their roster and that may be seen as a disadvantage.
However, first-year head coach Dwight Repsher prefers putting a positive spin on the situation, noting that while they're without any seniors on the team, the opportunity for the underclassmen to get significant playing time bodes well for the future.
Starting the season off with a win can build confidence and lay the groundwork for a strong year.
That's what the Whitehall boys basketball team experienced when they tipped off the season against Freedom High School last Saturday at the Yasso/Rothrock Classic.
Not only was it a confidence builder in respect to beating a good opponent, but it was also in the manner in which they did it, trailing by as many as nine points at one point, but ultimately turning their fortunes around to post a 52-48 win over the Patriots.
The calm and quiet that has been a rather unusual hallmark of the PIAA over the last year might be coming to an end.
And the culprit is: gender.
Two separate yet related gender issues have converged on PIAA - one directly, another peripherally - almost simultaneously, and both could have far-reaching implications.
The first is a suit filed on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in US Middle District Court by the parents of a seventh-grade female in the Line Mountain School District claiming the student has the constitutional right to participate in wrestling.
Whitehall head swimming coach Pete Rile knows his team has lost some key swimmers to graduation from last year's versatile squad, but the veteran coach also believes his returning core can continue the program's high standards.
"We should have a strong girls team coming back, and our boys program should also be competitive," said Rile. "We did lose a number of girls who went to states and who were a big part of our program over the past few years.
"But we have two girls back who went to states last year, and we also have a good underclassmen class that can fill those spots."
With the new boys basketball season ready to be unwrapped, the Zephyrs have a good mix of youth and veterans that should make this year a cheerful one.
Unlike last year when then had to replace a substantial portion of their offense, this season sees them return a good bulk of their scoring that will help them as they begin the 2013-14 campaign.
You could say that Dr. Jason Batley has had a successful career.
The 1988 Freedom graduate grew up in Bethlehem and eventually went on to become an orthopedic surgeon.
Now, he's part of a new swim team located just outside of Charlotte, NC, that is preparing some of the top swimmers in the country for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
Batley, who has lived in Davidson, NC, for the past five years, is the head team doctor for an organization called Team Elite, which is led by legendary Auburn and national team coach David Marsh.
Now that the lights have dimmed on Zephyr Football Stadium, the 2013 season becomes reflected in the collective memories of its players and coaches.
They finished 11-2, won a share of the Lehigh Valley Conference Championship for the second year in a row, and made it to the semifinals of the District XI AAAA sub regional tournament.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission has issued its preliminary bear harvest report, but not included, is the tally from the archery and early bear seasons.
According to the PGC, bears were taken in 51 counties statewide, so far. And the top 10 bears checked on Monday were either estimated or confirmed to have live weights of 556 pounds or more. The largest, a male, weighed an estimated 772 pounds and was shot in Covington Twp., Lackawanna County by Dan Beavers of Covington Twp., Pa.