Kids still take next step, prep for Catty next
Even though they dropped a close 42-37 decision to Easton in a District 11 Class 6A opening playoff game, Northampton took another step toward gaining further respectability, especially in the East Penn Conference South Division.
With the annual Thanksgiving tilt with Catasauqua in a few weeks, the Konkrete Kids have compiled a 17-6 record over their last 23 games.
“I’m proud of our kids,” said Kids’ head coach Kyle Haas. “They didn’t give up and they just kept fighting.
“We showed that maybe we are closing the gap with the EPC South. We played very competitive with teams in our last two games. We also played well against (Allentown) Central Catholic in a scrimmage.
“This is a big step up from where Northampton was. We’ll just keep trying to take the next step. We are a better team from last year to this year.”
Over the past two seasons, the Kids have continued to rewrite the record books on an individual and team basis.
Seniors Tyrese Brandon and Jared Russell played a huge role in set new marks, and fellow seniors Josh Gaycheck and Spencer Cole also have been dominant on both sides of the ball.
“Our seniors have gone out and have done their part to win a lot of football games over the last two years,” added Haas. “We are losing some key people like Tyrese (Brandon) Jared (Russell), Josh (Gaycheck), and Spence (Cole) who along with the other seniors really helped change the culture and form a new foundation for us.”
“Our seniors don’t want this to end. It really will be hard to say goodbye to them (seniors) because of what they have established here.”
Despite losing some instrumental seniors, Haas sees his program replenishing for next year.
“We haven’t had the big senior classes playing for us,” he said. “Until we get to that point, we’ll have freshmen, sophomores, and juniors playing. We have a lot of record breakers here, and we will have some down the road.
“We have a good group of sophomores and juniors and a middle school team that will eventually help us. Maybe our success will bring some more kids out than the 55 we have this year, but it is a huge commitment.”
Haas believes his team has peaked as well as they have reached another level.
“When I look back, I think about the Pocono Mountain West game,” he recalled. “It was a day game for us and a trap game.
“We had the big game against East Stroudsburg South ahead of us. But we just went out and took care of business. We all knew we playing on another level at that point and we gained more and more confidence as the season wore on.”
With the Catasauqua game three weeks away, Haas plans to keep his team busy with a varied schedule.
Despite Catasauqua being winless (0-10), Haas knows it will still be a battle.
“These kids have gone to this game since they were little,” said Haas. “They know about the rivalry and how intense is can get no matter what the records are.
“I would be shocked if they are not up for this game. They are still ready to play some football and show what they can do.”