Northampton’s Evan Zwolenik and Catasauqua’s Adam Reinhart will be anxious to wear their baseball jersey in early August.
Yes, August is correct.
Both Zwolenik and Reinhart will be members of their respective teams in a Lehigh Valley-based baseball tournament comprised of a 32-team field at DeSales University tentatively Aug 3-9. Teams from the Colonial League and Lehigh Valley Conference along with Pennridge, Upper Perkiomen, and Quakertown will be in the field.
Brett Fehnel figure his team was ready to take the next step.
They had lost to Liberty in the district semifinals the year before in 1996.
“We knew we had one more chance,” stated Fehnel, who is a director of an accounting firm outside Philadelphia and recalled his team’s 1997 season that saw them win conference and district titles. “We lost to Liberty in the district semifinals the year before.
For Madison Fraley, the stage was set.
Fraley was primed and ready for her senior season after a junior campaign in which she hit .429 last season and accepted a captain’s role that would extend to this season.
The catcher had been a member of the Konkrete Kids varsity program since her freshman year and anticipated a banner year for her team. The Kids had a 19-6 record last year and were surprised by Whitehall in districts.
Fraley entered the season with a career .398 average with eight homers, 52 RBIs, and 76 hits over three seasons.
As a junior, Evan Zwolenik had a season most players would relish and cherish.
Zwolenik posted a 7-1 record with a 1.04 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 67 innings and spearheaded Northampton to its first conference championship since 1998.
It was the kind of campaign that could make most high-school hurlers gain a further sense of comfort and confidence.
Zwolenik isn’t one of them.
“I knew I had a good year,” said Zwolenik. “I’m never satisfied. I still need to work on a couple of things.”
Athletic programs at Catasauqua and Northampton breathed a recent sigh of relief.
Their teams will take the first step to return to a state of normalcy in the upcoming weeks from the COVID 19 pandemic.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced on June 10 that high school, collegiate, and professional sports can return to action under guidelines in each county for summer workouts as well as in the fall. As this week began, both Lehigh and Northampton counties were in the yellow phase of the state CDC guidelines.
It was supposed to be the day to honor Northampton’s seniors and anxiously move forward to the next step in the presumed league playoffs.
Instead, the 10 seniors each had their houses decorated by the school’s booster club on the team’s Senior Night Schedule for May 4, as a show of gratitude for their efforts and contributions to the program.
The event marked the end of the Konkrete Kid careers for Tyler Antonis, Cameron Cooper, Cullen Cooper, Ayden Hughes, Michael Kuzio, Nate Rex, Mickey Rimbey, Garrett Smith, Justin “JT” Taylor, Evan Zwolenik and manager MaKenzie Bernhard.
Elek Erdosy will never forget “the march” in his senior 1974 football season at Northampton.
“We lined up as a brigade,” he recalled. “We lined up in height and there were about five rows. We would march about 200 yards from the high school down to the stadium. The sound of our cleats hitting the cement was really neat.
“It was something that I will never forget. It was crazy good, and you had to hear it.”
Zach Gula can see the big picture and put his postponed track season in its proper perspective from his primary basketball season.
“Canceling the season isn’t that big of a big deal,” said the senior. “For me, track wasn’t my main sport. I do feel badly for some of my teammates who season was a lot bigger to them than mine was to me. It would have been a real issue for me if basketball season would have been canceled.
“The real issue is people who are losing their jobs, and people who are struggling to make ends meet. When you think of it in that way, it’s not that big.”
These days, Northampton’s boys’ volleyball program is about who will be the recipient of the Mortar Mixer Belt.
The belt measures the weekly timeliness and effectiveness of a series of agility and weight-training workouts for each member of the team, and it has been awarded since their program was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the stalled state of athletics, the Konkrete Kids kept their regular season workout pace over the past weeks, guided by the program’s five seniors, Ryan Caffrey, Matt Fenstermaker, Dylan Holland, Chris Miller and John Sankari.
It is a different time for area high school football coaches as they take the initial steps in preparation for a 2020 football season.
“Football can be different from any other sport in terms of preparation,” said Northampton head skipper Kyle Haas in lieu of the coronavirus outbreak. “We have an amount of information that we plan to distribute to our offense and defense.
“We plan to implement what we want to do for the fall in a program.”