To Mike Bodnar, baseball has been a staple in his life.
The Northampton senior practically was raised on baseball, as his father has been a lifelong coach and had been his coach during a time period.
Yet, Bodnar has been candid about his progression and performance through the years. In fact, he easily is his own worst critic.
In the process, he also has worked to be the ultimate team player
With his club having a 3-3 record to begin the week, Northampton head baseball coach Mick Sugra wasn’t sure if the proverbial glass was half empty or half full.
It appears to be the time for an early wake-up call.
“I don’t know right now,” said Sugra. “We have talent and we were playing well. Right now, it is hard to gauge where we are.”
Upon graduation, Nick DeMieri plans to enter the military. It is a route that he recently planned, a trek that will help him serve others as well as his country.
Throughout his baseball career at Northampton the past few years, DeMieri has followed a similar path. He hasn’t relished being in the spotlight as arguably the Konkrete Kids’ top hurler, but he would rather be viewed as doing what he can to help his team.
It is his selfless approach that could produce some high rankings for DeMieri this year and beyond.
With successful seasons behind them this winter, Northampton’s boys’ middle school and freshmen teams appear to have a bright future.
The Kids’ middle school teams had strong years, as the 8th grade “A” team had a 14-4 record and the 7th grade “B” unit posted a 15-3 mark. It was a year that was somewhat surprising for both. Another interesting aspect was the 61 boys who tried out.
“The season went well for the “A” team,” said head coach Scott Johnson. “We figured we would have a strong group. The “B” team had a better year than we expected.
This past season, Northampton’s junior varsity team understood the meaning of character.
The Konkrete Kids’ junior unit finished with a 13-9 record and they also managed to defeat Parkland this season, registering a key victory on the Trojans’ home floor.
But the glaring characteristic was the final outcome of games.
The JV team was involved in a series of games decided in the final minutes, many of them that can be considered character builders for the future.
Coming off one of their deeper runs in some time, Northampton’s baseball program is anxious to begin the 2016 campaign.
The Konkrete Kids advanced to the PIAA Class 4A District semifinals last season, as they rode a midseason wave that carried them through the first and quarterfinal rounds of the district playoffs.
They blanked Bangor 5-0 in the opening round and then recorded a 3-1 win over Liberty. The Kids ended their 2015 campaign with a 4-2 loss to Parkland as they finished their year with a 15-9 overall mark.
Northampton’s boys’ basketball season didn’t have the anticipated ending, but it did culminate with some beginnings for the future.
The Konkrete Kids finished the 2015-16 campaign on a sour note as they dropped their regular season finale, 77-46, to Allentown Central Catholic in a contest that had postseason ramifications for both teams.
Northampton’s quest for a playoff spot is over.
The Konkrete Kids were seeking to avoid missing the postseason for the second consecutive season in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic League (LVSHL), but they needed to overcome a huge deficit to get there.
The Kids began the season with an 0-3-3 mark and they didn’t pick up their first win until they recorded a 7-1 win over Easton Nov. 23. It was the first of a much-needed three-game winning streak that put them in the playoff hunt.
For Northampton’s basketball team, it was down to one.
The Konkrete Kids entered Rockne Hall Wednesday night, after Press deadlines, needing to defeat Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) to secure a district playoff spot for the second-consecutive season.
It was a tall order considering it was the Vikings’ senior night and they also are still in the shuffle for a top spot in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) playoffs. They earlier dropped a 59-39 decision to ACC Jan. 16, and the Vikings already have clinched a playoff berth.
For the Northampton boys’ basketball teams, the magic number is two.
The Konkrete Kids will need two wins in their final four games to qualify for the district playoffs for the second consecutive season.
They entered this week with an overall 9-9 mark and a 5-7 mark in the East Penn Conference.
Sounds somewhat easy, right?