Northampton head boys' basketball coach Coy Stampone is optimistic that familiarity on both the small and large scale can be a difference in his club's season this winter.
Beginning his third year at the helm, Stampone is confident his club can continue to gain respect and perspective in the new and realigned East Penn Conference.
"We played a lot of basketball during the summer," said Stampone, whose club won three games last season. "We played in a number of leagues and tournaments. Our guys gained a lot of experience and they played well together.
When the Roughies take the field for their annual showdown against Northampton Thanksgiving morning, it might be safe to say that there will be a different team that took the field several weeks ago.
Back then, the Roughies had an influx of several new and first-year players in starting spots, as their starting lineup was riddled with injuries.
Now, the Roughies will field a lineup in which they began the season having many starters returning from injuries in time for their 92nd annual meeting with the Konkrete Kids.
During any other season, Northampton head hockey coach Brian Ruff might welcome a two-week layoff.
But this season's respite didn't exactly fall on an appropriate period. Ruff's team is off to a fast start in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League. The Konkrete Kids began this week's play with an unblemished 5-0 record and tied with Parkland (5-0) atop the league standings. They haven't played since they blitzed Liberty, 9-1, Nov. 3.
Sitting atop the standings of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League (LVSHL) over the past few weeks, Northampton apparently has shaken off all the rust from an uncharacteristic 2013-14 season in which they finished with an overall 6-7-2 record.
The perennial champions have regained their winning ways as they were undefeated in the first five games of the season and likely will be a contender for the LVSHL crown this winter.
Over the years, Ed Seidick has always admired the work of his friend and former girls' basketball coach Dave Troxell at Catasauqua.
When Troxell recently stepped down as head coach to accept the school's athletic director's position, Seidick believed it was time to make a move in conjunction with his friend's latest ascent.
After being involved with the Northampton High School girls' program since 1992 and serving as a varsity assistant the past two seasons, Seidick was recently approved as the new head girls' basketball coach at a school board meeting.