Lehigh Township's season in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack League has surprised some, but not all.
Heading into this week's action, Lehigh Township had a 10-1-1 record, a mark that kept them in the hunt with the Central Vikings for the top spot in the league. Having a number of their players moving on to Legion ball this season, Lehigh had mixed feelings about this season after a 9-9 slate last year.
Northampton head girls' basketball coach Jeff Jacksits is utilizing his summer program to continue to watch his team mature.
Last season, the Konkrete Kids graduated three seniors from their 7-15 season, one that was marred by a noticeable lack of experience.
Giovanna Martinez capped her senior season with a standout performance in the VIA All-Star Classic, and fellow seniors Fran Sanchez and Ali Reppert also left their impressions on the program.
During his sophomore year at Muhlenberg, Tyler Bauer began to understand how athletics can be a mental game and one that helped him turn a new page.
It was then that he discovered how he could begin a path that eventually would lead him to consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III Track and Field championships in the javelin. He also recently ended his career as a two-time All-American and three-time Centennial Conference champion in the event.
Entering his fourth year at the helm of the Northampton boys' basketball program, Coy Stampone has watched his team develop to the point of them gaining a district berth for the first time in five years last season.
In the process, the Konkrete Kids had re-established themselves among the Lehigh Valley basketball powers.
However, many of the cast that helped the Kids advance graduated in June. As a result, the Kids will continue in some aspects and also look to retool in others during their annual summer league program.
For Northampton head boys' basketball coach Coy Stampone and his program, it's about continuing to take meaningful steps in his program.
Last season after the program won a total of five games in its two previous seasons, Northampton ended the year with an overall 13-10 record.
The Konkrete Kids made districts for the first time since 2010 and barely missed making the league playoffs.
Over the past five years, Northampton's baseball team has worked to raise the level of the program.
This past spring, the Konkrete Kids took a major step when they registered 15 wins and advanced to the PIAA District 11 Class 4A semifinals where their season ended in a 4-2 loss to Parkland. Still, the Kids have apparently grown through the process.
Northampton head baseball coach Mick Sugra knows his team must have the vital pieces in place for the Konkrete Kids to continue a memorable season.
For the Kids, it is about pitching, defense and timely hits a trifecta of elements that can produce a deep tournament run.
In their opening PIAA District 11 Class AAA game against Bangor, the Kids received what they needed in a 5-0 shutout over the Slaters Monday afternoon.
With the win, Northampton (14-8) moved on to face Liberty in the next round Wednesday afternoon, which came after Press deadlines.
After a recent successful season, Northampton head boys basketball coach Coy Stampone is looking to further develop his program's future.
Stampone will direct the annual Northampton Area High School boys' basketball youth camp from June 15-19, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The camp is open to boys entering 3rd grade through 9th grade for the 2015-2016 school year.
All season long, Northampton's baseball team has prided itself on its consistent pitching, timely hitting, and stellar defensive efforts.
It has been the effective trifecta that has lifted the Konkrete Kids from a pair of mediocre seasons into one this year that has transformed them into one of the Lehigh Valley's elite.
The Kids not only clinched a district berth early in the season due to an eight-game winning streak, but they also qualified for the East Penn Conference (EPC) playoffs.
However, the Kids' visit back to the vaunted EPC ground wasn't a memorable one.
Early in the season, Northampton boys volleyball coach Dave Faust had a feeling his club could peak at the right time.
That feeling still prevailed despite his club dropping their first two matches. Back then, his premonition also could have been easily deterred as he put a new system into place as his first year as the boys head coach.
A week later, the Konkrete Kids (8-3) were on a different path as they began an impressive seven-game winning streak that has resulted in a district playoff berth and also kept them in the hunt for the East Penn Conference playoffs.