This winter, Northampton will be looking to redeem itself from a late-season tumble, and the Kids will have plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
Northampton looked to be in line to make a return trip to districts late last year, but they dropped seven of their last eight games, falling out of contention for an East Penn Conference (EPC) playoff spot and a district berth. Their slide left them with an overall 10-12 mark.
Still, head coach Coy Stampone is very optimistic about his team possibilities.
During the summer, Morgan Heffelfinger decided to take the advice of his friends and give soccer a try.
Granted, Heffelfinger is a senior basketball player at Northampton and has never played any organized soccer in his way. It would be a venture with plenty of mental and physical challenges ahead.
To heighten the situation, Heffelfinger would stake over in the nets for the Konkrete Kids on a team that likely would make a strong run at districts this year.
In a few ways, Anna Filchner knew this could be a big year.
She was among 11 seniors on Northampton’s field hockey team this fall. More importantly, Filchner felt comfortable with herself in the program.
“Last year, we had nine seniors and we had a good year,” she said. “But we had our coach leave us and we all knew we had to pick up the pace.
“This year, we have a new coach and the transition has been really smooth. We have really come together as a team and we have a great chemistry. We have really connected with our juniors.
This season, Northampton head boys’ soccer coach Adam Bastidas watched his team take the next step from a 6-12 campaign last year.
As a result, the Konkrete Kids will enter this week’s district playoffs with a respectable seeding, a home game, and a newfound sense of respect among themselves and their opponents. They recently dropped a 4-0 decision to Parkland in the East Penn Conference semifinals.
Since seventh grade, Ashley Kunsman knew she would be a field hockey goalie. Kunsman was encouraged to join the team by teammate Emily Henry, and she has never looked back.
“I wanted to try on the goalie equipment and give it a try,” recalled Kunsman from her freshman days at practice. “I didn’t know what to expect at first, and I really didn’t want to be a goalie at first. But I really began to love what I was doing.”
This season, Northampton’s Emily Henry hasn’t approached her senior year unlike any other one.
Henry understands the significance of the year, but a staunch work ethic and dedication has her sights on helping her team achieve a strong finish. It has been a consistent mantra for her over the past four years.
The Konkrete Kids began the week with an overall 7-3-1 mark and in the thick of the East Penn Conference playoffs.
Northampton head boys’ soccer coach Adam Bastidas believes his team can achieve its long-range goal of making the league and district playoffs. It is just a matter of how they get there.
Through their first four games, the Konkrete Kids are 2-2 and all appears to be on an upward spiral. The Kids already have passed the quarter pole from last year’s 6-12 campaign.
Northampton’s field hockey team is in a year of transition and it apparently hasn’t lost a step.
The Konkrete Kids lost a number of seniors from last year’s squad and new head coach and alum Carrie Saul has made a smooth adjustment. Through their first five games, the Kids had a 2-2-1 record and were in the pack for the East Penn Conference race.
“Right now, we have been making a push and really working together,” said Saul, who spent the previous four years at the helm of the Catasauqua program. “We have been working on our shots and moving the ball well.
For the Hall brothers, winning a tournament in their literal backyard was something special.
Phil and Derek Hall, both former standouts at Northampton High, paced a Tony’s Top Cat bar and Grill, a locally-based team to the title with a 54-51 win over defending champion Nites recently in the final of the 27th version of the Tournament of Champions at the Catty playground.
As long as he can remember, James Snyder had been around the Tournament of Champions.
It has been a summer staple for him and his brother, Andrew, as their father, Eric, began the tournament 27 years ago. There has been a cavalcade of memories he and his family, from the choices of watching, working and playing.
This summer, though, Snyder can reach a new pinnacle with the tournament.