Northampton’s Connie Mack team’s ride in the postseason didn’t end according to their script, but they did experience a ride that could leave lasting impressions.
The Konkrete Kids went on a late-season binge that saw them advance to the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack championship game, only to lose in an 8-7, eight-inning contest to Bethlehem Catholic.
With their late-season heroics, Northampton received a bye in the opening–round of the state Connie Mack tournament and began play two days later at Limeport Stadium.
It’s fair to say that wrestling fans are watching greatness unfold in front of their eyes.
For Northampton’s Julian Chlebove, his first two years on the wrestling mat have been everything he’s hoped for and maybe more.
His second state championship this past March cemented his status as back-to-back Male Athlete of the Year for the Northampton Press.
Part of becoming a great and successful athlete is knowing you can compete at a high level, but also not forgetting what got you to that point.
For this year’s Northampton Press Co-Female Athletes of the Year, Aja Blount and Lyndsey Gallagher, those moments came at different points in their careers.
For Blount it was the first time she took the court as a Konkrete Kid.
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Northampton Legion head coach Mike Bodnar likely will remember this past Father’s Day.
Aside from his family’s celebrations, Bodnar watched his Northampton Legion team take stock of itself and begin a rampage that has carried them to the top seed in the playoffs and Northampton County League finals.
“We lost to East Stroudsburg and we played badly” said Bodnar. “I benched four players and the coaches agreed with me that we had to send a message. Our play just wasn’t acceptable.
“That really sunk in because we haven’t lost since then.”
A few weeks ago, Northampton’s Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) team faced the arduous task of a stretch of six games in seven days.
Head coach Steve Kerbacher wasn’t sure how his club would respond to challenge, as it could greatly impact their season. In the end, though, Kerbacher and his team eventually saw the test as one that would leave its mark for quite some time.
Extra innings are nothing new to both Birches and Northampton Legion teams.
Wednesday night saw Game 2 of a best-of-three series turn into an extra inning game.
This time however, Northampton only needed one more extra frame to score a 5-4 win over Birches to advance to the next round in Northampton County (NORCO) Legion playoff action.
Northampton manager Mike Bodnar expected nothing less against Birches, especially playing on the same field where a regular season meeting extended longer than seven innings.
Coming into summer league play, Aidan Ellwood viewed the landscape of his team at Northampton, and he began to undertake a new role.
The lone senior and returning leading scorer, Ellwood understands it simply won’t be about putting the ball in the basket.
“We’re young,” said Ellwood describing his team. “We have a lot of the younger guys realizing their roles. But we are starting to come together as a unit.
Sport nutritionist Erin Sparrold from the Bethlehem-based sports psychology company Mind of the Athlete is on a mission, not just to help athletes feed their performance, but to help them develop a healthy relationship with food.
“There is so much negative messaging around food, I want them to understand the power food has to build health,” said Sparrold. “To have a balance is important, not just for an event.”
Northampton’s team in the Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) League is optimistic it can enter the upcoming postseason with some momentum.
However, they will have their work cut out for them.
Northampton will finish the regular season this week with games against Lehigh Bethlehem and Catasauqua, both teams that could stand in their way of getting an elevated spot in the standings.
They recently suffered a hard-fought , 5-3 loss to Bethlehem Catholic, but they bounced back with a convincing 10-2 suspended/completed victory over Pen Argyl.