Lehigh senior Darian Cruz enjoyed the limelight of being a national champion last year, but got treated the harsh reality of competing in a tough weight class at last weekend’s NCAA Division-I wrestling championships.
Cruz took fifth at 125-pounds during the tournament held at Quicken Loan Arenas in Cleveland, finishing his Lehigh career with a 120-20 record.
After losing 2-0 to Rutgers’ Nick Suriano in the semifinals, Parkland graduate and Minnesota wrestler Ethan Lizak gave him his second loss of the tournament with a 5-2 defeat in the consolation semifinals.
As a sophomore, Zach Gula figured it was time to take his game to the next level.
After a productive summer, Gula was in the running for one of the Konkrete Kids’ starting positions after a number of them had been created due to graduation.
He took the initiative and never looked back.
Heading into the final phase of the season, Northampton knew what it needed to do to secure itself a better playoff seeding.
They did just that.
You can say that Devon Britton made the weekend for Northampton’s wrestling team at the PIAA championships in Hershey.
Britton wrestled his best of the season and came home with a bronze medal finish to be the K-Kids lone medal winner from their four participants.
But it was the path that Britton took to a third-place finish that left him and his coaches ecstatic when he wrapped up his three days in Hershey with a 5-2 decision over Andrew Wert of Central Dauphin in the 132-pound medal round.
Emmaus senior and center defender James Haag was named the 2017 Lehigh Valley Boys Soccer Scholar Athlete during the annual soccer banquet held recently at the Northampton Memorial Community Center in Northampton.
“It’s such a great honor to be named the Frank J. Olszewski Boys Soccer Scholar Athlete for the Lehigh Valley,” Haag said. “I mean, it’s just amazing how there are so many great kids out here. I can’t believe that I got picked for it. There are so many other candidates that were absolutely amazing and I’m very happy to be named with any of those guys.”
Nothing really changed.
The shot selection remained consistent. The defensive intensity never faltered. The orange-and-black faithful in the stands remained loud.
The only difference between the first and second halves of Northampton’s PIAA state playoff opener is simple: Shots that went in during the first half refused to find the net in the second half.
The K-Kids’ spirited 2017-18 season came to a close against St. Joe’s Prep from the Philadelphia Catholic League on Saturday, March 10 at Pleasant Valley High School.
Northampton’s boys basketball season was a myriad of highlights, some that may not be achieved for some time.
There was a 13-game winning streak that clinched an early district berth, the lone East Penn Conference team to beat Bethlehem Catholic during the regular season with a buzzer beater, and an appearance in a district championship game for the first time in 45 years among other events that dotted the season.
Mike Schneider vividly remembers his senior year at Northampton.
It was 1972 and the former athletic director was a member of the boys basketball team under then head coach Bob Nemeth - that was the last Northampton team to win a District 11 title.
In that year, the Konkrete Kids downed Easton, 60-57, behind Greg Vogel’s 16 points and Carl “Yogi” Christman added 13 in the win.
If you think your weekends are busy, consider the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
This past weekend, they wrapped up the middle portion of three-straight, three-game weekends on their schedule. While it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Phantoms will be playing playoff hockey this spring, nothing is official just yet. With 13 games left to play in the regular season, the Phantoms have dropped their magic number down to 12 after a productive weekend.