JIM THORPE

Head coach - Bernice Bott

Assistant coaches - Karen Marhefka, Jamie Fedor, Anna Leigh Rowlands,Tina Tedesco

Last year's record - 1-19

League - Schuylkill League Division 1

District 11 classification - AA

Key losses - None

Key returnees - Rhiannon Milliard (Sr., ss/C), Nikita Singletary (Sr., 1B), Christina Gibson (Jr., CF), Lauren Mason (Jr., 3B), Alexandrea Mosteller (Jr., IF), Lauren Rich (Jr., LF), Ashley Tillou (So., P)

Others to watch - Amber Fiducia (Sr., ss/3B), Lauren Koput (Sr., P), Janieva Mallory (Jr., OF), Brittany Caufman (So., P), and Darian Rodgers (So. OF).

Strengths - The Lady Olympians return a slew of girls with varsity playing experience as well as a couple of players who missed last season due to injury. Look for Millard, Gibson, and Mason to lead them to an improved season.

Weaknesses - Although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the Lady Olympians must find confidence in themselves each game.

Quotable - "If we stay focused together and individually improve the team will improve. The girls are really enthusiastic. If we believe in ourselves and the team and the possibilities are endless." - Coach Bott

LEHIGHTON

Head coach - Todd Weaver (1st year)

Assistant coaches - Larry Koons, Shawneen Romito and Greg Poremba

Last year's record – 9 -10 (5-7)

League – Mountain Valley Conference

District 11 classification - AA

Key losses - Amber Rodgers, Kristi Troch, Corrine McConville, Karissa Holland, Tori Steigerwalt

Key returnees - Sarah Snyder (Sr., C/OF), Echo Bretz (Sr., 2B/Inf.), Lauren Poremba (Jr., P/IF/OF), Kayla Heckman (Sr., OF/3B/C)

Others to watch - Krysten Breiner (So.), Julianna Evans (So.), Katlin Green (So.), Emily Kollar (So.)

Strengths – A good core of girls return, led by Snyder and Bretz that will make them competitive in the MVC.

Weaknesses – We lost a lot through graduation and others who decided not to come out. And now we are filling those spots with talented by inexperienced players.

Quotable – "We are fortunate to have a bunch of great girls playing for this team (Varsity and JV). Until we jell, we may start slow, but I expect to finish strong." - Coach Weaver

MARIAN

Head coach - Joe DeAngelo

Assistant coaches - Joe Brennan, Joe Nemeth, Rusty Nelson

Last year's record - 16-5

League - Schuylkill League

District 11 classification - A

Key losses - Casey McConville, Beth Grega, Courtney Buchman, Gabby Ziller

Key returnees - Kayla Merchlinsky (Sr., SS), Jess Latham (Sr., OF), Abby Burkhardt (Jr., INF/OF), Nina Curran (Jr., C), Alexa Nemeth (Jr., P/1B), Shannon Skotek (So., 3B)

Others to watch - Kayla Knight (Jr., P/1B), Katie Donovan (Jr., INF/OF), Jeanne Cannon (So., OF), Marissa Webb (So., OF,), Abbey Hill (Fr., OF)

Strengths - The cupboard is far from bare. The Fillies have a solid softball IQ and a solid work ethic to keep them competitive

Weaknesses - Losing three-year starting pitcher in McConville is big and there are some key positions that will be filled with inexperience.

Quotable - "I'm excited to coach the sport of fastpitch softball that I played for many years and the girls that I teach or have taught in the classroom." - Coach DeAngelo

NORTHERN LEHIGH

Head Coach: Brian Schell

Varsity Assistant Coaches - Robert Hicks, Nicky Chirico, Gary Warmkessel, Jon Defrain, Missy Defrain

Last year's overall record - 17-6 (won CL West Division Title)

Key losses - Jackie Follweiler, Katie Cederberg, Megan Frantz, Nicole Gruber

Key returnees - Jocelyn Rodrigues (Sr.,1b), Kayla Toth (Sr., 3b, OF), Julie Wagaman (Sr., P, OF), Erika Bowman, (Jr., C), Maggie Lear (Jr., P, 3B, OF), Payton Marunich (Jr., 2B) ,Kristi Seiler (Jr., SS), Tamara Stubits (Jr., P, OF, SS), Jen Bet (Sr., 3B, SS, OF)

Others to watch - Megan Filchner (So., C, 3B, SS, OF), Lauren Haberern (So., P,OF,1B), Becca Howell (So., 3B, 1B, OF), Sarah Frantz (Fr., 1B, OF)

Strengths - Wagaman is a returning senior starting pitcher with the most experience but they have three other pitchers that could vy for a two-pitcher rotation. They worked hard through summer and fall leagues and hit the weights looking to build on their success of last season.

Weaknesses - The weakness for the Lady Bulldogs may be the strength of schedule. League champ Palisades returns with their ace on the mound and the host of teams that are always strong has expanded to include teams that are vastly improving.

Quotable - "We will play hard every game and we do have goals we are striving for and these girls will work hard to achieve them. If we can create some luck and get some breaks we certainly have a chance to reach those goals." - Coach Schell

NORTHWESTERN

Head Coach - Jen Horner

Asst. Coach - Kelly Berg, Josh Zimmerman, Katelyn Boyd

Last years Record - 9-11

League: Colonial League

Class: AAA

Key Losses: Megan Sell, Caitlyn Metzger

Key Returners: Kyra Barron (Sr., 1B), Nikki White (Sr., CF,P), Amy Vaughn (Sr., DP, 1B), Jackie Wear (Sr., C), Tori Papp (So., P), Lauren Horner (So., SS), Katie Williams (So., 2B)

Others to watch: Jess Dietrich (Jr., OF), Brook Heller (So., OF), Ashley Gimbel (Sr., OF), Steph Hepler (Sr., OF)

Strengths: After some growing pains last season the Lady Tigers are looking to climb back to the top of the league. Returning behind the plate Jackie Wear and her strong defensive skills and big bat should provide the catalyst for the rest of the team that also returns a strong core of experienced infielders.

Weaknesses: There will be a need improve offensively as a team to get the job done and win some games. Without the runs, the mistakes the team still makes on routine plays may be the 'deal breaker' in the game.

Quotable: "The girls are very enthusiastic to play and you can see that on and off the field when they are all communicating together. I see a higher level of focus and confidence this year so I am anxious to see how it all plays out." - Coach Horner

PALMERTON

Head coach - Glenn Reimer

Assistant coaches - Jerry Kossyk, John Herring, Scott Adcox, Scott Levandusky

Last year's record - 1-19

League - Colonial League

District 11 classification - AA

Key losses - Rebecca Shubrick, Gina Farquhar

Key returnees - Martina Herring (So., P), Liz Raub (Sr., 2B), Katie Reimer (Jr., SS), Michelle Rickert (So., CF), Kelli Arner (Sr., C), Jen Snyder (So., 3B), Jenna Ritter (So., OF), Lindsey Heinrich (Jr., OF)

Others to watch - Vicki Graver (Sr., IF), Amber Hettler (Jr., LF), Joelle Reinhart (Fr., C), Sara Lucykanish (Fr., OF), Sierra Miller (Sr., 1B)

Strengths - The Bombers return its entire varsity team from last season less Gina Farquhar who is out with an injury. They have good team leadership and unity. They have worked real hard in the off season with every starting player playing on a travel team in the summer and fall. Doing this has given the girls a good step in the right direction for starting this season.

Weaknesses - Reimer still has a fairly young team. It did not know how to put away a win last season when it was leading nine games going into the fifth inning. This must change. Hopefully with the additional playing experience the girls have accumulated it will.

Quotable - "Last season we went out to gain respect within our league and at least be competitive. I believe we accomplished that. This year we are going to go out and try to maintain our respect and gain some victory's. If we play as a team and keep ourselves mentally strong, I think we can definitely surprise some people this season." - Coach Reimer

PANTHER VALLEY

Head Coach: James Gilbert

Assistant Coaches: Jill Zwiesdak, John Gates

Last Years Record: 2-20

League: Schuylkill League

District 11 Classification: AA

Key Losses: Carly Knepper, Alyssa Barnovich

Key Returnees: Demi Ogozalek (Sr., C), Rosie Bauer (Sr., CF), Karoline Vavra (Jr., SS/OF), Acacia Main (So., P)

Others to Watch: Ashtin Walck (Jr., 1B), Krista Knepper (Jr., 3B/2B); Ellen Kraycir(Jr., 1B/OF), Georgiana Butler (So., OF), Amber Woodring (So., 1B), Stephanie Mills (So., Ut), Kristyn Gates (Fr., SS,2B), Samantha Zlock (Fr., SS, OF)

Strengths: There will be great team leadership by the returning starters and a group of talented newcomers should keep them in the Schuylkill League hunt.

Weaknesses: With only four returning starters, some of the underclassmen will be forced to step up early. FIve starters will have little playting time under their belts.

Quotable - "We are going to be a lot more competitive. The talent is there. It's how well they work together that will make the difference." - Coach Gilbert

PLEASANT VALLEY

Head coach - Steve Caffrey

Assistant coaches – Dan Beck, Steve Borger

Last year's record -18-4

League –Mountain Valley Conference

District 11 classification - AAAA

Key losses - 3B/C Nikki Boccia, OF Jenn Denaro, P/INF Danielle Kitchen, INF/P Erin Labar, SS Kristin Sherer, 2B Ashlee Smith, OF Ashley Venturino

Key returnees - Jordan Borger (Sr., C); Felicia Domenici ((Jr., OF); Meagan Fitzgerald (Sr., OF/P/INF); Megan Hardy, (Jr., INF/P); Kasey Meckes, (Jr., OF)

Others to watch - Alura Bellis (So., INF), Rachel Sisco (So., INF), Nicole Kregeloh (So., INF), Diane Klapatch (So., INF/P), Hayli Marini (Fr., INF/P), Christine Klingle (Jr., C/ OF), Katie Kenny (Sr., INF/P), Emily Pierce (Sr., INF/OF), Nicoletta Briglio (Sr., OF)

Strengths – This year's team returns many players that were able to get plenty of playing time last year. That experience should put them in the hunt at top of MVC standings.

Weaknesses – Hit by a large graduating class, the team will be youthful and look to that youth to step up as the season progresses.

Quotable – "If we execute the fundamentals, and believe in our ability we will be fine." - Coach Caffrey

TAMAQUA

Head coach - Amanda Luna

Assistant coaches - Jillian Knoblauch, Linn Deiter, Abbey Graver

Last year's record - 13-8

League - Schuylkill

District 11 classification - AA

Key losses - Jessica Bensinger (3-year starter), Katie Flack, Cathie Kabana, Shanna Hoben

Key returnees - Allie Sotak (Jr., P), Jordan Nowacki (Jr., 1B), Lauren Mateyak (Jr.), Chey Bates (So.); Sarah Zehner (Sr., OF), Megan Amey (Sr., OF)

Others to watch - Brianna Boyle (So.), Kelsey Burkett (Jr.), Emily Zancofsky (So.)

Strengths - There is an experienced pitcher returning the 3-4-5 hitters are back. That leadership should spread to the rest of the team.

Weaknesses - They are young with some inexperienced players and players in new positions. Defense may be an issue until they mesh together.

Quotable - "Our goal is always to be competitive with everyteam in our league. I do think with the girls that are stepping in, we have the talent to be successful." - Coach Luna

WEATHERLY

Head coach - Margaret Brown

Assistant coaches - Lori DeMoor

Last year's record - 8-12

League - Schuylkill

District 11 classification - A

Key losses - Chelsea DeMoor, Allison Hoegg, Brianna Vento

Key returnees - Taylor Shortway (Jr., SS), Kiistin Parker (Jr., P), Tracy Galada (So., 3B), Kayla Furmanchin (Sr.,C)

Others to watch - Jamie Dougherty (So., P); Sara Heister (Fr.); Erin Dougherty (Fr.)

Strengths - Brown has more experience then usual. Returner players are strong defensively that should put Weatherly in the hunt for the post season.

Weaknesses - The team must improve their at-bats and be aggressive at the plate.

Quotable - "This is a determined and dedicated group of young ladies. They work hard and are in pursuit of a return to playoff action." - Coach Brown