Most of the TIMES NEWS area girls soccer teams are in the beginning stages of their 2012 season. However, teams like Jim Thorpe, Tamaqua, and Weatherly will not begin their soccer seasons until the Fall. This is because the Schuylkill League girls soccer schedule, unlike the Colonial League and Mountain Valley Conference, doesn't begin until the Fall sports season.
Starting in the Fall of 2012 all Pennsylvania soccer teams will begin competing in the Fall soccer season, which will no doubt make for a more competitive soccer landscape in the future.
The Spring hiatus however, has not stopped the Lady Olympians program from making some changes that will certainly affect its future moving forward. After the dismissal of their head coach last season with four games left season, it was evident that the Jim Thorpe girls soccer program was not heading in the right direction.
Former boys head coach Tom Condly was the man who stepped in to coach the Lady Olympians for their final four games of the year. After the season ended, the administration decided to open up the position.
After interviewing two other applicants the board decided to bring back Condly for the 2012 season.
Condly is certainly familiar with the Jim Thorpe School District where he has been a teacher for the last 15 years and actually started the Olympians boys soccer program in 1997. Condly resigned in 2000 as the head coach of the Olympians, but continued to coach and referee in the area.
The opportunity to get into coaching again at the varsity level and also coach his daughter Kat Condly, who is one of the team's standout players, was something Condly felt he needed to do.
"The opportunity to coach here at Jim Thorpe and to coach my daughter was a unique opportunity that I couldn't pass up," said Condly.
"Some people would be apprehensive to coach their daughter because of people outside the program maybe thinking that the coach will then play favorites. I'm not here to do that and there's a lot of other things we want to do here besides teach soccer."
It's no secret that the Lady Olympian program was in some turmoil last season and Condly wants to move on from the past and change the whole culture of the JT program.
"Last season I feel like there was some tension there and the team seemed divided," said Condly. "I definitely want to change that type of atmosphere and I want to make it an enjoyable experience for the girls. We already got some new girls coming out, girls that I have taught, and girls that know Kat.
"I love the game of soccer and being a teacher it's important that we do things the right way. I hope these girls can better their character as well as become better soccer players."
SCORING AT WILL ... Two recent softball games featured a ton of runs being score.
First, Palisades and Lehighton combined to score 25 runs on 21 hits in their game on Monday, March 26. Each offense had some help from the opposing defenses, as the teams also combined for nine errors. The Indians won the game, 14-11.
Then, two days later, Jim Thorpe and Weatherly went on to score 23 runs in their respective contest. It was the Wreckers doing most of the damage though as they won 19-4 thanks to a 5-for-5 day from senior Tina Genetti.
BLANKING THE OPPOSITION ... Northwestern pitcher Emily Bennett had a day to remember on March 26.
Bennett blanked Tamaqua by throwing a complete-game two hitter. The Lady Tigers went on to win 10-0.
BOMBS AWAY ... There were quite the fireworks in Northern Lehigh and Northwestern's softball game on March 30, as the two teams combined to hit six homeruns.
Each team went deep three times. The Bulldogs' homeruns came from Amber Kibler (solo), Sarah Frantz (two-run) and Cassie Toth (two-run). The Tigers' bombs came from Lauren Horner (solo), Brooke Heller (two-run) and Cailie Rehrig (solo).
Northwestern came back and won the game in dramatic fashion, 8-7.
NO MORE STREAKING ... When the Palmerton boys' track team defeated Wilson 80-69 on March 27, it did more than just win its first track meet of the year.
The Bombers ended the Warriors' 58-meet win streak that dated back to 2005. Monty Szukics was a triple-event winner with first-place finishes in the 100, 200 and 400. He also took part in the winning 400 relay team.