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Sports Features

Friday, December 28, 2012
Competitiveness drives Tribe's Keer

She is asked a question about being competitive.

And before she answers, a wry little grin appears.

The grin eventually becomes a full-fledged smile the kind of smile that says the level of her competition on a scale from 1 to 10 is actually a 12.

So it's not surprising when she replies.

"I'm very competitive," said Lehighton field hockey standout Sarah Keer. "I think that's because I come from a family where everyone played sports.

Saturday, June 23, 2012
Klapatch stars on mound and at plate

The only consolation Diane Klapatch had while coping with an injury during the 2011 softball season was that she had one year left in her high school career.

She battled through the back injury during her junior year by helping the team as a designated hitter. Despite being one of Pleasant Valley's top hitters, she spent the entire season yearning to get back on the pitchers mound.

Monday, June 18, 2012
Bombers' Szukics was in the fast lane

Monty Szukics ended his Palmerton Area High School track and field career with a sizzling senior season. Thanks to his talent and versatility, Szukics will now be able to look at the plaque that lists the school's track and field records and see his name on it five times.

Szukics set individual records in the 100 and 200 meter dashes, was a member of the record-breaking 400 and 1600 meter relay teams, and became the single season points record holder.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Sherkness is still 'Queen of Court'

For Marykate Sherkness, her supporting cast couldn't have been any different.

Yet, the end result proved to be exactly the same.

For the second straight season, Sherkness continued her reign as "Queen of the Court," as the Marian junior has once again been recognized as the 2011 TIMES NEWS Volleyball Player of the Year.

As a sophomore, Sherkness captured Player of the Year honors as a role player among an experienced roster consisting of six senior starters.

Monday, December 26, 2011
Yost motivated by disappointment

Haley Yost didn't mind how she finished at the Colonial League meet last year, but it was the way she finished at the District 11 Class AAA meet that struck a nerve.

Yost followed a fifth-place finish in her first-ever league meet with a 17th place finish at districts, just one spot away from qualifying for the PIAA State championship meet.

Yost used that disappointment as a motivational tool for this season.

Friday, December 23, 2011
High-scoring Shiffert wins award

Two years ago, Northern Lehigh's Channing Shiffert set a school record for goals in a season, which led to him being named the TIMES NEWS Boys' Soccer Player of the Year.

An injury (dislocated patella), kept him from repeating those accolades last year.

Through long, hard rehabilitation, Shiffert returned to top form and broke his own record with 28 goals, added nine assists and helped lead the Bulldogs to their first ever District 11 playoff berth. He finished an outstanding career with 61 goals and 35 assists.

Thursday, December 22, 2011
Mission accomplished for Stelmack

Northwestern's Tyler Stelmack had some unfinished business to attend to after the 2010 Cross Country season.

After going undefeated in his sophomore campaign in Colonial League play, he finished a disappointing 14th in the field. The reasoning for Stelmack's poor finish came in the form of an illness, where he participated in the meet with a 102-degree fever.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Hard work pays off for Heckelman

When Lauren Heckelman first picked up a tennis racquet three years ago, Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Allison wasn't quite sure how her career was going to turn out.

"As a freshman, I didn't know if we could make a tennis player out of her," admitted Allison. "She would either hit the ball into the net or into the fence surrounding the court. She needed a lot of work."

Heckelman isn't afraid to admit it either.

Friday, December 2, 2011
times news filephotos by bob ford Tamaqua's Christine Streisel (left) and Lehighton's Jon Yocum both attended an elite camp for high school javelin throwers last month in North Carolina.

Last year at the PIAA state championships, both Tamaqua's Christine Streisel and Lehighton's Jon Strauss were able to come home with medals in the javelin. Little did they know that their throws would earn them another reward down the road.

Along with leading them to the medal stand, Streisel, who won gold in the AA class with a throw of 143-11, and Strauss, who tied for fifth in AAA with a toss of 186-1, later found out that their performances would lead somewhere else. That place was Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Photo courtesy of Long Drivers of America Carl Wolter of Lehighton celebrates after unleashing a huge drive at theRE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Powered by Dick's Sporting Goods. Wolter won the competition.

Carl Wolter knew what had to be done.

Wolter approached the teed up golf ball and addressed it, intensifying his focus for one perfect swing. The result was a 409-yard drive that outdistanced his opponent Ben Tuaone in the finals of the 2011 RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship Powered By Dick's Sporting Goods.

With that swing, the 35-year old Wolter matched his 2002 performance to regain his place atop the power golf world.