Thursday, December 8, 2016

Local Sports

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Pleasant Valley boys basketball team include, front row from left, Valentino Rosario Jr., Isaiah Howard, Alex Gerolimatos, Chris Barker, Brandon Newhart, Collin Stivala; back row, manager Cara Deegan, head coach Matt Gould, Jah-Seer Aulder, Elijah Munford, Justin Richardson, Ian Prator, Noah Neubert, Jaison Robinson, assistant coach Greg Duff and assistant coach John Gilbert. PATRICK MATSINKO/TIMES NEWS

A former standout player at Pleasant Valley, Matt Gould knows what it takes to succeed on the hardwood.

Now, Gould is imparting that same passion and desire for the game as the Bears’ head coach, something he hopes will lead to more success this season.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Northern Lehigh wrestling team include, front row from left, Brent Nierer, Jamail Brooks, Aaron Rudolph, Preston Bauer, Ezra Neff; middle row, Seth Fronheiser, Daniel Belfonti, Dale Wanamaker, Brandon Belfonti, Ryan Farber; back row, Tyler Hargraves, Dominick Bandle, Jason Shaffer, David Neff and Austin Hemingway. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

It’s nothing new to Steve Hluschak Jr. when it comes to the task of filling his Northern Lehigh wrestling lineup each season.

But some years are more challenging than others, especially when it comes to replacing those talented wrestlers the Bulldogs lose to graduation.

Hluschak only watched one senior leave the program after his first season, but then followed the next season by needing to replace seven of 14 spots.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Marian’s Miranda Antiga

Five Times News area players were selected to the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association All-State teams.

Marian Catholic senior Miranda Antiga (OH/MH) and juniors Jasmine Mooney (OH/MB) and Gianna Agosti (S) were selected to the Class 1A team.

Panther Valley senior Danielle Hudicka (S/OH) was named to the Class 2A squad, while Lehighton’s Katie Higgins (S) earned a spot on the Class 3A team.

Antiga, Mooney and Agosti helped the Fillies reach the PIAA Class A finals, where they fell to Greensburg Central Catholic.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Northern Lehigh girls basketball team include, front row from left, Molly Wilk, Ashley Wilk, Karlyna Kemery, Kate Guelchner; middle row, Jill Olewine, Errianna Snyder, Lauren Hoffman, Kate Ziegler, Morgan Thomas; back row, assistant coach Sarah Arndt, Daniel Hoffman, Jada Mills, and head coach Ken Shankweiler. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

Over the last four years, the Northern Lehigh girls’ basketball team hasn’t been on the winning end very often after 32 minutes of play.

Ken Shankweiler will take over the helm of the program after spending the last two years as an assistant for the Bulldogs, and doesn’t want to hear anything about wins or losses.

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Northern Lehigh boys basketball team include, front row from left, Alec Berger, Zach Long, Nick Seier, Mason Seiler; middle row, Robert Schaeffer, Zak Sullivan, Preston Kemery, Brandon Hess, Nate Keller; back row, assistant coach Trevor Miller, assistant coach Justin Hampton, Gio Colon, Joe Egan, Robert Shoff, and head coach Jeff Miller. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

A 1-21 record from last season didn’t quite hold too well with Northern Lehigh head coach Jeff Miller.

And it didn’t sit any better with the returning Bulldog players this year.

Thus, Miller has his program focused on what’s ahead, and not on the past.

“We certainly don’t want to experience that again,” Miller said. “Hopefully the ones who had to endure that don’t want to go through that again. Instead of focusing on that, they have been working extremely hard. We have been pushing them to become better players to prevent that whole idea from happening again.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Pleasant Valley girls basketball team include, front row from left, manager Ashley Klostermann, Masani Francis, Joyce Sullivan, Kalla Borden, Brianna Clark, Cameron Caffrey, Morgan Covart, Madison O’Neil, manager Katelynn Klostermann; back row, head coach Nadia Gauronsky, Ashley Bolds, Maddy Rosenberg, Natalia Salmon, Ashley Schwenck, Ashley Duviella, Mikaela Miller, Alexa Clark and assistant coach Jill Lunney. PATRICK MATSINKO/TIMES NEWS

Nadia Gauronsky has had no shortage of terrific players during her tenure at the helm of the Pleasant Valley girls’ basketball team, a trend that has helped the Bears achieve a great deal of team success.

After losing several key members from a team that reached the District 11 quarterfinals last season, Gauronsky is eager to find that player on this year’s squad.

“We’re looking for a leader,” said Gauronsky. “I think right now, we’re looking for somebody to step up on the court and be the floor general.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Members of the 2016-17 Pleasant Valley wrestling team include, front row from left, Wayne Blizzard, James Gehr, Jonathan Klein, Hannah Hunter, Daniel Valdner, manager Taylor Cadotte; back row, Anthony Mazzella, Trevor Dorn, Jon Wayne, Spencer Mease, Craig Choynowski, Alexander Anderson, and head coach Justin Micklos. PATRICK MATSINKO/TIMES NEWS

Scholastic sports, like most things, are cyclical. Trends, like wins and losses, come and go.

So, too, do numbers, and how many student athletes decide to participate.

Wrestling is no exception.

Entering his fourth season as Pleasant Valley’s head coach, Justin Micklos is in the middle of the sport’s ebb and flow, with turnout down from previous years.

“Obviously, numbers aren’t where we want them to be,” Micklos said. “But it kind of goes with the territory.”

Thursday, December 8, 2016
Northwestern graduate Haley Yost nears the finish during a meet. Yost is a member of the Eastern Kentucky University team. PHOTO COURTESY OF EASTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

The further an athlete progresses, the more they learn they to appreciate their accomplishments.

“I’ve learned over my time in college to embrace these races and moments now because they don’t last forever,” said former Northwestern runner Haley Yost.

Now a junior at Eastern Kentucky University, the former Lady Tiger has lived that mantra to the fullest. Yost doesn’t take anything for granted when it comes to running.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 8, 1959 — Four Summit Hill players reach double figures in scoring to pave the way for a 73-47 victory over Freeland MMI. Reno Marcon and Dom Santo both finish with 19 points to tie for team honors. The Hillers, coached by Mike McCullion, lead by just five points at halftime but use a 16-4 third quarter to take control of the game. Al Leonzi contributes 12 points to the winning effort, while Fred Hellmund also finishes with a dozen points.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

This season marks the 100th anniversary of Palmerton High School’s first official boys basketball team.

The Bomber program will be celebrating its centennial season during its home opener against Lehighton on Friday night.

The highlight will be a ceremony to honor the 60th anniversary of the 1956 team, which defeated Allen High School for the District 11 Championship. The team went on to win the PIAA Eastern championship and remains the only Palmerton basketball team to reach a state final.