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Local Sports

Monday, December 26, 2016
Temple center and Marian graduate Brendan McGowan (68) looks over the defense before snapping the ball during a game earlier this season against Stony Brook. McGowan and the Owls will face Wake Forest Tuesday afternoon in the Military Bowl. PHOTO COURTESY OF TEMPLE UNIVERSITY Copyright - Joseph V. Labolito / Temple University

Brendan McGowan has played football the majority of his 23-year-old life.

He has experienced his share of peaks and valleys along the way that began as a youth in Hazleton, expanded at Marian and climaxed at Temple University. The latter, however, easily could be referred to as his zenith of football.

“It’s been great,” said the Owls’ starting redshirt senior center. “I came into this year healthy and I have felt great. We have a chance to make some school history, and it has been fun. For me, personally, this has been my best year of football.”

Saturday, December 24, 2016
Semi-automatic shotgun like this are already lawful to use in Pennsylvania. Recently, Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation making it lawful for hunters to use semi-automatic rifles. LISA PRICE/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS The PGC will determine what species will be hunted with them.

Let’s not jump the gun – no pun intended. Although Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation making it legal to use semi-automatic rifles for hunting, we don’t yet know when we hunters will be able to use them, or what species we may hunt with them.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

December 24, 2001 — The Times News Sports Department announces that Pleasant Valley’s Jamie Gould has been named as its Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Gould tallied 30 goals during his senior season and helped the Bears, coached by Jake Percey, capture the Mountain Valley Conference championship. Gould, who finished his scholastic career with a school-record 64 goals, was selected to the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association All-State team.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

“And how did little Tim behave?” Mrs. Cratchit asks her husband Bob when he and Tiny Tim enter the house after attending church Christmas morning.

“As gold as gold,” Bob says, “and better. Somehow he gets thoughtful, sitting by himself so much, and thinks the strangest things you’ve ever heard. [Such as] ... he hoped the people saw him in church because he was a cripple, and it might be pleasant to them to remember, upon Christmas Day, who made lame beggars walk and blind men see.”

Saturday, December 24, 2016
Indians’ Marks was an offensive force

The sound may be a loud, dull thud.

But that noise is music to the ears of Lauren Marks.

Those attending Lehighton field hockey games this past season heard the whack often, usually because of the junior forward.

“I get chills when I hear (the ball) hit off the backboard,” Marks said.

“There’s just a lot of adrenaline (when I score) … and I feel like I’m doing something to help the team.”

Marks “helped” the team an impressive 22 times this past season, accounting for 41 percent of her team’s tallies.

Friday, December 23, 2016
Weatherly’s Gillian Hinkle reaches for the ball that was rebounded by Marian’s Emma McClafferty. Abby Hernandez of Weatherly (34) awaits the result. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

It’s not always easy to play the following day, especially after an overtime loss.

But Marian displayed a short-term memory during Friday’s Schuylkill League contest against Weatherly.

The Fillies didn’t look like a team that lost in five quarters to Loyalsock last night, as an intense defensive effort led the white and gold to a 56-26 victory over the Wreckers.

“We definitely did better than yesterday,” said Fillies’ guard Emily Schaud. “But we definitely need to pick it up a little more to be where we need to.”

Friday, December 23, 2016

The Tamaqua girls’ basketball team has a rising star on its roster.

On Friday night, the freshman phenom provided a spark to help the Raiders earn a 60-45 win over Schuylkill League Division I foe Panther Valley.

Regardless of a season-high 34-point performance, Emma Kuczynski did not want to take all of the credit for the Blue Raiders’ victory.

“I owe it all to my teammates,” said a very unselfish Kuczynski. “I can’t score without their passes, rebounds or everything else they do out there on the court. It just was a really good team win today.”

Friday, December 23, 2016
Palmerton’s Riad Kapur (left) controls Isaac Bredbenner of Northwestern in their 170-pound bout. Kapur eventually recorded a pin. RICH GEORGE/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Northwestern head coach Jim Moll is constantly looking for effort from his wrestlers.

In order to maintain a high level of aggressiveness, the Tigers’ expectations and hard work need to remain steadfast atop their priority list.

Moll and his staff were pleased with what they saw from the Tigers on Thursday against Palmerton.

Northwestern defeated Palmerton 56-24 to improve its record to 3-0 on the young season.

Friday, December 23, 2016
Pleasant Valley’s Slavin runs for the joy

“I love to go for the ride. I run for the joy of it.”

This is how Seth Slavin describes his motivation for running. His performance for the Pleasant Valley Cross Country team this season has earned him the “joy” of being selected as the Times News Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Northwestern got off to a quick start against Northern Lehigh on Thursday night.

But that wasn’t necessarily a good thing according to Tiger coach Billy Hallman.

“We came out to a fast start, but I think it caught up to us,” Hallman said. “We just needed to settle down. I couldn’t wait to get to halftime to get them calm. We were so charged up after making a couple of shots.”

The Tigers calmed their nerves, but kept their sharp shooting going as they battled Northern Lehigh early before eventually cruising to a 53-33 Colonial League boys basketball win.