Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Local Sports

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just days before the start of the 2012-13 season, Ray Bressi has stepped down as head girls basketball coach at Lehighton.

Bressi was preparing to begin his second year in charge of the Lady Indian program, but abruptly stepped down on Tuesday, which was just three days before the team opens its season against Palmerton.

"Coach Bressi told me on Tuesday that he would have to step down for personal reasons," said Lehighton Athletic Director Kyle Spotts, who declined to elaborate on what the reasons were.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
brad hurley/times news Members of the Tamaqua wrestling team include; front row, from the left; John Kovach, Ty Hinkle, Steven Matukonis, Malik Roper, Colin Mashack, Austin Fogel, Hunter Matalavage; second row; Josh Ambrose-Manness, Dylan Rynkiewicz, Kyle Olyphant, Adam Toth, Nolan Ziegler, Luke Matsago, manager Devan Sweeney; third row; assistant coach Rick Rynkiewicz, head coach Jon Mashack, volunteer coach Zane Bachert, assistant coach Brandon Silkowski, assistant coach Shane McCabe. Also on the team are James Weeks, Dustin Silkowski, and Rebecca Minehan.

"I've never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn't appreciate the grind, the discipline. I firmly believe that any man's finest hour-this greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle."

That statement by Vince Lombardi is what this year's Tamaqua wrestling squad is all about. The Raiders have put in the time and hardwork this off-season to make a significant mark in the Schuylkill League wrestling ranks in 2012-13.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
brad hurley/times news Members of the Tamaqua Girls Basketball team include; front row, from left; Emily Pratka, Rachael Jones, Abby Machay, Nikki Slipka, Jordan Fucci, Anna Perla, Kaylyn Boran; second row; Page Demetriades, Vanessa Solt, Alexis Baddick, Cori Kabilko, Maria Streisel, Brianna Wittig, Bailey Hartung, Sam Shamonsky; third row Alli Pedersen, Jaclyn Valasek, Amanda Solt, Christine Streisel, Madison Davis.

Most people have heard of the Fantastic Four superhero team from the recent movie franchise and the long standing comic book series.

Obviously the group of adventurers are fictional, but the premiss of the Fantastic Four is the way they are able to work together to defeat whatever threat they face. Each member brings a different skill to the table and when all their skills are combined they become a pretty daunting force.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
RICH GEORGE/Special to THE TIMES NEWS The Palmerton wrestling team will include: FRONT: Matt Wolfe, Dillon Masington, Dan Russo and Dakota Graham (manager). Second row, same order Sabrina Strauch (manager), Travis Stroup, Damien Fink, Branden Traugher, Josh Evans, Shane Grohotolski and Shannon Masington (manager). Back row, Justin Petersen (asst. coach), Zac Graver, Joe Bubble, Rai Washington, Skyler Rosenberry, Andrew Strauss, Jake Christman, Zack Christman and Dave Lavin (head coach).

The Palmerton wrestling team did a few things last season that they haven't been able to do before.

As a team, the Blue Bombers made their first appearance at District Duals and qualified for the Colonial League Team Championships. They also set a record for most wins in a season with 17.

Individually, the Bombers had four wrestlers qualify for states in Sam Oberlander, Cody Grohotolski, Kane Kralik and Josh Evans and came home with some hardware.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
mike feifel/times news Lehighton boys basketball team members are sitting, from left, Anthony Rossino and Tanner Zwetolitz. Kneeling, Tyler Crum, Montreo Thompson and Tyler Williams. Back row, head coach Rich Oertner, Kris Knappenberger, Jacen Nalesnik, Hunter Greene, James Farano, Jordan Knappenberger, assistant coach Bobby Hahn Jr. and assistant coach Matt Oertner.

Rich Oertner knew he faced a challenge when he took over as the Lehighton boys basketball coach last year.

Now in his second season, he feels he has the program headed in the right direction even if the number of wins from last year doesn't necessarily show it.

"My expectations are for the team to be better this year," Oertner said. "I expect eight wins or better. I think that's realistic."

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
MIKE HAINES/TIMES NEWS Members of the Northwesterngirls basketball team are, front row, from left, Kylee Bennett and Sabrina Mertz. Second row, Erynn Day, Mikaela Koenig, Erika Thomas, Lexi Gawelko and Megan Landrigan. back row, Lauren Anderson, Sarah Segan, Kaleen Suter, Sara Jones, Trista Cunningham and Cheyenne Shupp.

After a few lean years, Northwestern's girls basketball team has been on a steady rise over the last two seasons.

The Lady Tigers, which won just three games in the 2009-10 season, won seven games the next year and improved to 15-9 overall and 11-5 in the Colonial League last year.

They qualified for the district playoffs for the first time in three years and made league playoffs for the first time since winning the 2007 title.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
bob ford/times news Lehighton wrestling team members include, front row, from left, Christopher Bosco, Dustin Koons, Zach Kemmerer, Tegan Durishin and Anthony Fanano. Middle row, Mick Schaeffer, Marques Spencer, Devonte Dash, Zack Kamowski, Dominik Mystkowski and Dan Berger. Back row, Devin Steigerwalt, Josh Gornick, James Scott, Connor Frey, Dylan Flexer and Tyler Cann.

There's no doubt that this season will see change throughout the Lehighton wrestling program, with the Indians losing eight seniors from a year ago.

However, coach Dan Williams believes he will be able to compete with the team he has this year and well into the future.

"We have a young team," Williams said. "We're young just about everywhere.

"This will definitely be a rebuilding year where we focus on what we have for the future."

What the Indians have are a number of freshman and sophomores on the roster.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
MIKE HAINES/TIMES NEWS Members of the Northwestern boys basketball team are, front row, from left, Mason Schuler and Josh Williamson. Second row, Cam Richardson, Justin Betz, Ty Richardson and Collin Breininger. Back row, assistant coach David Dorney, assistant coach Dean Schwartz, Richard Perry, Jarred Binder, David Wagner and head coach Dan Eddinger.

Just as quickly as teams fall from contenders to doormats, they can rise back up to respectability.

For years Northwestern's boys basketball program was a district playoff contender. It was a team that nearly always made districts and sometimes competed for titles there and at the league level. But over the last four seasons the team has tailed off.

The Tigers have won just one league game and three games overall in the past two seasons. But they plan to make a huge comeback this year.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5, 2000 Trish O'Gurek tallies a game-high 19 points to help the Panther Valley girls gain a 48-42 victory over rival Marian. O'Gurek, after the Fillies pull within one point late in the contest, scores the final five points to seal the win. She also pulls down nine rebounds and hands out four assists. Diana Bruch collects 11 points for PV, coached by Rob Kovac, while Denise Drosdak chips in with seven. For the Fillies, Collette Makowiec hits for a team-high 18 points.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
MIKE HAINES/TIMES NEWS Members of the Northwestern wrestling team are, front row, from left, David VanBlargan, Quintin Bernhard, Jarrett White, Jason Hottinger and Tony DiCataldo. Second row, Hanny Awadalah, Eddie Parrish, Joe Colucci, Cole Moyer and Anthony Fillis. Back row, Jacob Murray, Alex Russo, Mitch evans, Matt Dunnway, Andrew Sorensen and Michael Ortiz.

Northwestern's wrestling program is in the midst of a rebuilding process that could take some time.

The Tigers, who forfeited six bouts per match last year, will have more weight classes filled and are looking for a few more wins this season.

"I think we can win a lot more than last year," said senior Mike Ortiz.

The Tigers went 1-7 in the Colonial League last year. There's been a decline in team wins over the past four years, but the team still produces some solid postseason performers each year.