Saturday, December 10, 2016

Local Sports

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.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Lehighton wrestling team members include, front row, from left, Kevin Madea, Josh Nelson, Lucas Sangiuliano, Nathan Lucykanish and Dagan Messinger. Middle row, Dylan Schock, Grant Wetzel, Logan Pagotto, Nathan Kemmerer, Chris Whiteman, Alex Zeigenfuss and Isaiah Wetzel. Back row, Christian Rodriguez, David Citro, Cody Scherer, Jack Zimmerman, Brett Gasker, Will Smith and Tyler Schock. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS

Coming into the 2016-17 season, it’s no secret to the Schuylkill League wrestling community that the Lehighton Indians lost a ton of talent due to graduation.

Among the key losses from last year’s squad were Connor Frey (42-2), Tegan Durishin (41-9), Zach Kemmerer (31-11), Wyatt Clements (29-10), Xander Smith (20-10) and Tyler Cann, who had a strong postseason after missing a major portion of the regular season with an injury.

But losing talent doesn’t necessarily mean that the cupboard is dry.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Lehighton boys basketball team members include, front row, from left, Jack Schaeffer, Steve Heery Alex Schwab, Andre McDowell, Evan Beers and Patrick Lawler. Middle row, Addison Howland, Collin Troxell, Caine Carpenter, Ben Schatz, Zach Crum and Dakota Hiester. Back row, Assistant coach Matt Oertner, Donnie Buchinsky, Damian Mele, Nick Skrincosky, Logan Motz, Greg Venuto and head coach Richard Oertner. RICH SMITH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Roster depth is a key element to success in the game of basketball. As a head coach, being able to turn to the bench and feel confident about substituting a player in the game is sometimes an overlooked quality in a team.

Bench players can be hustlers, shooters, distributors, and rebounders, with all of them having a specific role or niche that can help a team win games.

Lehighton head coach Rich Oertner is hoping that this year’s team depth can make up for some of the scoring power it lost due to graduation a season ago.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lehighton High School is looking for a head girls soccer coach and a head field hockey coach for the 2017-18 school year:

Anyone interested should send letter of interest, resume, Acts 24 / 34 / 151 Clearances and FBI Fingerprinting to:

Kyle Spotts, Director of Student Services / Facilities Planning at Lehighton Area High School. Email

The deadline to apply for the positions is Dec. 16, 2016.