Bomber softball makes huge strides
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Palmerton head softball coach Glenn Reimer works with Michelle Rickert on her hitting as teammates Vicki Graver and Katie Reimer look on.
When Glenn Reimer took over the Palmerton girls softball program last year, he found out quickly he had one major task ahead of him.
"There was no structure, no caring, no commitment," said Reimer. "But I knew that the girls that were coming up, I was coaching in an in-house travel league called the Carbon Fireballs. And that team did very well. So I assumed if I could keep that core group of girls together, we'd be okay. Now those girls have reached the high school level and their commitment and attitude towards everything to do with softball is 110 percent.
"They come to practice 110 percent every day ready to go and they come to the games 110 percent ready to go. No matter if we score five runs in the first inning or the other team does, we don't give up."
Prior to this season, the Lady Bombers had a record of 2-78. One win came last year and one win came in the 2008-09 season.
Two senior starters on this year's team, catcher Kelli Arner and second baseman Liz Raub, struggled through a lot of those losses but are now enjoying the rewards of a 5-4 start thus far.
"We expected to win some games this year," Reimer said. "We expected to have a season with eight to 10 wins and that's still what we're pushing our goals for. We would be very disappointed if we don't walk away with at least a district playoff berth."
Right now the Lady Bombers sit in third place in the North Division of the Colonial League just behind Pen Argyl and Northern Lehigh.
Reimer is already grooming players to replace Arner and Raub, two starters that he'll lose to graduation.
"We have a pitcher (Martin Herring) whose work ethic is unbelievable," said Reimer. "She pitches 365 days a year.
"Add to that good leadership with a solid middle infield. Katie (Reimer) has been starting shortstop and batting cleanup since she was a freshman and was nominated to the Colonial League All-Star team both years, playing on a program that wasn't winning. Liz (Raub) holds the right side of the infield together at second base.
"We have a good core group of girls and they hold each other accountable. Everybody when they're out there on that field wants to win. And so do the girls on the bench."
One of the jobs Reimer and his staff is still trying to get done is instill the confidence in the team to believe in themselves that they could win every game that they walk out on the field to play.
Besides coaching a lot of the girls on the travel team, Reimer also comes some on a Lehigh Valley 18-and-under squad so he gets to spend a lot of time with them.
Reimer also said this turnover wouldn't be possible without his coaching staff.
"My pitching coach John Herring is outstanding," he said. "I have four pitchers on this team that I could throw at the varsity level, but I choose to throw Martina right now because she is doing very well. John's commitment working with these girls is second to none.
"Our hitting coach Jerry Kossyk is the president of the Pocono Pride. His hitting skills and softball knowledge is unpresidented. My JV coach Scott Levandusky and his assistant Scottie Adcox are also a big help."
The Bombers got back on the winning track this week after facing three of the top teams (Pen Argyl, Northern Lehigh and Saucon Valley last week. Even though the score didn't indicate it, they played two of the three pretty tough.
Now after getting a taste of a few wins, the Bombers want a few more. And who knows. Maybe a trip to the post-season isn't out of the question.
MVC TENNIS, ANYONE? ... The Mountain Valley Conference will hold its boys tennis tournament on Friday afternoon at Pocono Mountain West High School.
Pleasant Valley received two No. 2 seeds for the tourney.
Dan Galante is seeded second at No. 3 singles while the team of Vince Voulo and Joe Osinski are also second seeds at No. 4 doubles.
Ironically, the two No. 2 seeds will both face Lehighton opponents in the quarterfinal round. Galante takes on Kirk Arner while Voulo and Osinski will face the pair of Jennifer Everett and Shane Eckman.
BIG BULLDOGS ... The Northern Lehigh soccer team cleaned up in its non-league soccer game with Allen on Saturday, winning by a score of 11-2.
Briana Riddick led the Bulldogs with four goals and three assists. Coincidently, teammate Victoria Tadman-Uebule had three goals and four assists.