Last season Northwestern’s girls soccer team had a new look. The team saw three 2015 graduates depart for Division I college teams along with four other classmates who were key parts of the team for several years.
The Tigers weathered that rebuilding process. They went 13-5 last season and reached the Colonial League title game and the District 11 Class 2A semifinal.
Four players have graduated from that 2015 squad, but Northwestern still has the pieces in place for another successful season.
Northwestern girls cross country head coach Chris Stitzel and his runners know that someday the streak is going to end. But they’re committed to putting off that eventuality for as long as possible.
No one wants this year to be the first time in six years that the Tigers lose a meet. They have beaten 129 straight opponents and head into this year looking to increase that number.
However, the best way to keep the streak alive might be to make sure not to focus on it.
Early in the Lehigh Valley Legion season Northern Valley was a team in jeopardy of missing out on the league playoffs.
Not much more than a month later, the Chargers were the last team from the Lehigh Valley area still playing in the Region 2 playoffs.
This year’s McDonald’s Lehigh Valley All-Star football game is set for Thursday, June 16.
Four Northwestern players will represent the Tigers in the game, including Andrew Sorensen, Dylan Snyder, Harry Hall and Brandon Miller.
“It’s really an honor to be named to this game,” said Sorensen, who will play defensive end in the game. “You work hard during the season for every play. To be recognized for all the hard work makes you feel good.”
The game is slated for Thursday at Nazareth’s Leh Stadium.
Northwestern’s baseball team knew what it was up against heading into last week’s Colonial League title game.
The No. 2 seed Tigers were fully aware of Bangor’s 1-2 punch at the top of their pitching rotation and of the Slaters’ offense, which had beaten it’s last three opponents by 10 runs or more, including two playoff wins.
The Tigers did their best to stay within striking distance, but they came up a couple runs short in a 4-2 loss last Thursday at Parkland High School.
When Quentin Bernhard and Jarett White joined Northwestern’s varsity wrestling team as freshmen, the program was in a rebuilding stage.
The two are now seniors and the rebuilding process has been completed. In their four years they have helped the team return to its place as one of the Colonial League and District 11 championship contenders.
Both wrestlers recently crossed the 100-win milestone early in the postseason of their senior year.
Bernhard notched his 100th at the Colonial League team tournament in a semifinal win over Northern Lehigh.
There are people who play football. Then there are football players. Brandon Schrader is the latter.
He’s not just someone who decided to give the game and try and enjoyed a few years. He began playing the sport the first chance he got and plans to keep playing until he no longer can.
It’s been eight years since Northwestern was truly a title contender in wrestling.
The programs golden years, which included league and district titles in 2007 and 2008, along with three straight district runner-up finishes before that, seemed to end abruptly.
The Tigers made two more district team tournament appearances in 2009 and 2010, but didn’t get past the quarterfinals. After that came four straight losing seasons without a district tournament appearance.
After taking a step forward last season, the Northwestern boys basketball program looks to keep up the progress this year.
It won’t be easy. The Tigers graduated 10 seniors, including five of their top seven scorers from last season.
On the bright side, last year’s leading scorer is back in senior guard Parker Jones.
“Parker has to do everything for us,” said third-year head coach Billy Hallman. “He’s going to make us go. He was a starter last year and was really the main guy last year.”
Jones, a 5-10 guard, averaged 11.14 points last year.
It’s not the first time Northwestern head coach Chris Deutsch has seen a large portion of his team graduate. And it might not be the last.
The Tigers graduated three key players from last year and saw another one transfer, leaving the team with just two seniors and two players with starting experience at the varsity level.
“For our group, it’s going to take some time to jell together,” said Deutsch. “I really believe as the season goes along we’re going to get much better. And our patience will be tested as a staff. We have to be patient and let the process work out.