PHILADELPHIA – Northwestern waited nearly 30 years for another district baseball championship.
Trevor Schreiner and Tyler Wiik made sure the Tigers didn’t have to wait quite that long to make a little more history.
Schreiner and Wiik launched back-to-back first inning homers to power Northwestern to an 8-0 rout of Monsignor Bonner Monday in a PIAA Class 4A First Round contest at George Washington High School.
Playing their first game in over eight days, the Tigers (18-7) didn’t seem to suffer from the long layoff.
Chuck Groller knew about the experience. And he saw the youthful exuberance.
The Northwestern track and field head coach was aware that his boys and girls squads had an abundance of both.
But Groller also recognized the Tigers’ talent.
Northwestern showed that ability once again on Tuesday, with both the boys and girls sweeping Northern Lehigh and Catasauqua in a Colonial League meet.
Maybe it was destiny.
Perhaps it was simply good fortune.
The reality, though, was that Caleb Clymer always controlled his own future.
Born into a family rich in wrestling tradition, Clymer was almost a household name before he even stepped onto the mat for Northwestern.
Caleb grew up watching brothers Ben, Scott and Bobby set the standard. All three were District 11 champions. Scott and Ben were two-time regional champions, and both also won state titles. Scott accomplished the feat in 2006, while Ben did so in 2008.
After previously leading only the girls team the past four years, Chuck Groller takes over as the boys head coach after the departure of Tim Cunningham.
The Northwestern boys team will have to replace Trevor Cunningham, who advanced to the state meet with a second-place finish in the Class 3A 300-meter hurdles, crossing the line in 39.51. Cunningham also was a Colonial League runner-up in the 110 and 300 hurdles.
The Northwestern girls track and field team returns a wealth of talent from last year’s team that went 9-2 in the Colonial League.
Caleb Clymer saved his best for last.
A dominant force throughout this season and his career, the Northwestern senior turned in a virtuoso performance Saturday at the PIAA Championships.
Clymer was masterful in his 160-pound final against Port Allegany’s Jacob Kallenborn, rolling to an 8-0 major decision victory and his first state title.
Caleb Clymer might not have liked his start. But the Northwestern senior loved the finish.
Clymer shook off a sluggish start to power past Northern Lebanon’s Blaise Bressler 9-7 in the 160-pound final Saturday at the PIAA Class 2A Southeast Regional wrestling tournament. The win gave Clymer his first regional title after runner-up finishes last year and as a freshman.
Caleb Clymer’s objective at the District 11 wrestling tournament was as clear as it was simple.
The Northwestern senior operated with a cool confidence befitting of a wrestler who has been there, done that.
When it was over, Clymer stood atop the podium once again, winning the 160-pound title with a 3-2 decision over Panther Valley’s Tanner Kennedy for this third district title.
Business as usual.
Northwestern wanted another shot at Saucon Valley.
But so did Wilson.
The Warriors got the rematch they wanted by knocking off the Tigers in the semifinals of the District 11 Class 2A team championships on Saturday at Freedom’s McIntyre Gymnasium. The victory avenged a loss to Northwestern in the semifinals of the Colonial League tournament a week earlier.
“Obviously, (losing to Wilson) was a letdown,” said Tigers head coach Jim Moll. “The goal coming in was to be district champs. We felt we could push Saucon and be even closer than we were in the past.
The Tigers finished second in the 9th Annual Coal Cracker Tournament at Panther Valley High School last weekend.
Two Tigers earned gold medals at the meet.
Matt Peters edged Ryan McGuire of Notre Dame (Green Pond) 1-0 in the 132-pound final, while Caleb Clymer topped Scranton’s Jacob Burgette 6-2 for the 160-pound title to give Northwestern two champions.
“It feels good, considering being out two years,” said Peters. “It feels good that I’m back, and I’m wrestling well.”