UNIVERSITY PARK – Saquon Barkley made a statement in his first season at Penn State, setting the program record for rushing yards by a true freshman on his way to being named a Freshman All-American.
Barkley enters the 2016 season as the clear leader in the Nittany Lions’ backfield and head coach James Franklin figures to feature the Whitehall High School product prominently — on offense and special teams – this fall.
“Embrace the target.”
It’s the motto manager Joe Maddon has for the 2016 World Series favorite Chicago Cubs. Maddon doesn’t want his team to ignore or deny all the talk of his team being favorites to win it all. He wants his players to relish the opportunity and welcome the pressure that comes with such expectations.
The same axiom holds true for this season’s Northwestern Lehigh squad.
It didn’t generate any runs.
It didn’t produce a hit.
But for Duran Porrino, it confirmed that his baseball team was ready to play.
The Northwestern Lehigh coach watched his squad produce seven solid innings – and starting pitcher Jake Augustus threw seven shutout innings – to claim a 6-0 win over Palmerton in a showdown of the top two teams in the Colonial League’s West Division.
HERSHEY – Caleb Clymer has shown his mettle all season.
Dealing with an extremely painful hip injury that has limited his time on the mat for much of the year, the Northwestern sophomore has made the most of the situation by picking his spots.
Clymer navigated the Class AA District 11 tournament, advancing to the 145-pound final, and made it out of the Southeast Regional with a sixth-place finish to qualify for his second straight state tournament.
Caleb Clymer never wrestles alone.
Every time he takes the mat, the Northwestern sophomore carries with him a legacy dotted with greatness.
Clymer’s brothers – Ben, Bobby and Scott – combined to win five District 11 individual championships from 2004-11. Ben and Scott, who finished their careers at Northwestern with a combined 280 wins, were also two-time regional champions and both won state titles.
That success has helped to shape Caleb, both on and off the mat.
Roughly nine hours and four matches after arriving at Freedom High School, Jim Moll could finally relax.
The Northwestern head coach watched his team grind, battle and ultimately prevail against Lehighton, 34-30, in the true second-place match at Saturday’s District 11 Class 2A team wrestling championships to advance to the state tournament.
“It shows a lot of heart,” said Moll. “It shows a lot of character. It shows that they really wanted to be out there (at states) and they wrestled well and got it.”
There were no medals for Northwestern at the end of the PIAA Track and Field Championships. But there was a sense of pride and satisfaction for a remarkable group of athletes that has achieved much success throughout their stellar careers.
The Lady Tigers were well represented in Shippensburg, led by the 1600- and 3200-meter relay teams. Individually, Northwestern had Alexis Gawelko in the 100 hurdles and Natcheli Gomes in the high jump.
On the opening day of the District 11 Track and Field Championships, the quartet of Sabrina Mertz, Sarah Segan, Carly Pierce and Rachelle Cerrone gave a talented Easton team all it could handle in the Class AAA 3200-meter relay but came up just short, finishing with a time of 9:34.38 to the Red Rovers' 9:31.03.
On Wednesday, Northwestern made sure it didn't happen again.
Success came in many forms during last week's Colonial League Track and Field Championships.
For some, it was a place. For others, those triumphant moments presented themselves as a time, distance, height or simply the satisfaction from achieving a personal goal.
But one thing was clear: Northwestern was once again one of the league's top teams after the two days of competition at Whitehall High School.
With the District 11 Track and Field Championships a little over two weeks away, this past Friday's Allentown School District Invitational offered a glimpse of what the postseason might look like for many programs.
Northwestern competed at J. Birney Crum Stadium against a varied field that included schools from the Colonial and Schuylkill Leagues as well as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and a few programs from outside of District 11.