Ever since Brad Rauch took over as Northern Valley head coach in the Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League, the Chargers have been a top-four team at season's end. The Chargers finished with the league's fourth-best record at 11-7 last season before going 1-2 in the playoffs with two one-run losses.
Now entering his fourth season at the helm, Rauch expects much of the same success from this year's Charger squad. And with six of the team's starters in the field from last year returning, Rauch's expectations are not out of the question.
If rainbows are thought to be lucky, then Monday's occurrence at Northwestern High School only served as proof to that claim.
Facing a 5-3 deficit heading into the seventh inning of Monday's District 11 Class AAA pigtail game against No. 9 seeded Wilson, No. 8 Northwestern was on the verge of seeing its season end.
But as the seventh began with a visibly bright rainbow arching over center field, the tide started to turn for the Tigers.
The Northwestern Lehigh baseball team (11-7 overall; 10-5 in Colonial League) has already clinched a berth in the District 11 Class AAA playoffs.
If things pan out for the Tigers, they could find themselves playing for a league championship next week as well.
With all of this success, you'd expect a senior-laden team taking the field each day in New Tripoli. And while the Tigers possess two key 12th graders, it's their mix of younger players that has had just a big of an impact on their success this year.
Jackie Wear has always been the type of softball player to do whatever was asked of her.
She did it during high school at Northwestern and throughout her career at Delaware Valley College. She played in the outfield, behind home plate and at shortstop during her career as a Tiger. She also saw time at all of those positions as a Delaware Valley Aggie. She played left field as a freshman and catcher as a junior, while seeing most of her time as a sophomore and senior at shortstop.
Her stellar career ended with an outstanding senior season that she will never forget.
Northwestern pitcher Jordan Storm was put in a high-pressure situation during last week's Colonial League North Division tilt against Catasauqua.
The Rough Riders had jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the third, were looking for some more offense.
But Storm, who relieved Brandon Eden after 2 1/3 innings, came in calm and collected. He put together the most important stretch of the game that sparked the Tigers both offensively and defensively.
Heading into their toughest meet of the season, a tri-meet that included an undefeated Southern Lehigh team, the Northwestern girls' track and field athletes reminded themselves of the number 18 all week.
That number was symbolic of the Lady Tigers' consecutive victories, a streak that began in 2013 when they went a perfect 11-0 in the Colonial League.
The Lady Tigers added numbers 19 and 20 to that list last week before finishing off their undefeated season Tuesday at Salisbry.
Through the team's first five Colonial League games, Northwestern baseball head coach Len Smith was pleased with his team's performances, even in its two losses.
The Tigers started the season with wins over Palmerton, Northern Lehigh and Southern Lehigh, while coming up a run short in their two losses against Pen Argyl and Bangor. That set the Tigers up at a game above .500 entering their matchup last week against last season's Colonial League champions in Salisbury.
Unfortunately for the Tigers, it was a game they would like to forget as quickly as possible.
Following Tuesday's Colonial League track and field dual meet against Catasauqua at Northwestern High School, 30 Tiger seniors were recognized after their final home meet.
One of those seniors was Jay Hereba, who participated in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. He entered the meet with the top overall time in the league in the 400 at 53 seconds flat. On Tuesday, he added a first-place finish with a time of 55.9 seconds in the event.
The awards continue to stack up for Northwestern senior Trista Cunningham.
After being named a Colonial League First Team All-Star during the high school season, Cunningham was then named to the Via All-Star Girls Team of the Year.
During the 39th Annual Via All-Star Basketball Classic on Super Saturday at Nortamton Area Community College, Cunningham scored eight points in the Colonial League's 64-62 win over the Lehigh Valley West to open the quadruple header of games. She was the lone Tiger representative throughout the Via events.
Haley Yost is the lone senior on the Northwestern girls' 3200 meter relay team that includes three junior Lady Tigers.
And while the senior is just a year ahead of the other three distance runners Rachele Cerrone, Carly Pierce and Sabrina Mertz they look up to her as a mother figure throughout the season.
Yost's guidance on everything from proper training to healthy dieting helped the group to a first-place finish in the 3200 meter relay in leagues and districts last season.
"She's like our mom," Mertz said. "She always tells us what to eat and when to stretch."