Pates look forward to getting back on court
Freedom is coming off a historic district championship season from a year ago and now have to wait to even see what their varsity roster will be.
The coronavirus delay for Bethlehem Area public schools makes January 11th the official first date that Liberty and Freedom could practice, giving Patriot boss, Joe Stellato a winter camp like no other.
“The layoff will hurt all the teams in the league,” Stellato said. “It is going to be an unusual year and we need to be flexible and feel lucky if we even get on the court at all. I have been in contact with some of my returning players, but it is difficult to have zoom meetings when I did not even select the team yet. That is not fair to have zoom meetings without kids that did not even have an opportunity to make the team. So, I am just doing text to keep the players motivated in the classroom and trying to let them see that everyone is doing everything they can to start the season and be safe.”
Freedom finished last year 19-9 en route to winning the District 11 6A title and return a few players from that squad to hope carry over that championship mentality, as Nick Ellis Guard 6’2 (Sophomore), Jack Barnes Forward 6’3 (Senior) and Jalen Fletcher Point Guard 5’9 (Sophomore) come back.
Newcomers include Kyle Johnson-McCormick Forward 6’3 (Sophomore), Owen Johnson-McCormick Forward 6’3 (Sophomore), Aaron Levy Guard 5’8 (Sophomore), Kameron Woomer Guard 6’0 (Junior), Krishna Mangroo Point Guard 5’8 (Sophomore), Josh Washington Forward 6’3 (Sophomore), Jayden Tillet Guard 6’1 (Sophomore) and Joseph Dew Guard 5’9 (Sophomore).
With Liberty and Freedom behind the eight ball in terms of practice getting started, Stellato isn’t quite sure when the Pates will get their first game of the season since they are required to have 10 practices before competition.
The EPC schedule begins on January 15, meaning Freedom will have to wait a little longer than most teams.
“When we do come together for the first week we need to evaluate the talent and start to work on players conditioning,” said Stellato. “We will be very young but competitive. We hope to make the playoffs.”