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BC wrestling ready for season opener

Saturday will be the opening night of East Penn Conference wrestling, and Bethlehem Catholic gets a highlight match like no other.

The Hawks will host Easton at 7 p.m. in a traditional bout between two of the league’s top programs, but also a battle between brothers Jeff and Jody Karam.

It was always must-see TV when both teams would square off against each other when Jody was the head coach at Liberty, but after taking the head job at Easton last year, the sibling rivalry is back on the mats.

“Easton is where we graduated from and going through the program is what made me the type of coach I am today,” said Hawks head coach Jeff Karam, “but with Jody there, it certainly adds more to the match. We’ve had so many great matches in the past and this one won’t be any different. Both of our programs want to be in big matches and it’s great for us to open the season this way.”

The Hawks will have roughly two weeks of practices under their belt when they face off against the Rovers and Karam has been happy with how the team has been performing in their room leading up to the season opener.

“Everyday you keep an open mind and you got to be flexible,” he said. “We had a really good first week of practice and you hope everything carries over. I know we have a district meeting this week to go over all the protocols, but the kids are working hard and they’re looking forward to competing. Usually by mid-January we’re tuning up for the postseason, so it’s just different that now we’re getting our first match.”

The district was set to meet on Tuesday, which was past Press deadlines, to discuss protocols for the upcoming season in regards to minimizing risk exposure to COVID-19. The wearing of masks on the mat and on the bench will be a major point of emphasis.

“I know it’s going to be a different season than any other,” Karam said. “The biggest thing is we want all of our athletes to have a season. I’m sure the district meeting will make things clear on what they expect of all teams in the league.”

If everyone can get through the week without any hiccups, Karam expects Saturday to be a difficult challenge for both teams.

“It’s Easton and they have a great program,” he said. “It’s a tough match out of the gate and it’s going to be tough for them too. You don’t really know what to expect with all the time off everyone has had, but we have a lot of really good guys and so does Easton, so it’ll a great first test.”

With fans not permitted to be in attendance, Bethlehem Catholic will livestream all their home matches this season. Check out the school’s Facebook page for information to watch matches.