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Summer hoops kicks off in Catasauqua

It’s mid-May, and the Catty Summer Basketball League again is in play.

Catasauqua head boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder began his 37th year of running the program, dating back to 1985. There are 10 teams in the league this summer that officially began play last Monday night.

Snyder stated the early beginnings of the league can be traced back to the late 1940s and early 1950s. Reportedly legendary former boys’ head coach Bob Mushrush began the league in the aforementioned time periods. Along with the Catty League, the North Catty League also began play last week.

The veteran coach noted that he will field a high school team in the Catty League this summer, but instead the Rough Riders will be an entry in the Cedar Beach Summer League, having their games played at Whitehall High School this year. A team representing Moravian College will take their place in the 10-team bracket.

Once again, all games will be at the Catty Playground. In case of rain, the Catty Middle School will be the site.

Last season saw the inaugural “Battle of the Boroughs” tournament that replaced the late summer “Tournament of Champions,” that ended after a 30-year run. The format featured the regular-season champion and postseason champion from both the Catty and North Catty leagues in a best-of-three series. Snyder derived the idea from the old Mayor’s Trophy Championship game in the 1970s between the Yankees and Mets.

The Nites were the regular-season Catty League champion, and Ohlson Landscaping won the Battle of the Boros. As for the high school team, they were expected to open their summer season on their own home floor last Thursday night due to the district volleyball playoffs at Whitehall.

Snyder will return the bulk of his 2021-22 squad, losing three seniors from an 0-22 squad last year.

Incoming seniors Cedric Bright, Bryann Rivera, John Pushkar, Irving Torres, Joe Fischl, Brendan Nye, and Wyatt Younes along with junior Ian Juica and sophomores Jeremiah Cofie and Matt Fotta can help the Roughies form a solid rotation.

‘We had a lot of guys last year who should have been playing at the JV level to help them develop,’ said Snyder. “We’ll see how they respond.”