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Summer hoop team working hard

Catasauqua head boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder wanted to try something new this year with his team in a summer league.

So far, he has been pleased with the results.

The Rough Riders are back in the Allentown Summer League, mainly because their games are played at Whitehall High School. They don’t have an entry in the Catasauqua Playground Summer League, but they are entered in the North Catty League.

“I am glad we went back into the (Allentown) league,” he said. “We are playing against kids our own age, and it really has worked out for us. It’s indoors, and it is a short ride to Whitehall.

“It was hard to make the drive to Allentown. We have started with a good amount of kids and we hope it continues.”

Snyder graduated a handful of seniors from last year’s 0-20 campaign. With a young squad learning the ropes last season, Snyder has already seen improvement in a few games.

Incoming seniors Bryann Rivera, Joe Fischl, Cedric Bright, Wyatt Younes, Irving Torres, and Brendan Nye along with juniors John Pushkar and Ian Juica, and sophomores Matt Fotta and Jeremiah Cofie will form the current nucleus.

“The kids are enjoying it,” he added. “We beat Bethlehem Christian, and we lost to Upper Perk by 13. But in that game, we were in a six-point game with four minutes to go. We also have had a good group of eighth graders. We have had about 15 or 16 kids at our games when last year we struggled to get five there.”

Snyder also noted a recent 43-40 overtime loss by his team in the North Catty league that could be a preview of the season ahead.

“We played a team that is pretty good, and one that has a number of players who have played for a long time,” said Snyder. “The eighth graders held their own.

“That was a nice game for us.”

Snyder, who runs the Catty Playground League, has been pleased with its early progress, but he doesn’t envision the return of the Tournament of Champions, which had a 30-year run and was replaced by the “Battle of the Boroughs” last summer.

Instead, it will likely be the second borough battle in August.

“There just aren’t any leagues around anymore,” said the seasoned coach. “Stiles lost its league last year, and that was a big surprise.

“But we should have a good summer, and the leagues in Catty will do well.”