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Catty boys aim to get better

Catasauqua’s youth movement that began on the courts last year likely will continue this upcoming season.

Last season with a handful of seniors on the roster, the Rough Riders endured a 0-22 campaign. So far this summer, the Roughies have shown signs of growth with the majority of last year’s club intact.

The team participated in the annual Cedar Beach Bash at the Beach recently, and played a total of four games.

“These guys are working hard,” said veteran head coach Eric Snyder. “They have a good work ethic and they come to play every night.

“We have a number of eighth graders playing, and they are holding their own out there. They are really doing a nice job.”

Snyder pointed to incoming freshman Xaiver Valentin as a possible game-changing player this winter.

“He does an incredible job at blocking shots,” said Snyder about the 6-4 Valentin. “He reminds me a lot of Derrick Bond, who had the same type of ability. He also does a good job at setting picks and rebounding.

“He has blocked shots against older guys, he seems to do it with little effort. We just have to work with him this summer to shoot more.”

Another incoming freshman expected to make an impact is Frankie Pujous, who can help the Roughies in the backcourt and on the wing.

“He has a nice shot and is very active,” said Snyder about Pujols. “He is a guy who can step in and help us out. He is adjusting more and more each week.”

Snyder also likes what he sees from seniors Bryann Rivera and Joe Fischl, both of whom could log some significant minutes. Rivera was a starter last season.

“Bryann has played well, and he has his game under control,” said Snyder. “He is an outside threat for us.

“Joe is a throwback type of player and a great kid. He has been battling down low for us, and works extremely hard. We have to work to develop him on the block.”

In addition, seniors Irving Torres and Brendan Nye along with junior Ian Juica are developing.

“Irving has played well for us,” said Snyder. “He came into his own last season, and he will help us. Brendan plays hard and passes well. Ian has played great defense and will find a spot.”

Snyder is looking for a strong finish to the summer season.

“We keep getting better, and our chemistry is building,” he added. “They just go out and play, and they are gaining more confidence.”