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Catty sees addition of Indians as a positive

Over the years, Catasauqua’s sports team have seen their share of Lehighton teams. Both have faced in the old Lehigh Valley League and the old Centennial League.

Beginning in 2024, the Rough Riders and the other 13 teams will see more of the Indians, as Lehighton will leave the Mountain Valley Conference and join the Colonial League. Lehighton is in the District 11 Class 5A bracket.

There also is talk that Jim Thorpe, which is in the Schuylkill League, will also make the move. There is a vote scheduled at their February School Board meeting.

The initial response from the Roughies’ brass had been positive.

“I believe Lehighton brings a lot to our league,” said Roughies’ athletic director Tom Moll.” Most of the schools in our league play Lehighton in a bunch of sports already. They have good facilities and are a good geographic fit for most of the schools in our league. The more schools we have in our league allows us to be more creative with scheduling, divisions, etc.

“Jim Thorpe will bring a lot of the same qualities. Hopefully, they can join. It is a waiting game now.”

Catasauqua head football coach Travis Brett also welcomes the addition.

“It’s good for us because we think we can compete with those types of schools,” said Brett. “We had some bigger schools in the old Colonial League, but playing Lehighton is better than playing another 5A team like Southern Lehigh.”

Longtime boys’ basketball coach Eric Snyder also is appreciative of the move and welcomed more of them.

“I think Lehighton coming into the league is a good thing, and if Jim Thorpe comes, it is even better,” said Snyder. “We might as well invite Panther Valley, Marian, Tamaqua, Pottsville, and Blue Mountain, and have a 20-team league.”

“You can have all the long distance games on Friday nights and not have any divisions. Just take the top eight teams for the playoffs.”

He also recalled some memories.

“Lehighton is a throwback to the old Lehigh Valley League and it’s good to see them back,” added Snyder. “We play them in just about every sport anyway, and there is a natural rival up there with Palmerton and Northern Lehigh.

“I think it is a good thing and it brings back rivalries some of the old-timers will remember in the old Lehigh Valley League.”