Trojans set record for wins in a season
The Parkland baseball team lost for just the second time this year when it fell last Tuesday in the PIAA semifinals, 5-1 against Wyoming Valley West. It was disappointing for the players and coaches because they had come a long way, making it past the first round of states for the first time in this three-year District 11 championship run.
On the whole, the Trojans finished 2015 at 27-2, which is the most wins in program history. That says something, for a program that has won a lot of games the last couple of seasons.
"You need team chemistry from the top players on your team to the role players," head coach Tony Galucy said. "We talked about this with the team early on and reminded the seniors how great they were treated when they were sophomores on the team.
"Those seniors that brought them along not only helped the team win in 2013 and 2014, but they showed the right way to do things and be part of a successful team. By doing that, they set this program up for success for years to come."
As two-time defending district champs, this team understood that a bullseye was on it's back.
"These kids understood the pressure put on them. They knew every team wanted to be the one to knock us off. Having won the district title the two previous years, this senior class was determined to uphold the tradition and advance in the state playoffs. Taking every team's best shot every game is not easy. One bad night come playoff time and the season is over. They came to defend their title every game."
Galucy mentioned his senior class often when talking about the success of 2015. These players included Rhett Jacoby, Justin Afflerbach, Chris Rabasco, Connor Higgins, Evan McAndrew, Harrison Rabenold, Alec Bartholomew, Jeff Strisovsky and Dan Zaccaro. In the last three years that most of these players have been on varsity, they have won 69 games and six medals (2013 LVC silver medal, 2014 LVC gold, 2015 EPC gold, and 2013-15 District 11 gold medals).
"You need seniors to win," Galucy added. "This senior class had talent, but they provided so much more than that. We have been able to have success over the years because seniors show the underclassmen the right way to do things.
"I truly believe our seniors this year were molded by the seniors in 2013. Those seniors shared playing time with some of our sophomores (Afflerbach, Higgins, Jacoby, Rabasco) that year. They accepted them instead of being selfish and causing problems. Seniors that do that not only help the team during their senior year but for years to come. This is what we preached to our seniors this year."
Parkland will lose a core group to graduation this year from a team that won the EPC and District 11 gold, but the program seems to always reload and compete for titles.