Trojan trio signs letters of intent
Three weeks ago, the Parkland football program was in the spotlight because its head coach’s retirement. Last Wednesday afternoon, two Trojans players were back in front of media for the first time since playing in the PIAA state championship game in December.
Nolan Ridgway and Steven Feher, along with cross country and track runner Mikayla Stoudt, were honored in a ceremony at Parkland High School where the three student-athletes signed letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at the NCAA level.
Morgans was away in Virginia, so assistant coach Frank Lane introduced his two former players. The two expressed their feelings on what Ridgway and Feher meant to them throughout their four year careers.
“Steven was a hard-nosed player,” Lane said. “Without him manning our line, we wouldn’t have had the success that we had this year. He was our best tackle.
“Nolan was our do-it-all guy,” said Lane. “Whatever was asked of him, he did it for the team. If we needed him to play quarterback, he did. Running back, wide receiver, long snapper, punt returner, he did it all for us.”
The two football players will both be playing next year at East Stroudsburg University and major in business.
“I really like coach [Jim] Terwilliger,” said Feher. “I clicked with their offensive line coach [Mike Santella]. I enjoyed the whole family atmosphere that they have in their program. It felt great being a part of it.”
Feher was a first-year starter on the offensive line, but found success right away. He was an All-Area lineman that paved the way for a prolific offense that won an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title, and a fourth straight District 11 championship.
“It was just a great way to end my career at Parkland,” Feher added. “It was surreal to play my last high school game in the state final. I’ll always cherish my senior season.”
Ridgway was the starting slot wide receiver and cornerback. But he was a jack-of-all-trades type player, who also was a special teams standout returning punts.
In the PIAA quarterfinal against LaSalle, he came in to play quarterback when Devante Cross was injured. Parkland never missed a beat, as they went on to win the game and advance.
“It didn’t bother me where I played as long as we won,” Ridgway said. “I’m so used to moving around positions on the field. I wanted to help the team win, I hate losing.”
Along with football, Ridgway is a member of the lacrosse team, and the Trojans are one of the favorites in the EPC and District 11 in 2016.
Both Feher and Ridgway had other options when it came to schools that wanted them to be a part of their programs. Both had Moravian, Muhlenberg, Kutztown and other PSAC schools after them, but felt that the familiarity with Jimmy Terwilliger helped them sway their decisions.
Stoudt burst onto the scene as a freshmen, being named team MVP of an undefeated Lehigh Valley Conference and District 11 girls cross country team. In her second year, she was the league MVP of another unbeaten team and was a member of the All-State second team.
“She ran effortlessly with the competition,” said head coach Loretta Dodson. “She just had an extra gear that brought her over the top with a refusal to lose. Mikayla is one of the most decorated runners to come out of Parkland.”
But it wasn’t always easy for Stoudt. In-between her sophomore and junior seasons, she battled injuries.
“Coming in as a freshmen, I think I ran so well because I had such great teammates and support from coach Dodson,” said Stoudt. “I had to deal with stress fractures during track my sophomore year. It was just one thing after another, but I battled back and rehabbed a lot.”
Stoudt came back strong to qualify for the state cross country meet in her senior year.
Along with cross country, she runs in the 800, 1600, and 3200 in track. She was a league champ in the 1600 and 3200 in 2013 and qualified for states.
Stoudt will be attending East Carolina University and major in Exercise Science. She also plans to attend a Physician’s Assistant Program after her undergraduate work.