Parkland Press

Friday, October 18, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBLeague MVP Jame Cipolla returns for a Parkland boys lacrosse team looking to win its third straight EPC championship. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBLeague MVP Jame Cipolla returns for a Parkland boys lacrosse team looking to win its third straight EPC championship. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Parkland boys lacrosse looks for three-peat

Sunday, March 31, 2019 by CJ HEMERLY Special to the Press in Sports

The Parkland boys lacrosse team won the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title and a District 11 championship last season, their second district title in a row. The Trojans won their first state playoff game in school history, but fell to eventual Class 3A state runner-up LaSalle College High School in the state quarterfinals.

Yes Parkland graduated some talented and experienced players from that roster, but more importantly it brings a good amount of talent back. That includes the EPC MVP in senior attack James Cipolla, an Ohio State University commit.

Cipolla was the conference’s MVP and earned first-team honors, along with classmate in senior defender Alex Albertson, who is also returning in the middle of the defense to form a dynamic duo of senior leaders for Parkland.

These two, along with the rest of the 2019 Trojans, will be playing for a different head coach this season as previous head coach Brad Schifko stepped down.

Mike Bender will take the reigns for his first season.

“It’s going to be a culture change with the new staff coming on board,” said Bender. “It’s our first year the team had tryouts. We just want to come in and have the guys competing at a high level and just getting better every game.”

Along with Cipolla and Albertson, Bender mentioned senior midfielder Eli Fisher as a player with talent and experience returning that will help lead the 2019 team.

Last year, Parkland saw three players graduate to collegiate careers in Luke Summers (Michigan), Andrew Albertson (High Point) and Ian O’Neill (Widener). But it will reload and have a couple of key new pieces that Bender is excited about.

Junior attack Zach Poremba and sophomore midfielder Will Filipovits will be looked at to contribute this season for the Trojans.

Even with the defending league MVP, and a number of other upperclassmen in attack returning, the strength may come at the back end of the field.

“We have multiple seniors in the mix back in the defense with ample playing experience,” Bender said. “If we want to continue the winning that this program has had it will start on defense.”

Parkland won its season-opener at district power Southern Lehigh, 13-12, last Saturday. It will host Allentown Central Catholic in another pivotal EPC test tonight at 7 p.m.

“Our goal is to compete and win district championships as they’ve done in years past,” said Bender. “Coming in, I don’t want that culture to change.”