At the end of last season, Parkland coach Ed Ohlson was excited about what he saw when he looked to the future.
Sure, he was going to be losing five seniors including standouts Claire Courter, Kaitlyn Rothwell and Kassidy Stout, but he saw a lot of promise in players who would continue to develop and look to step into the lineup or play big roles coming off the bench.
Since she was two-years old, Jada Mangahas has been doing gymnastics and over the years, has become more and more elite at the sport. Her dedication to the sport has earned her the ability to continue her education at Arizona State University, where she’ll participate in gymnastics and pursue a degree in kinesiology, the scientific study of body movement. The two are a great pairing and Mangahas hopes to continue on toward becoming a physical therapist.
When you look at Sandra Jessen’s family, you don’t have to wonder why she has turned to gymnastics. You would only say, why wouldn’t she?
Jessen’s mom and an older brother have both excelled at the sport and helped Sandra to develop her skills, which will take her to Stanford University next fall where her brother David Jessen currently competes as a senior in gymnastics and represented the Czech Republic at the Olympics in 2016.
Coaches will tell you that it’s tough to beat a team four times in one season. Parkland (16-6-0) had to feel pretty good about its chances of doing that against Whitehall Tuesday night, though, since their win streak against the Zephyrs dated back to October of 2012 when the teams tied.
The last time Parkland lost to Whitehall was back in September of 2008, a streak of 25 straight games, until Tuesday.
The Parkland Lady girls soccer team picked up its sixth straight conference championship last week with a 2-1 win over Emmaus in the East Penn Conference finals.
The win was the third this season for Parkland over Emmaus, with the three games being decided by just two goals as Parkland won two of the games and the teams played to a scoreless tie in the third.
Mother Nature played a role in the championship game by providing a brisk wind that blew from one goal to the other at the Zephyr Sports Complex at Whitehall High School.
Parkland field hockey advanced to the East Penn Conference finals last week looking for its first conference championship since 2003.
Unfortunately for the Lady Trojans, they ran into Emmaus, which was able to take a 3-1 win over Parkland to record its fifth straight EPC championship.
While the Hornets were able to dominate much of the play, Parkland made the most of its opportunities and the game was tied 1-1 for most of the contest.
While Emmaus and Parkland have both put together strong seasons in field hockey, the programs have come from very different places to get to where they are right now.
Emmaus has been constant under veteran head coach Sue Butz-Stavin, who is the winningest high school field hockey coach in the country. The Hornets have won 30 straight District 11 championships and look to make it 31 after going through the regular season undefeated.
The Parkland field hockey team fought through every game this season and came to its penultimate East Penn Conference game of the season with just one lone tie as a blemish on its record. Coming into Tuesday night’s matchup with perennial power Emmaus, the Trojans 13 wins were the most in a season for them since 2010 when they also won 13 regular season games.
The Parkland girls soccer team hosted a tough Governor Mifflin team this past Saturday and was able to pick up a 3-0 win to stretch its season win streak to 14 games. The problem was that the nonconference game left Parkland without its first- and second-string goalkeepers who both suffered injuries in the win. Starter Zia Reed went down early in the game when she took a knee to the back and backup Teresa Gonzalez took over and made it to the final minutes before she too went down with an injury. Gonzalez finished out the game, but was unable to go against Emmaus on Monday night.
And the beat goes on.
Parkland field hockey extended its unbeaten streak to 13 games Tuesday night with a 3-0 win over Northampton. While the three-goal victory may sound kind of easy, it was anything but easy.
While Parkland had an early edge in controlling play, Northampton regrouped and came out playing a much crisper and more physical game from midway through the first half until the final horn.