All season long, the stated goal for the South Parkland American Legion baseball team was a state championship.
The Trojans run took them through an undefeated regular season and then through regionals to claim the Region 2 title with a win over a Souderton team comprised primarily of players who were on the PIAA championship team from Souderton High School.
If you were concerned about South Parkland’s loss to Souderton last Tuesday in the Regional 2 American Legion baseball playoffs, your fears were set aside one night later when the Trojans met up with the same Souderton team in a winner-take-all championship.
True to form, it was all about the pitching for South Parkland, which rode the arm of Adam Smith to a 3-0 win over Souderton, gaining a trip to states for the 24-1 Trojans.
As a young high school softball player, it can be difficult knowing that you’re stuck behind a key player and that you’re going to have to wait for your time to come.
Kelly Dulaney didn’t get frustrated by the wait. She used the time to her advantage and worked on becoming a better pitcher so that she could take advantage of the opportunity when her time rolled around.
Parkland softball coach Barry Search was recently inducted into the Lehigh Valley Softball Hall of Fame during ceremonies at Patriots Park in Allentown. Search was inducted for his overall contribution to the sport as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Search’s earliest memories of softball were of his dad playing in local leagues. At the age of 15, Search joined his dad in playing locally, which began a long love affair with the game.
The double-elimination format combined with a day of rain outs provided for an interesting twist to the American Legion Regional 2 tournament.
Barry Search has a simple philosophy about coaching that’s not directly related to anything that happens on the field. He uses the approach as an assistant football coach. He used it as an assistant softball coach. And he now uses it as a head softball coach at Parkland High School.
“The whole thing about softball is that it’s all about the kids,” said Search in his acceptance speech to the Lehigh Valley softball Hall of Fame. “That’s what we’re here for, to support them and I have been very fortunate to have some really wonderful players. They have worked tirelessly.”
The South Parkland Legion team made it through the regular season and playoffs undefeated, finishing 20-0 and holding the Lehigh Valley Legion championship trophy Monday night after beating Northern Valley 2-0 at Weiland Park on the campus of De Sales University.
The Trojans made it through games against Emmaus and North Parkland in the postseason in addition to beating Northern Valley (11-11) twice in the double-elimination tournament. The win sends South Parkland into the Region Two playoffs, which begin Friday.
Coming into the season, South Parkland Legion head coach Tom Kahn did some math regarding his team. He told his coaches when the season started that if they could win 20 games, he and his staff would reach the 100-win mark for their time with the team. With a 16-game season and playoffs, there was no room for error.
The North Parkland Legion team saw its season come to an end Sunday in a 9-4 loss to Northern Valley. The Buffaloes finished the season at 14-6.
Northern Valley came into the game as one of the hottest teams in the league after a cold streak early in July saw the Chargers fall in the LVL seedings before garnering the fifth seed. North Parkland was consistent throughout the season and finished as the number-two seed coming into the postseason.
North Parkland (12-4) put together an impressive run late in the season and heads into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the league.
Since dropping their rivalry matchup against South Parkland (15-0), the Buffaloes have gone 4-0, outscoring opponents 42-6 in those four games.
The numbers are skewed by a 21-1 pasting of Coplay (5-9-1) in a game shortened to four innings by the 15-run rule. Another game against Coplay was played just five days earlier and saw the Buffaloes pick up a 7-0 win.