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.
After making it through the regular season undefeated, South Parkland (15-0) comes into the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs as the favorite, holding the top-seed. The Trojans take on Emmaus (5-11) in a first-round game and with a win would face either Lower Macungie or Northern Valley in the second-round game.
In the first meeting between the North and South Parkland Lehigh Valley Legion baseball teams, South Parkland prevailed with a 9-1 win back on June 15. The win put the Trojans at 7-0 on the season and since then they had put together two more wins to reach 9-0 coming into the showdown with North Parkland last week.
For their part, the Buffaloes followed up their earlier loss to South Parkland with a loss to Lower Macungie, but then put together an impressive 11-2 win over Emmaus, leaving them ready for their counterparts from the south.
Like any high school baseball team, the Parkland Trojans spend much of the year hanging out together, putting in time in the indoor batting cages during the offseason and then banding together for a long high school season.
Unlike many of the local high school teams, though, the group is split in two for the Lehigh Valley Legion baseball season. The one, tight-knit team is divided between North Parkland and South Parkland. Twice each LVL season, and often in the playoffs, they go up against each other.
The South Parkland offense has done pretty well for itself this season, putting up 55 runs in eight games coming into Tuesday’s game against the Carbon Monarchs (4-4).
The Trojans added six more runs against Carbon, but all six were set up by errors and were unearned runs. The result was a ninth straight conquest for the Trojans in a 6-4 win over Carbon.
The North Parkland Buffaloes (8-3) aren’t used to seeing what they saw on Monday when Lower Macungie scored three first-inning runs and didn’t look back in a 14-0 win. The good news is that the Buffaloes were able to get right back on the field Tuesday and things returned to normal with an 11-2 win over Emmaus.
Against Lower Macungie (4-6), an error led to three unearned runs in the first inning.