Everyone – fans, players, coaches – stood around thinking ‘this can’t be right.’ It’s mid-April and two rival high school tennis teams, both among the better teams in District 11 and the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, were just trying to play a simple tennis match.
But it was cold, bitterly cold. It was windy enough to misdirect not only volleys but serves. And oh yeah, it was snowing. Snowing!
“I don’t ever remember an inning like this,” said Parkland coach Kurt Weber about his team’s 14-run fifth inning in a 17-0 win over Emmaus. In that fifth inning, Parkland sent 20 batters to the plate and the first 13 all reached base safely.
The Trojans pounded out 13 hits, drew three walks, took advantage of an Emmaus error, had eight different players drive in runs and finished the inning with the bases loaded. They also went through three different Emmaus pitchers.
After losing their season opener to Bethlehem Catholic, Parkland may have been looked at by other EPC teams as possibly being on a bit of a down season.
It’s been a couple weeks since that loss and teams are now realizing that the Lady Trojans were just taking a little longer than usual to get themselves settled in for the season.
Since the 2-0 opening day loss, Parkland has rattled off five straight wins and Kelly Dulaney has thrown three shutouts.
Parkland softball coach Barry Search has a young, inexperienced team that he knows is going to take some time to pull everything together. If you talk to him about his team, the term “work in progress” is going to come up often. Search was faced with what every coach of a young team dreads: a tough early schedule. In this case, Bethlehem Catholic, Emmaus, Northampton and Liberty comprised much of the early schedule for the Lady Trojans.
For years now, the Parkland baseball team has just rolled out one pitcher after another and never had questions about who was going to be in their starting rotation. The Trojans would combine those quality arms with an emphasis on defense and would easily cover any deficiencies they may have had offensively.
For the first time since Kurt Weber took over as the head coach in 2016, the pitching machine has had a hiccup. Parkland returns just one pitcher starter from last year’s team and has a help wanted sign out to fill out the rotation.
At the District 11 Swimming Championships, Megan Sicinski and Matt Ceh were named the women’s and men’s swimmers of the meet and were given the Dennis A. McGinley Award for their accomplishments. They capped that off with medals at the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships last week at Bucknell University in Lewisburg.
Megan Sicinski finished fifth in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:03.37. She also competed in the 200 IM, reaching the consolation finals and finishing 15th with a time of 2:06.16 at Bucknell.
If you really want to know what the weather is going to be like, ask Parkland softball coach Barry Search. He learned to forecast weather while in the military and he learned it well. He doesn’t need radar or fancy gadgetry to forecast weather, he just looks at the sky and tells you what’s going to happen. He did that Monday after a scrimmage against Hazleton when he challenged his players to identify the type of clouds overhead.
Before his lesson on clouds, Search put together another forecast about his team, which he’s coached for the past eight seasons.
For the first time in three years, the Parkland boys volleyball team enters its spring season without a championship to defend. The Trojans finished the 2017 season at 16-4 overall and qualified for both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 Class 3A tournaments, but fell in the quarterfinals to Whitehall in both postseason events. They were the defending three-time district champions.
If you think your weekends are busy, consider the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
This past weekend, they wrapped up the middle portion of their third straight three-game weekend. While it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Phantoms will be playing playoff hockey this spring, nothing is official just yet. With 13 games left in the regular season, the Phantoms have dropped their magic number down to 12 after a productive weekend.
The Parkland boys swim team collected five individual medals and one relay medal at last weekend’s District 11 Swimming Championships, which were moved to Emmaus High School after a power outage at Parkland. Overall, the boys finished second in the team competition trailing Emmaus 489-313.5 at the end of the weekend.