The erratic schedule for teams over the Christmas and New Year holidays can throw some teams off. Normally, the Parkland girls (8-3 overall, 5-2 EPC) are playing in a tournament or even taking a trip out of state to get games in and stay sharp, but with a coaching change coming during the offseason, there wasn’t time to find a spot to play.
So, Ed Ohlson used the time to run his team through practices and work on a few things that he noticed during the early part of the season.
The Northampton Konkrete Kids did what other teams haven’t been able to do this season: keep Claire Courter from putting up a pile of points in a game. The Kids defense held Courter to just four points and took a 43-40 win over the Lady Trojans Tuesday night at Parkland High School.
Victoria Keenan led all scorers with 18 points, while teammate Jenna Rogers scored 13 for Northampton (4-1 overall, 3-0 EPC).
Ed Ohlson has a perfect record so far as a girls basketball coach. The longtime boys coach who took over the Parkland girls program this year has the Lady Trojans off to a 2-0 start with wins over Harrisburg and Emmaus. Now is when things get a little tougher with games against Central Catholic, Central Dauphin East and Northampton in the next week.
Ed Ohlson is no stranger to a basketball court. He’s served as the head coach at Northampton and held assistant coaching duties at Bethlehem Catholic, Central Catholic, Dieruff, Liberty, Parkland and Salisbury. When he looks out on a basketball court, he’s used to seeing young men run up and down the court, playing an athletic, up-tempo style. After all, he’s only ever coached boys high school basketball, including serving under Rich Fatzinger at Parkland where he was part of the staff on the 2004 team that went to the PIAA Class 4A championship game.
After nine seasons with Wes Spence leading the Parkland girls team, the 2018-2019 season brings a change at the top.
When Spence stepped down last April after a 16-9 season and Ed Ohlson was hired to coach the team, bringing years of basketball coaching experience with him. That begs the question as to just how much the style of play will change and how will the players react to the changes?
Every year the debate over whether or not it’s a good idea to end playoff soccer games with penalty kicks arises.
This year, the Lady Trojans are part of the discussion as they came up just short of a trip to the PIAA semifinals because of a game decided on penalty kicks. Parkland fell to Pennridge 3-2, losing the penalty kick phase by a 4-3 score.
Things opened well for Parkland with two quick goals before the midway point of the first half.
After every Parkland girls soccer win, head coach Al Haddad hands out mini Snickers bars to his players. He continues that at practice from time-to-time, so his players decided it would be appropriate to show up for practice on Halloween and do a little trick or treating. They left their warm up gear in their backpacks and showed up in Halloween costumes. It turns out that the day after Halloween, they got their real treat - a fourth straight district championship thanks to a 5-1 bombarding of Easton.
The seniors on this year’s Parkland field hockey team were freshmen when head coach Lizzie Millen took over the program for the 2015 season. The team has played well for Millen over the four years, but the one thing it hasn’t been able to do is beat rival Emmaus.
Unfortunately for the Trojans, they drew Emmaus in the first round of both the EPC and District 11 playoffs and had their season ended with a 7-0 loss in districts. The teams also met in a regular season finale in which Emmaus won 9-1.
In a game dominated by Parkland through most of the play, the Lady Trojans pulled off a 1-0 shutout of Emmaus in the District 11 soccer semifinals. The win guarantees Parkland a spot in the PIAA tournament and also a shot at a third straight district title when they face Easton Thursday night. The Lady Rovers (16-4) reached the finals by virtue of a 1-0 double-overtime win over Whitehall (17-4) in the other semifinal matchup. Parkland and Easton didn’t meet in either the regular season nor the postseason.
The Trojans came out firing thanks to a goal by junior Jackson Vanderpool less than two minutes into their District 11 semifinal game, but Emmaus responded well and finished Parkland’s season with a 3-2 win in a game played at Whitehall High School’s sports complex. Emmaus will now face Freedom in the district championship game.