The Moravian College football team has enjoyed recruiting local stand out high school athletes for years. Out of the 86 players on the roster, head coach Jeff Pukszyn and his staff have brought in 30 student-athletes that had played their high school ball in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference or the Colonial League.
The Parkland boys basketball will have a different look this season. The Trojans graduated four starters and two key role players from the 2015-16 team that won the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 4A titles, while also falling just short in the PIAA quarterfinals to eventual state champion Roman Catholic.
Last weekend in State College, Parkland girls volleyball coach Mike Krause was taking in one final regular season home game for his oldest daughter, Taylor, while her younger sister, Kristin, was in the process of beginning her collegiate career at Penn State University.
Four years ago, Krause was coaching both of his daughters at Parkland, finishing as the state runner-up in AAA that year, a year after winning it all.
And now he is able to see both of his daughters on the same team again one more time.
Heading into the 2016 season, Parkland boys soccer head coach Patrick Birns did not know what to expect from his team. They were coming off of an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference title, but a large part of that squad graduated.
Eight seniors left vacancies to fill for a young Trojans roster. What made things even harder was being forced to play the entire year without returning starter and senior captain Justin Evans due to an injury.
The Parkland girls soccer team walked off the field last Saturday night at Tulpehocken High School with a 3-2 loss in the PIAA Class 4A state quarterfinals. It was the first and only defeat the Trojans (25-1) suffered in 2016, and it came with just one kick of the ball, a game-winner in overtime.
The program has a lot to look back on this season as a success. The Trojans defended both their Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship (third straight) and District 11 crown (second consecutive).
A little over two weeks ago, the Parkland volleyball team experienced something that hadn’t happened to it in almost three years: a loss to a conference opponent. Liberty took down the Trojans in straight sets to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship and send a message across the league.
It didn’t take much for the Parkland football team to get motivated for its first game in the district tournament. Falling to rival Emmaus on the final play of what served as the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South Division championship game the week prior, the Trojans worked all week at practice, preparing to not have that same feeling again.
After a goal-line stand prevented them from beating the Green Hornets in the season finale, head coach Parkland Tim Moncman went right back to the ground game in the first round of the playoffs.
It took a game to settle in. A game one that went well past the normal 25-point finish was won by Parkland, but only by two points.
The Trojans just needed that confidence to be able to settle in to the District 11 Class 4A semifinal. From there the top seeded Trojans took the next two games and won in straight sets over fourth seeded Emmaus 29-27, 25-17 and 25-18 last Tuesday night at Allen High School’s Sewards Gymnasium.
It’s no secret around the Parkland community, and even as far as the Lehigh Valley, that the Trojan football program has been a dominant force over the last few years. They have won four straight District 11 Class 4A titles, and also come league championships along the way.
Parkland head football coach Tim Moncman never wavered in his decision to go for it on fourth down and one from the one-yard line. He had done it before with the game on the line back when he was the head man at Liberty in an important game, and he had the personnel to do it again.