Last year, all of the talk was about how good the Allentown Central Catholic boys basketball team was. The 2013-14 Vikings went undefeated throughout the regular season, winning league and district championships, and their lone blemish was to the eventual state champion Neumann-Goretti in the PIAA quarterfinals.
Central Catholic defeated Parkland twice last year, but 2014-15 could feature a role reversal with all of the hype around the Trojans.
Parkland (7-0) did not disappoint the big home crowd last Tuesday night with a 58-46 victory over the Vikings.
Devante Cross, Kyle Stout and Kenny Yeboah each soared above the rim for dunks as the Parkland boys basketball team took an 18-5 lead after just one quarter. The Trojans did not struggle putting up points on the scoreboard the rest of the way either as they finished off an East Penn Conference win at Northampton last Friday night by defeating the Konkrete Kids 74-36.
It's been happening for much of this young season, but the first period has not been too kind to the Parkland ice hockey team. Fortunately for the Trojans, the slow starts have not resulted in any losses thus far.
There is good news and bad news for Parkland's wrestling team heading into the 2014-15 season.
The bad news is the program loses eight quality wrestlers to graduation. The good news is head coach Ryan Nunamaker has seen an increase in numbers that can hopefully make up for some of those losses for a team that finished last season with a 20-4 record and was the runner up at District 11 team duals, just one point behind Nazareth.
When the Parkland boys basketball team suits up for its first game at Stroudsburg on Friday night, there will be a different look to it. For the past two seasons, head coach Andy Stephens could pencil in four players into his starting lineup every night.
Jimmy Hahn, Nick Rindock, Nick Salvaggi, and Justin Zajko have graduated, and each one left his own mark on the program the last few years.
Now, with only one starter returning, the Trojans will have some questions about who is going to score and who is going to lead.
Walt Disney could not have written a better script. The Parkland girls volleyball team was not a Cinderella by any means. The Lady Trojans the best team in the state for much of the year, but the 2014 season was a magical one.
They finished the year undefeated at 45-0-1 in all sets, and won 115 of 122 games played in the sets, on their way to league, district, and state championships.
Parkland's team success over the past few years has led to individual recognition for many of the school's athletes. Five players from the Trojans' championship baseball and lacrosse teams signed college letters of intent recently.
This year has be a successful one for Parkland girls athletic programs.
The accolades led to several Trojans being recruited to play in college. Some of those athletes announced their college plans as a group two weeks ago.
Seniors Sophie Castillo (Colorado, lacrosse), Mackenzie Galli (Virginia Commonwealth, lacrosse), Hannah Pany (Ohio State, field hockey), Brooke Robertson (Delaware, volleyball) and Avery Semler (Iowa, field hockey) signed college letters of intent at a recent ceremony.
The Parkland football team will once again be practicing on Thanksgiving.
"It's always something we talk about even dating back to when I was at Central Catholic," Morgans said. "The kids love it. Our booster club cooks turkeys, and we have the parents and alumni there. It means that you're making a run in states, so it's always a good thing to practice on Thanksgiving."
The Trojans (11-2) got to this point by taking down Easton 13-10 in overtime for their third straight district championship.
Defense wins championships. That statement never held true for Parkland last Friday night at Cottingham Stadium.
A defensive stand in overtime clinched the Trojans' third straight district championship with a 13-10 victory over previously unbeaten Easton (12-1). It was the third time in a row these two teams met in the district playoffs, with Parkland (11-2) coming out on top.
After Jacob Bissell kicked an 18-yard field goal, the Trojan defense needed one more stop.