No matter who the opponent is, opening the regular season with a victory is always important in gaining momentum for the long run.
For the second year in a row, the Parkland football team played its first game of the season against Eastern Pennsylvania Conference opponent Allen. The Canaries have struggled in recent years and they were overmatched last Friday night.
The Trojans (1-0) were able to break in their new players and work each member of their roster onto the field in a 49-0 rout at Andre Reed Field at J Birney Crum Stadium.
The Parkland boys basketball team had a rough start to this year’s summer league. It might not be a surprise considering the Trojans lost a lot of senior leadership to graduation last year, including all-time leading scorer Sam Iorio.
They struggled to win games to begin the summer league, and then at the Cedar Beach Bash tournament in late June. But the proud program, one that has played in the last six district championship games and won four of them, began to find its stride like it seems to do in every season, summer or winter.
Sometimes even the best of athletes have to wait their turn.
Morgan Sherwin, a 2017 Parkland High School graduate, saw plenty of action on the volleyball court as an underclassman. But it wasn’t until last fall that she really broke out and produced at a high level after playing behind a couple of All-District and All-State players as a junior.
With her success on the court and on the track, Sherwin has been named the Parkland Press Female Athlete of the Year.
For the last four years, Parkland boys basketball head coach Andy Stephens didn’t have to think too hard about who he was penciling in to the starting lineup at one of the forward spots. From his freshman year until the final game of his high school career last March, 2017 graduate Sam Iorio was one of the starting five for the Trojans.
He was a staple of a program that has won four of the last five District 11 titles, and played in the last six district finals. He has also been named this year’s Parkland Press Male Athlete of the Year.
There were some close calls and some blowouts, games where they could coast, and even a bench-clearing altercation. All of this occurred in a weekend of basketball for Parkland at the SportsFest A-town Throwdown tournament.
The Trojans played the maximum number of games, winning their first six before dropping the seventh, the championship game, on their way to taking second place in the 48-team pool play format.
Unlike three weeks before at the Cedar Beach Bash Showcase tournament, the Parkland girls basketball team had mostly a full roster last weekend at the SportsFest A-town Throwdown tournament at Cedar Beach Park.
That depth in the lineup propelled the Trojans to win four of their five games and advance to Sunday’s playoff bracket before falling to eventual champion Bethlehem Catholic in the quarterfinal round.
Parkland girls basketball head coach Wes Spence has been coaching long enough that he knows what he may or may not get in the form of a roster for games played during the summer. Summer basketball is used to find the identity for the upcoming season, and to get players acclimated to new teammates and the varsity level of play.
It is also a season that sees many of his players participating in other sports, including soccer, lacrosse, or even AAU basketball.
Just like every summer, the Parkland boys basketball team is in transition mode. Having to replace the scoring and overall play of one of the program’s all-time great players in Sam Iorio, the Trojans are implementing more of a guard-oriented look, with the experience and leadership of returning players and upperclassmen Logan Rindock, Jake Bartholomew and Michael Ruisch returning from last winter’s varsity team.
A five-run deficit proved too much to overcome for the North Parkland legion baseball team as the Buffaloes dropped a game to West Allentown last Thursday evening at Orefield Middle School.
The Hawks scored runs in every inning, moving ahead by five runs by the top of the fourth inning and growing their advantage to double digits with a seven-run sixth inning to take a shortened six-inning game, 13-3.
It was a tough two-day stretch for the Buffaloes, who lost to rival South Parkland the night before. North Parkland is 3-6-1 through 10 games.
Summer basketball is about adjusting a system to new players and developing for the upcoming winter season. There hasn’t been a more important summer in recent years than this one for the Parkland boys basketball program, which graduated three starting seniors including Zach Bross, Michael Zeky and the school’s all-time leading scorer Sam Iorio, who was a four-year starter.