It was only a year ago that the South Parkland Legion team finished in last place, three games below the next team in the Lehigh Valley Legion standings.
Despite the struggles in 2013, the Trojans bounced back this season to finish in fifth place. They headed into last week's LVL Tournament with hopes of reaching the title game.
South Parkland came up a run short, falling to Southern Lehigh, 5-4, in what amounted to a semifinal game Sunday afternoon at Limeport.
Parkland softball players heard the reports on Avon Grove's hard-throwing pitcher Maggie Balint. They knew all about the sophomore's 19-strike out perfect game in the first round of the state playoffs. And they couldn't wait to get in the batters box against her.
Parkland handled everything Balint threw in a 3-0 win in Thursday's state quarterfinal at Souderton High School.
The Parkland field hockey team is headed to the Lehigh Valley Conference title game.
The Trojans beat Liberty 2-1 Tuesday in an LVC semifinal game.
"We have some players injured and some young players in key positions," said Parkland head coach Michelle Steele. "This is a testament to our upperclassmen for keeping us together as a team. Our game plan is to work together as a team."
Parkland took its lead in the first half on a Christina Slivinski goal off a corner play with 13:51 remaining.
The Parkland boys soccer team is half way through its schedule. And the Trojans seem to be in midseason form just at the right time.
Parkland improved to 9-2 overall and 7-1 in the Lehigh Valley Conference with a win Monday over Bethlehem Catholic.
The Trojans got a pair of goals from sophomore forward Byron Derti to pull out to a 2-0 lead. Charles Kile, Oliver Guerra and Paul Khalil added a goal each in the win.
Nearly all baseball players start at the tee ball level.
While many players sign up with their local team each year, very few stick with their local program for their entire youth baseball career.
Some move on to other sports. Some move on to other areas. Some go on to play for scholastic teams.
Tyler Martin signed up for Grandlawn's tee ball program 13 years ago when he was five years old. Last month he played his final Grandlawn baseball game.
When Chad Hess teed it up to start the Pennsylvania Junior Golf Championship Tournament, he thought a top-20 finish in the 36-hole event seemed like a reasonable goal.
He finished 15th in the event last year, held annually at Hershey Country Club, but he felt this year's field of 133 players was a bit stronger. And he remembered a pair of mid-80s rounds he posted at Hershey back in May.
Despite a double-bogey on his first hole, Hess was in the top 15 after the first round of the state junior championship, which was held July 1-2. He shot four-over par 75 the first day.
When Brad Schifko came back for his second stint as head coach of Parkland's boys lacrosse program, he was thinking about a three-year, or maybe even a five-year plan to pull the Trojans up to the ranks of the elite teams in the Lehigh Valley.
Then he got a look at his players.
"The first time I had an opportunity to step into the auxiliary gym and watch," Schifko said. "I knew we had a special group of real talented kids here. That expedited the process for us."
Parkland's path to the District 11 team tennis title included all of its biggest rivals over the past few years. And the Trojans made short work of all of them.
The top-seeded Trojans, which went undefeated against opponents from District 11 this season, earned the top seed in this year's team tournament.
In the first round, the Trojans knocked out Freedom, the team they faced in last year's title match.
In the second round, they took out Southern Lehigh, the team that bested them in two straight district title matches before last season.
With league and district track meets coming up over the next two weeks, top teams from around the area met last Friday in one of the area's best invitational meets.
Parkland had several league and district contenders at 11th Annual Allentown School District Invitational at J. Birney Crum Stadium
Two Trojans earned gold medals at the meet, while many others made trips to the medal stand for second- and third-place finishes.
The Trojans Alicia Lawler and Nolan Hay earned the gold medals. Lalwer won girls javelin. Hay won boys long jump.
Mostl high school athletes' long-term goal is to play their sport in college.
Only a few make it and even fewer receive scholarships for their participation. A dozen of them put their signatures on letters of intent last week at a signing ceremony at Parkland High School.
Four Trojan football players committed to colleges, including Mike Unger (West Chester), Tim Baranek (Lock Haven), Jarel Elder (West Chester) and Andrew Feuhrer (Stetson).