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).
Parkland's boys tennis team crowned two singles champs and two doubles champs at Monday's Lehigh Valley Conference Tennis Tournament.
The nine-time conference champ Trojans edged Emmaus, 28-24 in team points to win the tournament's team title.
Roshan Joshi won the No. 2 singles title Monday, while teammate Peter Harrison took first place in No. 3 singles. In doubles action, Nate Lyman and Nishad Gothoskar teamed up for the No. 3 doubles crown, while Donovan Snyder and Peter Sohn earned the gold medal at No. 4 doubles.
After a district title and a state playoff win, a lot of coaches would be bracing for an upcoming rebuilding season. Maybe for a few rebuilding seasons.
But Parkland basketball isn't just any program.
Not in the eyes of fifth-year head coach Andy Stephens or his players. They don't expect a rebuilding season any time in the near future.
Rarely do high school teams get a chance to avenge two regular season losses. A team has to improve enough to beat two teams that it couldn't beat in the regular season. And it has to be fortunate enough for both of those teams to show up on its playoff schedule.
With Parkland's 49-41 playoff win over Delaware Valley Saturday, the Trojans (11-2) have now beaten every team on their schedule, avenging early season losses to Easton and Delaware Valley by knocking those teams out of the District 2/4/11 subregional playoffs.