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.
Mikayla Stoudt has been exceeding her own expectations all season. And it continued at states.
Stoudt came into the season hoping to contribute to Parkland's cross country team. As a freshman moving up to such and accomplished team, she wanted to blend in and help the team score.
She did much more than that.
Stoudt was the Lady Trojans' top runner this year. She capped her stellar rookie season with a medal-winning performance Saturday at the PIAA Championship Meet.
After a successful middle school cross country career, Mikayla Stoudt expected a respectable freshman season at Parkland High School.
She didn't anticipate being one of District 11's top runners or to lead her team to its second straight district title. That's just what she did last week, taking third place in Class AAA at the annual district meet, held at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
"I was hoping I would do pretty well because I was undefeated in middle school," Stoudt said. "But I didn't know I would get third in districts."
Being able to salvage a good score on a day that isn't so good is what separates the average golfers from the great ones.
Chad Hess didn't do everything right at Monday's District 11 Championship Tournament, held at the Shawnee Golf Resort. But the Parkland junior managed to take third place in Class AAA, shooting a two-over par 110 over 27 holes.
"It was a scrambling day," said Hess. "When I didn't hit the fairways and greens I needed to pull through and hit the shots that I needed to hit.
Each year of high school golf, Parkland's Mike Perkins has advanced one step further in the postseason. This year he continued his progress by making it through the District 11 Championship Qualifier to advance to next week's championship tournament.
"I played pretty good," said Perkins. "The conditions were pretty tough. It was windy. I hit the ball pretty straight and hit a lot of greens."
Chad Hess wanted to win the Lehigh Valley Conference Tournament. And he knew if he played his best it was within his reach. But a steady breeze and a few shots he'd like back left him at 4-over par 76 and in a tie for second place Monday at Allentown Municipal.
The Parkland junior was awarded fourth place by a match of cards.
"It was a struggle out there," said Hess. "You lose shots, you get shots back. You just had to fight through it. I was grinding out there and getting the lowest score I could. I can't complain about 76."