The Parkland football team knew it was facing its biggest challenge of the season when it headed to Philadelphia last Saturday to face St. Joe’s Prep in a PIAA Class 6A quarterfinal game at Northeast High School.
The Trojans gave their best effort, but the Hawks, who are ranked 15th nationally in USA Today’s Super 25, had just a little too much size, speed and talent as they came away with a 38-17 win to advance to this weekend’s semifinal round.
Parkland secured its fifth straight district football championship last weekend. Now the Trojans move on to familiar territory when they head into the state tournament to face St. Joseph’s Prep Saturday at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.
The District 12 champion Hawks (11-0) are the second-ranked team in the state and feature Georgia-bound running back D’Andre Swift. They won PIAA Class 4A state titles in 2013 and 2014.
They will be the best team Parkland has faced this season.
Freedom came into the district title game as the hottest team in the area. The Patriots had won five straight, including their last three games of the regular season and two district playoffs games.
But they ran into a team that seems to get hot every November. Parkland continued to roll through the playoffs when the four-time defending champs beat the Patriots 24-14 in Friday’s District 11 Class 6A title game at J. Birney Crum Stadium.
Parkland fell behind 14-3 early in the game, but the Trojans overcame that deficit to earn their fifth straight district champinonship.
Parkland entered this year’s District 11 Class 6A tournament as the No. 3 seed with three losses on its record.
They didn’t follow the same path as the past four years, but the Trojans finished at the same destination as they hoisted the district trophy for the fifth straight time with Friday night’s 24-14 win over Freedom.
“We probably weren’t expected to do this, losing the talent that we did,” said Parkland head coach Tim Moncman. “It’s a tribute to [this year’s players]. They worked their butts off, weight room and everything. Here we are. We get to live another week.”
Just about every high school team has some kind of slogan on the back of their warm up shirts. While those words serve as motivation, they can be hard to live up to.
This year’s Parkland’s girls volleyball team went big with its slogan. Coming off two straight trips to the state title game, this year’s Lady Trojans chose something to reflect the fact that they wanted to return.
Parkland might have entered the District 11 Class 6A football playoffs as the No. 3 seed. But the four-time defending district champs were among the favorites to get back to the title game, despite the three regular season losses on their record.
The Trojans rolled through two playoff games, including last Friday’s 42-7 win over Easton that allowed them to advance to this week’s district title game.
The Trojans used their running game early then went to the passing game to finish off the No. 7 seed Red Rovers (6-6).
Just a week before facing Parkland in a District 11 field hockey playoff game, Stroudsburg head coach Jennifer Lobasso declared that her team was the second-best high school team in the nation. The Mounties lost the league title game to Emmaus after holding a 1-0 lead most of the game, and the Hornets are the top-ranked team in the nation.
Following that logic, Parkland could claim to be the third-best team in the nation. The Trojans took Stroudsburg to overtime last week in the first round of the District 11 playoffs.
The Parkland boys cross country team won its second straight District 11 title with last week’s win at the annual district championship meet, held at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
Parkland edged Southern Lehigh 49-60 to earn this year’s title.
“Things went great,” said Sam Morgan, who finished third overall at districts. “We definitely thought we were going to get a bigger gap between the one and two spot, but things happen. Teams show up. We got the win. That’s all that matters. All the guys ran great.”
After a dominant regular season, the Parkland boys cross country team kept up its torrid pace this season with a convincing win at last week’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championship Meet.
The Trojans placed their top five runners within the top 14 finishers to crush the competition, out-scoring second-place Easton 32-74.
The Parkland boys placed two runners in the top five and four in the top 10 overall.
“I’m very happy with our team finish as well as myself,” said senior Hailemichael Geiger. “I’m very proud of my team. We worked hard and we’re smart runners.”
The Parkland boys soccer team opened its postseason with a win over Northampton in Eastern Pennsylvania Conference quarterfinals. But the Trojans suffered an early exit from the tournament when No. 3 seed Stroudsburg pulled out a 2-1 overtime win over the Trojans Tuesday at Pleasant Valley High School.
Parkland fell behind 1-0 in the first half, but Josh Kiser tied the game in the 72nd minute to force overtime.