Last week 13 Parkland athletes officially signed letters of intent to Division I and II colleges. Family and friends celebrated the occasion, coaches spoke of the athletes’ past, present and future.
But there was one somber moment during the hour-long-plus ceremony. When Parkland baseball head coach Kurt Weber was introducing Michael Jenkins, a LaSalle baseball recruit and Trojan starting pitcher, he told the crown that Jenkins was there without his father, who lost a long and courageous battle with cancer less than two weeks before the signing.
Parkland might not have won their meeting Sunday against New Jersey’s Linden High School, but the Trojans accomplished a few things in the loss at this year’s Lehigh Valley Hoopgroup Showcase finale at Parkland High School.
Despite falling to the Tigers, 75-58, the Trojans saw their leader reach a career milestone while picking up valuable experience against a team that’s ranked among the top in its state classification.
With the dual-meet season winding down, the Trojans hosted Emmaus last week in a Eastern Pennsylvania Conference wrestling match.
Parkland took advantage of a couple Emmaus forfeits in a 34-24 win over the Hornets last Wednesday in Orefield.
The Parkland swim team swept its past two meets as the boys and girls teams remain undefeated at 6-0 overall.
Parkland girls beat Easton last Thursday, 125-61.
Down by five points at halftime of Saturday’s game against York’s William Penn High School, the Parkland boys basketball felt confident it could turn things around quickly in the second half.
The Trojans did just that. After making just three of 14 first-half three-point attempts, they got hot from outside in after halftime and cruised to a 76-63 win over the Bearcats at the Reading Geigle Complex.
Last week was a busy week for the Parkland wrestling team.
The Trojans faced two of the best teams in the area, taking on Northampton last Wednesday and Bethlehem Catholic last Thursday before hosting the annual Parkland Duals on Saturday.
Parkland went 0-2 in the two Eastern Pennsylvania Conference matches before a 3-2 showing Saturday at the tournament.
The Trojans picked up wins over Delaware Valley, St. Anthony’s (NJ) and Souderton, but fell to Council Rock South and Exeter, which edged the Trojans 37-36 to close out the day.
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.”