The first time Briggs Danner raced competitively in a SpeedSTR, both his and his mother’s reaction was the same.
“I think it was his first heat,” said Briggs’ mother, Melissa. “He came off the track and I walked up to him, and we both literally said to each other, ‘I thought I was going to throw up.’”
That feeling didn’t stop Danner from having an impressive inaugural season for the Parkland sophomore in a racing class made up of mainly adults. In his first season racing SpeedSTR, after spending 10 years racing quarter midgets, Danner racked up plenty of accomplishments.
Jada Mangahas and Anna Yeakel’s journeys have been eerily similar.
Both are Parkland residents who participate in gymnasts at Parkettes. Mangahas started with mommy-and-me classes around four years old; Yeakel began at the age of two when her mother signed her up. Since then, both have seen plenty of success in the sport.
Parkland was the overwhelming preseason favorite to win the 2017 Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League. And why wouldn’t it be? The Trojans haven’t lost a game this season, let alone the past 95 straight league contests.
To put the cherry on top, the only team to be crowned champions of the LVSHL since 2010 has been Parkland. The Trojans made it eight straight league championships last week.
After a 6-5 victory over Northampton in game one, the top-seeded Trojans had little trouble in the championship-clinching game two.
For about 15 minutes, the unbeaten Parkland ice hockey team stared at a 1-0 deficit against Northampton in game 1 of the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League championship series. It was an unfamiliar situation for the Trojans.
Fortunately, Parkland quickly found itself in a more familiar spot. And it was due in large part to Tim Doe.
The first time Parkland’s Nathan Feyrer and Freedom’s Evan Callahan faced one another was in a dual meet less than two weeks ago. The Trojan senior won that bout in overtime with a late takedown.
This past weekend, the two grapplers met again with a district title at stake. The result, however, was a bit different. Callahan earned a takedown early in the first period of Saturday’s 220-pound championship bout, and the Freedom senior held on for gold with a 3-2 decision.
When the puck drops about a week from now at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena at 6 p.m., the Parkland ice hockey team will begin its quest for another league title.
In the first of two Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League semifinal playoff games, Parkland (14-0) will face a Southern Lehigh (8-5-1) team that had played them close twice in the regular season. That winner will take on the winner of Northampton vs. Central/Bethlehem Catholic in a three-game series starting the following week.
When Parkland boys basketball head coach Andy Stephens was asked if he thinks his Trojan basketball team is playing its best right now, the answer was quick and confident.
“I think we are, yeah,” said Stephens with an affirmative nod. And even after a loss, it’s tough to argue against that statement.
Despite falling to Allen on Monday night 62-55, Parkland hung with the unbeaten and Canaries, who are ranked No. 1 in the state, until the final whistle in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference showdown.
Parkland received some good news as it entered last week’s District 11 wrestling team championships, but was still left short-handed in other ways.
The Trojans welcomed the return of Zach Ortman to the mat, but were without brothers Joey and Frank Guida, who are recovering injuries. The losses were felt, as No. 11 Parkland dropped its match to No. 6 Liberty in the first round of the tournament, 41-16.
Last weekend’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Wrestling Championships were the culmination of the league’s regular season competition.
Unfortunately for Parkland, the team was dealt with a tough blow even before the start of its match against Easton for fifth place. Skin infections and injuries forced a number of the Trojans’ regulars out of the lineup on Saturday afternoon at Easton’s Shawnee Middle School, and the Red Rovers secured fifth place in the EPC with a 54-9 win over Parkland.
Some of us may cringe at the thought of winter—the cold weather, ice and snow. But for Chad Loomis, it’s a season that he’s able to work a little bit of magic.
Every year for the past six or so, Loomis, the head coach of the Parkland ice hockey team, has built an ice rink in his backyard with the help of other parents. It’s become a haven for the Trojans and a big part to their success over the past decade.