The Parkland football team capped one of its best runs in program history just a couple months ago. The Trojans advanced all the way to the PIAA Class 4A title game before coming up short to Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
Three players on that memorable team will continue their football careers at the Division I college level. Wide receiver Kenny Yeboah (Temple University), lineman Noel Brouse (University of Connecticut) and quarterback DeVante Cross (University of Virginia) carry the rich tradition of Parkland football onto college.
At a little over 200 pounds, Parkland’s Tyler Kisher is almost always giving up weight when he takes the mat at the heavyweight class. And not just any weight, sometimes more than 50 pounds to opposing teammates.
Krisher was once again slotted in the heavyweight spot during last week’s match against Emmaus. And yet again, the Trojan junior came up with a signature victory.
Despite giving up an escape late in the second period to the Hornets’ Colin Molortoritz that tied the bout at 2-2, and watching that match go three overtime sessions, Krisher found a way to prevail.
As the final quarter of the 2015 high school football season got underway, Parkland looked to be dead in the water.
The Trojans’ powerful offense, which failed to get on the scoreboard for the first 36 minutes, struggled to gain any rhythm in the first half. When Parkland’s offense was able to move the ball in the third quarter, it still failed to produce any points. Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s defense lived up to all of the pregame hype.
But then there was a spark. And that spark turned into a offensive snowball for Parkland.
Coming out of a timeout down 46-45 with roughly a minute remaining, the play wasn’t necessarily set for Parkland’s Nadine Ewald. But when the Lady Trojans had an opportunity to feed it inside to their top player, they weren’t going to shy away from it.
Emily Piston set up Ewald on the left block, and after a move into the paint, Ewald gave the Trojans a one-point lead with 39 seconds to play in a fourth quarter that saw Central Catholic lead up until that bucket.
The Parkland girls’ swimming team went a perfect 11-0 in the East Penn Conference (13-0 overall) last season. As the 2015-16 gets underway for head coach Rob Robitaille, there is once again plenty of optimism around both sides.
And starting with the girls’ end, why wouldn’t there be? While the Lady Trojans did graduate a number of key swimmers—including Erin Jordan (state medalist in the 500-yard freestyle) and Erika Freeman (14th in 200-yard IM and 16th in 100-yard backstroke at states)—the cream of the crop returns looking for similar success in 2015.
When a team graduates six seniors, five of which started a game for Parkland at some point last season, one might expect a bit of a drop off. Guards Aubrey Beidelman, Erin Bross, Erica Bross, Alexis Koder and Samantha O’Keefe, as well as forward Brooke Robertson, won’t be suiting up when the Trojans’ season opens on Friday.
Despite those departures, head coach Wes Spence returns plenty of experience and talent at every position, leaving a bright outlook for the months to come.
Last Wednesday, Parkland quarterback Devante Cross celebrated his 18th birthday, the point in one’s life that enters a boy into adulthood.
Two days later, Cross flexed every muscle of his 6-2 frame when the Trojans needed it most.
It was a goal the Parkland boys cross country team had set back in the summer. The Trojan harriers knew they had the talent to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Following an unbeaten regular season at 17-0, Parkland accomplished that feat by capturing the EPC Cross Country Championship Meet team title last Tuesday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Club. Four Trojan boys finished in the top 10 runners to edge Easton by nine points in the team standings.
Kelley Stump had plenty of success on the Parkland field hockey team just a few years ago. During her time there, the Trojans finished as league and district runner-up when she was a sophomore; that team also advanced to the PIAA semifinals. But a championship eluded her during her high school years.
Even with the Bulls just coming off a five-run inning in the top of the third, Limeport co-manager Mike Cudwadie had a few words for his teammates and players going into the fourth: "We're not done yet."
The Bulls' offense certainly wasn't finished, but that would have been more than enough with pitcher Jared Schaffer dealing on the mound.