After plenty of success in the Tri-County ranks in recent years, the Northern Yankees transitioned to the Blue Mountain League a year ago with much of the same triumph. In their inaugural BML season, the Yankees were one of the final four teams standing in last year's playoffs.
But a 1-0 series lead in the semifinals against Limeport quickly diminished to a 3-1 series defeat in a matter of days, leaving an uneasy feeling in the Yankees' stomachs.
Just a week ago, it looked as if the road to another championship appearance in the Blue Mountain League would be easy for Limeport.
The Bulls, who finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 25-11, quickly built a 2-0 series lead against the Northampton Giants. A pitching spectacle from ace Adam Maini in Game 1 led to an 8-0 win. A 7-5 victory the next day brought the Bulls within one win of their fourth championship appearance in six years.
The Cooperman family has a successful tradition of baseball.
Casey, the oldest of three brothers, just finished a successful collegiate season at Bloomsburg University. Tyler is right in the middle of his journey at DeSales Unversity. And Chad just finished his junior season at Salisbury High School where the Falcons finished a game shy of reaching the district championship. All three share one thing in common success on the pitching mound.
It's no secret the amount of success that the Parkland boys and girls soccer teams have had over the years.
But what might not be as evident is the path some of those athletes took to get to the high school level.
The Parkland Area Soccer Club, which has been around over a decade, fields teams for in-house, recreational and travel programs. Those squads range in the age group from five years old all the way up until 19 years of age. It's those programs that have helped the high school teams reach the heights they have over the years.
Parkland's defense this past fall was a big reason why the Trojans captured a district championship and made a run in the state playoffs.
Three of those defensive players had an opportunity to suit up for one more high school game. They did so with an emphatic performance in last week's annual McDonald's Football Classic.
In a matter of a half inning, Parkland watched its 3-0 lead disappear into a tie game after six innings.
But when Parkland senior Jeff Strisovsky walked up to the plate in the bottom half of the seventh, he didn't waste any time in giving the Trojans back that lead in the biggest game of the season.
It may have been a timeout that saved a district championship.
Trailing 23-21 against Emmaus and staring their first set loss of the season right in the face, Parkland head coach Scott Trumbauer called a timeout.
That break in the action not only turned around that first set against Emmaus, but it very well could have given the Trojans the momentum they needed.
Parkland sophomore Devyn Anderson didn't take much consideration into seeding prior to the 800-meter run at last week's district track and field meet.
After placing seventh at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Meet a week ago in that same event, Anderson had higher goals on an even higher stage. Finishing in the top two and advancing to states was at the top of her list.
Zach Hugo thought he had it. He barely grazed the bar at 13 feet, 9 inches in the pole vault event at last week's Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Track and Field Championships. It was the closest he's been to that mark in his career.
But despite missing out on that mark by the smallest of margins, a height that would have tied Nazareth's Nicholas Miller for first, Hugo still produced a solid showing. His height of 13-3 awarded him a third-place finish in the pole vault last Wedneday, Day 2 of competition at Whitehall High School's Zephyrs Sports Complex.
Parkland's distance runners have been a big factor in the Trojan boys track and field team's 9-1 record in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC).
During Friday's William Allen Invitational at J. Birney Crum Stadium, two of the Trojan's top boys runners placed in the top 10 of the 3200 meter run. Sophomore Hailemichael Geiger placed fourth, while junior Daniel Kyvelosc crossed the finish line in eighth place.