It may be a new conference, but the leader of the pack has remained the same. At least that's the case on the girls cross country scene.
Following three straight Lehigh Valley Conference titles, the Parkland girls added their fourth league title in a row after winning the inaugural Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Cross Country Meet. Senior Cara Moyer finished in eighth place to pace the Lady Trojans, who finished six points ahead of regular season champ Easton on Tuesday at Bethlehem Municipal Field.
In addition to fighting for the District 11 Class AAA championship along with Emmaus, Nazareth and Pottsville, Parkland had one individual qualify for the district individual tournament as well.
While there were high hopes for the Trojans and Nick Kshatri heading into Monday's 18-hole round at Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort, the road ended for both.
Lehigh University junior Matt Laub fought through a shoulder injury early last season that forced him to miss a number of games on the Mountain Hakws' defense.
But after that recovery process, Laub got the opportunity he was waiting for since his freshman season. Laub finished his sophomore season as the Mountain Hawks' starting linebacker/standup defensive end in the final three games.
That exposure gave Laub plenty of experience and confidence going into his third season at Lehigh, one that includes a position switch for the 2012 Parkland High School graduate.
Parkland certainly had their chances in the first half of last week's nonleague game against Conestoga Valley. But for much of that first 40 minutes, the Trojans didn't have a goal to show for it.
That all changed just before halftime.
Moments after a Trojan free kick, Ben Jago's header broke a scoreless game with 1:41 to play in the first half. That's all of a cushion Parkland would need, as the Trojans (10-4 overall; 8-4 in EPC) added two more scores in the final 40 minutes to down Conestoga Valley, 3-0, on Saturday at Parkland High School.
Junior Mikayla Stoudt stood above everyone else as she captured gold at last year's DeSales University cross country meet, leading the Lady Trojans to a second-place finish as a team behind Northwestern.
Fast forward a year, and Stoudt was once again among the top girls participating in the event.
The Parkland golf team had a prime opportunity last week to cement its position atop the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) golf standings.
The Trojans entered last week's match against Emmaus as the lone undefeated team in conference play. The Hornets, meanwhile, had lost one match all season, coming a week earlier against Nazareth.
A win over the Hornets would position the Trojans as the favorite to capture the EPC regular season championship with a match against Whitehall in the waiting.
The Parkland boys soccer team may just be getting the 2014 season started, but they were familiar with how last season's match against Northampton played out. The Konkrete Kids handed the Trojans a loss during their inaugural meeting last season that left a sour taste in their mouth.
This time around, the Trojans were never threatened against the Konkrete Kids on Wednesday, their first Eastern Pennsylvania Conference (EPC) divisional game of the season.
In the midst of a stretch that includes four games in six days, Parkland field hockey head coach Michelle Steele sought a way to give her players as much rest as possible in the upcoming days.
After her Lady Trojans built an early 3-0 lead against Bethlehem Catholic on Tuesday, Steele sat a number of her starting players shortly after in preparation for the rest of the week, which includes games at Governor Mifflin (Wednesday) and Liberty (Thursday).
Kutztown junior Rich Lichtenwalner was impressive on the tennis court in 2013, winning 12 matches in singles play, 10 of which came at No. 4 and No. 5 positions. He won 14 additional matches in doubles play for the Golden Bears.
DeSales sophomore Jessica Wetherhold capped off a standout first season on the women's soccer team. She was tied for second on the team in points (10) and goals (4), while also adding two assists for the Bulldogs. She played in 13 games (10 starts), and fired 14 shots on goal.
The last time a team from Lehigh County won a Region 2 Legion baseball championship, the current group of North Parkland Buffaloes hadn't even been born yet.
That was nearly three decades ago when Coplay earned the Region 2 title in 1985.
Last week, the Buffaloes made history as the first North Parkland squad to win a Region 2 championship, and the first LV team in nearly 30 years to win one.