The last and the first. That's how Parkland wanted its conference championships - the last one in the LVC, which they got last year, and the first one in the EPC, which they got last week when they downed Liberty 7-5 in the EPC Championship game at Pate's Park in Allentown.
Parkland's trip through the EPC tournament wasn't the toughest ride that the Trojans have had. They breezed through the quarterfinals and semifinals, downing both Whitehall and Easton by identical 10-0 scores, setting up their meeting with Liberty for the conference championship.
It was a David versus Goliath comparison during Monday night's East Penn Conference volleyball semifinals match between Parkland and Northampton. However, in this scenario, Goliath came out on top, as the undefeated Trojans kept their unblemished mark on the season sweeping the K-Kids in three sets 25-17, 25-17, 25-9 to roar into last night's East Penn Conference championship against Emmaus.
"They just come out and play the game."
That's how Parkland softball head coach Barry Search describes his team that picked up a 10-0 win over Easton in the East Penn Conference semifinals Tuesday to advance to the conference championship against Liberty Thursday afternoon at Patriot's Park in Allentown.
Aubree Fritzinger threw five shutout innings, giving up just one hit and striking out four to get the win for the Lady Trojans. Meanwhile, Parkland pounded two Easton pitchers for 10 hits and took advantage of some fielding lapses along the way.
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.
It seems as if the Parkland girls lacrosse team is at the top of the conference each and every year. And that didn't change in 2015.
The Trojans dominated league play all season, and then capped it off with a 14-10 win in the inaugural East Penn Conference final last Monday night at Nazareth Area High School's Andrew Leh stadium.
It was the third straight league title for Parkland (18-2), who has been unbeaten in the league for over three seasons. Seniors, and EPC All-Stars Sophie Castillo and Mackenzie Galli combined for seven goals to help bring it home.
It looked as though the inaugural East Penn Conference final would be a blowout, and that Parkland wouldn't be able to defend its conference title. But the Trojans weren't going to go down without a fight.
Down 8-3 heading into the final quarter, there were players yelling in the huddle, the Trojans scored three quick goals within the first five minutes to trail by just two with a little under seven minutes to play.
For many, a team tennis title for Parkland seemed to be an inevitable event this season. After all, the team dominated in the regular season, had the runner-up in district singles and a doubles team that won a district championship.
Things didn't turn out quite the way many thought that they would when Freedom upset the top-seeded Trojans 3-1 in the District 11 finals to advance to the PIAA Tournament.
Connor Higgins and Rhett Jacoby really don't care who they pitch against, so when coach Tony Galucy switched the two, putting Higgins up against Easton last week and bumping Jacoby back a day to have him pitch against Emmaus, it was no problem. It also worked out very well.
Higgins threw a four-hit shutout against Easton and Jacoby allowed just three hits and struck out nine against Emmaus.
As singles players, Parkland's Peter Harrison and Nick Kshatri are two of the top high school tennis players in the area. Putting them together to form a doubles team spells trouble for the rest of District 11.
Harrison and Kshatri proved that Monday when they quickly worked their way to a 6-2, 6-2 win over Pleasant Valley's Erik Ammermann and Jon White to win the District 11 doubles championship, which will send them to the PIAA Tournament in Hershey on May 22 and 23.
It was about 10 days ago when Parkland pounded Central Catholic 17-0 in a game shortened to four innings by the mercy rule. The team huddled for its usual postgame meeting on the outfield grass at Pate's Park and then headed to pack up its equipment.
Not so fast.