The Parkland girls volleyball team may not have looked the part early in the 2018 season, but it began to play its best volleyball within the last month of the season when it mattered most. That continued into the postseason.
The District 11 Class 4A champion Trojans played good volleyball in both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs and district tournament.
By most teams’ standards a 7-5 season and a trip to the District 11 football semifinals would be a pretty good year. Some places it would make history.
At Parkland, winner of six straight district titles from 2013-17, anything short of a trip to the state playoffs might be seen as a disappointing season. But this year’s Parkland team, which had its season end Saturday with a 35-21 loss to Freedom, overcame a lot of adversity to reach seven wins and earn the No. 5 seed in the district playoffs.
Every year the debate over whether or not it’s a good idea to end playoff soccer games with penalty kicks arises.
This year, the Lady Trojans are part of the discussion as they came up just short of a trip to the PIAA semifinals because of a game decided on penalty kicks. Parkland fell to Pennridge 3-2, losing the penalty kick phase by a 4-3 score.
Things opened well for Parkland with two quick goals before the midway point of the first half.
The Parkland girls volleyball team has been playing its best volleyball recently and at the right time.
The Trojans were too much for Emmaus as they swept the Hornets by scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 27-25 last Thursday night at Catasauqua High School in the District 11 Class 4A final.
It is the fifth consecutive district championship for Parkland, as it defeated Emmaus for the second time this season and became just the second team all year to beat the Hornets in straight sets.
After every Parkland girls soccer win, head coach Al Haddad hands out mini Snickers bars to his players. He continues that at practice from time-to-time, so his players decided it would be appropriate to show up for practice on Halloween and do a little trick or treating. They left their warm up gear in their backpacks and showed up in Halloween costumes. It turns out that the day after Halloween, they got their real treat - a fourth straight district championship thanks to a 5-1 bombarding of Easton.
Parkland’s Maddie Zaun, a calculating and talented cross country runner, ended her Trojan cross country career Nov. 3 with a strong showing at the 2018 PIAA Cross Country Championships in Hershey.
Running on a course that was subjected to a downpour the night previous and by wind gusts on race day, Zaun, the only Trojan girls runner, finished 32nd overall out of 228 participants in the Class 3A category. She completed in 20 minutes and 18 seconds.
The senior runner strived for a good start.
There’s rain in the forecast for this Friday night. And Dominic Nelson probably doesn’t mind.
The Parkland senior running back had one of the best games of his career last Friday night in a driving rain at Stroudsburg High School. Nelson ran for five touchdowns to lead his team to a 35-0 win over the Mountaineers in a District 11 Class 6A playoff game.
Players struggled to find their footing on the wet artificial turf at SHS. But Nelson piled up 100 yards on 21 carries in the game.
“It’s tough but it’s football,” said Nelson. “I love to play it in the rain.”
The Parkland boys cross country team concluded a fine 2018 campaign at the 2018 PIAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 3 in Hershey.
The Trojans finished 14th out of 19 teams with 366 points and an average time of 17 minutes and 56 seconds.
“They were a little off but came out it OK,” said coach Loretta Dodson. “In a big race like this you need to get out quick and set your pace. It’s important in a race like that to stay focused and you can’t get frustrated.”
The Parkland Girls cross country team had some work to do between the week of the East Penn Conference meet and the District 11 Cross Country Championships. And the team managed to get the work done.
The Lady Trojans had a nice performance at the district meet, held Oct. 24 at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course, finishing fourth out of 14 schools overall with an average time of 20:43. Unsurprisingly, the talented senior Maddie Zaun led the squad, finishing third in the field with a time of 19:26.
The District 11 3A Boys Cross Country Championships proved to be another exhibit of the power and depth of the Parkland team. The Trojans finished second out of 15 schools during the meet, held Oct. 24 at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course, with a time of 16:55.