The Parkland boys basketball program wants more. The Trojans know they will be judged by who they beat outside of the Lehigh Valley in their quest for a 2016 PIAA state title. The problem over the past couple of seasons hasn’t been winning games in District 11. It has been the teams Parkland faces outside the league and district that have been stumbling blocks.
So in 2015-16 head coach Andy Stephens beefed up the schedule and added some high-profile matchups to help build his team’s resume and give it the experience of high-caliber basketball before March.
The past year has had some interesting outdoor notables. Here are a few of those stories.
We most recently wrote that the Pennsylvania Game Commission has once again installed an improved live Eagle Cam at a bald eagle nest site in Hanover, York County.
It is nature watching at its best. It’s a live video feed that can be enjoyed on your computer while sipping a coffee in the comforts of your home.
The Parkland ice hockey team heads into the Christmas break with a 9-0-1 record in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League.
Several Parkland players are among the league’s scoring leaders as Evan Dratch (18 goals, 15 assists) is second in the league with 33 points. Teammate Eric Johannes has 12 goals and 11 assists and is fifth in the league with 23 points. Parkland’s Charlie Rongo (9 goals, 11 assists) and Jake Nimeh (8 goals, 11 assists) are also among the league’s top 10.
Parkland High School’s cheerleaders competed at the East Penn Conference Cheer Championships where they placed 13th last Wednesday at Easton Area Middle School.
“It definitely wasn’t our best performance,” said Parkland captain Devon Haggerty. “We could have done better, but no matter what, we tried our best and I’m proud of our team.”
The Trojans competed in the Competitive Spirit Division.
“We went in with high hopes, and we wanted to go out and kill it. We were really excited,” said Megan Spangler, also a captain.
Adversity is something the Parkland football team knows well.
It’s also something the Trojans have handled with aplomb.
Following a 41-34 loss to Liberty in Week 6, Parkland reeled off seven straight wins by a combined score of 250-70 to claim their fourth straight Districts 2-4-11 Subregional title.
After three straight years of falling in the next round, the PIAA quarterfinals, to a Philadelphia Catholic League opponent, the Trojans finally got the monkey off their back with a 16-13 overtime victory over District 12 champion LaSalle College.
The Parkland swim teams opened the season last weekend at the Cedar Crest Invitational Meet.
The Trojans won a total of seven different events, all coming on the girls’ side. Siena Salvaggio won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles, Alison Lin won the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard IM, and Kira Karopoulos earned the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly. Those three, along with Megan Sicinski won the 200-yard medley relay, while Victoria Connolly won the 500-yard freestyle.
Before Northampton hosted Parkland on Monday night, there was a hint of uncertainty on both sides. Could the Konkrete Kids play with the best of them, and would the Trojans come through when the chips were down?
The answer for both teams was yes after Parkland’s 53-49 victory over Northampton.
From the beginning, it appeared as though the Kids had the game in the bag, but with a little over three minutes left, everything changed.
The David and Goliath comparison can be made this year for the Parkland wrestling team.
When looking at the strengths heading into the 2015-16 campaign, head coach Ryan Nunamaker has a lot of his experienced and successful wrestlers back in the lighter weight classes, but not quite as much on the back end of the line up.
Over the last four years, the Parkland ice hockey team has become a dynasty in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey League, winning league titles each of those years by wide margins. The Trojans have also made some deep runs in the Flyers Cup, the postseason tournament that follows the regular season.
The 2015 season is no different. The Trojans have opened up play with a 7-0-1 record through their first eight games. And last Monday night, Parkland was at its winning ways again, this time against rival Emmaus for the second time this year.
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.