The Parkland football offense has some dynamic playmakers. Many opposing defenses key in on quarterback Devante Cross and wideout Kenny Yeboah, who have connected for eight touchdowns this season. But last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, senior running back Erik DiGirolamo did all of the scoring in powering the Trojans past Delaware Valley 28-10 in the quarterfinals of the District 2-11 Class AAAA tournament.
En route to its current unblemished record of 25-0, the Parkland girls’ volleyball team hasn’t been tested too often.
But the Lady Trojans knew a time would come when adversity would pop up, even just a little bit. Head Coach Mike Krause understood that the team’s trip to Arizona in early October, one in which Parkland faced some of the country’s top teams in the Nike Tournament of Champions, would play a key role in those gritty situations come postseason play.
A brief moment in Tuesday’s PIAA Class AAA semifinals proved that Parkland was prepared for some adversity.
For two-and-a-half quarters, the Emmaus football team looked like ready to pull off an upset of Eastern Pennsylvania Conference favorite Parkland in the final game of the regular season.
The Hornets scored first and trailed by only two points with just over a minute left in the third quarter last Friday night in Orefield. And they needed a win for any shot at a District 11 playoff berth.
But the Trojans athleticism took over and was too much for Emmaus (5-5 overall) as the Trojans came away with a 35-12 last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium.
Rivals Parkland and Emmaus met for the District 11 championship in boys soccer last Thursday at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown.
The two teams are very familiar with each other, having played three other times this season, including in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs, with the two teams playing to a scoreless tie in the first meeting and then splitting the next two games. With a trip to the PIAA playoffs on the line, Emmaus came away with a 2-0 win over the Trojans last week.
You can never count out a champion until the final whistle, or in this case the final point. Although it did not lose a game in the district championship match, the Parkland girls volleyball team was challenged by an upbeat Nazareth squad that jumped up and down and celebrated each and every point.
But in the end, the top seeded Trojans got the better of the Blue Eagles by scores of 25-17, 25-17, and 25-20 to win the District 11 Class AAA title for the fifth time in six years.
Even when they weren’t at their best, the Trojans found a way to win.
The Parkland football team bounced back nicely from a tough loss to Liberty a little over a month ago to finish the regular season on a high note at 9-1. The Trojans earned a co-championship in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. It’s their first title in the two-year old league.
With one goal achieved, Parkland has its eyes set on defending its district title when it opens the subregional playoffs Friday night against seventh seeded Delaware Valley. The No. 2 seed Trojans have faced Warriors several times over the last four years.
Two weeks ago, Parkland junior Hailemichael Geiger finished the district cross country meet in ninth place. Unfortunately, he was facing an iron deficiency at the end of that race that required immediate medical attention.
About a week and a half later, Geiger returned on the biggest stage of the season at Saturday’s PIAA Cross Country Championships in Hershey. And he capped his season with arguably his best performance of the fall.
For a team that focuses on defense, the Parkland girls soccer team showed a whole lot of offense to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship, downing Pleasant Valley 5-1 last week in a game played at Nazareth’s Andrew S. Leh Stadium. The win gave the Lady Trojans (20-1) their second straight conference title and their fourth in the last five seasons.
Winning looked effortless for Parkland during Saturday’s East Penn Conference volleyball championship. The Trojans swept past Liberty 25-18, 25-13, 25-16 to claim their sixth straight league title, dating back to the former Lehigh Valley Conference.
For head coach Mike Krause, Saturday was another notch in their belt on their already perfect season.
“We try to focus on just playing,” said Krause. “Our goal is to just do your job and implement the strategy we’ve put forth in every game. That keeps their focus on what their job is, more so than the outcome of the match.”
It was a goal the Parkland boys cross country team had set back in the summer. The Trojan harriers knew they had the talent to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
Following an unbeaten regular season at 17-0, Parkland accomplished that feat by capturing the EPC Cross Country Championship Meet team title last Tuesday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Club. Four Trojan boys finished in the top 10 runners to edge Easton by nine points in the team standings.