The Parkland-Whitehall rivalry has been a fierce one for a long time. In football the last two years, the teams have split their meetings with the Trojans winning two years ago and the Zephyrs taking the latest game last year at home.
But this year seems a bit different. Whitehall is struggling after losing 20 of 22 starters and has started the year 2-2. Parkland is coming off a dominant performance last Friday in a 63-20 win at Pocono Mountain West to remain undefeated at 4-0.
Kelley Stump had plenty of success on the Parkland field hockey team just a few years ago. During her time there, the Trojans finished as league and district runner-up when she was a sophomore; that team also advanced to the PIAA semifinals. But a championship eluded her during her high school years.
There’s a saying in sports about teams that are perennially successful: they don’t rebuild, they reload.
That’s exactly what the Parkland girls soccer team has done. Young players are getting a chance to play this season and they’ve instantly stepped up to keep the team at the top of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference standings.
Parkland field hockey is off to a strong start this season under new coach Lizzy Millen. With a conference record of 3-2 and an overall record of 6-2, Parkland enters a stretch of the schedule that will test the team against stiff Eastern Pennsylvania Conference competition.
Parkland tennis suffered a tough 5-2 loss to Central Catholic (9-1, 10-1) on Monday. Number-three singles player Anna Li picked up a strong 6-0, 6-1 win over Madison Hess and the number-three singles team of Sabrina Ghosh and Maanasi Gothoskar picked up a 6-2, 6-1 win in their match for the only two wins on the day for Parkland.
The match was a far contrast to Saturday’s match when the Lady Trojans (9-2, 9-2) finished off Emmaus (7-4, 7-5) by a decisive 7-0 score.
The game should have been over twice, or so it seemed. But two goals were disallowed, which prevented any scoring in another chapter of the Emmaus-Parkland boys soccer rivalry last Saturday night at Lehigh County Sports Complex.
The Green Hornets found the back of the net off of a corner kick late in the first half, but it was called offside. The Trojans ripped a shot that pierced the net but the final whistle blew just as the kick was made and did not count.
Through its first two games, the Parkland football team had not been challenged. The Trojans won their first two games over Dieruff and Northampton by a combined score of 87-14.
But last Friday night at Parkland School District Stadium, Central Catholic gave the Trojans all they could handle.
Parkland scored 28 unanswered points and then held on after the Vikings scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 28-14 victory and a 3-0 start to the season.
Boys soccer games between Emmaus and Parkland have always been intense, and sometimes chippy. The players and coaches know each other well, and each program wants and expects to win, so that makes each game of this rivalry better.
But last Saturday night at Lehigh County Sports Complex, the two teams came together for a good cause.
For the last three years, the two rivals have joined forces in helping to raise money for students with cancer.
On Friday night the Parkland football team will make the trek to the Poconos, its longest road trip of the season.
The challenge will be to stay motivated after a close 28-14 win overCentral Catholic last week, the Trojans first real test of the season after two blowout wins the first two weeks of the season.
Pocono Mountain West has lost its first three games by double digits to Whitehall, Stroudsburg and Bethlehem Catholic. The Panthers fell 54-6 to the Hawks last Saturday.
The Parkland girls volleyball team has not been tested yet in its Eastern Pennsylvania Conference schedule. Last Tuesday night was no different. In a clash between rivals and two of the better teams in the district, the Trojans easily dispatched of Emmaus 3-0 by scores of 25-11, 25-10, and 25-13.
The defending Class AAA state champion, Parkland is ranked No. 1 in the state and the Trojans showed why they are ranked so highly.
The Green Hornets never threatened as the Trojans used their height in front of the net to send down points and block anything coming their way.