Eight members of the Parkland Diving Club recently returned from the 2017 AAU Diving National Championships in Huntersville, NC. Competing against over 500 of the nation’s top divers, four Parkland divers returned from the meet as national champions.
Parkland High School divers Lexi Lehman (Orefield) and Alexa Brinker (Allentown) teamed up to win the 14-15 girls’ synchro event, winning by over 40 points. Ryan Beltrame (Allentown) and JT Heinze (Allentown) paired up to win a close 12-13 boys synchro event.
Week one of the high school football scene was a good one for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South division. All nine teams were victorious, and won their respective games by double digits. Only one of nine cross-division game was decided by fewer than 31 points.
Parkland shutout Allen 49-0 and now prepares for a Nazareth team that surprised many by their dismantling of Pleasant Valley 50-10 in the opener last Friday night.
No matter who the opponent is, opening the regular season with a victory is always important in gaining momentum for the long run.
For the second year in a row, the Parkland football team played its first game of the season against Eastern Pennsylvania Conference opponent Allen. The Canaries have struggled in recent years and they were overmatched last Friday night.
The Trojans (1-0) were able to break in their new players and work each member of their roster onto the field in a 49-0 rout at Andre Reed Field at J Birney Crum Stadium.
Coming into the season, Tom Eshelman was a good pitching prospect for the Phillies, but he was overshadowed by pitchers like Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Jake Thompson and Nick Pivetta.
For pitcher Jose Taveras, he was among the group of top pitching prospects, but he was in the lower levels of the minors and thought to be at least a couple, if not three years away from reaching the majors.
Things changed for both pitchers in 2017. Eshelman is now among the elite group of pitching prospects, while Taveras moved through the organization at a pace faster than anyone expected.
High School football got under way Friday night across the state. Several teams from the Lehigh Valley Press coverage area posted big wins to open the season.
Defending Eastern Pennsylvania Conference champion Emmaus opened its season with a 62-19 win over Dieruff to open the 2017 season.
The Hellertown Royals took the first two games of their BML semifinal series game against the Iron Financial Orioles, putting them in a commanding position in the best-of-five series. Before game three, Hellertown manager Bob Zerfass talked about a playoff series years ago when he was part of a team down 2-0 that knew it needed just one win to catapult it to a win in the series, and told his team to stay ready because the Orioles would be looking for a catapult of their own, and found it with a 7-6 win in game three.
Like most outdoor enthusiasts, James Soldridge III knew how to use a rod and reel by around the same time he could walk. His father had him out at local streams early in his life and young James fell in love with the sport.
But unlike most anglers, he took it to another level. During his freshman year of high school, Soldridge joined the Lehigh Valley Junior Bassmasters and began fishing competitively.
Through that program he competed in many fishing tournaments with success, mostly around eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This year he earned his biggest title to date.
The North Parkland Jr. Legion baseball team won the Muhlenberg Eastern Regional defeating Newtown 3-1 in the championship game. The Buffaloes went 5-1 in the tournament, winning a double header on the final day to overcome an earlier round loss to Newtown. North Parkland won the first game of the day 6-5 to force the final and deciding game. The Buffaloes had secured their Regional playoff berth as the Lehigh Valley regular season champ with an undefeated 16-0 record. During the season, the team gave head coach Jason “Cracker” Marakovits his 100th career win in his 5th season at the helm.
South Parkland isn’t a team that worried much about having its backs to the wall. In the regionals, after the Trojans first loss of the double-elimination tournament, the players basically shrugged their shoulders and went about their business to win the tournament and reach the Pennsylvania American Legion Tournament.
The Parkland boys basketball team had a rough start to this year’s summer league. It might not be a surprise considering the Trojans lost a lot of senior leadership to graduation last year, including all-time leading scorer Sam Iorio.
They struggled to win games to begin the summer league, and then at the Cedar Beach Bash tournament in late June. But the proud program, one that has played in the last six district championship games and won four of them, began to find its stride like it seems to do in every season, summer or winter.