After plenty of success in the Tri-County ranks in recent years, the Northern Yankees transitioned to the Blue Mountain League a year ago with much of the same triumph. In their inaugural BML season, the Yankees were one of the final four teams standing in last year's playoffs.
But a 1-0 series lead in the semifinals against Limeport quickly diminished to a 3-1 series defeat in a matter of days, leaving an uneasy feeling in the Yankees' stomachs.
Just a week ago, it looked as if the road to another championship appearance in the Blue Mountain League would be easy for Limeport.
The Bulls, who finished the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 25-11, quickly built a 2-0 series lead against the Northampton Giants. A pitching spectacle from ace Adam Maini in Game 1 led to an 8-0 win. A 7-5 victory the next day brought the Bulls within one win of their fourth championship appearance in six years.
Someday, Matt Gillette might entertain running a half-marathon or even a marathon. In the meantime, Gillette is enjoying himself on the 5K circuit.
The former Parkland High School and Shippensburg University standout recently won the Emmaus Dash and Splash 5K and has been among the top finishers in various races across the Lehigh Valley and beyond. A few weeks earlier, Gillette won the Firecracker 4-mile race in Easton.
The Cooperman family has a successful tradition of baseball.
Casey, the oldest of three brothers, just finished a successful collegiate season at Bloomsburg University. Tyler is right in the middle of his journey at DeSales Unversity. And Chad just finished his junior season at Salisbury High School where the Falcons finished a game shy of reaching the district championship. All three share one thing in common success on the pitching mound.
The two prominent high school boys summer league tournaments were unkind to the Parkland boys basketball team in terms of championships. The Trojans lost in the final of the Stellar tournament to Archbishop Carroll and fell in the semifinal of Sportsfest to eventual champ Nazareth.
But Parkland ended its summer on a high note, bringing home the Stellar/Allentown Summer League title two weeks ago, defeating Bangor 59-37 at Cedar Beach Park.
While the pitching depth for North Parkland garners most of the attention, a storyline that doesn't always get noticed is the guy catching the ball from all of those pitchers.
Buffalo catcher Dan Zaccaro has played somewhat of an under the radar role for the Buffaloes, but he stepped to the forefront Sunday when he launched a three-run home run against West Lawn to give North Parkland a 3-2 win that put them into the Region 2 Tournament winner's bracket final.
For some teams, reaching the Stellar Catch A Rising Star Showcase tournament championship game is a long and grueling road with multiple games played in the heat. However, for teams that keep winning, it can be a breeze.
Last weekend at Cedar Beach Park, the Parkland girls basketball team needed to play just four games to reach the Sunday evening title game. The team went on to win its fifth and most important game, the final.
After a surprising loss to Fullerton in their second game of the day on Sunday, North Parkland had a day off to contemplate the fact that it was one loss away from letting the Lehigh Valley Legion playoff championship slip away.
On that day off, Lower Macungie battled Fullerton and came away with a win to set up Tuesday's battle for the championship. With the recent loss still in their minds, the Buffaloes came out to take an early lead and walked away with a 6-1 win over rival Lower Macungie.
A long weekend of baseball for South Parkland came to an abrupt end Sunday with an 8-5 loss to Lower Macungie. The loss kept South Parkland from advancing in the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, leaving the Trojans one win short of a trip to regionals, which begin this weekend.
Sunday night's game against Lower Mac was the second game of the day and the fourth in three days for South Parkland.
It had never happened before during the history of the premier summer league tournament, and the Parkland boys basketball program fell one win shy of becoming the first team to repeat as champions of the 20th annual Stellar Catch A Rising Star Showcase tournament last weekend at Cedar Beach Park.
Down two starters all weekend (Kyle Stout had an injured ankle and Sam Iorio was at an AAU tournament in Massachusetts), the Trojans won all of their games before dropping the final 54-45 to Archbishop Carroll on Sunday night.