Last season was the first time in seven years that the Parkland boys basketball team did not reach the District 11 championship game. Parkland had won five straight districts crowns and was in seven of the last 10 finals before last season.
Parkland finished the 2017-18 campaign at 12-12 overall and 9-7 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, dropping both of its postseason games. The Trojans lost to Bethlehem Catholic in the EPC tournament and to Northampton in the District 11 Class 6A Quarterfinals.
Rachel Medlar played pretty much her entire soccer career, all the way back to her youth days, as a midfielder. But things changed for the former Trojan this past season, despite posting a historic freshman collegiate season in 2017.
In an effort to generate more scoring, DeSales head coach Greg Ridout moved Medlar up to forward for the Bulldogs midway through this past season. She found plenty of success once again, scoring three goals and adding six assists for 12 points, good for second-best on the team.
A lot of Parkland wrestling talent has graduated from last year’s team, but second-year coach Mike Ottinger is not one to makes excuses.
“My expectation for this season is that we’re going to put out lots of effort,” Ottinger said in assessing his squad’s chances this season. “I want to see us outwork our opponents this year no matter who we are facing. There’s no question we have a lot of youth.”
Parkland hovered around the .500 mark most of last year, ending at 7-7. However they also had some superlative individual efforts that were far from mediocre.
The accolades and honors kept coming in this season for the Parkland girls volleyball team. A few weeks after the 2018 campaign ended for the District 11 Class 4A champion Trojans, head coach Mike Krause one of four coaches in the region, and one of 40 overall throughout the country, as a coach of the year, voted on by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
Ed Ohlson is no stranger to a basketball court. He’s served as the head coach at Northampton and held assistant coaching duties at Bethlehem Catholic, Central Catholic, Dieruff, Liberty, Parkland and Salisbury. When he looks out on a basketball court, he’s used to seeing young men run up and down the court, playing an athletic, up-tempo style. After all, he’s only ever coached boys high school basketball, including serving under Rich Fatzinger at Parkland where he was part of the staff on the 2004 team that went to the PIAA Class 4A championship game.
After nine seasons with Wes Spence leading the Parkland girls team, the 2018-2019 season brings a change at the top.
When Spence stepped down last April after a 16-9 season and Ed Ohlson was hired to coach the team, bringing years of basketball coaching experience with him. That begs the question as to just how much the style of play will change and how will the players react to the changes?
For the first two periods the game was close, but in the final period the Parkland ice hockey team showed its strength and scoring ability by netting five third-period goals and six in row to take down Easton 10-3 last Monday night at Lehigh Valley Ice Arena in Lehigh Valley Scholastic Ice Hockey action.
It is the third straight win for the Trojans, who are now 6-1 overall.
Parkland never trailed, but still was challenged for a majority of the first two periods and into the third.
Several former Parkland High School athletes have contributed to college sports teams during the fall 2018 season. Here’s a look at some of their achievements.
The Parkland girls volleyball team may not have looked the part early in the 2018 season, but it began to play its best volleyball within the last month of the season when it mattered most. That continued into the postseason.
The District 11 Class 4A champion Trojans played good volleyball in both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference playoffs and district tournament.
By most teams’ standards a 7-5 season and a trip to the District 11 football semifinals would be a pretty good year. Some places it would make history.
At Parkland, winner of six straight district titles from 2013-17, anything short of a trip to the state playoffs might be seen as a disappointing season. But this year’s Parkland team, which had its season end Saturday with a 35-21 loss to Freedom, overcame a lot of adversity to reach seven wins and earn the No. 5 seed in the district playoffs.