For the first time, the Parkland girls lacrosse team will be entering the season looking to defend two titles.
The Trojans won a district title in 2014, but last season the Trojans won both the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 championships. It was the third straight season that they reached the district final.
Six starters graduated from last year’s team that finished 17-6 overall, and they were a big part of bringing the program to the top of the league and district over the course of their careers.
Central Catholic’s Gabe Castano and Salisbury’s Mahlon Reihman have had an annual rivalry going in the 100 freestyle at districts. Reihman has won the past three meetings between the two, but this year’s race was the closest of them all, with Castano finishing just :00.02 behind Reihman for the top spot.
Thanks to a strong time in the 100, Castano, who resides in the Parkland School District, also received a spot in the PIAA Swimming Championships. The performance, combined with Castano’s win in the 50 freestyle, will give him two shots at individual gold in states.
Parkland hasn’t played the cream of the crop in the local tennis world through its first four matches.
The Trojans have not only gone undefeated, but they’ve also taken four straight 7-0 wins. Dieruff, East Stroudsburg South, Freedom and Pleasant Valley all fell to the Trojans by shutout scores.
The Parkland boys volleyball program has seen a ton of success the last few years, bringing multiple Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and District 11 championships into the trophy cases. The Trojans also won the PIAA state title in 2015, while falling just short last year to eventual champion Hempfield in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
With a 12-4 record in the EPC last season and a 17-9 mark overall, the Parkland baseball team had a good season. It stopped short of being great because of a 2-1 loss to Freedom in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals and a 6-4 loss to Easton in the District 11 championship game.
That team was inexperienced and it showed at times during the season, but its pitching carried it for much of the season and was a key part of its success.
The Bethlehem Catholic girls basketball team captured its first state title on Thursday night, knocking off Villa Maria of Erie 46-27 in the girls 4A final.
Becahi was 0-for-2 to that point in state title games, falling as recently as 2013, but this time things would be different, as the Hawks won again using a familiar approach in their playoff run - a quick start.
The Parkland boys lacrosse team finished one win shy of a District 11 championship a year ago, going 15-7 overall and winning the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference West Division.
The Trojans have the pieces returning to get back to the title game in 2017. It will all start up front, with experience coming back in some pivotal offensive positions.
Five Parkland athletes competed in last weekend’s PIAA Swimming Championships at Bucknell University, while two Trojan divers will participate in this week’s state diving championships in Lewisburg.
Parkland’s Matthew Ceh swam in a pair of events at the state championships. Ceh, a junior, made the consolation finals of the 50 freestyle, taking 14th place overall with a time of 21.30. Ceh also competed in the 100 freestyle at states, taking 28th place in 48.02 seconds.
Parkland graduate Ethan Lizak took second place in the nation in the NCAA Division I wrestling championships last week.
Lizak, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, met former youth wrestling rival Darian Cruz in the 125-pound NCAA final last week.
The two former Valley Elementary Wrestling League foes squared off in St. Louis last Saturday with No. 4 seed Cruz taking the title via a 6-3 decision in the title bout.
The PIAA Class 3A Swimming and Diving Championships will be held Friday and Saturday at Bucknell University. Parkland has three boys and three girls who will be competing for individual medals in the competition.
After winning its ninth straight District 11 Championship, the Parkland girls team will have Alexa Brinker, Lexi Lehman, Zoe Sheridan and Megan Sicinski competing at Bucknell. The boys team will have Matt Ceh, James Connolly and Matt Engler all competing.