The PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships are set for this week at Bucknell University. Parkland will have three divers, five swimmers and one relay competing at the meet.
It was around this time two years ago that Parkland senior Kenny Yeboah and his family made the move from Providence, Rhode Island, to Allentown. Yeboah wasn’t sure what to expect, and was a little nervous.
“It was tough because I was changing schools and was having to make new friends, and live in a big city,” Yeboah said. “Even though Providence is the capital, it is a smaller city. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m glad we made the move because we didn’t really have the successful teams there like we do here.”
Every time Jacob Lizak’s name was announced to report to a mat during the PIAA wrestling championships last week in Hershey, only one wrestler showed up with paperwork.
Lizak, who won the Northeast Regional 126-pound AAA championship the week before, got the worst news any state qualifier, let alone a senior, could have gotten when he wasn’t cleared to compete by PIAA doctors before the tournament because of a skin rash he developed in the lead up to the final high school tournament of his life.
The Parkland boys basketball had won 25 straight games, but the one last Saturday afternoon at Council Rock South may have been the toughest of the bunch.
For most of the season, the Trojans had been the aggressor and controlled tempo, but in the PIAA quarterfinals against defending state champion Roman Catholic, the roles were turned.
The Trojans played like a four-time District 11 champion for the first three quarters, but in the fourth quarter, the Cahillites (25-4) proved too strong and Parkland’s season ended with a 73-60 loss.
After bowing out to Freedom in the finals of the District 11 tennis tournament last year, there’s a feeling among Parkland players that this could be their year.
Both Nick Kshatri and Nate Lyman, the team’s numbers one and two singles players, respectively, are seniors and have been playing together for years. Both have made huge contributions throughout their high school careers.
Jack Dreisbach has been a three-year member of the Parkland basketball team, and a two-year starter for a team that won four consecutive District 11 Class 4A titles, and two straight league championships.
“It was a great four years,” Dreisbach said. “We had some great teams and won a lot of games. It is something I will never forget, playing with these guys.”
Dreisbach learned the game at a young age. His father, Bill, has been an assistant coach for Parkland and coached Jack over his four-year career.
With an opportunity to repeat as a state gold medalist in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle swimming events, Siena Salvaggio has a lot to look forward to in the near future. She’s also looking long-term at the team that she’ll leave behind when she heads off to Penn State next fall and she’s excited about what lies ahead for the Parkland swimming program.
After winning a fourth straight District 11 Class 4A title two weeks ago, everyone involved with the Parkland boys basketball program wanted more.
And for a program that has advanced to the PIAA state tournament each of the last four years, expectations are high, but none higher than this year.
There is not much that Devante Cross hasn’t accomplished in the sports scene during his Parkland career. The senior has won multiple champions, a total of eight district titles across two sports, and has earned league MVP honors in both football and basketball.
The one title that has evaded Cross is a state crown. The Trojans’ football team was one win away last fall.
Kyle Stout’s senior year has been written like a script from a fairytale book.
The senior has had a successful basketball season individually and as a part of the Trojans team. He is a part of a program that has won four consecutive district championships and two straight league titles.
And, surprisingly enough, Stout could see at a young age that he could potentially be a part of something special when he became a high school player.