The summer months have been kind to the Parkland boys basketball team. The Trojans have cruised through their summer league, winning most games by a double-digit margin.
Last Tuesday night, however, Parkland met its match. Another hot team in Allentown Central Catholic outmuscled the Trojans to give them their first loss of the summer season, 44-32 at Muhlenberg College.
When Chad Hess teed it up to start the Pennsylvania Junior Golf Championship Tournament, he thought a top-20 finish in the 36-hole event seemed like a reasonable goal.
He finished 15th in the event last year, held annually at Hershey Country Club, but he felt this year's field of 133 players was a bit stronger. And he remembered a pair of mid-80s rounds he posted at Hershey back in May.
Despite a double-bogey on his first hole, Hess was in the top 15 after the first round of the state junior championship, which was held July 1-2. He shot four-over par 75 the first day.
North Parkland secured the Lehigh Valley Legion regular season title and the No. 1 seed for this week's playoff tournament.
The Buffaloes went 15-3 to finish a game ahead of Southern Lehigh. They earned one of the league's two spots in the Region 2 tournament, which begins July 20 at Boyertown's Bear Stadium.
North Parkland opened the LVL's eight-team, double elimination tournament Wednesday against No. 8 seed West Allentown.
South Parkland finished the LVL season at 2-16 and missed the playoffs.
Brett Kosciolek led the charge for North Parkland both from the mound and in the batters box as the Buffaloes defeated Salisbury 14-0 in six innings last Sunday afternoon at Salisbury High School.
The win was the fifth straight for North Parkland since a 4-1 loss to Southern Lehigh, the team that trails them in the standings by a half of a game heading into this week.
There have been a few changes in Pennsylvania American Legion baseball. One being the name change from Junior Legion to Youth Legion and the second one has a little more influence on the diamond.
Back in 2011 the Keystone state's regional directors voted to change from aluminum to wood bats effective for the 2013 season.
Now teams have been spending the early part of their season adapting to the equipment change while still trying to win baseball games. North Parkland Junior Legion head coach, Jason Marakovits, admitted there was a learning curve.
Ed Shapiro has been coaching for decades at various levels and in different capacities. He has been a part of many baseball teams and has seen a lot of great players.
With all of that experience, he still is awed by his 2013 South Parkland Junior Legion squad for its "team-first" mentality.
"They do what you ask them to do and they do what needs to be done," Shapiro said last week. "This is one of the most coachable groups of kids I've ever had. If you show them things as a manager, they listen and they go out and execute them. They all listen and work hard."
The Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup team is set to take the field next week when they open up tournament play and seek their fourth championship in their 21st campaign.
The franchise is set to take the field June 17 at 12:30 pm against Delaware-South at Ashburn Field in FDR Park in Philadelphia.
A victory next Monday would land them with a contest against either Olympic-Colonial or Suburban One National-Bicentennial on June 21 at 9:30 am at Ashburn Field.
The NY/NJ Comets are kicking off their inaugural season as the newest member of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), and the only member of NPF in the entire Northeast.
A special outreach series will be played at Coca-Cola Park on Wednesday, June 19, at 7 p.m. and Thursday, June 20, at 7 p.m.
For more information about the NY/NJ Comets schedule, players, and to order game tickets, visit www.cometsprosoftball.com.
North Parkland legion baseball manager Terry Stoudt understands the quality of his pitching staff, but also has come to the realization that the offense may struggle at times throughout the season.
Much of that was seen during the Buffaloes' start to the season on Sunday, which included a double-header against West Allentown and Coplay.
The Lehigh Valley Titans, a 14U fastpitch tournament softball team formed by merging eight Northwestern players with six from North Parkland, took second place in the USSSA Memorial Day Classic. This was the Titans first tournament together. The event took place at the Northwestern Recreation Fields.