Parkland’s boys cross country team will surely be a contender when late October rolls around. If anyone needed evidence that the Trojans’ are going to be a mighty team this fall, the DeSales Invitational results should prove it.
Parkland crushed the competition last Saturday on a sweltering day in Center Valley. The Trojans, with three runners in the top 10 of a strong 136-man field, ran away with first place. They scored 48 points as a team, well ahead of second place William Tennent at 70.
When the ball hit the court and the final point was scored, the Parkland girls volleyball team swept Dieruff in three straight games, 25-6, 25-9 and 25-13 to move to 2-0 in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.
But last Thursday night’s victory over the Huskies was an even bigger win for the program. The Trojans reached a milestone of 100 consecutive league match wins, dating back to the 2009 season. It has been a long time since Parkland last lost in the conference, it took head coach Mike Krause a few minutes to think of who was in his senior class when the streak started.
Last Friday night’s clash at Parkland School District Stadium set up to be a high-scoring affair between the undefeated Liberty and Parkland football teams. The Trojans were averaging 47 points through their first two games, and the Hurricanes had a 35-point average a game after two contests.
But that was far from the case.
Parkland tennis had a tough week last week, playing two very good teams in back-to-back matches. First was a showdown in Bethlehem against Freedom (6-1, 6-1), followed by a match against preseason favorite Easton (6-0, 6-0) at Parkland.
The Trojans wound up on the wrong side of a 4-3 score in both matches. Head coach Michael Hingston believes that his team didn’t play badly and the scores weren’t a great representation of his team’s play.
Parkland opened the girls soccer season with a 3-1 win over Emmaus last week, with Brooke Schutter scoring two goals in the game. The Lady Trojans followed up the conference win over the Hornets with a 2-1 win over Governor Mifflin Saturday.
Senior Rachel Medlar scored a goal in both games for Parkland and Ava Hanna scored against Governor Mifflin.
Against Emmaus, Medlar and Schutter gave Parkland a 2-0 lead at the half and coach Al Haddad warned his players about what could happen in the next 40 minutes if they didn’t come out strong against the Hornets.
A young Parkland field hockey team opened up the season against defending state champion Emmaus last week, dropping the contest 7-1. Senior Meredith Sholder had three goals and two assists for the Hornets.
Parkland (0-2, 0-2) started a number of freshman players, but it was senior Jenna Lysakowski who got Parkland’s goal with 10:43 to play in the second half. Emmaus coach Sue Butz-Stavin said that was the first time her team had given up a goal in the opening game since 1995. Ironically, that was also in a game against Parkland.
A number of animals sharpen their own teeth for when they attack their prey. So, despite playing to a draw in their season opener to Emmaus, the metaphor Parkland boys’ soccer head coach Patrick Birns used to describe his squad is pretty spot on.
“There were a lot of kids that sharpened their teeth for the first time on the varsity level, against Emmaus,” Birns said after Friday’s scoreless draw. “So the speed and the pace we played with, I was super happy with that.”
In the first road game for the 2016 Parkland football team, the young Trojans were tested. A feisty Nazareth team that lost its opener was looking to pull off a big upset. And the Blue Eagles came close.
The Eagles (0-2) were right there with the Trojans (2-0) for 36 minutes, but over the final 12 minutes Parkland got it together and scored 21 straight points to leave Andrew Leh stadium last Friday night with a 38-13 win.
If the Parkland football team plays like it did the first 24 minutes of last Friday night’s win against Nazareth, the Trojans will surely struggle with Friday night’s opponent. Penalties, a turnover and lackluster defense at times kept Nazareth in last week’s game until the final quarter.
If Parkland starts this week’s contest the same way, Liberty could very well earn its second victory in two years over the four-time defending district champs.
This season marks the first season for Parkland’s fall sports teams on the new turf field. While none of the teams have played a regular season game on the field, the early returns from preseason workouts and scrimmages have been positive.
Perhaps the biggest plus that coaches have reported is having pretty much eliminated ankle injuries from players stepping on uneven areas of the old grass field.