While Parkland High School has been noted for its outstanding athletes in many sports, there’s one sport that gets very little publicity. But two future Parkland graduates hope to change that.
Zachary Tamandl and James Soldridge, both of Schnecksville, are two avid bass fishing anglers. This pair of 17-year olds partnered recently to win a regional bass fishing tournament in the Chesapeake Bay area as members of the Junior Lehigh Valley Bassmasters.
There were some close calls and some blowouts, games where they could coast, and even a bench-clearing altercation. All of this occurred in a weekend of basketball for Parkland at the SportsFest A-town Throwdown tournament.
The Trojans played the maximum number of games, winning their first six before dropping the seventh, the championship game, on their way to taking second place in the 48-team pool play format.
Throughout the regular season and the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, teams play seven inning games. Advancing to regionals adds a degree of difficulty for teams in that they now need to have enough pitching to cover nine-inning games. Of all of the teams in the Region Two Tournament, South Parkland may be best suited for the added wear and tear on pitching.
Not only has the pitching staff handled having to play nine-inning games, but its also had a couple of extra-inning games thrown in for good measure and has handled the workload just fine.
Unlike three weeks before at the Cedar Beach Bash Showcase tournament, the Parkland girls basketball team had mostly a full roster last weekend at the SportsFest A-town Throwdown tournament at Cedar Beach Park.
That depth in the lineup propelled the Trojans to win four of their five games and advance to Sunday’s playoff bracket before falling to eventual champion Bethlehem Catholic in the quarterfinal round.
The South Parkland Trojans did pretty well for themselves in Lehigh Valley Legion play this season, putting five players on the roster for the annual all-star contest against a team of all-stars from the Schuylkill-Berks League. Pitcher Nate Leaswitch not only was named the Lehigh Valley League Pitcher of the Week for the final week of the regular season, but was named to the pitching staff for the all-star game.
It was hard to know at the time, but when North Parkland faced Carbon County in the play-in round of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs, the Buffaloes were facing a team putting everything together at just the right time.
Carbon battled its way through to the championship round after having won just six games during the regular season.
North Parkland, which finished the regular season with five wins, was hoping that its run would turn out much like Carbon’s did, but with a much younger team, the Buffaloes’ task was even tougher.
Last year, South Parkland went to the championship round of the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs only to lose two straight one-run games and miss gaining a trip to regionals. This season, the Trojans came into the championship in the same situation, needing just one win to become league champs and they didn’t want to take any chances.
Dylan Peiffer threw a complete game and some timely offense led the Trojans to a 5-3 win over Carbon County, sending South Parkland to the Region 2 playoffs, which begin Saturday in West Lawn.
The South Parkland Connie Mack team reached the midpoint of its season with nine wins, one loss, and a question: would the Trojans carry their near-perfect record into the postseason, or would they falter in their nine final games and allow it to slip away?
After finishing the regular season at 17-2, the Trojans have proved themselves the frontrunner for this year’s league title. The team entered the postseason at the top of the league standings, three wins ahead of its closest competition.
With three games left in the Allentown Summer Basketball League season, defending state champ Reading sits atop the Large-School Division, while undefeated Faith Christian leads the Small-School Division.
Teams will have off Thursday while many partake in this weekend’s A-Town Throwdown, which is part of the annual SportsFest. The summer league will be back at Cedar Beach on Tuesday, July 18.
LARGE SCHOOL DIVISION
Reading 7 - 1
Central Catholic 7 - 2
Allen 4 - 2
Bangor 7 - 3
Wilson West Lawn 7 - 3
Dieruff 6 - 3
Several Parkland High School graduates made an impact on college sports teams during the past spring season.
Sophomore Sophia Castillo appeared in seven games for the Colorado women’s lacrosse team. She tallied five goals and two assists in that span, including a 58.3 shot-on-goal percentage.