Rising sophomore Jake Bartholomew had an opportunity. Missing three starters because of prior commitments, Bartholomew was thrust into the starting lineup, and did not disappoint his coaches and teammates.
Bartholomew took the initiative and knocked down open shots and created offense off a zone defense, helping Parkland hold onto a 56-46 win against Nazareth last Thursday night at Whitehall High School.
Bartholomew tallied 12 of his 17 points in a second half where every point was crucial.
South Parkland sent a definite message late last week when it handed previously undefeated North Parkland a 2-0 defeat. While the Trojans picked up just three hits in the win, one of them was a two-run double from Matt Davidowitch, driving in George Hambel and Ryan Horvath.
Hambel also handled things on the mound, allowing just three hits and two walks, striking out three in the complete game shutout.
It's no secret the amount of success that the Parkland boys and girls soccer teams have had over the years.
But what might not be as evident is the path some of those athletes took to get to the high school level.
The Parkland Area Soccer Club, which has been around over a decade, fields teams for in-house, recreational and travel programs. Those squads range in the age group from five years old all the way up until 19 years of age. It's those programs that have helped the high school teams reach the heights they have over the years.
North Parkland Legion coach Terry Stoudt has coached 43 seasons and has seen a lot of baseball, so when he puts this year's team among the best that he's ever coached, that's saying something. It's hard to argue with Stoudt when his team is at a perfect 12-0 and is having no trouble battling its way through the schedule.
The Buffaloes have outscored opponents 102-26 this season and have six games left on the regular season schedule. While the offense has been impressive, it's the pitching that has Stoudt so high on this year's team.
With games already backed up due to both bad weather and players being unavailable early in the season because of Parkland High School's long run into the varsity baseball postseason, South Parkland really wanted to get Tuesday's game against Coplay in the books, despite early evening thunderstorms. The teams waited long enough and the lightning finally passed, allowing them to start play, which was a good thing since they were able to pound out an 11-1 win.
Austin Beidelman was used to being the go-to guy on his high school basketball team. He was counted on to take the last shot his junior and senior seasons, and finished each season as the leading scorer for Parkland.
But as he left high school behind and went on to play at Division II Kutztown University, Beidelman was not depended on to take 20 shots a game, or even the last one for that matter.
Bloomsburg University junior Chrissy Hollan spent her first two seasons as a defensive midfielder on the Huskies womens soccer team.
But as this past season got underway, Hollan was moved to the center back spot, a role she was familiar with from her days as a Trojan. With that position switch came an increase in responsibility and leadership.
The former Parkland High School graduate thrived in that leadership role to produce her best collegiate season yet.
Over the last three years, Eli Redmond has switched positions several times. He has gone back-and-forth between his two primary spots on the field.
During his junior year at Parkland in 2012, Redmond was one of the main running backs that gave a thunder and lightning one-two punch with Jarel Elder. In Redmond's senior season, head coach Jim Morgans felt that the team would be better if he moved Redmond to wide receiver, specifically in the slot where receivers use speed in the open field.
In his rookie season, Andre Williams has experienced a myriad of situations and has gained another big brother in the process.
During the summer, Williams, a former Parkland and Boston College standout, began to open some eyes late in the New York Giants' summer camp with a series of impressive showings in the club's preseason games.
Williams, who was the Giants' fourth-round pick, then got the call when lead back Rashad Jennings went down with an injury. The Heisman Trophy candidate produced a modest 165 yards during the span.
Since the Parkland Area Soccer Club formed 10 years ago after breaking from the Schnecksville Playground Association, plenty of players and coaches have gone through its ranks.
At an upcoming event, PASC will bring together members that helped form the decade-long tradition.
The 10-year anniversary ceremony Saturday, Dec. 6, at St. Joseph's the Worker Church in Orefield is scheduled from 6-10 p.m.