As the final quarter of the 2015 high school football season got underway, Parkland looked to be dead in the water.
The Trojans’ powerful offense, which failed to get on the scoreboard for the first 36 minutes, struggled to gain any rhythm in the first half. When Parkland’s offense was able to move the ball in the third quarter, it still failed to produce any points. Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s defense lived up to all of the pregame hype.
But then there was a spark. And that spark turned into a offensive snowball for Parkland.
Several Parkland High School graduates played on college teams last fall.
The Northwestern University field hockey team once again qualified for the Big Ten tournament, but unfortunately came up short against Maryland. One of the main pieces in that team was senior defender Kelley Stump, who played in all of the Wildcats’ games and made 17 starts. She scored twice this past season and finishes her career with 12 goals and four assists.
Coming out of a timeout down 46-45 with roughly a minute remaining, the play wasn’t necessarily set for Parkland’s Nadine Ewald. But when the Lady Trojans had an opportunity to feed it inside to their top player, they weren’t going to shy away from it.
Emily Piston set up Ewald on the left block, and after a move into the paint, Ewald gave the Trojans a one-point lead with 39 seconds to play in a fourth quarter that saw Central Catholic lead up until that bucket.
The Parkland boys basketball program wants more. The Trojans know they will be judged by who they beat outside of the Lehigh Valley in their quest for a 2016 PIAA state title. The problem over the past couple of seasons hasn’t been winning games in District 11. It has been the teams Parkland faces outside the league and district that have been stumbling blocks.
So in 2015-16 head coach Andy Stephens beefed up the schedule and added some high-profile matchups to help build his team’s resume and give it the experience of high-caliber basketball before March.
The past year has had some interesting outdoor notables. Here are a few of those stories.
We most recently wrote that the Pennsylvania Game Commission has once again installed an improved live Eagle Cam at a bald eagle nest site in Hanover, York County.
It is nature watching at its best. It’s a live video feed that can be enjoyed on your computer while sipping a coffee in the comforts of your home.
The Parkland ice hockey team heads into the Christmas break with a 9-0-1 record in the Lehigh Valley Scholastic Hockey League.
Several Parkland players are among the league’s scoring leaders as Evan Dratch (18 goals, 15 assists) is second in the league with 33 points. Teammate Eric Johannes has 12 goals and 11 assists and is fifth in the league with 23 points. Parkland’s Charlie Rongo (9 goals, 11 assists) and Jake Nimeh (8 goals, 11 assists) are also among the league’s top 10.
Parkland High School’s cheerleaders competed at the East Penn Conference Cheer Championships where they placed 13th last Wednesday at Easton Area Middle School.
“It definitely wasn’t our best performance,” said Parkland captain Devon Haggerty. “We could have done better, but no matter what, we tried our best and I’m proud of our team.”
The Trojans competed in the Competitive Spirit Division.
“We went in with high hopes, and we wanted to go out and kill it. We were really excited,” said Megan Spangler, also a captain.
Adversity is something the Parkland football team knows well.
It’s also something the Trojans have handled with aplomb.
Following a 41-34 loss to Liberty in Week 6, Parkland reeled off seven straight wins by a combined score of 250-70 to claim their fourth straight Districts 2-4-11 Subregional title.
After three straight years of falling in the next round, the PIAA quarterfinals, to a Philadelphia Catholic League opponent, the Trojans finally got the monkey off their back with a 16-13 overtime victory over District 12 champion LaSalle College.
The Parkland swim teams opened the season last weekend at the Cedar Crest Invitational Meet.
The Trojans won a total of seven different events, all coming on the girls’ side. Siena Salvaggio won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles, Alison Lin won the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard IM, and Kira Karopoulos earned the top spot in the 100-yard butterfly. Those three, along with Megan Sicinski won the 200-yard medley relay, while Victoria Connolly won the 500-yard freestyle.
Before Northampton hosted Parkland on Monday night, there was a hint of uncertainty on both sides. Could the Konkrete Kids play with the best of them, and would the Trojans come through when the chips were down?
The answer for both teams was yes after Parkland’s 53-49 victory over Northampton.
From the beginning, it appeared as though the Kids had the game in the bag, but with a little over three minutes left, everything changed.