Each year the high school basketball season wraps up with a special event, not only for senior players, but also for a group of youngsters who may never get the chance to suit up in a varsity basketball game.
The 41st annual All-Star game was held last Saturday at Northampton Community College and featured representatives from 35 high schools around the Lehigh Valley. The Classic raises funds to support Via of the Lehigh Valley’s services for children and adults with disabilities and promotes community involvement.
Jim Morgans is a Lehigh Valley guy. He did not spend his whole life here, but he made his mark.
After graduating from Allentown Central Catholic in 1964, Morgans headed down south for the next five years of his life. He attended junior college in Texas before finishing up his business degree and enjoying a football playing career in Louisiana.
But it was always about the Lehigh Valley, and Allentown in particular, that Morgans wanted to be a part of. And he loved football.
Parkland’s Nadine Ewald earned a place on this year’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference girls basketball second team.
Ewald is one of two Trojans to earn all-star recognition as Emily Piston was selected to the third team.
Nazareth’s Tessa Brugler was named this year’s MVP for girls basketball.
The following are this year’s All-EPC girls basketball teams.
Tessa Brugler (Jr., Nazareth), Aja Bount (Jr., Northampton), Gabby Blochuk (Jr., Easton), Madison Cauano (Sr., Liberty), Kaylin West (Sr., Liberty)
MVP - Tessa Brugler (Jr., Nazareth)
As expected, the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships were a success for Parkland swimmers. Siena Salvaggio won her third and fourth state gold medals of her high school career at the meet, while Tori Connolly also made it two straight seasons with a medal at the state meet.
On the final night of the competition, the two swimmers set personal best times, with Salvaggio posting a :49.34 in the 100 freestyle and Connolly 4:57.75 in the 500 freestyle event.
For the last couple of seasons the Parkland softball team has been led by an experienced battery. Their pitcher and catcher seemingly had a ton of varsity experience under their belts each and every year. But in 2015, the Trojans relied on the arm of a sophomore.
Aubree Fritzinger did not disappoint, going 27-1 and posting a 1.41 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 27 walks in 154 innings in her first year as a varsity starter leading. She helped Parkland to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, District 11 and PIAA state titles, their first one since 2009.
The last time Parkland and Freedom met on a tennis court, it was for the District 11 Championship and the Patriots came out on top. This time, their meeting came early in the season, with both teams trying to gain a psychological edge by picking up a win before another potential showdown in the postseason.
The Parkland baseball team will have a whole new look when it opens the season on March 30 at home against Easton.
Not only did the Trojans graduate a ton of major contributors, including Eastern Pennsylvania Conference MVP Chris Rabasco, and All-EPC pitcher Connor Higgins, former head coach Tony Galucy resigned to spend more time with his family.
The Parkland boys volleyball team went as far as any team could last year, and won more games than any other team in program history has.
When the Trojans knocked off District 7 champ Fox Chapel 3-1 in the state title match, Parkland capped a perfect season at 24-0.
And with a majority of that team returning, the Trojans have their eyes set on repeating.
The PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships are set for this week at Bucknell University. Parkland will have three divers, five swimmers and one relay competing at the meet.
It was around this time two years ago that Parkland senior Kenny Yeboah and his family made the move from Providence, Rhode Island, to Allentown. Yeboah wasn’t sure what to expect, and was a little nervous.
“It was tough because I was changing schools and was having to make new friends, and live in a big city,” Yeboah said. “Even though Providence is the capital, it is a smaller city. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m glad we made the move because we didn’t really have the successful teams there like we do here.”