There is the No. 1 goal and there are goals within that goal.

Coach Robert Robitaille is proud to report his Parkland girls’ squad reached its overall goal and the secondary ones as well. The Trojans were unbeaten at 9-0 to win the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference championship and they claimed their 14th District 11 Class 3A team title in 15 years.

Parkland is The Morning Call’s girls swimming team of the year.

Robitaille, like any coach, likes to hand in hardware for the trophy case. But he also had another objective for his girls this season.

“I wanted them to learn to be a better team for all,” Robitaille said, “one where everyone felt that they were a contributing member and were in fact that. I’m sure that the girls’ goals were that as well and to also do what they could to uphold the tradition of work that the team has established.”

The Trojans’ tradition continues.

With senior Kayla Johnson as the linchpin of the team, Parkland edged out Emmaus and Nazareth in both the EPC standings and at the District 11 championships. Robitaille’s crew compiled 447 team points in the Class 3A meet to top second-place Emmaus by 61 points and third-place Southern Lehigh by 131.

Johnson and classmate Claire Weaver both secured the maximum four gold medals at the district meet. Johnson won the 50 and 100 freestyles while Weaver took the 200 and 500 freestyles. Both were a part of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams.

At the PIAA championships, Johnson earned a state silver in the 50 freestyle and a fourth-place medal in the 100 free.

“Our last chance [meet] and district championship performances were phenomenal,” Robitaille said. “While I thought our state performance was lacking, Kayla did set a school record [22.84 seconds in the 50] and the girls did bring home hardware.”

Along with the senior duo of Johnson and Weaver, juniors Sydney Platt and Ashley Settle and sophomores Sophia Cerimele, Sada Fleischaker and Madison Roseman were key contributors.

“There are some years that you have it and some years that you don’t,” Robitaille said, “and that is what makes the emotional connection to the sport so strong.”

The tradition continues at Parkland.

Another year, another storybook season for the powerhouse that is the Emmaus boys swimming program.

Coach Tim O’Connor’s Green Hornets went a perfect 9-0 to capture the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference crown. They then demolished all of their area rivals en route to an unprecedented 15th consecutive District 11 Class 3A team title.

Emmaus is The Morning Call’s boys swimming team of the year.

O’Connor, while proud of his squad’s accomplishments, said it was simply a blessing to be back to nearly normal after COVID-19 wreaked havoc on winter sports the past two seasons.

“I think after last year the kids really appreciated having ‘live’ swim and dive meets with competitors at the same pool and with spectators,” O’Connor said. “This really brought much-needed excitement this season and helped us evaluate kids better regarding competition and performance.

“It was also unique in that half of our team never had a ‘live’ meet before and the upperclassmen were the only ones who remembered getting ready to travel.”

This year’s team not only endured “the COVID-19 era,” it excelled through all types of adversity.

Emmaus relied on its strength in numbers and overall quality to outduel Liberty and Parkland in EPC meets. The Green Hornets then amassed 475 points at the district meet to top second-place Liberty by 143 points.

Though O’Connor’s aquatics gang lacked its usual star power (Emmaus struck gold in only two events at the District 11 meet), they secured 14 top-six spots in individual events. Junior Andrew Taylor was the Green Hornets’ lone individual champ in the 500 freestyle and Emmaus’ 400 freestyle relay team of Alex Magditch, Seth Metzger, AJ Lamack and Taylor also mined gold.

Seniors Magditch and Lamack, along with Taylor, were cited by O’Connor for both their in-pool production and their leadership contributions.

“While we might not have had as many district champions this season,” the longtime coach said, “I feel our kids gained so much experience and improvement along the way. We still had high goals and as coaches, we were really pushing the kids to do their best, and ideally make a full-time commitment to improvement, so as a result our team and kids really set a great bar of expectations that I feel will lead to having more top-end talent.”

And likely another team championship or two.

Michael Blouse is a freelancer for The Morning Call.

50 freestyle: Kayla Johnson, Parkland Sr. — D11 3A champ (22.95*), PIAA 2nd (22.84)

100 freestyle: Kayla Johnson, Parkland, Sr.— D11 3A champ (50.14), PIAA 4th (50.36)

200 freestyle: Claire Weaver, Parkland, Sr. — D11 3A champ (1:53.96), PIAA 16th (1:55.26)

500 freestyle: Claire Weaver, Parkland, Sr.— D11 3A champ (5:04.00), PIAA 17th (5:10.44)

100 butterfly: Tori Fenn, Pocono Mountain East, Sr.— D11 3A champ (57.25), PIAA 8th (57.31)

100 backstroke: Garrity Ford, Southern Lehigh, So.— D11 3A champ (56.52), PIAA 14th (57.70)

100 breaststroke: Chloe Vlaeminck, Emmaus, Sr.— D11 3A champ (1:06.87), PIAA 20th (1:06.48)

200 individual medley: Chloe Vlaeminck, Emmaus, Sr.— D11 3A champ (2:07.94), PIAA 14th (2:08.75)

Diving: Alexa Fegley, Moravian Academy, Sr.— D11 2A champ (404.30), PIAA 5th (374.85)

*-indicates district record

HONORABLE MENTION

Fr. Madison Camden, Southern Lehigh, 200 freestyle/100 backstroke; So. Sophia Cerimele, Parkland, 100 backstroke/200 IM; So. Sada Fleischaker, Parkland, 100 breaststroke; Jr. Morgan Gould, Emmaus; Jr. Jillian Kingsley, Nazareth, 100 freestyle/100 butterfly; Sr. Rachel Marcus, Easton, diving; Jr. Mimi Norris, Central Catholic, 100 butterfly/200 freestyle; Jr. Anna Petke, Bethlehem Catholic, diving; Jr. Sydney Platt, Parkland, breaststroke; Jr. Keller Pooley, Liberty, diving; Sr. Mya Puentes, Emmaus, 50 freestyle/100 butterfly; Jr. Hailey Reinhard, Emmaus, 200 IM; Jr. Brooke Sergent, Liberty, 100 butterfly; Sr. Olivia Szerencsits, Northampton, 200/500 freestyle; Jr. Marianne Tassinari, East Stroudsburg South, 200 IM; So. Brianna Wasem, Southern Lehigh, 50/100 freestyle; Sr. Sabrina Yurconic, Central Catholic, 100 butterfly/500 freestyle

50 freestyle: Addison Collins, Liberty, Sr. — D11 3A champ (21.01), PIAA 4th (20.73)

100 freestyle: Addison Collins, Liberty, Sr. — D11 3A champ (45.52), PIAA 9th (45.70)

200 freestyle: RJ Farina, Notre Dame-GP, Sr. — D11 2A champ (1:44.00), PIAA 3rd (1:42.75)

500 freestyle: RJ Farina, Notre Dame-GP, Sr.— D11 2A champ (4:45.64), PIAA 3rd (4:38.79)

100 butterfly: Patrick Gilhool, Liberty, Sr. D11 3A champ (48.18*), PIAA champ (47.69)

Danny Hayes, Pen Argyl, Sr.— D11 2A champ (50.21*), PIAA 4th (50.42)

100 backstroke: Patrick Gilhool, Liberty, Sr. — D11 3A champ (48.74*), PIAA champ (47.57)

100 breaststroke: Francesco D’Avella, Notre Dame-GP, Sr. — D11 2A champ (58.88), PIAA 7th (59.22)

200 individual medley: Nicholas Zaffiro, Parkland, Sr. — D11 3A champ (1:54.14), PIAA 25th (1:57.54)

Diving: Ethan Radio, Parkland, Sr. — D11 3A champ (458.10), PIAA 2nd (490.70)

*-indicates district record

HONORABLE MENTION

Sr. Jovannie Avila, Notre Dame-GP, 50/100 freestyle; Jr. Ryan Beltrame, Parkland, diving; Sr. Eric Camden, Southern Lehigh, 200 freestyle; Jr. Ethan Coffman, Nazareth, 200/500 freestyle; So. Malcolm Collins, Liberty, 100 breaststroke; Sr. Nathan Harris, Central Catholic, 100 butterfly; Jr. Jake Hauff, Pen Argyl, 200 IM; Sr. AJ Lamack, Emmaus, 100 butterfly/100 backstroke; Jr. Daniel Lehr, Liberty, 50 freestyle; Sr. Alex Magditch, Emmaus, 50/100 freestyle; Jr. Nick Ritter, Moravian Academy, 100 backstroke; So. Aaron Stinner, Whitehall, 200/500 freestyle; Jr. Andrew Taylor, Emmaus, 200 IM/500 freestyle; Sr. Andrew Wendling, Southern Lehigh, 100 butterfly/100 backstroke

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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

District 11 team champs

Class 3A girls: Parkland

Class 2A girls: Blue Mountain

Class 3A boys: Emmaus

Class 2A boys: Blue Mountain

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n

Now if only the weather will cooperate!!!

Posted by BFAC-Bethlehem Fine Arts Commission on Monday, April 25, 2022

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Dellicker has trouble being concise."},{"_id":"TJR65NVANVFZ7FFNA23QMLR3TI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651585431124,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" on","pos":129}]},"content":"Asked at a recent town hall event for his policy proposals to counter China’s economic rise, Dellicker said he has a 38-part plan on his campaign website, and joked that “brevity was never his strong suit.”"},{"_id":"CRDSSQNV6BFO7KN7C2E2MRJL3Q","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295815,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"In a March blog post, he wrote that it would be a “challenge” for him to keep responses under one minute in a debate with his Republican opponent because he likes to “tell stories and add context” to get his message across."},{"_id":"XD7IFFDTXBCJ7PTI36WZLHS3ZY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295816,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"So how would the congressional candidate, veteran and business owner 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conservative, but I’m independent,” he added. “I’m not beholden to any of these people in Washington that are trying to pull the strings on different Republicans right now.”"},{"_id":"XD7IFFDTXBCJ7PTI36WZLHS3ZY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295816,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"So how would the congressional candidate, veteran and business owner describe his message to voters in just one sentence?","pos":0}]},"content":""},{"_id":"VCW2HQJ4BZGQNEPFSD4GS4GRRI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295817,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"“I want to keep America free,” Dellicker said.","pos":0}]},"content":""},{"_id":"B3LU3HYZNBCTDGMEVEU6EWRYFA","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295818,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"Kevin Dellicker is running to be PA-07′s next congressman. SAY HERE WHAT COUNTIES/AREAS THAT REPRESENTS He sees himself as a “grassroots” challenger to Lisa Scheller, CEO of Silberline Manufacturing and the Republican pick in 2020, who lost to incumbent Susan Wild. MOVED UP","pos":0}]},"content":""},{"_id":"XIYPA4UL65HMLLDIKGVEKZTBXM","type":"header","level":2,"additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295819,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"Who is Kevin Dellicker?"},{"_id":"QCHORIFSB5COPLWYWWV7I2EQTE","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651585431137,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"Dellicker is a New Tripoli native who, after stints living in Harrisburg, Albany and tours abroad in China and Afghanistan, settled with his wife and three kids in Germansville, just a few miles north of where he grew up."},{"_id":"QBANWKL6GNDQDKXUCMU2KOOLLQ","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295820,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"H","pos":26},{"comment":"c","pos":313},{"comment":"w","pos":319}]},"content":"A National Guard veteran, his family’s history in the military goes back generations. His father was a navy fighter pilot, his grandfather was an Army Air Force fighter pilot and his great grandfather was a machine gunner in World War I. He even has ancestors who were members of the Berks County unit during the Civil War, he said."},{"_id":"M5VRHZS5KVADBPFNGFAYZBQPVY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295821,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" after graduating from Penn State,","pos":125},{"comment":"out of college at the New York State Senate","pos":226}]},"content":"Despite the family history, he said his father never pressured him to join the military. But Dellicker had an epiphany at 24, while working his first job at the New York State Senate after graduating from Penn State University. Surrounded by friends at a bar, discussing their future career aspirations, Dellicker realized he wanted to enlist."},{"_id":"5OVIKDUOYJH47BHUVLLHAFVZXM","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295822,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"“I walked home that night, thinking if I’m going to do this, I’d better stop talking about it and actually go do it,” he said."},{"_id":"PO6TP2T4V5EKPC5JZFMQXJ3X54","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295823,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" down","pos":54}]},"content":"A week later, he enlisted in the infantry and traveled to Fort Benning, Georgia, for basic training. He called it “one of the best experiences” of his life. One of the oldest people there — most of the new soldiers were just 18 or 19 — he took on a leadership role that was mentally taxing but rewarding."},{"_id":"FHLOCHNYBZGV5MEDORG2XAN4UQ","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295824,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"He spent four years in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard before becoming an intelligence officer with the Air National Guard in 1999, based in Harrisburg, where he supported diplomatic missions and domestic operations, and completed four overseas deployments."},{"_id":"LX53UJZQ5VFNDIMBC3MF2YQGYI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295825,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"During that time, he said, he spent a lot of time reading speeches and materials from foreign countries and became “really good at understanding why people hate the United States.”"},{"_id":"OBHAAQA4BNFE5IDFFK5OUIR25I","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295826,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"“The lessons I learned from military intelligence, I think, have been lessons that I’ve been able to take with me my whole life,” Dellicker said."},{"_id":"IMUIIFSMFNCAPOH3VAM575LAFY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295827,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"And i","pos":0}]},"content":"In 2005, after returning home from deployments, Dellicker quit his job at a small technology company and founded Dellicker Strategies, a cybersecurity and telecommunications company, with his wife, Susan. The company hired its first employee in 2007 and has grown since then. Dellicker still runs the company from his home office."},{"_id":"OQ7NABN7XFDRTCIKDSN7IAKJJI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295828,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"“It was a neat thing to be able to build a business from scratch with your wife in your own house,” Dellicker said. “I guess that’s the American dream, right?”"},{"_id":"YF3UYZQUPRCIRFOLJPLRZ2GZC4","type":"header","level":2,"additional_properties":{"_id":1651585431147,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"The issues"},{"_id":"4WCOUK5JT5DYPNPEYK7P5O77ZY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295829,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" is a part of that","pos":162}]},"content":"Ensuring that dream is still accessible to Americans is a primary part of his campaign, Dellicker said, and that involves restoring Republican control of Congress."},{"_id":"LGL3QF4RK5CZVEQGSDJEUPAXUI","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295830,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" U.S.","pos":55}]},"content":"Rising inflation is the most serious economic issue the United States faces right now, he said. Dellicker sees spending bills championed by Democrats as the driving factor in why prices are so high."},{"_id":"VW6YJK6EDVAVJIA2UV3HSVFWC4","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295831,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"If elected, Dellicker said he’d want to curb federal spending and incentivize American oil production to bring gas prices under control. A former environmental policy adviser, Dellicker thinks Democratic policymakers are pushing Americans toward renewable energy before it’s ready."},{"_id":"EFK2WGUWVFCD3N5TFPZIZRIOWA","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295832,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"He grew up in a conservative, military family and, as a high school and college student was inspired by Ronald Reagan’s message that the United States should not live in fear of the Soviet Union."},{"_id":"PQJC4OGK55ANNMXQ4RYQ2VJGQU","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295833,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"What he saw instead was","pos":149}]},"content":"On a study abroad trip to the Soviet Union in 1990, before it collapsed the next year, he arrived expecting to see a paragon of authoritarian power. Instead, he saw crumbling streets and starving people carrying empty bags and hoping a store would open."},{"_id":"INH5D7JNNVEMVA4J3ADVFZCJOU","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295834,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"“I was overcome by how much of a farce it was,” Dellicker said."},{"_id":"6RCU44QHQ5GTHPGGURUVOHZOLE","additional_properties":{"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/2wL37R79jnyr3WeiWuDrAIIILvk=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-tronc/public/6RCU44QHQ5GTHPGGURUVOHZOLE.jpg","galleries":[{"headlines":{"basic":"7th Congressional District GOP Debate | PHOTOS"},"_id":"Y6QBQG6TTNBIBFO7ZP3VW4SPSU"}],"ingestionMethod":"manual","iptc_job_identifier":"3132265","iptc_source":"The Morning Call","iptc_title":"Rick Kintzel","keywords":["bethlehem township","republican 7th congressional district debate","rick 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He’s against transgender girls competing in girls’ sports, and has said the bigger problem is “the idea that you can have a choice in your gender.”"},{"_id":"MFBLHGKA3VGIJKCQBFV6GSC4ZE","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295846,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"A devout Christian, he is staunchly pro-life and has said he would not support an abortion ban that made an exception for rape and incest. He said he would support those exemptions if it was the only way to codify a ban on abortion."},{"_id":"DNT2JLH4MBARBKDOENPXASVZFY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295847,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"on top of his","pos":99},{"comment":" recently","pos":163}]},"content":"Dellicker, who continues to work full-time for his company and takes on some military duties while campaigning, estimates he’s been working around 90 hours a week."},{"_id":"CUXTOJFES5ALHJZBJTRAYBMJ3M","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295848,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"There’s fewer military veterans in Congress since World War II, and Dellicker wants to be a part of changing that. 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It’s why he’s at campaign events, meeting with voters across the Lehigh Valley nearly every day to spread his message."},{"_id":"QMUJHSHOJVH7VGID2UEVPSALFY","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295850,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"“The screamers from both parties have such sway because you know everything has to get fit into bite sized sound bites,” Dellicker said. “But that leaves out context, it leaves out nuances.”"},{"_id":"AQYC4F6L3NBE3KNKB734FZRYJ4","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295851,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" support","pos":70},{"comment":" his opponent,","pos":147},{"comment":" (PAC)","pos":312}]},"content":"He sees his campaign as grassroots because he’s running it without the backing of most mainstream Republicans, who have thrown their support behind Scheller. Nearly all of Dellicker’s campaign donations have come from Pennsylvania residents and he has received just one donation from a political action committee."},{"_id":"J2Y6YVUP7VBIDG46PAMJJ2FMNA","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295852,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":" get his name out there by running","pos":56},{"comment":"ing","pos":89}]},"content":"Without the support of the Republican party, he’s had to run an active campaign, and hold events, town halls and meet-and-greets in all four PA-07 counties."},{"_id":"GHMCKZJJMNDTBDYIHXTTJYW3TQ","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295853,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[{"comment":"added","pos":110}]},"content":"“I have a positive conservative message that appeals to many people, regardless of party affiliation,” he said. “I want to be able to have a dialogue with everyone in the Lehigh Valley that’s willing to have a conversation.”"},{"_id":"A7HEAMX5K5BCHPJES26RDHEAME","type":"text","additional_properties":{"_id":1651162295854,"comments":[],"inline_comments":[]},"content":"Morning Call reporter Lindsay Weber can be reached at 610-820-6681 and liweber@mcall.com."}],"created_date":"2022-04-13T17:22:08.662Z","revision":{"revision_id":"IL35N5442BBYTCBMUD3C2AHEAQ","parent_id":"RLGQCKYARJCA7LP7NMN5XIIY64","editions":["default"],"branch":"default","user_id":"jacqueline.palochko@mcall.com","published":true},"last_updated_date":"2022-05-06T11:30:02.377Z","headlines":{"basic":"Kevin Dellicker has trouble being concise, but he has a simple message for why Republicans should choose him to challenge Susan Wild","meta_title":"Kevin Dellicker is hoping voters choose him to challenge Susan Wild","mobile":"","native":"","print":"","tablet":"","web":""},"owner":{"sponsored":false,"id":"tronc"},"address":{},"workflow":{"note":"","status_code":3},"subheadlines":{"basic":""},"description":{"basic":"Kevin Dellicker is running to be PA-07′s next congressman. 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