Sports didn’t take place for more than 10 months on the Parkland campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But since the Cobras returned to action in late January, success has flowed for the community college in north Champaign. Sports Editor Matt Daniels takes a look at the four programs — of the eight total that Parkland has — which have qualified for the NJCAA Division II national tournament in their respective sport during the last four months:
Cliff Hastings’ program is a perennial threat to win a national title. The Cobras compiled a 33-2 record playing mainly in-state foes and then advanced to the national championship match with three wins in two days last month. Johnson County (Kan.) had Parkland’s number in the national title match in mid-April, but the Cobras still managed their third consecutive top-two finish.
Allie Lindemann became known on the area scene for her prolific scoring during her own basketball career at Champaign Central. But the second-year coach of the Cobras relied on her team’s defensive intensity to come within two victories of the program’s first national title. Parkland managed to end its season with a sterling 20-4 record and a third-place finish last month.
Corbin Sebens’ team will get a chance to add to its postseason collection of awards next week, from May 18-21 at the national tournament in Plymouth, Ind. Jack Halstead, Scott O’Brien, Alex White, Joel Petersson and Corey Neville are all capable of carrying Parkland during any particular round and will try to give the Cobras their first-ever national title in this sport.
The 51-7 Cobras, coached by Dan Paulson and Kristi Paulson, are back in the national tournament for the first time since 2012 following Monday’s thrilling 3-1 win against Lincoln Land. Parkland’s lineup boasts 113 home runs, a preposterous team batting average of .407 and a shutdown pitcher in Chayse Ramey. Expect Parkland to make some noise from May 25-29 in Oxford, Ala.