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Ed and Eddie Ohlson are bonded by basketball

There was an Ohlson on each bench Wednesday night when Bethlehem Catholic played at Parkland in a Lehigh Valley Conference game.

Ed Ohlson was on the Golden Hawks sideline, continuing his first season as an assistant to head coach Mike Frew. Frew calls Ohlson "his secret weapon.''

On the other side of the scorer's table sat his son, Eddie, who is in fourth year as the Trojans JV coach and in his fifth season as part of Andy Stephens' staff.

There could be a day down the road when both Ohlsons are head coaches or when they're both on the same side as they were 10 years ago when Eddie was the star point guard and his father was an assistant as Parkland made an improbable run to the PIAA 4A championship game.

Ed, who was the head coach at Northampton for eight years, sat out last year, but is happy to be back on the high school scene again.

Eddie has gone 69-5 as Parkland's JV coach, including at 14-0 this season and 34-0 over the past two years. He would like to run his own program one day with his father as his assistant, assuming that his dad doesn't have his own gig at the time.

Both have basketball in their blood and coaching makes that blood flow. There is little doubt that both have made their mark on the local stage and hope to do so for some time to come.

"I obviously love the game of basketball," Eddie said. "I loved to play, but I wasn't sure if I was going to like coaching. But I spent my first year in coaching with him at Northampton and I saw the passion my father brought to coaching. It was a great experience."

Eddie has learned a lot from his dad, but what has most rubbed off is his work ethic.

"My dad comes prepared every day to practice looking to get something positive out of it and that's so important in a year like this one when we've had limited practice time because of the weather," Eddie said. "He approaches every game like it's the last game. He has shown me the hard work it takes to get the most out of your team."

Ed is obviously very proud of his son's success, but said he can't take all of the credit.

"He has had some great teachers," the senior Ohlson said. "Yes, he played for me, but he also played for Rich Fatzinger and Scott Coval at DeSales and I think the world of both of those guys. Eddie got a little bit from everybody he has been around and that has led to a pretty good feel for the game."

As for what the father imparted to his son, Ed said: "I tried to show him that there are different ways of doing things. I tried to look at my talent and tried to fit my style to that talent. If you have athletes, you should think about running. If you don't, you have to think about a style that will put them in the best position to succeed.

"The other part is that you have to teach kids as much as you can. It's not just learning plays. You want to get your coaches to learn how to read the defense or how to see things on the floor before they happen. That's the kind of stuff I've tried to instill."

As the JV coach, Eddie knows that he's not only trying to win games, but also trying to develop players for the varsity level.

Because JV ball is essentially a stepping stone, Ohlson knows that his roster is going to fluctuate throughout the course of a season and that some kids who double-roster can't play the entire JV game.

On Tuesday night, for example, sophomore Kyle Stout scored 31 points in the JV game for Parkland and then saw significant time in the varsity contest where he added 14 more.

"As the JV coach, it makes me proud to see [freshman] Sam Iorio go up and do so well in the varsity games after beginning the season on my team and now we've got Stout and [fellow sophomore] Jack Dreisbach playing for both teams," Ohlson said. "You've got to be careful and make sure the guys get their rest because with injuries some of those guys may be getting more varsity minutes."

Stephens trusts that Ohlson will do the right thing.

"He does a great job and relates well to the kids," Stephens said. "He has that playing experience and he learned so much from his dad. His dad actually coached me in high school [at Central Catholic]. Eddie is a good coach now and he'll be a good head coach one day. Our kids like him a lot and I have no doubt that the right job will surface for him one day."

And when that times comes, no one will be happier than his father.

"I hope it happens for his sake," Ed said. "He has a great demeanor. He doesn't get flustered or excited. He's very even-keeled, unlike his father. He knows the game and he has the ability to see things. He did it as a player and now as a coach."

Could he seen the day he's his son's assistant?

"I would love to be a head coach again myself, but I'd sacrifice that to be his assistant," Ed said. "It would be a lot of fun."


Unlike football games, few high school basketball games offer fans a chance to buy — or get for free — a game program featuring the rosters.

At Parkland home games, Jim Zajko, father of Trojans senior Justin Zajko, makes sure you know the players by providing free programs.

"I've been doing the programs since Justin was a freshman," Zajko said. "I did one in eighth grade for the Springhouse/Orefield middle school game and the previous people who did it for Parkland — Dawn Carlon and Jill Muhr — then asked me to take it over when Justin got here. I've done one for every home game for the last four years, including some of the playoff games."

Zajko said many of the fans, especially alumni, have come to expect getting a program. Zajko gets the opposition's roster from Gina Mihalik in the athletic office. Greg Mitton does the printing.

"The fans thank me for doing it, which is nice because I put a lot of time into it," he said. "The most special ones to me are the ones for 'Youth Night' and then the one for 'Senior Night' which has a lot of information about the kids. I try to feature a picture of a senior on the cover and the kids keep them as souvenirs. I have enjoyed doing it."


•Allen freshman Talek Williams had a 20-point performance against Reading.

•Pocono Mountain West freshman Lance Singh is averaging 10.1 points per game.

•Salisbury and Saucon Valley combined for 157 points Monday night in an 84-73 Falcons win.

•Stroudsburg was the first team to clinch a league tournament spot.

•Central Catholic is now just four wins away from becoming the first Lehigh Valley Conference team to have a perfect regular season since Easton began 2006-07 season with 25 straight victories.

•Moravian Academy has qualified for the District 11 tournament for the 14th time in John Donmoyer's 17 seasons as coach. Prior to Donmoyer's arrival, the Lions qualified for districts just four times in their history.

•Pius X handed Mahanoy Area, ranked No. 10 in the state in Class A, its first loss of the season.




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