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2022 Eastern Pennsylvania Conference South Preview

Tagged under: Conference Previews, District 11, News

| August 21, 2022


Bethlehem Freedom Will Face Stiff Competition on Road to Defend District Championship.

We talk about it all the time on our webcast show “The State of PA Football”. The EPC just beats each other up all season long. It’s one of the top two conferences year in and year out, an dits one of the most difficult to predict because you never know which team is going to win week to week no matter what the records are.  Last year Freedom survived the EPC North gauntlet and nearly pulled off the win to get to the state title game.  Who will it be this year? Let’s try and figure it out.


Bethlehem Freedom

Coming off a 11-3 2021-22 season, and a District XI Championship, the Freedom Patriots are geared for another possible championship and a deeper run in the state playoffs. Last year Freedom gave perennial state power and 6A runner-ups St. Joe’s Prep all they could handle before dropping a 24-21 decision in the opening round.

Coach Jason Roeder’s team will be loaded again, but will have to rely on a new-old quarterback as Ethan Neidig will return to signal calling duties after playing receiver in 2021.. The secondary should be the strength of the defense as the Patriots will have to fill some holes up front. Senior Brad Lee and Sophomore Ryan Ellis should anchor the line. Lee is 5-10 235 and Ellis is 5’11 245. Tanner Wheeler is another force to be reckoned with at 250 lbs and 6’4. Ben Isaac, Brooks Britt and Tony Sullivan could see time at both WR and DB as well. The running backs who get their fair share of carries could be Kyle Johnson 5’8 180 Senior and Noah Pierre a 5’11 Junior. The talented duo of Owen and Kyle Johnson will be the linebackers. The safeties will be Alexie Sangster and Connor Stofanak.

The two teams that did defeat Freedom in the EPC last season Parkland and Emmaus are expected to make a run at the title along with Nazareth. Parkland coached by Tim Moncman, in his seventh season will have one of the biggest offensive lines ranging from 220-290 pounds, but also one of the least experienced as they will have four juniors and one senior and all starting for first time. Kaleb Beers, Russell Clark, Kale Kumernitsky, Ali Wezza along with Nate Kemmerer will try to create the running lanes for Trey Tremba in the backfield. Luke Spang will be under center for the Trojans, who completed 80-142 passes for 1,036 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“We are a work in progress. We graduated a lot of production. We had over 60 kids from 10-12th grade, so we’ll have some depth, but we still have a way to go to be ready for the season opener.” Coach Jason Roeder stated of his Freedom Patriots.

Returning Players:
John Audette JR OL 6’0 265
Nick Ellis SR DE 6’3 220
Jalen Fletcher SR RB/CB 5’10 185
Ryan Hoffman SR C/LB 6’2 225
Owen Johnson SR WR 6’1 220
Kyle Johnson SR TE/LB 5’11 215
Collin Lutz SR OL 6’3 265
Ethan Neidig SR QB 6’4 215
Rashawn Nicholas SR NG 5’10 245
John Roeder SR TE/LB 6’1 205
Alexie Sangster SR WR/DB 6’1 195
Prajeet Santra SR K 6’2 185
Vinnie Slepetz SR DB 5/9 150
Connor Stofanak SR WR/DB 5’11 185
Brayden Curry JR G/LB 5’8 235
Sam Neuffer JR TE/LB 5’9 190

Newcomers: Angel Alamo SR RB/LB 5’8 180 Ben Isaac Joseph SR WR/DB 5’9 150 Brad Lee SR OL/DL 5’10 235 Brooks Britt JR WR/DB 6’0 180 Jayden Colon JR DB 5’8 150 Xavier Dunbar JR QB/DB 5’9 175 Zach Irvin JR OL 6’2 255 Jordyn Moore JR 6’2 190 WR/LB Noah Pierre JR RB/DB 5’11 175 Gabe Scotto JR C/LB 5’9 205 Tony Sollivan JR WR/DB 5’9 155 Ryan Ellis SO OL/DL 5’11 245 Tanner Wheeler SO OL/DL 6’4 250


Parkland

Parkland coach Tim Moncman said, “This might be the best group of skilled players we’ve ever had. It’s going to be on our defensive line where there is concern as we will have five new starters.” Moncman has set several goals:
On offense, Development of Luke Spang as full time starting QB (got starts last year as Sophomore & Playing time in ‘20 Season as a Freshman), Maintaining Balance between Run Game and Pass game, ability to maintain fast tempo, minimize turnovers.  On Defense: The Trojans have several new starters in the DL/LB groups led by Senior LB Victor Pagan and Senior DE Nate Kemmerer. :We need to build on ‘21 varsity experience in defensive backfield from Bullock, Hollis, Harrison, & Sanchez to play fast & physical defense. For special teams: Senior Kicker/Punter Gryffin Mitstifer returns following an extensive off-season training & camp circuit. Rated 5-Star Kicking Prospect from Kohl’s Kicking Camp where he won the FG competition hitting at 62 Yard Field Goal with multiple 70+ Yard Kickoffs.

The Trojans are always contenders, but do they have the horses returning to with the EPC North war?

Returning Starters:

Trey Tremba, Jr. RB/WR/DB/PR
Nakhi Bullock, Sr. WR/CB
Nate Kemmerer, Sr. OT/DE
Victor Pagan, Sr. FB/LB
Kaleb Beers, Sr. OC/NG
Jack Harrison, Sr. WR/FS
Jendel Sanchez, Jr. WR/CB
Mason Hollis, Sr. WR/SS
Gryffin Mitstifer, Sr. K/P

Newcomers: Luke Spang, Jr. QB Russell Clark, Jr. OG/DE Marquez Wimberly, Fr. RB/DB Jake Beidleman, Jr. FB/LB Kale Kumernitsky, Jr. OG/NG Nick Kleckner, Jr. FB/LB


Emmaus

Emmaus had their season end with a 28-14 loss to Freedom in the District championship contest to end up with a 9-4 record. Quarterback Jake Fotta, returns after tearing his ACL last preseason. But will face competition from Josiah Williams, who took over for Fotta, and threw for over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns. Tylik Jarvis returns at running back who ran for over 500 yards and six scores. Chase Fotta and Dylan Darville will be the receivers.

“We will see how things go, you can’t keep two talented kids such as Fotta and Williams off the field.” Coach Harold Fairclough stated.

Defensively is where the Green Hornets will have new faces Ben Marcado and Mario Landino will be on the line. The Hornets will also have to fill roster spots left behind by losing all-state LB Jared Groller and in the secondary with the loss of David Iobst, Jaiden Robinson and Sam Moratori.


District 11 Schedules


Easton

Nazareth and Easton will have some say as well in the race for that 6A championship. Easton will come in trying to establish the run game behind Aiden Hutchison who ran for over 500 yards last season. The offensive line will have five seniors. WR JuJu Fears returns after catching 28 balls for 400 yards. J’vier Johnson will be the other featured pass catcher. The Rovers will have to replace three year starter ta quarterback in Cole Transue. Dylan Reed will be the signal caller for the upcoming season. Easton is coming off a 6-4 campaign.

“We lost a lot of our skill guys from last year, but there are a number of talented players competing hard to fill those spots. Our strength should be on our offensive and defensive lines with several returning starters with a lot of experience. Our kicking game should also be strong with the return of Austin Martellucci” said head coach Jeff Braido.

Returning Players:

JuJu Fears (12) – WR/DB – 6’2 200
Javon Frutchey (12) – TE/DE – 6’ 170
Aidan Hutchison (12) – RB/LB – 5’10 210
JV Johnson (12) – WR/DB – 5’9 160
Anthony Embardino (12) – OL/DL – 5’11 260
Sean Wilson (12) – OL/DL – 6’3 255
Odin Ferency (12) – OL/DL – 6’5 320
Austin Martellucci (12) – K/P – 6’1 180

Newcomers: Ibrahim Dail – OL/DL, Dylan Reed – QB, Sam Nester – OL/DL, Brady Correll – TE/DE, Jasir Frutchey – WR/DB, Davonte Staton – RB/LB, Alex Georges – TE/LB, Logan Braido – WR/DB, Jordan Alston – WR/DB, Michael Phillips – WR/DB, Murad Carter – RB/DB, Matt Deliso – WR/DB, Collin Torres – WR/DB


Allentown Central Catholic

The two-time defending 4A District XI champions the Allentown Central Catholic Vikings has the majority of team returning. Both RB Travis Foster and WR Griffin Patridge return as well as RB Caiden Shaffer. Jareel Calhoun, Armonie Torres and Nasir MClean will return at WR. Quarterback Tamlin Ferguson will be back under center, who threw for over 1,400 yards and 8 touchdowns. Rajan Stevens and Braheem Battles will be back to anchor the line of scrimmage. Matt Keyes will also compete for the quarterback position. The 4A Classification has now along with the Vikings will be Bethlehem Catholic, Blue Mountain, East Stroudsburg North, Bangor and Pottsville, as Northwestern Lehigh is now in the 3A Classification.

Returning players:

Sr OL Mitchell Miller 6’2 250
Jr OL Nick Balisage 5’10 240
Sr TE/LB Ethan Hosak 6’2 200
Sr QB Tamlin Ferguson 5’10 180
Jr WR/DB Armonie Torres 6’2 190
Sr WR/LB Griffin Patridge 6’2 185
Sr WR Alistair Stewart-Smith 6’3 185
So WR Jareel Calhoun 5’9 165
Sr RB/DB Travis Foster 6’0 165
Sr RB/LB Caiden Schaffer 5’10 200
So OL/DL Braheem Battles 6’3 305
Jr DL Rajan Stevens 6’4 220
Sr OLB Matt Keyes 5’11 200
Jr RB/DBNathan Schultz 5’11 175
Jr WR/DB Nasir Mclean 5’10 165
Jr K/P Luke Myers

Newcomers: Sr OL Mitchell Miller 6’2 250 Jr OL Nick Balisage 5’10 240 Sr TE/LB Ethan Hosak 6’2 200 Sr QB Tamlin Ferguson 5’10 180 Jr WR/DB Armonie Torres 6’2 190 Sr WR/LB Griffin Patridge 6’2 185 Sr WR Alistair Stewart-Smith 6’3 185 So WR Jareel Calhoun 5’9 165 Sr RB/DB Travis Foster 6’0 165 Sr RB/LB Caiden Schaffer 5’10 200 So OL/DL Braheem Battles 6’3 305 Jr DL Rajan Stevens 6’4 220 Sr OLB Matt Keyes 5’11 200 Jr RB/DBNathan Schultz 5’11 175 Jr WR/DB Nasir Mclean 5’10 165 Jr K/P Luke Myers


Bethlehem Catholic

Bethlehem Catholic is coming off and uncharacteristic and disappointing season in their history with a 2-7 record and 1-6 in the EPC and missed the playoffs in for the first time in nine years.The Hawks did lose signal-caller Jared Richardson but return Rahmel Terry, who is coming off a torn ACL last season. Eric Wert returns at the WR position, who had nearly 400 yards receiving and 39 receptions. RB Zyaire Morris also returns after picking nearly 450 yards and six scores. The two primary WR also return Jaiden Ellis-Lahey and Jamel Clements. There will be quarterback battle between Auggie Warke, Luke Thomas and Cayden Vassa, a freshman. The Hawks will have 7 games being played at BASD Stadium. Becahi will have a 45 man roster.

Returning Players:

Jaiden Ellis – Lahey, WR 6’4 200 SR
Eric Wert WR 5’9 175 SR
Zyaire Morris RB/LB 5’10 195 SR
Izzy Ramos – Dobbins FB/LB 5’11 215 SR
Mark Mulhurn OT/NG 6’6 315 SR
Eli Thompson OG/DE 6’3 275 SR
Mekhi George OG/NG 6’0 300 SR
Nicco Spezza C 5’9 215 SR
Jamel Clements WR/DB 5’10 165 SR
Troy Miller WR/S 6’2 180 SR
Sam Ayache OT/DE 6’4 280 JR
Robert Williams OG/LB 6’3 195 JR

Newcomers: Mel Terry RB/DB 5’10 170 SR Luke Thomas QB 5’10 175 SR Will Aviles WR/S 5’9 165 SR Josh Doane DE 6’0 245 SR Matt Englehart C 5’11 255 SR Solomon Sutton FB/LB 5’9 195 JR Jacob Sutton WR/DB 5’7 165 JR Jacob Lance OG/DE 6’1 200 JR Auggie Warke QB 5’10 190 JR Devin Greene DB 5’9 155 JR Mekhi LaPierre RB/LB 5’9 185 JR JD Awuah WR/S 5’10 170 JR Justin Gonzalez WR/S 5’8 160 SO DJ Kelly WR/DB 6’0 165 SO Carlos Perez LB 5’9 175 SO Jaiden Perez RB/S 5’11 175 SO Collin Peacock WR/S 5’7 155 SO Jelanie Fedrick WR/DB 5’8 150


Liberty

Liberty head coach Shawn Daignault has some work to do to put the Hurricanes back into the center of the EPC South storm. A 1-9 record like last years won’t cut it. He does have a nucleus returning to churn the waters. QB Tommy Mason returns to lead the offense and he has Karim Brice, Nico Sciarra aand Kole Zellner returning as familiar targets. With only two returning linemen, they’ll have to connect quickly until the line gels. Liberty won’t be a pushover, but they still have a hill to climb. “We should take steps in a positive direction. This group of kids has really bought into changing our culture and have done the work required” said Daignault.

Returning players:

Karim Brice, WR/DB, 5’10 175, Senior
Nico Sciarra, WR/OLB, 6′ 185, Senior
Jordan Bartholomew, OL/DL, 6’2 270, Senior
Jelani Leslie, OL/DL 5’10 290, Senior
Tommy Mason, 5’11 170, QB, Senior
Siddiq Small, LB/FB 6’1 210, Senior
Kole Zellner, 6’1 210, TE, Senior

Newcomers: Isaiah Osorio, Safety/RB – Guillaume Lumbayi, LB/RB – Anthony Askerneese, CB/WR – Quinton Morton, DB/RB – Silas Liscko, LB/TE – Julius Vasquez, OL – Isaiah Huskey, DL/OL – Jai Griffin, DL – Delvin Rodriguez, OL/DL – Nate Abboud, LB/RB – Jake Pukszyn, WR/DB – Chase Barlock, DB/WR – Dylan Benway, DE – Daunte Morrison, DE


Nazareth

Nazareth coming off a tough 20-19 loss in the 2021 District playoff to Emmaus, are looking for redemption. The offense will be led by quarterback Sonny Sasso, who threw for over 1,800 yards and 15 scores. Sasso will have plenty of weapons on the outside, Junior Mason Kuehner and Nolan Lobb. Sean Kinney, Tony Pilla and Brady Pigeon return to anchor the line. Defense will be a concern as Sasso, Kuehner and Lobb are only returning starters on that side of the ball.  “We have a lot of quality pieces back and we’re in good shape, but you never know in the league we play in.”

Returning players: NA


Whitehall

Whitehall Zephyrs also know what it’s like to lose a heart-breaker in the playoffs as they let a 41-27 lead in the 5A championship against East Stroudsburg South slip away as the Cavaliers rallied to 47-41 win. The Zephyrs finished the season 4-7 and will need to find some new skilled position players. aiden Parvel, Braden Bashore and Sebastian Orochena will try to fill those holes left by graduation. Trey Dogmantis will return at quarterback and RB Nigel Linton will return. The 5A classification has added Pocono Mountain West, Pleasant Valley to the mix to Join the fray with Whitehall, Southern Lehigh, Pocono Mountain East and East Stroudsburg South.

Returning players: NA

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