Lackawanna Football Conference 2022 Preview, What can we expect?
Tagged under: Conference Previews, District 2, News
Matthew Anastasi | August 9, 2022
As the 2022 Highschool football season approaches,19 teams from the Lackawanna Football Conference will begin their journey to the state Championship. Before we hop into our preview off this conference some things have changed. The Lackawanna League is now back to just three divisions instead of four, and we also have some new classifications let’s take a look.
1A Old Forge, Lackawanna Trail
2A Dunmore, Lakeland, Mid Valley, Riverside, Susquehanna, Holy Cross, Holy Redeemer
3A Scranton Prep, Western Wayne Carbondale, Hanover, Lake-Lehman
4A North Pocono, Valley View, Wallenpaupack, Honesdale, Berwick, Crestwood, Dallas, Wyoming Area, Tunkhannock, Nanticoke
5A Abington Heights, Delaware Valley Scranton, West Scranton, Wyoming Valley West, Pittston Area
6A Hazleton, Wilkes Barre
Let’s take a look at the preseason top 5 then hop into the breakdown.
- Delaware Valley
- Scranton Prep
- Valley View
- Old Forge
For each teams schedule visit https://pafootballnews.com/district-2/
LFC Division 1
Abington Heights, Delaware Valley, North Pocono, Scranton, Scranton Prep, Valley View, Wallenpaupack.
The Favorites Delaware Valley, Scranton Prep, Valley View
This division is arguably the best division in the district, The Warriors, Cavaliers, and Cougars all won district titles last season and had a combined record of 32-7. All three of these teams could easily win the district, but let’s start with the Warriors led by head coach Keith Olsommer. Olsommer has a terrific class of juniors that shined last season as Sophomores led by Justin Kalitsnik, Ryder Machado, and Tight end Aiden Black. Black is already a high-level division 1 prospect with offers from Syracuse and Maryland and is the number 19th tight end in the country.
When talking about high-level prospects you can’t leave at the name London Montgomery. The Penn State commit led the Cavilers to a district title back to the state playoffs, and just had video game numbers. Montgomery rushed for 2,360 yards and 35 touchdowns. He averaged 12.2 yards per carrying all in just 9 games. He also helped the Cavilers won the division title last season.
Valley View gave Scranton Prep its most challenging game of the year last season, but this season the Cougars will be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Star quarterback Adam Howanitz suffered a torn ACL in week 5, but despite the team still winning the district title and making the state playoffs, the Cougars felt they missed out on a real state title run. The cougars also return star running back Connor Hilling who rushed for 1,537 yards and 24 touchdowns. But more importantly, it’s the last season for Cougars head coach George Howanitz who announced to this team several weeks ago this season will be his last. Howanitz heads into his 16th season with 106 career wins and 4 district titles.
The Darkhorse North Pocono
The Trojans had a very successful season last season and marched all the way to the district title before losing to Valley View. if the Trojans played in any other division, they would be considered favorites. The Trojans return a handful of stars that play both ways, Ty LaFave is the leader of the Trojans defense, a defense that only gave up 88 points in the regular season. And on offense, Michael Blaine is back for the Trojans he ran for 990 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, and his production will go up this season expect him to be a 1,000-yard rusher this season. The Trojans had a couple of really impressive performances last season including a 12-6 loss to Delaware Valley and a 41-26 win over Dallas in the district semifinals.
The Comets should finish as the 5th best team in this division and return some key guys that play both ways. Nico Bossi who recently committed to Brown is a wrecking ball on defense for them and finished with 42 tackles and 6 sacks. And Caleb Marzolino had a very solid year at running back for the Comets and finished with 548 yards and 6 touchdowns. What will help the Comets before they enter league play is their early schedule, The Comets will see Dallas, Berwick, and Wilkes Barre before they enter league play. Scranton and Wallenpaupack should be battling for around 6 and 7th respectfully.
The Knights were hit hard with graduation and will have to replace a lot but still have some key guys. Donato Stepney was a two-way star for the Knights last season and rushed for 100 yards and a score and also caught 15 passes for 248 yards. Jacob Martinez will once again be the leader of the Knight’s defense and put up some big-time numbers last season 65 tackles, 14 for a loss, and 5 sacks.
Wallenpaupack started off the year last year 2-0 and looked like they were going to be a contender in 4A, but that wasn’t the case the Buckhorns would go on to lose 7 of their last 9. The Buckhorns got hit hard with graduation and will need guys to really step up. They do return tight end Jordan Santiago who caught 2 touchdown passes last year, and he will be one of the main targets on offense. The Buckhorns also return Antonio ianetta will be the primary ball carrier in an offensive that’s very run-heavy.
- Delaware Valley
- Scranton Prep
- Valley View
- North Pocono
- Abington Heights
LFC Division 2
Dunmore, Honesdale, Lakeland, Mid Valley, Western Wayne, West Scranton
The Favorite Lakeland
The Chiefs are coming off another phenomenal season which saw them reach the District semifinals, and with them moving down to 2A are favorites to win the district. The Chiefs once again return a high-powered pass-first offensive led by Dominico Spataro, who threw for a district 2 high 2,254 passing yards and 25 touchdowns and also ran for 820 yards with 15 touchdowns. Division 1 prospect Lacota Dippre also returns for the Chiefs not only did he catch 49 passes for 540 yards and 4 touchdowns which were best among tight ends in district 2. He also returns as the leader of their defense he recorded 65 tackles, 25 for a loss, and 9 sacks, and his 25 tackles for a loss were the most in the state.
The Darkhorse Dunmore
Despite me thinking Dunmore will finish third in the division last year’s 4-7 record didn’t show who they truly were. The Bucks were no easy win last season they gave Old Forge one of their toughest games of the regular season. And they also had a 7 and 4-point loss to both Lakeland and Mid Valley two teams that won over 9 games. Many tend to forget that Bucks lead Lackawanna Trail 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter of the district title matchup but fell 14-10. The Bucks will have to get better on offense this season if they want a shot at the division the defense played very solid last season only giving up 15 points a game, but the offense only averaged 14 points a game. The Bucks do return a couple of key pieces on offense including quarterback Thomas Bowen who threw for 656 yards and 6 touchdowns last year. The Bucks also return Wide receiver Domenick Desando who caught 8 passes for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns and running back Nico Ruggerio who ran for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Expect the Wildcats to finish second place in the division, the Wildcats beat every single team in this division last year except Lakeland and Mid Valley who they lost to respectfully 26-21 and 28-27. The Wildcats did lose some key guys due to graduation but still return a key group of guys on that offensive line that will pave the way for a powerful run game led by Luke Janiszewski. The Junior ran for 880 yards and 9 touchdowns last season and will get more carries this season expect him to be a 1,000 rusher. Mid Valley and Honesdale should be around this division’s fourth and fifth spots. I think the Spartans will finish fourth in this division despite getting hit hard by graduation, they return a couple of key guys on offense that will need to step up. Zach Popko will be the primary ball carrier in this run-heavy offense, he ran for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 29 carriers last year. And Jordan Carroll will be the number one target in the Spartan’s passing game that was underrated last season Carroll caught 13 passes for 142 yards last season. With the departure of Connor Schmitt, the Hornets will look to pass the ball more and get the ball to Kage Southerton. The question allies how will the offensive line hold up, Paul Russick and their staff do return some playmakers on both sides of the ball. Max Mickel who will be the team’s primary ball carrier rushed for 202 yards and 4 touchdowns last year and is also very good on defense he recorded 88 tackles last season. Kage Southerton returns as one of the district’s best receivers last season he finished with 45 receptions for 701 yards and 7 touchdowns, and he returns his quarterback Aiden Collins who started as a freshman last season and threw for 872 yards and 8 touchdowns. Everyone knows the story, West Scranton’s last win came in September 2019 against Lakeland since then the invaders have lost 21 straight games and, have not won a division game since October 2018. The Invaders will have chances to win some games this year with how their schedule aligns and will be guided by first-year head coach Jake Manetti. who is not only the youngest coach in the league but brings plenty of football knowledge to the program. Manetti was a former standout player at Old Forge and helped lead them to the 2013 Class A state title game, and later on, his career became a standout at King’s college. The Invaders return running back Joe harris who rushed for 196 yards and a score last season, and offensive lineman Roman King who has been one of the better linemen in the league for the past couple of seasons.
- Western Wayne
- Mid Valley
- West Scranton
LFC Division 3
Old Forge, Lackawanna Trail, Riverside, Carbondale, Holy Cross, Susquehanna
The Favorite Old Forge
No shocker here the Devils will not only be one of the best teams in the district but one of the best teams in the state in Class A. The Devils should have no issues in the division and go undefeated in it once again, The Devils return a key group of guys that helped win them 2 state playoff games last year. James Sobol is back under center for the Devils and is coming off one of the best seasons a quarterback has had in the program’s history, he threw for 1,669 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 550 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Devils also return Casey Holzman who is a star both ways for them he caught 23 passes for 386 yards and 5 touchdowns last season and also recorded 2 interceptions. Cylell Rose also returns for the devils, Rose is a 2-time member of the all-state team and is one of the district’s best linemen. Where the Devils will have to improve is closing out games, the past 2 years the Devils have lost leads late in games in 2020 the devils were up 29-27 against Steelton Highspire heading into the fourth quarter before falling on to the Rollers on the last play of the game. And last year the Devils were up 14-0 on Canton with 7 minutes left in the game before letting Canton tie the game up, the Devils would eventually fall in overtime 20-14 against the Warriors.
The sleeper Lackawanna Trail
The Lions have had great success in the state bracket despite not winning a division title in the past 3 years. The Lions have won 7 state playoff games in the past 4 years and are looking to do that again with them back at 1A. If the Lions want a shot at winning the division they will have to defeat Old Forge in week 6 something they haven’t done in the regular season since 2016, The Lions patented Wing T offense will be back in action. Leading that offense will be the duo of Hunter Patterson and Lucas Gumble, Patterson ran for 822 yards and 10 touchdowns last season while Gumble ran for 590 yards and 8 touchdowns, The Lions will not only contend for a division title but a district title.
Carbondale should finish around third in this division and will have one of the better rushing attacks in the league. The duo of Vinny DePalma and Davon Reams rushed for 1,876 yards and 25 touchdowns and helped Carbondale win 5 games after not playing the year previous due to covid. Riverside should fall around the fourth-best team in this division, Harry Armstrong’s air raid offense will need to put up points for the Vikings to contend for a title. It’s all gonna start up front for the Vikings if they can’t give Sophmore quarterback time to throw it’s gonna be rough, The Vikings will need to get the ball to Reese Gaughan whether he is running the ball or catching it. Gaughan has proven what he is capable off when he gets the ball he was an all-state wide receiver in 2020 and caught 56 passes for 443 yards and 3 touchdowns last season. Susquehanna returns a key group of guys on offense that will help contend in the division. The Sabers will return quarterback Colton Stone who threw for 931 yards and 10 touchdowns, Stone also return his wide receiver 1 JJ Rosa who caught 22 passes for 221 yards and a score. Holy Cross won 4 games last season which is pretty successful for the Program. The Crusaders managed to win 3 of first 4 games and found there weapon in running back Logan Tierney. Tierney Broke the programs single season rushing record with 1,395 yards and he also added on 9 total touchdowns
Follow PA Football News on Twitter @PaFootballNews