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Written by: Dave Fegley on Monday, August 22nd, 2022
With the high school football season approaching, the Pennsylvania Heartland Athletic Conference has a lot of unknowns heading into 2022 due to the loss of many talented players from graduation. The preseason favorites in each of the three divisions are all coming off of success from a year ago.
In Division 3, as long as the injury bug doesn’t hit, Mount Carmel Area has the most talent in the division. The Red Tornadoes will look to dominate with the experience that they have returning with their massive offensive line and returning skill players. On paper it doesn’t appear that there is another team close to MCA in Division 3, but Milton looks like the second strongest in the group.
Bloomsburg, Hughesville, Midd-West, and Warrior Run will look to try and improve from last season. The unfortunate thing for those squads in recent years has been lack of numbers.
Head coach John Darrah says “The Red Tornadoes return several starters on both sides of the ball & are poised for a strong season.” With Coastal Caronlina commit Matthew Scicchitano at TE and DL and big Matt Kelley on the lines the Red Tornoados are poised for a good season. Add in the fact that MCA returns a huge portion of last years 10-3 team and it may be the year they finally get the Tigers.
#88 Matthew Scicchitano, TE/DE, 6’4″, 275, SR,
#75 Matthew Kelley, OL/DL 6’4″, 330, SR,
#71 Nick Nestico, OL/DL 6’1″, 280, SR,
#4 Michael Farronato, WR/DB 6′, 175, SR,
#14 Garrett Varano, WR/DB, 5’9, 165, SR,
#58 Kelin Geary, OL/DL, 6′, 250, SR,
#30 Liam Bradley, LB, 5’10”, 200, SR,
#11 Cole Spears, QB/DB, 5’9″, 165, JR,
#15 Jacob Schultz, TE/LB, 6’2″, 180, JR,
#10 Xavier Diaz, RB/DB 5’9, 155, JR,
#44 Ryan Weidner, FB/DE, 6’2″, 210, JR,
#77 Noah Shimko, OL/DL 6’5″, 290, SO
Newcomers: #18 Jacob Zarski, RB/DB, #70 Michael Langton, OL/DL, #61 Jack Robert, OL/DL, #72 Maddox LaMas, OL/DL, #17 Orville Fesniak, WR/DB, #6 Drew Yagodzinksie, FB/LB, #2 Maddox Reed, RB/LB, #28 Al Bailey, FB/LB, #29 Ben Miller, LB, #1 Chase Balichik, TE/DB, #7 Matthew Balichik, QB/DB, #24 Luke Blessing, RB/LB, #9 Hunter Boblick, LB/TE, #12 Andrew Lukoskie, WR/DB, Logan Herb, OL/DL, Gavin Marshalek, QB
The Black Panthers have seen a resurgence lately, and this year they look to continue to improve. The excitement of having a brand new stadium will lend to the resurgence but Head Coach Phill Davis will have to keep this team focused. “We are excited to build off of our success we had last year. We return several starters on both sides of the ball so we are excited to compete every week knowing full well that this season will create all new challenges for us. We are excited to hopefully open our new stadium this season and play some home games as opposed to play all of our games on the road last season”.
Xzavier Minium will be a player to watch. His speed will be difficult for some teams to handle. Look for Minium to be used all over the field, including at QB.
Xzavier Minium- Athlete/DB,
Chris Doyle- RB/LB,
Peyton Rearick- WR/DB,
Dylan Reiff- WR/DB,
Ashton Krall- TE/P,
Austin Mitch- OL,
Hunter Zettlemoyer- OL/DL,
Gary Verdinelli- OL/LB,
Luke Goodwin- LB
Newcomers: Trey Locke- DL/RB, Cale Bastian- QB/LB
Head coach Howard Rainey’s squad struggled all last season, only getting one win. This year the Spartans return a whole host of returning players with experience which includes their QB and several wide receivers. Look for Hughesville to play with passion in honor of Coach Whitmoyer who recently passed.
Josh Applegate, Center, 2023
Luke Kaiser, QB, 2023
Mason Hoppes, MLB, 2023
Chaz Neidig, WR/DB, 2023
Justin Fowler, WR/DB, 2023
Gabe Wagner, DE/FB/OL, 2023
Garrett Sharer, DE/TE, 2023
Aiden Barlett, WR/DB, 2024
Angelo Ferrigno, WR/LB, 2024
Bryce Burkhart, OL/DL, 2024
Russell DeWire, OL/DL, 2025
Luke Stutzman, RB/LB, 2025
Conor Knight, DB/WR, 2025
District 4 Schedules
Madden Locke and Nick Wharton return to a Bloomsburg team that struggled to score points at times last year. The good news is of the 8 that graduated QB Liam Zenter has playing experience as do Blake Zeisloft and Locke running the ball. The Panthers must get out of the gates early but that’s a tall task with Danville to start the season.
The Defenders aren’t in great shape to improve on their winless schedule with losing 11 seniors. Head coach Derek Zechman has his work cut out for him as the Defenders start off with Muncy, Hamburg and Mt. Carmel.
The Mustangs also struggle with numbers and lost 9 seniors on a team that went 1-9 last season.
Division 3 Projected Order of Finish:
1.) Mount Carmel Area
6.) Warrior Run
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