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Written by: Dave Fegley on Thursday, August 25th, 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 1, Jersey Shore will look to continue to be dominant. Their toughest opponent will most likely be Selinsgrove as the Bulldogs and Seals seem to meet up in the District 4 Class 4A Championship game on an annual basis. Jersey Shore continues to build as the culture has changed for the better over the last decade.
Others looking to compete with those two programs include Central Mountain, Mifflinburg, Shamokin Area, and Shikellamy. Shamokin has some incoming talent in the younger grades with a veteran quarterback. An interesting look at the schedule, Central Mountain and Shikellamy will take on Mifflin County in the first two weeks respectively.
A look at Division 1.
Division 1 Projected Order of Finish:
1.) Jersey Shore
Tom Gravish has the Bulldogs rolling strong the last few years. This year the Dogs will miss Cayen Hess and Karder Peacock, but they still have a ton of talent returning starting with LB/FB Hayden Packer. One of the top players in the district. Gravish has the luxury of returing the entire line, QB Brady Jordan, Wide outs Kooper Peacock and Conner Griffin. As if that isn’t enough, Jersey Shore has one of the biggest legs in the state with Breck Miller.
Defensively the Dogs are stout. Packer, Tate Sechrist, Peacock and Jordan return along with several other key members of the team. “We look forward to an exciting season. We have a very challenging schedule and look forward to the challenge. We will look to our senior leaders and offensive & defense fronts to lead our 2022” said Gravish
G 53 Luke Springman Sr 6′ 220r
T 68 Zach Rooney Sr 6’2″ 235
G 75 Dierk Stetts Sr 6′ 185
C 58 Jared Palski Sr 6′ 195
Qb 11 Brady Jordan Sr 5’10” 185
Fb 44 Hadyn Packer Sr 6′ 225
Tb 1 Elijah Jordan So 5’10” 180
Wr 13 Connor Griffin Sr 6′ 180
Wr 2 Kooper Peacock Sr 6′ 194
Wr 23 Dathan Tyson So 5’11” 180
K 32 Breck Miller Sr 5’10” 170
P 2 Kooper Peacock Sr 6′ 194
Ls 58 Jarred Palski Sr 6′ 195
Kr 11 Brady Jordan Sr 5’10” 185
Kr 1 Elijah Jordan So 5’10” 180
Newcomers: Ot 74 Dyson Delaney Jr 6’4″ 265
De 36 Max Engle Jr 6’3″ 215
Wr 43 Payton Samar Jr 6′ 180
Derek Hicks always has the Seals playing good football. Gone are Teague Hoover and Big 33 participant Brandon Hile. Offensively QB Mark Pastore and RB Tucker Teats lead the way. Teats ran for over 600 yards and scored 9 times. Gavin Bastian is the only receiver returning with starting experience but waiting in the wings Steven Miller, Nick Rice and Teats will get some throws out of the backfield.
Defensively the Seals are young but have enough experience to stay with teams in the early going. LB Corey Rumberger led the team in tackles and had 6 sacks last year while Garrettt Paradis and Miller combined for 100 tackles. Look for the Seals to be a competitive team. They open at Bellefonte then the schedule gets rough with Juniata, Jersey Shore and Shamokin.
Head coach Henry Hynoski has a nice group with 17 seniors returning for the Indians. Nine of those returning players have starting experience. The offense is led by quarterback Brett Nye. Nye missed a couple games with injury last year but had a good summer. Last year Shamokin ran the ball a lot, but this year expect Nye to get turned loose. They have a bevy of skill guys returning. Knowledge Artis-Jones has the ability to hit the hole quick, brother Wisdom Artis, Chase Pensyl, Isaiah Mumford and Colton Lynch will create opportunities for Nye to have a big year. Defensively the Indians return a nice group led by DE Eric Zalar and the Jones brothers.
“Strong improvement from last year. Returning starter experience should benefit us. Need a couple of offensive linemen/TE to step up and win competition in camp” said Hynoski.
Eric Zalar OL/DE,
Hunter Wertz OL/DT,
Blake Hockenbroch OL/DL,
Brett Nye QB,
Knowledge Artis-Jones RB/LB,
Wisdom Artis – Jones WR/DB,
Chase Pensyl WR/DB,
Isaiah Mumford WR/DB,
Colton Lynch WR/DB,
Corey Adams FB/LB,
Brock Nye OL/DL
The Wildcats finished with a repectable 6-4 record last year and coach Jason Dressler is “Looking to build on last season’s strengths. We have a good mixture of upper classmen an under classmen athletes so our depth in many positions has increased. Excited to see us compete!”
Quarterback Troy Dressler threw for over 1,800 yards last year and has two of his top targets, Andrew Diehl and Zack Wertman back. He’ll be protected by a veteran line. The Cats also have their two top rushers back in Carter Breed and Diehl.
Defensively tackle Lucas Wittaker led the team in tackles. Breed and Dressler also return to a group with a lot of experience.
Emmanual Ulrich – Center/DT, 2023
Lucas Whittaker – Guard/DT, 2023
Andrew Diehl – RB/FS, 2023
Carter Breed – RB/OLB, 2023
Zack Wertman – WR/C, 2023
Trevon Simpson – Guard/DT, 2023
Jarrett Miller – WR/C, 2023
Tanner Zimmerman – WR/C, 2023
Troy Dressler, QB, 2024
Kyler Troup – TE/DT, 2024
Newcomers: Ben Reitz – RB/OLB, 2025 Chad Martin – QB/LB, 2026 Jon Melendez – LB, 2023 Kaiden Kmett – LB, 2026 Jack Griffith – WR/FS, 2026 Xavier Croll – Guard/DT, 2026
5.) Central Mountain
The other Wildcats in the league played tough in 2021, finishing with a 6-5 record. Shanon Manning has a very young team this year but says “this group has worked exceptionally hard throughout the off season and remains committed toward the goals and expectations for the upcoming season.”
Central Mountain will be replacing just about everyone on both sides of the ball with just 6 returning players that have starting experience. “Special teams will play a huge role in our success, defensively we will need to get to the football and tackle extremely well in space. Offensively, we need to be assignment perfect up front and we will need to create explosive play opportunities each week” said Manning.
Rocco Serafini-SS (JR) 6′ 180 LBS
Connor Foltz- SE/DB (JR) 5’10’ 170 LBS
Kevin Grenninger-CB (JR) 5’10” 160 LBS.
Brady Myers- FS (JR) 6’1″ 170LBS
Giovanni Tarantella- OC (JR) 6′ 215 LBS
Peyton Jones- Kicker (JR) 5’8′ 145 LBS
Newcomers: Ben Herrick- ATH/LB Osten Lindsey- LB Jake Weaver-RB/LB Ashton Bennett- OT/DE Brayden Diehl- OT/DT Seth Front-OT/DT Dylan Baker-OL/DL Mack Saar-TE/DE Xiaver Persun-TE/DE Braylen Corter- SE/CB Dominic Longworth- SE/SS Nate Helms- RB/LB Levi Schlesinger- TE/LB Cru Stover- RB/DB
Another young team in the league, Jim Keiser’s Braves need to gel early to have any type of good season. They’ll have a freshman QB in Zaren Zechman. He’s being mentored by new QB coach, former Selinsgrove record breaker Logan Leiby, an all new line and new skill guys. “We have very good speed at the running back and wide receiver positions” said Keiser. Isaac Schaffer will see a bulk of the carries. ” Defensively we need to replace our inside backers but the return of Luke Snyder who missed all of last year and 5 games his freshman season is a huge boost there. We should be able to post one of the best defensive lines we have had in a long time and the speed and athleticism on the back end is a plus, our linebackers actually have a lot of experience for a group that is losing three starters. Our kicking game is in great hands as we return Nick Koontz back for what I believe will be a big season for him.”
Isaac Schaffer-Neitz FB/LB 5’8″ 189 2023,
Rayshawn Martin CB/RB 5’9″ 156 2023,
Chase Morgan 5’8″ DB/RB/WR 146 2023,
Mason Rebuck 6’0″ 212 C/DT 2023
John Rosinski 6’1″ 246 G/DT 2025,
Ethan Turber-Ortiz 6’0″ 185 OLB/QB 2023,
Derek Turber-Ortiz 5’10” 225 LB/FB 2025,
Rhandy Castillo OLB 6’1″ 195 OLB/TE 2023,
Luke Snyder 5’10” 194 MLB/RB 2024
Elijah Fernandez 5’9″ 202 LB/RB 2023
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