2019 Season Preview: LFC Division III

Coaches Consensus Predictions:
1. Dunmore
2. Lakeland
3. Riverside
4. Mid Valley
5. Carbondale Area

According to the coaches, Dunmore is the favorite to regain the LFC III crown, but Lakeland has the weappons to stay on top. Riverside will be the sleeper.

Coach Kevin McHale  (1st Season)
Class 2A
2018 Record: 9-4 (3-1)
Stadium: Dunmore Veterans Memorial Stadium

The Bucks start a new era of Dunmore football and will try to continue the success that has been the norm under Jack Henzes. Long time assistant coach Kevin McHale takes over and will have offensive coordinator Jeff Mills back to run the offense so things won’t change very much short term.

Coach McHale definitely knows what his challenges will be in 2019. “We have a great group of seniors who have provided great leadership so far. We need to replace multiple linemen on both sides of the ball.”

Dunmore does return quarterback Steve Borgia and running backs Cristian Buckley and Rayshaun Dawkins. Karl Kincel will lead the way at fullback. Tommy Lewis will return at receiver and will be joined by Charles Valvano. Dom Termperino will be the tight end. Only Seamus Cadden returns to the offensive line.  A combination of Anthony Golden, Alec Yanisko, Jake Kalinowski, Mason Maciejewski and Austin Brislin will fill the other two spots.

On defense, Cadden, Golden, Yanisko and Kalinowski will comprise the front four while Kincel, Mike Burke and Nick Stanco will be the linebackers. The secondary is one of the best in the area with three returning starters Borgia, Valvano, Buckley and Lewis will step in the fourth spot.

Coach David Piwowarczyk  (1st Season)
Class 3A
2018 Record: 9-4 (4-0)
Stadium: Lakeland Stadium

Another coaching change in the division elevates an assistant to head coach as David Piwowarczyk takes over for Jeff Wasilchak. The new coach is optimistic but knows there will be challenges.

“We are hoping to be in the race for the division title, but have to replace many key starters from last years team.”

The offense should be explosive again as RB Giovanni Spataro returns and has a chance to break the all-time Lakeland rushing record as a junior. C.J. Dippre returns at quarterback but will have to find some new weapons in the passing game. Chris Mellon, Billy Good and Mike Pidgeon will be the main receivers. Shane Barrett is the fullback while Colin Clause-Walton, Tim Prawdzik and Robert Romanowski could all see some time at tight end. Two big cogs are back up front – Cross Douglas and Robbie Thomas. Brandon Berry, Mason Ormsby, Chris Zabrowski and Nate Lowry will battle for the other three spots. Good is one of best returning kickers in the LFC.

Three starters return to the defensive line – Dippre, Thomas and Douglas. Lowry, Clause-Walton and Prawdzik will also be in the rotation. Spataro is the lone returning lineback.Barrett, Romanowski and Shane Nolan will figure in the other positions on the unit. Nick Mancuso and Kevin Snyder join returning starters Good and Pidgeon in the secondary.

Coach Harry Armstrong  (7th Season, 54-23)
Class 2A
2018 Record: 6-5 (2-2)
Stadium: Taylor Veterans Memorial Stadium

The Vikings will be throwing the ball all over Lackawanna County and that’s what Coach Harry Armstrong wants to do. “We expect to compete for the division and district titles. Improving on last year’s win total by 1 to 3 games is what we are shooting for.”

John Gilchrist returns after throwing the ball 333 times last season. His No. 1 weapong Razen Reyes is back at receiver as is the flexible Kristian Pon who can line up anywhere on the field. Sean Torres will man the tailback jerseys and run behind H-Back Alex Jaworski and tight end John Greenfield.  Diego Rojas will see time at receiver. Up front, Anthony Lima is the lone returning starter and will be joined by Justin Tigue, CJ Jimenez, Angel Escobar and Tim Lavelle.

Lima, Tigue and Jimenez will comprise the three-man front while Greenfield is the lone returning linebacker. Gavin Thomas and Nate Cron will be the other backers in the unit. The secondary is very experienced with Pon, Torres, Jaworski, Rojas all returning starters and Reyes with his 6-4 frame will step in the fifth spot.

Coach Dave Rebar (7th Season, 21-41 at Mid Valley; 10th Season overall, 40-65)
Class 2A
2018 Record: 1-9 (0-4)
Stadium: Spartan Stadium

It was a disappointing season for the Spartans, but with a strong returning defense (8 starters are back), Coach Dave Rebar expects last year’s one win season to turn into a winning season in 2019.

The backfield will be strong on offense no matter what position each player ends up with Sebastian Brudnicki, Aaron Killino and Devin Ayala all capabale of carrying the football. Zach Rebar moves from tight end to full back to lead the way. Jeremiah Wolo also returns at wide receiver while Ethan Booth replaces Rebar at tight end. The Spartans have four starters back on the offensive line including Antonio Ortiz, Jason Maceyko, Tyler Angelo and Andre Clark.

Luke Ferguso, Josh Angelo, James Goetz and Booth all return up front after a big season in the weight room. Rebar, Angelo and Ortiz are all returning linebackers. The secondary is very experienced too with Brudnicki, Killino, Ayala and Wolo expected to be the starters.

Coach Larry Gabriel III  (11th Season, 43-64)
Class 2A
2018 Record: 3-8 (1-3)
Stadium: Andrew Cerra Sports Complex

Coach Gabriel is now the senior coach in the division as he begins his 11th season. He feels his team has a lot of positives entering 2019.

“With 4 returning offensive lineman, coupled with our quarterback, we feel we have a solid start to building a productive offense. However, aside from our quarterback, we don’t have any experience in the skilled positions. The sooner our skilled positions become comfortable with the speed of the game, the sooner we become competitive. Defensively, we have alot to learn, in a hurry. Underclassmen need to step up quickly in order for us to win football games.”

Ray Ofner will be solid as quarterback with a year under his belt. Parker Kerl and Vinny Depalma will be given opportunities at tailback while Donovin Loomisis the fullback. Joe Mark will be a starter at wide receiver while Jose Mendez is the starting tight end. Seth Arthur, Jadden Hayner, Nathan Emmett and Liam Misko all return on the offensive line.

Arthur is the heart of the defense up front while Emmett Misko and Mendez will fill the other three spots. Donovin Loomis is a returning starter and will have Jadden Hayner, Kerl and DePalma beside him. Mark returns in the secondary and will be joined by Hector Acosta and Ofner. Ofner also handles the kicking duties.