This is the ninth edition of our Five To Watch series. We thank Mansfield University for coming aboard again as a sponsor on the network and our title sponsor for Five To Watch. There are 34 teams in the WVC and LFC so it’s impossible to recognize every single player in this list. The players we do list are some of the best at their position or have an interesting role coming up in 2020 for their team. For players who don’t make the list, we hope you strive to make our lists at the end of the season because that’s the ones that really count. (Players are only eligible for one list. If they play other positions, that will be mentioned in their write-ups)

Here are the defensive lineman:

Gavin Baker, Sr. – Susquehanna
Height: 6-3 Weight: 185

Baker will be one of the leaders on the defensive side of the ball. He missed the first four games last season, but still led the team in sacks. He also led Susquehanna in sacks in 2018. Baker is long, lengthy and strong and will be part of a Sabers team that has lots of talent on defense and eight starters returning. He will also play tight end for Susquehanna.
Baker Highlights

C.J. Dippre, Sr. – Lakeland
Height: 6-5 Weight 250

One of the most highly recruited players in the area, Dippre is a monster on the defensive line. His size and strength make it very tough to move him off the line of scrimmage forcing double teams if you want to run the football. He had 43 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 5 sacks in 2019. On offense, Dippre will make the full time switch to tight end, the position he will play when he attends the University of Maryland. He has a chance to eclipse 1,000 yards in passing, rushing and receiving for his career. Dippre was a Lackawanna Football Conference Division III Defense Player of the Year and an NPF All-District 2 defensive lineman last season.
Dippre Highlights. 

Nick Elko, Jr. – Wyoming Area
Height: 6-4 Weight 300
Elko played a huge part in the Warriors state championship run. His size alone is intimidating and make him a major force in stopping the run. His role on defense will be elevated in 2020 beacuse of departures due to graduation. The strength in this Warriors team will be up front so his role will be very important .Elko is a powerful offensive lineman as well and was named a Wyoming Valley Conference Small School first-team offensive lineman last season.
Elko Highlights

R.J Schirg, Jr. – Lackawanna Trail
Height: 6-1 Weight 245

Trail has had some good linemen over the last several years and now Schirg will pick the torch as the leader of the unit. He was a major force for the Lions run to the state semifinals last season. Schirg had 57 tackles which is high for an interior defensive lineman. He also is an important player on the offensive line as Trail makes the move to Class 2A. Schirg was a Lackawanna Football Conference first-team defensive and offensive lineman in 2019.
Schirg Highlights

Mason Laubach, Sr. – Berwick
Height: 6-2 Weight 255
Laubach is another local player being heavily recruited and has had a ton of success in previous seasons. He has worked hard to get bigger and stronger and that will pay off for a Berwick defense that has been very stingy over the past several seasons. Laubach is very explosive off the line of scrimmage and gets to the ball quickly from his defensive end position. Last season, he had 86 tackles and 14 sacks for the Dawgs. Laubach will play fullback on offense for Berwick. He was named a Wyoming Valley Conference 4A first-team defensive lineman in 2019. He has offers to play college football at Louisiana-Monroe, Monmouth and Long Island to name a few.
Laubach Highlights


Austin Brislin, Jr. – Dunmore
Height: 6-2 Weight 295
Brislin is one those emerging Dunmore lineman we seem to see each season. He got quality playing time in 2019 and was able to make a lot of plays a defensive tackle, especially in the run game. Brislin will be the anchor of the middle of the Bucks defense for 2020 so keep an eye on him as he has a chance to emerge as one of the best defensive lineman in the LFC.
Brislin Highlights


Vincent Beltran, Sr. – Wilkes-Barre
Elijah Collison, Sr. – Nanticoke
Chris Kryeski, Sr. – North Pocono
Tyler Swartz, Jr. – Valley View
Logan Tierney, So. – Holy Cross