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.
Here are the offensive line:
Jason Biever, Sr. – Hazleton Area
Height: 6-3 Weight: 280
Biever is one of the most experienced lineman returning in the WVC. He is a four-year starter for the Cougars and will be the leader as Hazleton Area will usher in a new offense from a new coaching staff. The Cougars do have some skill player returning so the offense can be very good if they offensive line can gel quickly. Biever will also start on the defensive line. He is getting looks from Division I-FCS schools. Biever was a Wyoming Valley Conference Big School first-team offensive lineman in 2019.
Cross Douglas, Sr. – Lakeland
Height: 6-0 Weight 256
High expectations at Chapman Lake as the Chiefs return 8 starters on offense. Cross is a four-year starter and will be the captain of the offensive line. He has trimmed down in the off-season and added more strength. With a new quarterback, the offensive line will be essential for Lakeland to compete for a district title. Douglas was named a Lackawanna Football Conference Division III first-team offensive lineman and honorable mention defensive lineman.
Mike Gecik, Sr. – Delaware Valley
Height: 6-3 Weight 270
Delaware Valley has produced many successful lineman over the past several seasons and now Gecik hopes to continue that trend. The Warriors are always balanced and Gecik is a solid run blocker and even better with pass protection. DV has had a 1,000 yard rusher four straight seasons so this offensive line wants to keep that streak alive. Gecik will also start at defensive tackle for the Warriors. He was a Lackawanna Football Conference Division I first-team offensive lineman last season.
Bryce Hinkle, Sr. – Wyoming Area
Height: 5-8 Weight 200
The state champions will have a target on their back, but the chances for another successful run is very probably. The Warriors have four starting offensive line returing so they should carry the load until the young skill players get up to speed. Hinkle at center is one leaders of the unit. He had 29 pancake blocks last season. Hinkle was a Wyoming Valley Conference Small School first-team offensive lineman and was also recognized by EasternPaFootball.com.
Will Stevens, Sr. – Abington Heights
Height: 5-10 Weight 240
Abington Heights is counting on an offensive resurgence in 2020 and Stevens will literally be the center of that effort. A four-year starter makes him the most experienced Comet and playing center allows him to make any line calls for the offense. His veteran experience will be crucial for an Abington offense that needs to able to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball effectively.
Steven Yanchis, Sr. – Pittston Area
Height: 6-4 Weight 325
Yanchis started for the Patriots as a sophomore, but missed the entire 2019 campaign. If Pittston Area wants to compete in Class 4A, they have to get better up front and the coaching staff is hoping Yanchis can bounce back from the injury and be an example for the younger players. The Patriots will be very young as a team, so the seniors must carry the team early.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Ian Bednar, S0. – Wilkes-Barre
Nasir Condry, Sr. – Wyoming Area
Mason Maciejewski, Sr. – Dunmore
Justin Tigue, Sr. – Riverside
Ty Vokes, Sr. – Lackawanna Trail