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 quarterbacks:
Ethan Adams, Sr. – Lake-Lehman
Height: 5-10 Weight 170
Adams had a breakout junior season throwing for 2,221 yards, 25 touchdown passes and only 5 interceptions. He also rushed for 471 yards and five touchdowns. The Black Knights, who have run the Wing-T offense in the past, have adjusted their offensive scheme to fit Adams’ skill set and it paid off big dividends last season as Lehman won eight games including a District 2 Class 3A victory in the quarterfinals. He was named a WVC Small School honorable mention quarterback in 2019. Adams will also play cornerback on defense.
Jack Chilson, Sr. – Tunkhannock
Height: 6-5 Weight 175
Chilson had a huge improvement from his sophomore to junior seasons. In 2018, he threw 11 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions and last season he flipped those numbers around throwing 16 touchdowns and only 5 picks. This will be his third season as a starter and will be the most challenging as the Tigers have upgraded their strength of schedule. For his career, he has thrown for 3,797 yards including 2,077 in 2019. Chilson was an NPF Wyoming Valley Conference Class 4A division honorable mention quarterback last season.
Johnny Gilchrist, Sr. – Riverside
Height: 5-11 Weight 195
Gilchrist set a Lackawanna Football Conference record for passing yardage in a season in 2019 by throwing for 2,952 yards. He also tallied 39 touchdown passes last year and now has 5,035 passing yards and 64 touchdown passes for his career. Gilchrist will have a challenge as his top five receivers from 2019 all graduated. However, don’t be surprised if he surpasses his pass attempt total (360) from junior season. Gilchrist was an NPF Lackawanna Football Conference Division III honorable mention quarterback last year.
Dante Lucarelli, Sr. – Old Forge
Height: 6-1 Weight 194
Lucarelli will be a four-year starter for the Blue Devils. He has thrown for 3,851 career yards and completed 58.8% of his passes. He has an impressive touchdown to interception ratio with 50 touchdown passes and only 10 picks over the past three seasons. Lucarelli was named an NPF Lackawanna Football Conference Division IV first-team quarterback last season.
Cayden Merrifield, Sr. – West Scranton
Height: 6-0 Weight 165
Merrifield was a first-year starter last season and even though the Invaders struggled, he was still effective. He threw for 1,281 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for 521 yards. Merrifield will have his top three receivers back this season and if the offensive line can improve, he is poised to improve on those numbers. He was an NPF Lackawana Football Conference Division II honorable mention quarterback in 2019.
Aiden Oliver, Sr. – Delaware Valley
Height: 6-2 Weight 170
Delaware Valley has been a quarterback factory over the years and Aiden Oliver could be the next big thing for the Warriors. He had to wait as the backup for two seasons, but still saw snaps on offense. DV will be a good bet to win another district title if Oliver handles the offense. He also was an NPF Lackawanna Football Conference Division I first-team punter in 2019.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Alex Gardsy, Sr. – Wallenpaupack
Paddy Grady, Sr. – Scranton Prep
Ryan Petrosky, Sr. – Crestwood
Dontae Rhodes, Sr. – Wyoming Valley West
Kam Taylor, Sr. – Wilkes-Barre