TEAM: Hazleton Area Cougars

COLORS: Scarlet, Silver & White

COACH: Dennis Buchman, 1st Season (0-0)

PIAA: Class 6A

2020 CONFERENCE: WVC Division 1

2019 RECORD: 2-8 (1-2 in conference)

RECORD LAST FIVE SEASONS: 22-33

STADIUM: Harman-Geist Memorial Field

OFFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING: 8

DEFENSIVE STARTERS RETURNING: 8

OFFENSIVE SCHEME: Multiple

DEFENSIVE SCHEME: 4-2-5

2020 PREVIEW

A new era begins for Hazleton football as Dennis Buchman takes over as head coach for the Cougars. He was an assistant under former coach Mike Brennan. Hazleton brings back experienced players, but they will have to find playmakers if they are going to compete with other 6A teams.

Senior quarterback Kellen Warner returns after throwing for 1,152 yards in 2019. Fullback Kevin Meluskey, who is getting Division I looks, is the leading returning rusher and will be the lead blocker for sophomore tailback Matthew Buchman who carried the ball 53 times as a freshman and had a 100+ rushing yard game.

Matthew Cusatis is another sophomore who will lead the receiving corp. Cusatis had 25 receptions last season and will be joined by Evan Matyas, Christian Price and Connor Shamany. Ryan Matyas is the new tight end.

The Cougars return four starters on the offensive line including Division All-Star Jason Biever, Seth Hunsinger, James Bugda and Leo Kelly. Gavin Guza is the lone newcomer up front.

Max Barrett is a returning starter on the defensive line along with Hunsinger and Bugda. Jhoan Robles will fill the other spot. Linebacker Meluskey was the leading tackler in 2019 and will have Dante Matarella, who started last season, next to him. Nick Damiano and Mitchell Masten will provide depth at the position. Buchman, Cusatis and Shamany are all experienced in the secondary.

Hazleton will have an advantage on special teams as they return one of the best kicker/punters from last season in Luke Russo.

2020 Hazleton Area Roster

#PlayerPosition2020 Grade
1Matthew BuchmanDB, RB10
2Mitchell MastenLB, WR11
3Luke GennaroDB, QB9
4Matthew CusatisDB, WR10
4Nick DamianoDB, WR12
5Jose RodriguezDB, WR11
5Evan MatyasDB, WR12
6Connor ShamanyDB, WR10
8Eddie TorresDB, WR12
9Jim BeltreLB, WR10
10Ryan MatyasLB, RB10
11Christian PriceDB, WR11
12Ulises OrtizDB, WR10
12Kellen WarnerLB, QB12
14Tyler WolfeDB, QB10
15Luke RussoK, P11
17Alex PongrazziLB, WR10
18Arick FithianLB, QB10
20Kevin GuzmanDB, RB10
25Dante MatarellaLB, RB12
27Adrian NunezDB, WR12
28Connor KundratLB, RB10
31Melvin KernisLB, WR10
40Sam LaPointLB, RB10
42 Kevin MeluskeyLB, RB12
45Jordan LuczakLB, RB10
47Patrick PetroskyLB, RB11
50Maximo TiconaDL, OL10
52Max BarrettDL, OL12
53James BugdaDL, OL12
54Raimon AbreuLB, OL11
56Chris SachsDL, OL11
57Blaze YatesDL, OL10
58Seth HunsingerDL, OL12
59Bryce TorstrupDL, OL12
60Michael WardDL, OL10
61Gavin GuzaDL, OL12
62Leo KellyDL, OL11
63Yerick TlacultDL, OL10
63Logan AikensDL, OL10
67Kenny LucasDL, OL10
70Sam PorroDL, OL10
71Jean ValdezDL, OL10
72Jason BieverDL, OL12
73Juan AlbertoDL, OL10
75Nikos RapachDL, OL11
76Dylan SolomonDL, OL10
78Juan FabianDL, OL10
84Starling ReyesDB, WR12
86Robert CorderoDB, WR10
90Jhoan RoblesDL, OL12