This is the 10th edition of our Five To Watch series. We thank The Mattioli Law Firm for coming aboard as 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 who might be deserving. The players we do list are some of the best at their position or have an interesting role coming up in 2021 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 they are the ones that really count.
Here are the linebackers:
Jake DelGaudio, Sr. – Dallas
Height: 5-9 Weight 175
Delgaudio is not only a very good football player, but a great comeback story. Last season during the Wilkes-Barre game, he went down with a complex fracture of his right tibia and fibula requiring emergency surgery. However, he has worked hard in the off-season and will be ready for the 2021 opener. Before the injury, he was a leader of the Mountaineers defense. He will also play tailback. Good football genes in the family as Jake’s older brother Luke is a walk-on at Pitt.
Ty LaFave, Jr. – North Pocono
Height: 6-0 Weight 210
LaFave emerged as one of the best linebackers in the LFC last season as a sophomore. He is very athletic and has great lateral movement. He continues to work on his speed and quickness, but he already is a very good tackler who can fill the running lane or pursue a runner laterally. Last season, he led the Trojans as a sophomore. The North Pocono coaching staff is going to lean on him even more this season as a leader of the defense. He also made an impact in 2020 as a tight end on offense. LaFave was an LFC Division I first-team linebacker and tight end last season.
Drew Mruk, Jr. – Wyoming Area
Height: 6-0 Weight 210
Mruk has been on the linebacker radar since his freshman season. He led the Warriors in 2020 with 46 tackles and 7 tackles for loss. Mruk is very physical and a sideline-to-sideline defender. Already a team leader, he will be one of the top field athletes in the WVC. Evaluated as a D1 recruit. Outstanding strength- Bench Press 335lbs, Squat 500lbs, Power Clean 300lbs. He will also play running back. Mruk was a WVC Division 2 first-team linebacker and second-team running back in 2020.
Jimmy Spindler, Jr. – Pittston Area
Height: 5-10 Weight 180
Spindler was another young player that elevated his team’s defense last season. He has been in the starting lineup as a linebacker for both his freshman and sophomore season and was the Patriots leading tackler last season. Spindler already emerged as a team leader being named a captain as a sophomore. He plays bigger than his size and he definitely has a nose for the ball.
Lajear Whaley, Sr. – Williamsport
Height: 5-9 Weight 190
Whaley missed most of last season with an injury but when he did play, he was a key leader on the Millionaires defense. He possesses raw power and speed. Don’t be fooled by his size as his compact body delivers a blow to opposing ball carriers and blockers. Whaley will force offensive coordinators to game plan around him as he will create headaches with his ability to get off blocks and get to the football.
Luke Janiszewski, Jr. – Western Wayne
Height: 6-0 Weight 200
We are used to having a Janiszewski on this list as Zane was a regular. Now, younger brother Luke will look to make his mark. He was already a starter last year as a sophomore but now will be expected to be the leader on defense. Big shoes to fill, but if last season was any indication, watch Janiszewski emerge as one of the better defensive players in the LFC.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Hezekiah Deitz, Sr. – Old Forge – Highlights | Twitter
Cole Kakalecik, Jr. – Crestwood – Highlights | Twitter
Justin Kalitsnik, So. – Delaware Valley – Highlights
Logan McNamara, Jr. – Montrose
Logan Tierney, Jr. – Holy Cross – Highlights