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 is the offensive line:
Ian Bednar, Jr. – Wilkes-Barre
Height: 6-1 Weight 260
Wilkes-Barre has had some success in the first two years of the program as Meyers, G.A.R. and Coughlin brought together some great athletes. If the Wolfpack want to elevate to the next level, the interior lines on both sides of the ball will need to be upgraded as time goes by. Bednar, whose two brothers have played along side him the last two seasons, was a WVC 6A-5A first team offensive lineman as a freshman in 2019. He now needs to take it up a notch after the shortened season in 2020 for both the program and his individual aspirations.
Aidan Jardine, Jr. – Crestwood
Height: 6-3 Weight 260
The Comets won a district title for the first time since 2014 and the offensive line was a big reason why. Jardine had a breakout season to put his name on the map. The junior has great feet that allows him to set the edge and be a great asset to the offensive line. Hard work in the offseason, and a commitment to the weight room all while playing multiple sports show his determination and why Jardine will be a leader for Crestwood over the next two seasons. He was a WVC Division II second-team offensive lineman last season.
Nick Rasmus, Sr. – Old Forge
Height: 6-1 Weight 250
Old Forge made it to the state championship game in 2013 with a powerful line that powered the Blue Devils to success. The 2021 version has similarities to that team. Rasmus is the leader of the unit. He has great size and dominates with his run blocking. Old Forge has success overpowering and intimidating opposing defenses and that’s where a lot of the success of the program has come from in recent years. Rasmus was an LFC Division IV first-team offensive and defensive lineman. He also was an All-District 2 offensive lineman and is being recruited by Division I FCS schools.
Dade Splain, Sr. – Williamsport
Height: 6-3 Weight 235
Williamsport had one of the most dynamic offenses in the WVC last season, but with the excitement surrounding the skill players, people forget how key the offensive line was contributing to their success. Splain was the leader of the unit and even though he doesn’t have mammoth size, he is considered a great technician. His lower body has great strength and gives him leverage against bigger players on defense. Splain was a WVC Division 1 first-team offensive lineman and a second-team defensive lineman.
Tyler Swartz, Sr. – Valley View
Height: 6-3 Weight 265
Swartz will be the leader of a unit that will return all five starters and has been a starter himself since his freshman season. He posseses great size and strength. Technically, he has improved to the point he has colleges very interested in him. Swartz will be one of the few Cougars who will start on both sides of the football because of his experience and conditioning. He was named an All-District 2 and LFC Division II first-team offensive lineman in 2020.
Gabe Allen, Sr. – Dallas
Height: 5-10 Weight 210
Two seasons ago, Dallas rode a strong and athletic offensive line to the state championship game. The Mountaineers have preached that they feel their program will be successful only if they are successful in the weight room. They are hoping Allen will lead the next wave of that success. He has been a warrior in the weight room and will be a two-way starter for Dallas.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Josh Clark, Sr. – Honesdale – Highlights | Twitter
Ryan Freer, Sr. – Delaware Valley – Highlights
Kyle Guarino, Jr. – Western Wayne – Highlights |Twitter
John Jones, Jr. – Crestwood – Highlights |Twitter
Anthony Nicotera, Jr. – Scranton Prep – Highlights |Twitter