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 running backs:
Shadrak Agyei, Sr. – Wallenpaupack
Height: 5-11 Weight 175
Agyei is one of the leading rushers returning this season and gives ‘Paupack a dangerous weapon out of the backfield. He has rushed for over 1,400 and scored 13 touchdowns over the past two seasons. Agyei has shown to be a powerful runner able to gain yards after first contact. With a new quarterback behind center, the Buckhorns will rely on a running game that has produced positive results in the past. Agyei was named LFC Division I Offense Player of the Year and first team running back in 2020.
Kaleb Benjamin, Jr. – Crestwood
Height: 6-1 Weight 220
Benjamin showed flashes of greatness early last season for the District 2 champions. With a great combination of size, speed and versatility, he will be a player the Comets are going to count on offensively to get them on track early in the season. With many of the offensive weapons graduating from last season, Benjamin has potential to be a special player for Crestwood and worked hard on the off-season to put himself in position to have great success in 2021.
Matthew Buchman, Jr. – Hazleton Area
Height: 6-1 Weight 185
Buchman had over 700 total yards from scrimmage last season and was a valuable asset for Hazleton in both the running and passing games. He also shined on special teams averaging 17.3 yards per return on kickoffs and 14.7 yards on punt returns. Buchman also was a key member of the Cougars secondary at safety with 21 tackles and one interception. Hazleton will be leaning heavily on their skill players to make plays in 2021 and Buchman has already shown he can shoulder the load. As a sophomore, he was named a WVC Division 1 first-team running back in 2020.
London Montgomery, Jr. – Scranton Prep
Height: 5-11 Weight 185
Montgomery enters his junior season as one of the most heavily recruited players in District 2. A three-sport athlete, he shows amazing speed and finesse on the football field. He rushed for 868 yards and 13 touchdowns in only 5 games. He now has rushed for over 1,600 yards in his first two seasons. Montgomery was the District 2 Class 2A 100 meter champion so the track speed is evident, but his running style is more than speed. He also is a valuable member of the Cavaliers secondary. Montgomery was a District 2 All-Star running back and an LFC Division II first team running back last season.
Connor Schmitt, Sr. – Honesdale
Height: 6-0 Weight 185
Schmitt will be taking the field as the starting running back for the Hornets for the third straight season. He rushed for 1,443 yards and 14 touchdowns during his first two seasons. Schmitt is a tough runner inside the tackles and is also one of the leaders in the locker room for Honesdale. He also is the ‘quarterback’ of the Hornets’ secondary and can play several different positions on the defensive side of the ball. Schmitt was an LFC Division II honorable mention running back in 2021.
Ben Knorr, Sr. – Berwick
Height: 5-10 Weight 175
Knorr was the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs in 2020 but will move to the running back position for his senior season. He rushed for 278 yards and 6 touchdowns as the QB. The Berwick coaching staff feel they can better utilize Knorr lined up at running back and also at wide receiver. He will be the focus of the ‘Dawgs offense and expectations are high he can help Berwick get their offense back on track.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Devin Ayala, Sr. – Mid Valley – Highlights | Twitter
Vinny DePalma, Jr. – Carbondale Area – Highlights
Joe Harris, Jr. – West Scranton – Highlights |Twitter
Charlie Thompson, Sr. – Scranton – Highlights
Jeremy Vega, Sr. – Hanover Area – Highlights