This is the 11th edition of our Five To Watch series. We thank The Mattioli Law Firm for returning as our title sponsor for Five To Watch. There are 33 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 2022 for their team. Players will be recognized at only one position, even if they are capable two-way players. 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:
David Calafut, Sr. – Mid Valley
Height: 6-5 Weight 275
Calafut was somewhat overshadowed last season by senior linemen for the Spartans, but he might have been the best overall blocker that helped produce District 2’s second leading rusher. He will be the main man up front for Mid Valley and with his size and strength he should be one of the better offensive lineman in the LFC. ‘Big Dave’ will also be in the middle of the Spartans defense. His leadership will be essential for a young Mid Valley team. Calafut was an LFC Division III Honorable Mention offensive lineman last season.
Aidan Jardine, Sr. – Crestwood
Height: 6-3 Weight 275
The Comets went from district champs in 2020 to a three-win season last year so they are on a mission to prove last season was a fluke. The offensive line will return three starters led by Jardine who has been the most consistent player on both sides of the ball. He added more weight this off-season and is determined to make his mark for Crestwood as the leader on the offensive unit. Jardine was a WVC 4A First Team offensive lineman in 2021.
Santino Krappa, Sr. – Old Forge
Height: 5-11 Weight 230
The Old Forge offensive line was a big reason the Blue Devils went on another state run and Krappa was literally right in the middle of it. He heads into his third season as a starter and has played both center and guard. Krappa has become a great technician and leader of the unit. He might not be the biggest lineman in the area, but he definitely has worked hard to become one of the more efficient bigs in both the running and passing game. Krappa was named an LFC Division IV First Team offensive lineman last season.
Jake LaBelle, Jr. – Wallenpaupack
Height: 6-1 Weight 300
LaBelle was a key member of a very inexperienced offensive line in 2021 but this season he will be the leader up front for the Buckhorns. He has great size and has become even stronger in the offseason. With heavy graduation of skill players, the offensive line will have to be dominating until the younger players get their feet wet and LaBelle has shown he can be that type of player. As a sophomore, he was named an LFC Division I Honorable Mention offensive lineman.
Anthony Nicotera, Sr. – Scranton Prep
Height: 6-3 Weight 265
Nicotera was probably Prep’s best offensive lineman in 2021 and that is saying a lot considering the experienced unit that led the way for the most prolific running game in the area. However, with four starters gone, the spotlight will be on him to be a leader and a dominating force, especially in the run game. Nicotera will also be a key member of the defensive front for a young unit. Nicotera has already picked up a few FCS offers from Fordham and Bucknell. Last season, he was a District 2 All-Star offensive lineman and LFC Division II First Team offensive lineman. He also received All-State accolades.
Austin Best, Sr. – Williamsport
Height: 6-0 Weight 260
The Millionaires graduated four linemen that were very important to the team’s success in recent years. And when you play in Class 6A, size will be very important. Best will be Williamsport’s only experienced offensive lineman and has the size up front that you need to compete in the trenches. He has a chance to be one of the best offensive lineman in the WVC in 2022.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Ian Bednar, Sr. – Wilkes-Barre
Zachary Hoover, Sr. – North Pocono
Ethan Speece, Sr. – Wyoming Area – Highlights |Twitter
Ryan Wiaterowski, Jr. – Nanticoke – Highlights |Twitter
Adam Wormuth, Sr. – Lakeland – Highlights | Twitter