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 are the quarterbacks:
Ben Chilson, Sr. – Tunkhannock
Height: 6-5 Weight 185
Chilson finished his first full season as the Tigers quarterback and is expected to step up to the next level. He is a dual-threat throwing for 1,070 yards while rushing for 221 yards. His size is defintely a plus and his athleticism is evident by his ability on the gridiron as well as the basketball court where he is Tunkhannock’s leading scorer. The Tigers will need Chilson to be the main playmaker in 2022 so expect him to run the ball more than he did last season. He was named a WVC 4A Honorable Mention quarterback last season.is
Adam Howanitz, Sr. – Valley View
Height: 6-5 Weight 225
Howanitz was on his way to being the most productive dual-threat quarterback in District 2 before a knee injury sidelined him Week 6 for the rest of the season. The Cougars still went on to win the Class 4A title, but many football pundits feel Valley View could have advanced even further if he had stayed healthy. He is scheduled to be back for 2022 and that makes the Cougars a district contender again. In those 5+ games, he rushed for 591 yards and 10 touchdowns while completing 77% of his passes for 405 yards, 6 touchdown passes and 0 picks. Howanitz was also a standout safety although the Cougars might opt to limit his snaps on defense. He was named LFC Division II First Team quarterback in 2021 and has several Division 1 offers including New Hampshire and LIU.
James Sobol, Sr. – Old Forge
Height: 6-1 Weight 225
Sobol begins his third season as the full-time quarterback although he saw plenty of snaps his freshman season splitting time at the position. Sobol is another dual-threat who rushed for 533 yards and 9 touchdowns and threw for 1,717 passing yards and 22 touchdowns. Sobol had only three interceptions the first 11 games so he took care of the ball for most of the season. He is an intimidating runner and looks more like a fullback than a quarterback when he is coming at you. Opposing defenses had issues brining him down because of his strength and power. Sobol was named LFC Division IV First Team quarterback last season.
Dominico Spataro, Sr. – Lakeland
Height: 5-9 Weight 170
If there was high school fantasy football, Spataro might be the first overall pick. The three-year starter led District 2 in passing yards (2,254 yards), passing touchdowns (25) and was the leading rushing quarterback (820 yards) as well. He added 15 rushing touchdowns. The Chiefs are poised for a big 2022 season as the favorite in LFC Division II and District 2 Class 2A with a very good core on both sides of the ball coming back including Spataro. On defense, he recorded 58 tackles and 4 interceptions. Last season, he was named All-District 2 quarterback, LFC Division III First Team quarterback and LFC Division III Honorable Mention defensive back. Spataro was also an All-State quarterback in Class 3A.
Tyler Wolfe, Sr. – Hazleton Area
Height: 5-11 Weight 170
The Cougars came into last season with a question mark at quarterback but that was answered very quickly. In his first year as a starter, Wolfe was dominant most of the season throwing for 2,182 yards and 23 touchdown passes. He added 225 rushing yards to his resume. Wolfe was very strong in the pocket with good decision-making and ability to avoid pressure. Hazleton’s offense returns all of their skill players so Wolfe will have plenty of options on that side of the ball. He was named WVC Class6A/5A Offense Player of the Year and First Team quarterback in 2021.
Luke Buss, Sr. – Wyoming Valley West
Height: 6-4 Weight 205
Buss had the best seat in the house watching the Spartans ground and pound every game. However, the Valley West coaching staff has tasked Buss, who now has a year under his belt, to make the offense more balanced. He has great size and strength and is a pure, pocket passer. With the year experience, the Spartans are hoping his confidence will make him more accurate, something he struggled with last season. In 2021, Buss threw for 677 yards, but that number is expected to go up. If he can improve and make the passing game prominent, the Spartans will improve on their 3-win season and be a contender in District 2 Class 5A.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Thomas Bowen, Jr. – Dunmore – Highlights | Twitter
Aiden Collins, So. – Honesdale – Highlights | Twitter
Jacob Hunter, Sr. – Holy Redeemer – Highlights
Frankie Leyshon, Jr. – Western Wayne – Highlights | Twitter
Christian Torres , Sr. – Hanover Area – Highlights