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 running backs:
Isaiah Cobb, Jr. – Wyoming Valley West
Height: 6-2 Weight 230
When you look up workhorse in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Cobb. The running back carried the ball 298 times in 11 games which turned into 1,569 rushing yards which was third highest in District 2. The size and strength of Cobb made him a physical runner who delivered a blow to any defender who tried to tackle him. He also showed some athleticism including throwing 2 touchdown passes. The Spartans will try to scale back some of his carries if possible but he remains a dangerous offensive weapon and the focus of the Valley West offense. Cobb was named a WVC 6A/5A First Team running back last season.
Vincent DePalma, Sr. – Carbondale Area
Height: 5-10 Weight 165
DePalma had a breakout season on both sides of the ball after the Chargers did not field a team in 2020 because of COVID. He rushed for 1,354 yards and 14 touchdowns while also catching and throwing a touchdown pass. Carbondale will ride him again as they try to improve on their five-win season. DePalma was also the Chargers best defensive player in 2021 at linebacker. He was named an LFC Division III First Team running back and linebacker last season.
Connor Hilling, Sr. – Valley View
Height: 5-9 Weight 170
Hilling was a surprise last season as he ended up being the No. 1 option on offense last season on the Cougars district championship team. He rushed for 1,537 yards and 24 touchdowns (2nd in District 2). What stood out for the track all-star was his speed, but he also brought power to each run despite his small stature. Hilling rarely went down on first contact and once in the open field was almost impossible to catch. He was named an All-District 2 running back and an LFC Division II First Team running back. Hilling was also named All-State in 2021.
London Montgomery, Sr. – Scranton Prep
Height: 5-11 Weight 190
The London Montgomery show has one more chapter at Prep before he heads to Happy Valley. He will be expected to carry the load on offense again as he was the leading rusher and scorer in District 2 last season, despite only playing half the games at time in Prep blowouts. Montgomery rushed for 2,360 yards and 35 touchdowns. He averaged 12.2 yard per carry. Montgomery was named District 2 Offense Player of the Year, LFC Division II Offense Player of the Year, LFC Division II First Team running back and Honorable Mention defensive back. He was also named All-state in 2021.
Logan Tierney, Sr. – Holy Cross
Height: 6-0 Weight 190
Tierney is a running back with a fullback mentality. He rushed for 1,395 yards (Ranked 5th in District 2) and 8 touchdowns leading the Crusaders to four wins last season. With an experience offensive line, Tierney should improve those numbers this season. Tierney was also the leading tackler on the defense for Holy Cross. He is definitely one of better two-way players returning in 2022. Tierney was named an LFC Division IV First Team running back and Honorable Mention linebacker last season.
Evan Laybourn-Boddie, Jr. – West Scranton
Height: 6-0 Weight 170
Laybourn-Boddie is an outstanding athlete who never got to the play last season because of an injury suffered in the Invaders’ scrimmage. As West rebuilds, they will rely on younger players and we expect Layborn-Boddie to be the main offensive weapon this season. He was also a standout on the basketball court for West Scranton.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Aaron Crossley, Jr. – Wyoming Area – Highlights | Twitter
Nasir Hennigan, Sr. – Williamsport – Highlights | Twitter
Harry Pugliese, Sr. – Pittston Area – Highlights |Twitter
Noah Schultz, Sr. – Crestwood – Highlights |Twitter
Paulie Weinrich, Sr. – Delaware Valley – Highlights |Twitter