Here are the Super Six Power rankings powered by Gaughan Auto Store. All teams in the WVC and LFC are eligible for the rankings. Big School rankings consist of teams from Class 6A, 5A and 4A schools. Small School rankings consist of teams from Class 3A, 2A and 1A schools. Check back as we count up to No. 1 for the preseason.
1. Hazleton Area Cougars
There might not be a better team offensively in the area and Hazleton Area will be scoring a ton of points this season. Led by quarterback Tyler Wolfe, they are balanced and athletic. The only thing that could derail them is the offensive line which has some question marks entering the seasonn. The defense should be better this season coupled with the return of All-District 2 linebacker Ryan Matyas. The Cougars are definitely the favorite in WVC Division 1 and should qualify for a playoff spot in the Class 6A subregional with District 4 and District 11. Hazleton is the team to beat in the WVC in 2022.
2. Berwick Bulldogs
The Dawgs are poised to get back on top, at least on paper, but there are still some things they have to prove on the field. With a new coaching staff, there will be changes. One change is for the offense has to be more efficient and consistent. If that happens, Berwick will contend for a division and district title. The defense is already one of the top returning units in the WVC led by all-stars LB Spencer Kishbaugh, DL Harrison Snyder and DB Drey Wilk. Even though they have gotten close in recent years, Berwick hasn’t won the district since 2013. This could be the year.
3. Valley View Cougars
The Cougars were impressive in 2021 winning their third district title in the last five year. However, a very talented senior classes left some holes to fill. The good news is the return of quarterback Adam Howanitz, who suffered a knee injury in Week 6 last season. Also returning is all-state running back Connor Hilling. There is talent there and if the new offensive lineman progress quickly, the Cougars will be a force in both the division and the district. The preason state rankings saw Valley View ranked 10th in Class 4A.
4. Delaware Valley Warriors
Delaware Valley started the 2021 season with 3 straight losses before running off 9 straight wins en route to another division and district title. Don’t be surprised if they take the same path in 2022 with a brutal schedule to start the season. The Warriors do have some holes to fill including at quarterback, but have skill players back in place and playmakers on defense including Aiden Black and Justin Kalitsnik. DV has moved down to Class 5A and is ranked 3rd in the state to start the season. The division also was upgraded with tha addition of two teams that won district titles last season (Prep and VV).
5. North Pocono Trojans
The Trojans reached the district championship game in Class 4A last season and hope to get there again. A solid group on defense and some playmakers on offense might make that happen. Ty LaFave, Brendan Kearney, and Zach Hoover will lead the defense that only allowed 80 points in the regular season. Michael Blaine returns at running back and should be poised to make a run at a 1,000 yard season. Noah West will take over at quarterback and how quickly he develops will be the key to how far North Pocono can go.
6. Dallas Mountaineers
The Mountaineers continue to be one of the most consistent programs in the WVC. After winning the WVC 4A title last season, Dallas is poised to make a run for the new WVC Division I and a district title. The strength of the team will be up front. The Mounts return three starters on the offensive line from last season and another who started two years ago and is returning from an injury. On defense, All-District 2 end and Stonybrook commit Parker Bolesta leads the unit which has experience. The keys for Dallas will be new quarterback Brady Zapoticky and how fast he develops in the offense and size overall. The Mountaineers will have one of the smaller units up front in the WVC Division 1.
1. Scranton Prep Cavaliers
The Cavaliers are coming off an unbeaten regular season, a league championship and district championship and there is no reason to think they won’t be in contention for all of those things again in 2021. With the return of Penn State commit London Montgomery, offensively Prep will be hard to deal with again. They do need to rebuild the offensive line who only has All-District 2 lineman Anthony Nicotera returning. The defense also has to fill some big holes but on the line and at linebacker but still have enough to be solid on that side of the ball again. The Cavs are ranked 9th in the preseason state rankings in Class 3A to start the season.
2. Lakeland Chiefs
Lakeland has everything in place to make a run in the division and the district and maybe even states. The Chiefs have one of the best passing attacks in the are with the return of quarterback Dominico Spataro. They also are big and experienced up front and have skill players returning that are playmakers. Defensively, they also bring back impactful players including Lacota Dippre. Lakeland has moved to LFC Division II and also moved down to Class 2A inthe district. They are a heavy favorite to win both titles.
3. Old Forge Blue Devils
The Blue Devils just keep reloading and will be a serious threat at a division, district and state title again. Old Forge starts the season ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 1A. However, they will be more challanged in the district this season with rival Lackawanna Trail moving down to the classification. James Sobol returns at quarterback and the defense has several key players returning including LB Josh Spindler and DB Casey Holzman. The lines on both sides of the ball will be very good once again.
4. Western Wayne Wildcats
The Wildcats five-year streak of non-losing seasons stopped last season due to injuries to three major players. Luke Janiszewski was one of them and will return for his senior season as the leader on both sides of the football. Western Wayne also returns some key linemen in Nate Swingle and Kyle Guarino. The ‘Cats should be in contention in the new-look LFC Division II and a new streak on non-losing seasons is looking good to start again in 2022.
5. Lackawanna Trail Lions
Trail won another district title last season in Class 2A and will now make the move down to Class 1A for the next PIAA cycle. The Lions bring back a nice core of players that should have them in the mix for the division and district. Steven Jervis will take over at quarterback and run his father’s Wing T offense. Lackawanna Trail has enough back up front on both sides of the ball to be a factor. Linebackers Hunter Patterson and Kolbee Soltis will lead the defense.
6. Dunmore Bucks
Dunmore’s district title streak ended last season and they recorded back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1996-97. But this should be a bounce-back season for the Bucks as they bring back some key players on both sides of the ball. Thomas Bowen begins his third season as the starting quarterback while all the skill players return. Where the challenge will come is rebuilding the line which has been a staple for Dunmore for decades. On defense, there is a solid group led by linebacker Nicholas DonVito.