This is the 12th edition of our Five To Watch series. We thank Attorney Michael Ossont of 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 2023 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 athletes:
Laim Barrett, Sr. – Scranton Prep
Height: 5-7 Weight 170
Barrett was effective in all three phases of the game for Prep as a junior. He rushed for 153 yards, had 249 receiving yards and had two returns for touchdowns. Barrett also was a starter in the secondary. He has quickness that allows him to elude would-be tacklers, but still runs with power when he needs to. Look for the Cavaliers to get him the ball even more this season. Barrett was an LFC Division I First Team athlete and Second Team defensive back in 2022.
Hunter Baumgardner, Sr. – West Scranton
Height: 5-7 Weight 187
West Scranton looks to build on a season where they feel they righted the ship for the program and will be looking for players to take the next step which includes Baumgardner. He rushed for 247 yards while also catching 14 passes for 224 yards. He will also be a key member of the Invaders defense at linebacker.
Lukas Gumble, Sr. – LackawannaTrail
Height: 6-0 Weight 200
Gumble is three-year starter on both sides of the ball. On offense, he ran for 1,014 total yards from scrimmage and 14 overall touchdowns. Gumble has a great football IQ and can do anything in the Lions offense. He also was an outstanding linebacker on defense. Gumble was named an LFC Division III Honorable Mention running back and linebacker last season.
Lidge Kellum, Jr. – Wyoming Area
Height: 5-9 Weight 160
Kellum will be a weapon for the Warriors in all three phases of the game. He had a successful track season showing off his speed and will be used at running back and wide receiver on offense. Kellum had 381 yards from scrimmage his sophomore season. He also was a standout on the defensive side of ball and will return kicks for Wyoming Area.
Zach Paczewski, Sr. – Dallas
Height: 5-10 Weight 175
Paczewski was on his way to a great season before he was injured early in the season. He showed his toughness working his way back into the lineup. Despite missing time, Paczewski was still second on the team in receiving numbers with 23 receptions for 367 yards and four touchdowns. He can play anywhere on the field and is capable of playing all four secondary positions. Special teams is another strength for him. Paczewski was named a WVC Division I Second Team wide receiver and Honorable Mention defensive back in 2022.
Ty’Meere Wilkerson, So. – Berwick
Height: 6-0 Weight 180
As a freshman, Wilkerson already showed how athletic he is. He possesses track speed and that should translate to multiple positions on the field. Wilkerson can make things happen when he has the ball and Berwick will be looking for someone to take over that role after losing multiple skill players.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Darryl Bennett, Sr. – Carbondale Area – Highlights
Nick Kucharski, Jr. – Valley View – Highlights | Twitter
William Marcy, Jr. – Susquehanna – Highlights
Daniel Pigga, Sr. – Dunmore – Highlights |Twitter
Joey Ross, Sr. – Tunkhannock – Highlights