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 quarterbacks:
Drew DeLucca, Sr. – Pittston Area
Height: 5-9 Weight 165
DeLucca led the Patriots to a league title in his second year as the starting quarterback and a big reason was his improvement from his sophomore year. He has completed 56% of his passes during his career and has thrown for 2,751 yards over the past two seasons. DeLucca improved his TD to INT ratio going from 1 to 1 to 2 to 1. Pittston was hit hard by graduation, so he will have to be more impactful for the offense to help defend the WVC 2 title. DeLucca was named a WVC Division 2 Second Team quarterback in 2022.
Frankie Leyshon, Sr. – Western Wayne
Height: 5-11 Weight 180
Leyshon is back as the Wildcats starter for the third straight season. With his experience, the team will depend on him to be more of an impact player on the offensive side of the ball – both in the passing and running game. Leyshon has completed 57% of his passes during his career while throwing for 1,883 yards and 18 touchdowns. Western Wayne will still lean towards a run-heavy offense with Leyshon complementing the running backs. He was a LFC Division II Honorable Mention quarterback last season.
Billy Maloney, Sr. – Scranton
Height: 5-9 Weight 160
Maloney helped the Knights surprise everyone in 2022 winning their first six games and making it to the District 2 Class 5A title game He was a true dual-threat quarterback as he ran for 893 yards and 8 touchdowns and threw for 1,432 yards and 19 scores. Expect Maloney to improve those numbers with a year as a starter under his belt. He was also the quarterback in the secondary on defense for Scranton. Maloney was an LFC Division I Second Team quarterback and defensive back in 2022.
Jaden Shedlock, So. – Crestwood
Height: 6-0 Weight 180
There was plenty of pressure on Shedlock as a freshman, playing for a team that was senior-laden and expected to compete for a league and district title. But he answered the call and helped the Comets win both titles. Shedlock was impressive running the ball for 1,161 yards and 17 touchdowns. He added 472 passing yards although that number should go up this season. Shedlock also won the District 2 Class 3A 100 meter championship this past track season. He was named a WVC Division 1 Second Team quarterback last year.
Chase Taddonio, Jr. – Riverside
Height: 5-11 Weight 195
Riverside has had many record-setting quarterbacks during the program’s history and Taddonio is poised to become part of that group. After he missed his freshman season with an injury, he broke out last season for 2,110 yards and 22 touchdowns. Taddonio also ran for 417 yards and 9 touchdowns to show he is a dual-threat in the backfield. He is the top quarterback in District 2 in passing yards returning this season. With many of his weapons back, it’s a good bet he will be on top of the stat leaders again. Taddonio was named an LFC Division III Honorable Mention quarterback in 2022.
David Naniewicz, So. – Lakeland
Height: 6-2 Weight 210
Big shoes to fill for Naniewicz replacing the District 2 Offense Player of the Year. He did get a taste of it last season because of injury, so that should help when he steps behind center as the full-time starter. He definitely is a physical spectacle that will now lead a Chiefs offense that had plenty of All-Stars graduate over the past two seasons.
OTHERS TO WATCH
Aiden Collins, Jr. – Honesdale – Highlights | Twitter
Jake Howe, So. – Wilkes-Barre – Highlights
Stephen Jervis, Sr. – Lackawanna Trail – Highlights
Ethan Lear, Sr. – Berwick – Highlights | Twitter
Louis Paris , Jr. – Scranton Prep – Highlights