It’s Thursday and time to post ON THE BLOG.
Coaches will always preach that a team’s greatest improvement is shown between Week 1 and Week 2. That may be true. But you still can’t put a price tag on getting the season off to a fast start.
This year, we will try to give you some insight into the week that was, and a brief look ahead, because we still want you to buy The Times-Tribune on Friday for GameFace.
There is something special about Opening Weekend. Add in playing at John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium and there is an energy at the game that is hard to describe. The Cougars have a rich championship tradition and there is a lot of excitement surround this year’s team especially after winning the District 2 Class 4A championship last season.
Valley View and Wallenpaupack slugged it out through all four quarters and it was refreshing to have a Game of the Week live up to the title.
The Cougars won 27-14, Jordan Conserette started his first game in place of Janaasah Boone, who missed the game with an illness. He had two touchdown runs and another passing to lead the team.
Butch Comegys / Staff Photographer
WEEK 1 IN PICTURES
SCRANTON PREP 31, DUNMORE 0
WEST SCRANTON 27, NORTH POCONO 0
Holy Cross 14
Holy Redeemer 12
OK, the first group of five athletes who were listed among the 50 best in the 20 years since the merger of the Big 11 and Suburban Conferences were revealed last week. There is a buzz already, but I must remind all the fans out there that this is not going to be a ranking. These are groupings.
Let’s recap the ground rules:
- WHO: A look back at the top players who shaped the post Big 11 and Suburban Conference era that dates from 1998 to 2017. It includes 18 seasons of the Lackawawanna Football Conference (1998-1999, 2002-2017) and two seasons of the Northeast Pennsylvania Football Conference (NEPFC) that existed in 2000 and 2001.
- WHAT: This is not a ranking, and that should keep fans guessing as to who is to come each week. It is true that some players, naturally, had more glowing resumes, and we would be naive to think that once this starts, fans won’t start piecing together who is on the list. That being said, and it will be repeated over and over, it is not a ranking. The 50 players were selected and divided into 5-player groups.
- WHEN: Each week of the regular season as part of the Thursday blog posts, generally close to 10 a.m.
- WHERE: ON THE BLOG. Posts will be made available at timestribuneblogs.com and links will be on Facebook at Times-Tribune Sports.
NOTABLE: There was NO set criteria used. This can’t be emphasized enough. Nothing — no award, no postseason honors, no number of years as a starter — guaranteed any player a spot in this project like say, 500 career home runs locks in a MLB player a spot in the Hall of Fame. For example: If a player made all-state they made the list. No, that is not true. There were a lot of all-state players selected in 20 years, but yes it certainly increased a player’s chances of making the list had they been selected all-state. Of course, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year were given weighted consideration. Each of the close to 100 players considered had their resumes compared to each other and through careful consideration 50 players were chosen.
- Kevin Sochovka | Riverside
- Zach Lasavage | Carbondale Area
- Ryan Paulish | Old Forge
- James McHale | Dunmore
- Kyle Passeri | Valley View
Now to the second reveal.
GROUPING NO. 2
Alex FILARSKY | LAKELAND
Defensive back | Wide receiver
- Three-time Pennsylvania Sports writers all-state, DB, WR (2009, 2010, 2011)
- Three-time Times-Tribune All-Region (2009, 2010, 2011)
- Had 88 receptions, 1,174 yards and 14 TDs in career
- Had 123 tackles and 16 interceptions in his career
- Led Lakeland to District 2 Class 2 final (2009, 2010)
Mike BOLAND | DUNMORE
Offensive and Defensive line
- Pennsylvania Sportswriters Class 1A all-state, DL (2012)
- Two-time Times-Tribune All-Region (2012, 2013)
- Hookey Reap Award, Offense and Defense (2013)
- Led Dunmore to District 2 Class 1A championship (2012)
- Went to UConn and Bethune Cookman
Wayne LYDON | VALLEY VIEW
- Associated Press Big School all-state, third team, DB, (1998)
- Times-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year, DB, (1998)
- Set school record with 7 interceptions as a senior (1998)
- Led Valley View to District 2 Class 3A final (1998)
- MLB drafted player; Minor League player
Brandon CLEMONS | DELAWARE VALLEY
Offensive and Defensive line
- Times-Tribune All-Region (2010)
- Selected to play in Big 33 game
- First Delaware Valley player to earn FBS scholarship
- One of top two-way linemen in country rated by Rivals.com (2010)
- Went to Michigan State where he started and played in Rose Bowl
Dave KEISLING | ABINGTON HEIGHTS
Defensive back | Quarterback
- Times-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year (2006)
- Two-time Times-Tribune All-Region (2005, 2006)
- Had 61 total tackles, 3 sacks and 6 interceptions returning 2 for TDs (2006)
- Threw for 1,539 yards with 20 TDs and ran for 194 yards and 7 TDs (2006)
- Walked on at Penn State