Two weeks are in the books.
The high school football season is moving forward and there have been some expected dominant performances and some surprises.
Valley View and Scranton Prep have been as good as advertised in the preseason. The Cougars are off to a 2-0 start and Scranton Prep has posted two shutouts already. Delaware Valley is a solid team at No. 3 in The Times-Tribune Top 10. Lackawanna Trail appears to be headed to a spot in the District 2 Class 1A championship game, again.
West Scranton, despite its 24-14 loss to Delaware Valley, looks like it could be on the verge of a much-improved season from last year when it finished 1-9. Lakeland came up with a very unexpected victory over Old Forge last week that catapulted the Chiefs, who were 5-6 a year ago after starting 1-4.
There is no more intriguing story in the first two weeks than the Holy Cross football team and its 2-0 start to the season. The Crusaders have never been 2-0. After wins over Holy Redeemer and Montrose, there is excitement for a program that has 21 wins total in its 11-plus seasons in its history.
OK, the big reveal last week didn’t quite have the reaction we thought it would. Again, most understand that this is not a ranking, but a celebration of the 50 most outstanding players of the 20 years from 1998 to 2017 since the end of the Big 11 and Suburban Conferences. Another
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 LB
- Zach Lasavage | Carbondale Area RB
- Ryan Paulish | Old Forge OL-DL
- James McHale | Dunmore OL
- Kyle Passeri | Valley View RB
- Alex Filarsky | Lakeland DB-WR
- Mike Boland | Dunmore OL-DL
- Wayne Lydon | Valley View DB
- Brandon Clemons | Delaware Valley OL-DL
- Dave Keisling | Abington Heights DB-QB
Now onto Grouping 3:
Shane SMITH | HONESDALE
- Associated Press Class 3A all-state, RB (2003)
- Times-Tribune Offensive Player of the Year (2003)
- Ran for 2,267 yards and 30 TDs (2003)
- Ran for an LFC-record 390 yards in win over North Pocono
- Played at Central Florida and Wagner
Colin GOLDEN | LACKAWANNA TRAIL
Wide receiver and defensive back
- Associated Press Class 1A All-state, first team, WR (2003)
- Times-Tribune All-Region (2003, 2002)
- Had 116 receptions (4th all-time), 2,365 yards (4th all-time) and 31 TDs in career
- Caught 62 passes for 1,233 yards with 16 TDs (2003)
- Led Lackawanna Trail to D2 Class 1A titles (2002, 2003)
- Went to Slippery Rock University
Nick ROSSI | RIVERSIDE
Running back and linebacker
- Pennsylvania Sportswriters all-state (Class 1A), LB, 2010
- Times-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year, 2010
- Had 116 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss as senior
- Led Riverside to D2 Class 1A championship 2008, 2010
- Led Riverside to 42 wins in career
- University of Akron
Matt WAGNER | DELAWARE VALLEY
Linebacker and fullback
- Pennsylvania Sportswriters Class 6A all-state, LB (2014)
- Times-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
- Had 94 total tackles, 36 solo with 1 interception return for touchdown
- Had 107 solo tackles, 175 assists, 3 sacks and 4 INTs in 36 starts at linebacker
- Led Delaware Valley to D2 Class 4A championship (2014)
Miller HOLMES | DUNMORE
- Four-year starter for Dunmore at Quarterback
- Fiore Cesare award winner (2008)
- Threw for 5,383 yards (6th all-time) and 75 TDs (2nd all-time)
- Led Dunmore to record of 39-12 as starter
- Led Dunmore to D2 Class 2A titles (2007, 2008)
- Led Dunmore to PIAA Class 2A final (2007)