Every high school football fan gets pumped up for the start of a new season.

All of the teams have the same record for the only time, and they all have hope and aspirations. While Week 1 is not the be all, end all for a team, players and coaches agree it is always better to start with a win. The other adage that coaches live by is that teams make the most improvement from Week 1 to Week 2.

That all may be true, especially the improvement belief.

  • Dunmore last season lost by shutout to Scranton Prep, 26-0, and went on to win 14 straight games and reach the PIAA Class AA final.
  • Delaware Valley also lost its opener last season and won its next 10 games including the District 2 Class AAAA championship.
  • Abington Heights lost to Hazleton Area in overtime in 2008, won 10 straight after that, but lost to Berwick in the District 2 Class AAA championship game.

So all is not lost with a loss on opening night.

Some teams traditionally get off to great starts and they are your usual suspects. Here is a list of teams with at least three straight wins in Week 1:

BlueAbington Heights has won seven straight Week 1 games now after a 10-0 shutout of Pittston Area. The Comets are 10-1 on opening day since coach Joe Repshis took over in the 2005 season.

Year Opponents Result
2015 Pittston Area W, 10-0
2014 Pittston Area W, 31-14
2013 Pittston Area W, 28-0
2012 Pittston Area W, 28-0
2011 Hazleton Area W, 28-14
2010 Hazleton Area W, 51-7
2009 Hazleton Area W, 33-18


old_forgeOld Forge has also won seven straight dating back to a win over rival Riverside in 2009. Nobody has had the kind of success that the Blue Devils have had, outscoring their opponents 213-101, in Week 1.

Year Opponents Result
2015 GAR W, 44-32
2014 GAR W, 21-14
2013 Lake-Lehman W, 13-7
2012 Lake-Lehman W, 50-14
2011 Lake-Lehman W, 21-7
2010 Lake-Lehman W, 21-15
2009 Riverside W, 43-12


scranton_prepScranton Prep, which has become a consistent winner under coach Nick Donato, won its fifth straight opener when it shutout Dunmore for a second straight season. The Cavaliers have reached the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons they have won in Week 1.

Year Opponents Result
2015 Dunmore W, 21-0
2014 Dunmore W, 26-0
2013 Wyoming Area W, 35-7
2012 Wyoming Area W, 12-6
2011 Lakeland W, 26-20


west_scrantonWest Scranton has won five straight — all against neighboring rival Riverside. The last time the Invaders lost on opening day to the Vikings came in their run to the PIAA Class A final in 2010.

Year Opponents Result
2015 Riverside W, 27-14
2014 Riverside W, 21-7
2013 Riverside W, 54-12
2012 Riverside W, 26-20
2011 Riverside W, 35-22


lakelandLakeland, which is 15-2 since 1999 on opening day, won its fourth straight since losing to Scranton Prep on opening day in 2011. Jeff Wasilchak has been a model of consistency in Week 1, improving his record to 17-2 since he started his career at Lackawanna Trail in 1997. He lost that opening game to Northwest, won his next 13 before losing to Scranton Prep in 2011.

Year Opponents Result
2015 Northwest Area W, 42-14
2014 Northwest Area W, 14-7
2013 GAR W, 27-19
2012 GAR W, 34-7


wallenpaupackWallenpaupack won for the third straight season on opening day. The Buckhorns overwhelmed their Wayne County rival, Honesdale.

Year Opponents Result
2015 Honesdale W, 55-20
2015 Honesdale W, 26-20
2014 Valley View W, 35-0



Here is my first installment of History 102. Last year, I began with a very lengthy look back at LFC schools and their success. This year, I wanted to start by taking a look at where a few of this year’s coaches rank among the best in this area. You can keep accounting from here, but clearly you can see that Dunmore’s Jack Henzes is closing in on milestone win No. 400.

100 + Coaching Victories (LIAA schools)

1. Jack Henzes

Wyoming Area, Dunmore


2. Frank Pazzaglia

Valley View, Mid Valley


3. John Henzes, Blakely


4. Allen ‘Butch’ Keller

Honesdale, Western Wayne

Bishop O’Hara, Holy Cross


5. Elio Ghigiarelli, Old Forge


6. Dick Bagnall, Susquehanna


7. Nick Donato

North Pocono, Scranton Prep


8. Sam Donato, West Scranton


9. Jeff Wasilchak

Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland


10t. Gerry Wasilchak, Lakeland


10t. Joe DeAntona, West Scranton


12. John Lasavage, Carbondale Area


13. C.J. Robson, Scranton Central


14. Marty Reap, Jessup


15t. Emil DeCantis, Scranton Central


15t. Stan Kucharski

Scranton Prep, Mid Valley, Wallenpaupack


17. Dan Case, Bishop O’Hara, Lakeland


18. Michael Schuback, Old Forge


19. Steve Armillay

Riverside, Pittston Area


20. Tom Lucenti, Montrose


21. Keith Olsommer, Delaware Valley


Bold: Active

* – School combined with Scranton