Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Summer Previews

Discussion in 'Pennsylvania Football Talk' started by RoverNation05, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    1. Emmaus

    Last Season: 10-2 (EPC South Division Champions)
    Playoffs: Beat Liberty 23-13; Lost to Freedom 42-12

    Returning Starters Offense (9): RB Sone Ntoh (Jr. 5’10 205); *RB Lubens Myers (Jr. 5’11 165); *WR Josh Artis (Sr. 6’4 200); TE/FB Noah Breidinger (Sr. 5’9 220); OT Gregg Johnson (6’4 270); OG Austen Kasaczun (Sr. 6’1 260); *C Andy Roche (Sr. 6’0 235); *OG Matt Nimas (Sr. 6’1 260); *OT Mike Reeves (Sr. 6’2 220)

    Returning Starters Defense (9): DT Matt Nimas (Sr. 6’1 260); DT Joey Barno (Sr. 5’8 240); DE Grant Ritter (Sr. 6’2 245); *LB Noah Breidinger (Sr. 5’9 225); *LB Blake Reed (Sr. 6’0 195); LB Ben Maehrer (Sr. 6’0 200); LB Sone Ntoh (Jr. 5’10 205); CB Lubens Myers (Jr. 5’11 165); SS Josh Artis (Sr. 6’4 200)
    * = All Conference pick in 2016

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Blake Reed: 9-32, 178 yards, 2 TD 0 INT
    Rushing: Lubens Myers: 197 carries, 1,208 yards, 16 TDs
    Rushing: Sone Ntoh: 128 carries, 905 yards, 17 TDs
    Receiving: Josh Artis: 34 catches, 554 yards, 6 TDs
    Defensive: Noah Breidinger: 94 tackles, 10 TFL

    Emmaus is the preseason favorite, returning 18 starters from a team that went 9-1 in the regular season and won their first outright conference championship in football since the early 1972. First year head coach Harold Fairclough (2010 state championship at Allentown Central Catholic) completely revamped the Emmaus program, winning far beyond what anybody expected in year one. An injury to quarterback Derek Shaeffer in the last game of the regular season dashed any hopes of a District XI championship, but the Green Hornets come back loaded for bear ready to build off of their 2016 momentum.

    The Offense: Sophomores Sone Ntoh and Lubens Myers combined for over 2,100 yards and 30 TDs last season and are one of the best running back combos statewide in 6A. The juniors should lead the Emmaus offense in 2017 and both are 1,000 yard threats and could push 3,000 yards as a duo. Ntoh is probably the better college prospect as a running back, while Myers future is probably at corner. Ntoh is a bull in the inside run game an can put it into gear in the open field, while Myers stretches the field and has the straight line speed to take it to the house if he gets a corner. Expect them to put up massive numbers behind an offensive line that returns all five starters, including three All EPC picks from a year ago. The unit averages 250 across and is super physical at the point of attack. The passing game has a major safety blanket in senior receiver Josh Artis, an FCS prospect who is a huge mismatch at 6’4 200 with great hands and athleticism. Artis is a two-time slam dunk champion at the Stellar Catch a Rising Star basketball tournament, and he really showcases those ups and athleticism on the football field. The key on offense will be senior quarterback Blake Reed. Reed filled in for Shaeffer last season after not taking a varsity snap on offense in 2016, and the rust showed. With a full offseason and camp to develop as a QB, Reed’s development will be the difference between Emmaus being a good team and a team that can really do damage come playoff time.

    The Defense: Emmaus led the EPC in sacks as a team last year, and brings back 9 starters on defense, including All EPC linebackers Noah Breidinger and Blake Reed. Reed is an edge rush specialist (though his QB duties may take away from his impact on defense) while Breidinger is a classic, downhill run stopper at middle linebacker who made 94 tackles as a junior. Myers has the tools to be one of the best corners in the eastern part of the state, and Artis is a rangy, ball hawking safety, who can deliver a blow in run support. They’ll need to fill the corner spot opposite of Myers, as more teams have gone spread in the EPC, strong play in the secondary with guys on an island is huge. The defensive line lost its leader in Kyle Carraher, but brings back the rest of its starters. They have a ton of size. Emmaus may also show more 3-4 this year to get a lot of their talented linebackers on the field.

    Expectations: On paper, this is the best team in the Lehigh Valley and the 6A favorites in D11. With a pair of 1,000 yard running backs, an impact, Division I wide receiver, an experienced offensive line, the best linebacking corps in the Valley, and a coaching staff that has won everything under the sun, this has all the makings of the best year in school history for the Green Hornets.
     
    1 RoverNation05, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2017
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  2. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    2. Bethlehem Catholic

    Last Season: 11-4 (District 11 4A Champions)
    Playoffs: Beat Allentown Central Catholic 39-33; Beat Saucon Valley 27-21 (D11 Championship); Beat Pottsgrove 51-20; Beat Johnstown 42-12; Lost to Imhotep Charter 24-13 (Eastern Final)

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Javon Clements 101-186, 1,846 yards, 20 TDs, 6 INTs
    Rushing: Daizhun Rhodes: 88 carries, 646 yards, 6 TDs
    Receiving: Daizhun Rhodes: 29 catches, 398 yards, 4 TDs
    Tackles: Matt Bisko: 110 tackles, 10 sacks

    Returning Starters Offense (7): QB Javon Clements (Sr. 6’2 205); RB/Slot Daizhun Rhodes (Sr. 5’11 165); TE Pete Iselo (Sr. 5’11 220); OT Elias Marte (Jr. 6’2 300); OL Dalton Daddona (Jr 6’4 250); OL Brandon Gill (Sr. 6’1 270); OL Jacob Kanyuk (Sr. 6'2 245)

    Returning Starters Defense (5): DE Brandon Bartholomew (Sr. 6’3 215); DT Brandon Gill (Sr. 6’1 270); *Matt Bisko (Sr. 5’11 200); CB Daizhun Rhodes (Sr. 5’11 165); CB Shamus Williams (Sr. 6'0 160); FS Tavion Banks (So. 5’10 170)

    After a run to the state final four under interim head coach Kyle Haas, the Golden Hawks are back under control of head coach Joe Henrich for the 2017 season. Beca went 6-2 in conference play last year, with losses to conference champ Emmaus and D11 finalist Freedom. They blew out D11 6A champion Parkland, 34-7, and can clearly play with the big boys. They lose All State performers Isaiah Onuschak and Niko Camacho, but return boatloads of talent otherwise, including the best quarterback in the conference. This is also probably the biggest team in District 11 and should be the favorites to make it back to the 4A Eastern Final.

    The Offense: It starts with Javon Clements, the highly touted Stroudsburg product who put up huge numbers in his first year as a starter with Beca. He has an absolute cannon and can push the ball downfield to a number of speedy targets. He’s also mobile and at 6’2 205, has a Division I frame. He should really thrive in year 2 under center. Do it all offensive weapon Daizhun Rhodes had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage as a junior. They like to move the Easton native all over the field to exploit match ups. He’ll get carries in jet sweep looks or out of the backfield, and he’s the most dangerous slot receiver in the Valley. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with fellow Easton product Tavion Banks. Banks saw time on offense as a freshman last season and averaged over 40 yards per catch. He came up as a running back, and I expected him to take over as the feature runner as a sophomore. He’s still listed as a receiver on Hudl (and curiously is not on their roster at all on MaxPreps), where he’s a game breaker and an FBS prospect. He is the breakout guy for me in the Valley this year, I think he puts up moster numbers wherever he plays. If he doesn’t wind up getting the bulk of the carries, look for sophomore Malik Thomas (5’11 185) from Pocono Mountain East to be the feature running back. Despite losing all state tackle Niko Camacho, the offensive line should again be a strength. Elias Marte and Brandon Gill are monsters, with Marte an FBS prospect at tackle. They also are getting Naz Higgins, a senior transfer from Stroudsburg, who goes 6’4 285 and should fill Camacho’s spot nicely.

    The Defense: Becahi graduated a ton of production on defense, but brings back leading tackler Matt Bisko at middle linebacker at the heart of the defense. Bisko will be a four year varsity starter between Emmaus and Becahi and should be an All State threat after a 110 tackle, 10 sack junior season. Gill and Brendan Bartholomew will free him up in the front as part of the 3-3-5 stack look the Golden Hawks like to use. Gill is a real space eater, and they have tons of size to rotate up front. Expect Jacob Kanyuk (6’3 245) to occupy the other defensive end spot. Freedom transfer Paul Carreras should join Bisko at linebacker, as should Peter Iselo. The secondary is a spot of real strength for the Golden Hawks, with Rhodes and Banks returning starters and impact guys on defense. Christian Drayton is another burner who should start at corner opposite Rhodes.

    Expectations: I’m picking Bethlehem Catholic as the runner up to Emmaus in the EPC South based on a little more returning defensively for the Green Hornets. But they both should be excellent teams in 2017. Bethlehem Catholic has a lot of young guys who could really step up as they’ve been stockpiling talent the last few seasons. They’re going to be one of the biggest teams in 4A, which will give them a huge advantage come playoff time. The postseason will hinge on match ups with archrival Allentown Central Catholic, but Becahi has more firepower and experience in the postseason. Look for another match up with Imhotep looming in December.
     
    2 RoverNation05, Jul 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
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  3. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    3. Parkland

    Last Season: 10-4 (District 11 6A Champions)
    Playoffs: Beat Nazareth 38-7; Beat Easton 42-7; Beat Freedom 24-14 (D11 Championship); Lost to St. Joseph’s Prep 38-17 (PIAA Quarterfinals)

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Michael Ruisch: 122-227, 1,517 yards, 11 TDs, 7 INTs
    Rushing: Jahan Worth: 141 carries, 923 yards, 11 TDs
    Receiving: Juan Salas: 39 catches, 525 yards, 4 TDs
    Defensive: Jahan Worth: 170 tackles, 25 TFL, 4 sacks

    Returning Starters Offense (6): QB Michael Ruisch (Sr. 6’4 190); *FB Jahan Worth (Sr. 6’0 225); WR Juan Salas (Sr. 5’11 180); OT Kobe Thomas (Sr. 6’2 2750; OG Jacob Correll (Sr. 5’9 245); OG Michael Novak (Sr. 6’0 240)

    Returning Starters Defense (3): *LB Jahan Worth (Sr. 6’0 225); LB Nathan Wieder (Sr. 6’0 200); CB Juan Salas (Sr. 5’11 180)

    The Trojans are the five time defending champion in District 11’s biggest classification and are looking to extend their streak of dominance. They overcame a ton of losses to graduation to capture the 2016 title thanks to a punish defense, great line play, and a strong running game. All are staples of head coach Tim Moncman, who won his 4th D11 title in his first year as the Trojan boss. Parkland lost a ton of seniors on defense, but that is a Moncman specialty and I would not expect much of a drop off. They also return one of the best players in the state in linebacker Jahan Worth, a first team 6A All State selection and the EPC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016.

    The Offense: Parkland once again looks like a power run team, though the maturation of senior quarterback Michael Ruisch will be something to watch. He was a real asset for the Trojans last year during their playoff run as thing started to click near the end of his first year as a starter. QB coach Bret Comp is one of the best in Pennsylvania at developing quarterbacks, so I wouldn’t be shocked if Ruisch makes a real jump in year 2, and goes from a game manager to more of a big play, fulcrum of the offense guy. His main target will be Juan Salas, who leads all returnees in catches in the EPC South. He’s a steady wideout. There will be tons of competition to fill the slots around him with the graduation of multi-year starters Zach Bross and Rick Panella. Junior Conner Bernecker is a likely new starter at wideout after a productive sophomore season as the Trojans fourth receiver. The running game loses 1,000 yard rusher Nick Suriel, but returns Worth, who is the Earl Campbell of EPC football. Worth is such a difference maker on defense that they limit his carries on offense, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the bellcow this year in the running game. If so, he’s a 1,500 yard back as a talent, and I certainly want no business tackling him. He’ll run behind a solid offensive line. Kobe Thomas at left tackle has FCS offers, while Michael Novak and Jacob Correll both saw a lot of time in the Trojan six man rotation on the line last year. Junior tackle Gavin Downing should fill the big shoes of departed all conference tackle and three year starter Pat Ferry. Downing is 6’3 290 and has all the makings of the next great Parkland tackle.

    The Defense: Worth set a school and conference record for tackles last season and is arguably the most productive returning defender in all of 6A. He’s an athletic freak who runs a 4.6 at his size and has a 35 inch vertical. He’s the best linebacker to come out of the Lehigh Valley since Brendan Beal, though is a little short for major FBS offers. He’ll have yet another monster season in high school. Nathan Wieder also comes back at outside linebacker, then a stable of newcomers will battle for the remaining spots. Salas is the lone returnee in the secondary, which will badly need to rebuild. If Parkland has a weakness in 2017, it’ll be the back of the defense, particularly when so many teams in the Valley are going spread. The defensive line returns no starters but is aided by senior transfer Jeremy Sell from Northampton. Sell is 6’3 265 and an all conference talent, though he has languished on awful teams with the Konkrete Kids. He should be an immediate force at defensive end and will ease the sting of losing All State selection DJ Hohman. Downing should get reps at defensive tackle if his conditioning is up to part, as should Thomas.

    Expectations: Parkland is always supposed to be at the top of heap and this year is no different. Last season, Parkland had to replace one of the best classes in school history and a bulk of the players that led them to the state final in 2015. They still managed to win D11. If they can do that, they can do anything. And I can’t stress enough how much of a building block they have in Worth. Jahan Dotson is the best player in the Valley, but Worth might be the most important. They don’t bring anywhere near as much back as the two teams I’m picking in front of them, but their consistency means they have to be the next team in line.
     
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  4. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    4. Easton

    Last Season: 7-6
    Playoffs: Beat Pleasant Valley 27-12; Lost to Parkland 42-7 (D11 Semifinal)

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Scott Poulson: 41-91, 615 yards, 5 TDs, 8 INTs
    Rushing: Harold Reynolds: 142 carries, 778 yards, 9 TDs
    Receiving: Jake Herres: 25 catches, 566 yards, 4 TDs
    Defensive: Austin Bina: 75 tackles, 7 sacks

    Returning Starters Offense (9): RB Harold Reynolds (Jr. 5’9 190); RB: Izzy Selassie (Sr. 6’0 195); WR Jake Herres (Sr. 6’5 195); WR Eddie Olsen (Sr. 6’2 175); TE Luke Nimeh (Sr. 6’2 185); OT Trevor Storm (Sr. 6’7 225); OG Ayyub Dail (Sr. 6’1 270); C Albert Gayle (Jr. 6’0 255)

    Returning Starters Defense (10): DE Trevor Storm (Sr. 6’7 225); DT Ayyub Dail (Sr. 6’1 270); DT Albert Gayle (sr. 6’0 255); DE EJ Simmons (Sr. 6’3 215); LB Izzy Selassie (Sr. 6’0 195); *LB Austin Bina (Sr. 5’11 190); CB Damion Smith (Jr. 6’2 180); FS Mikey Dunlap (Jr. 6’3 185); SS Danny Hynes (Jr. 6’0 175); CB Katrell Thompson (Sr. 5’11 195)

    Easton brings back nearly every major contributor from 2016, plus a boatload of underclassmen who got experience due to injury. The offense actually returns 14 players with starting experience and the defense has 13 players coming back who had starts in 2016. They certainly took their lumps last season, no continuity on the offense line crushed the running game. They had one of the better defenses in the EPC last season, but couldn’t score enough to stay competitive. But with so many guys back, a big step forward is expected this season. The 2009 and 2003 D11 champions both were teams like this, coming off of around .500 seasons but bringing back virtually every starter, and blossomed in to some of the best teams in the state. The difference of course being that Easton will be breaking in a new head coach for the first time since 1993. The controversial firing of Steve Shiffert this offseason led to an ugly offseason that has overshadowed the potential for the 2017 team. That dynamic will be fascinating this season.

    The Offense: The Red Rovers bring back nearly everybody, plus will be operating with a new offensive coordinator (Scott Ordway) and quarterbacks coach (former Liberty OC and Lafayette quarterback Mike Palos). It’ll start with the running game, where Harold Reynolds had a promising 2016 campaign as an undersized sophomore. Now 2 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, Reynolds has the frame to match his physical running style. Easton also regains the services of Katrell Thompson, who missed all of 2016 after averaging over 6 yards per carry in 2015. He’s a burner (state semifinalist in the 110 hurdles) who could be the biggest impact newcomer for the Rovers. The receiving corps is huge, with 6’5 Jake Herres leading the way after a big 2016. They also will run out 6’3 Mikey Dunlap, 6’2 Eddie Olsen, and 6’2 tight end Luke Nimeh. There isn’t a burner in the group (unless freshman Nahjee Adams gets a look in the slot, as rumored), but they are big and physical mismatches for high school corners. Scott Poulson made a handful of starts in 2016 and has a strong arm and has looked good in 7-on-7s this summer with the FASST team run by Jason Brader. The expectation is the new staff will let the reins loose on the passing game (particularly Palos, who has run spread with Liberty and is from the Bob Stem school of offense) and Poulson could have a big senior year. The offensive line will be the biggest in Easton since the 2014 squad, led by returning starters Ayyub Dail, Trevor Storm, and Albert Gayle. Storm is a converted tight end who is skinny for a tackle (6’7 225) but is athletic with long arms and held his own as a junior. Dail is a road grader at guard and is receiving D2 attention. Gayle is the best combination of size and athleticism and could be a breakout guy at center after a promising sophomore year. They’ll also get full years out of 2016 part time starters Patrick Shupp (So. 6’3 270) and Elek Ferency (Jr. 6’4 255). Shupp started at tackle as a freshman and has bulked up in the offseason and Ferency, a state qualifier in the shot put as a sophomore, is a big time athlete in a huge frame. There are also rumors that Strom could be shifted back to tight end to take advantage of his athleticism, which would mean either Jonathan Pineda (Sr. 6’1 215) or Jacob Frank (Sr. 5’10 225) would slide in at guard with Ferency moving outside to tackle.

    The Defense: New defensive coordinator Bryan Falcone will have a lot of talent to play with. As usual, Easton had a strong defense in 2016 and brings back nearly everybody, losing only linebacker Ben Nimeh and corner Trey Bailey. The loss of Bailey is muted by the return of Katrell Thompson, who may be the best corner in the EPC South. He’s physical, can fly, and can be put on an island against anybody (he shut down Kenny Yeboah in the 2014 playoffs playing almost exclusively single coverage man-to-man). Safties Mikey Dunlap and Danny Hynes both showed tremendous promise as sophomores, with Hynes making over 70 tackles and Dunlap picking off 4 passes, including the biggest play of Easton-P’Burg, a game clinching diving pick in the fourth quarter. Both could blossom into All State candidates. Up front, Easton brings back four starters, plus Pineda and Ferency, who saw tons of snaps. Storm is an FCS prospect at defensive end, after 9 sacks as a junior. He has offers from Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, Lafayette, and Army. Simmons is an edge setter on the strong side, Dail is a big, run stuffing tackle, and Gayle is a real disruptor on the interior. They’ll free up space for Austin Bina, who led the Rovers in tackles last season. He's also a weapon as a pass rusher. Izzy Selassie is a hybrid linebaker/safety type player who thrives in defending the spread. Easton also welcomes back linebacker Andrew Balukas (Jr. 6’2 215). Balukas came up through the Easton system before transferring to Bethlehem Catholic last season as a sophomore. He’s back with the Red Rovers this year and should start at linebacker. Salisbury transfer Darien Lee (Jr. 6’2 215), Luke Nimeh, Zack Spray (Sr. 5’10 180), and Bryan Schott (Jr. 6’0 195) all could figure in to the linebacker rotation as well.

    Expectations: This Easton team has all of the pieces to make a run. There is tons of experience on this team, bolstered by a very talented junior class. They’ve got size at every position, potential breakout guys in Reynolds, Gayle, Dunlap, Ferency, and Balukas, and a defense that was very good in 2016 that should be elite in 2017. However, the unrest on the coaching staff makes everything feel like a question mark. There certainly was a bitter taste as to how the coaching transition was handled. If the program can turn the page, they may challenge the top three. If they don’t, it could be another long year in Easton. No team in the Valley has a higher beta than the Red Rovers this year.
     
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  5. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    5. Whitehall

    Last Season: 9-5 (District 11 5A Champions)
    Playoffs: Beat East Stroudsburg North 55-20; Beat Southern Lehigh 35-14 (D11 5A Championship); Beat Abington Heights 35-14; Lost to ArchbishopWood 56-13 (PIAA Quarterfinals)

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Ethan Parvel: 9-12, 156 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
    Rushing: Braxton Marrero: 122 carries, 624 yards, 7 TDs
    Receiving: Dez Boykin: 76 catches, 1,332 yards, 15 TDs
    Defensive: Ian Kulp: 55 tackles, 5 sacks


    Returning Starters Offense (6): RB Braxton Marrero (Sr. 5’10 200); *WR Dez Boykin (Sr. 5’11 175); *OL Jakob Hudak (Sr. 5’11 215); OL Markes Cruz (Sr. 6’4 250); OL Bret Legath (Sr. 6’3 290); OL Mike Smith (Sr. 6’0 270)

    Returning Starters Defense (3): DE Ian Kulp (Jr. 6’2 260); DE Jakob Hudak (Sr. 5’11 215); *CB Dez Boykin (Sr. 5’11 175)

    Whitehall is in an unusual spot in that they are the lone EPC South representative in the D11 5A classification. This means that virtually every year, Whitehall will be the district champion. After a 6-4 regular season they beat up ESN and Southern Lehigh to win the title in the four team field (there are only 4 5A schools in D11, so all have already made the playoffs). This year will be no different, as Whitehall is the clear favorite to make another state tournament. They have one of the most dangerous weapons in the conference in senior speedster Dez Boykin, an All State wideout in 2016. Boykin should set every single receiving record in Whitehall history this season, and will go down as one of the best players in an illustrious school history. The Zephyrs should be fun, as usual, on offense, though how much a young defense improves will determine how far they go in the EPC.

    The Offense: Dez Boykin is the focal point of the offense. After a promising sophomore year, Boykin was amongst the state leaders in catches, yards, and touchdowns as a junior in 2016. Boykin has offers from a number of MAC schools and FCS powers Delaware, Richmond, and Villanova. Boykin runs a 4.5 40 and is a crisp route runner, who is dynamic in the return game as well. He's going to be bracketed by every team they play, but the coaching staff excels in finding creative ways to get him the football. Getting him the ball will be first year starter Ethan Purvel. Whitehall has cranked out quarterbacks over the last decade, and Purvel has the benefit of working with coach Brian Gilbert and his staff, whom I trust to develop anybody they have under center. Braxton Marrero returns as the main threat at running back, though Boykin will get carries on constraint plays. Marrero is a physical runner who can find creases in the spread scheme. Ali Barkley (So. 6’0 175), Saquon’s younger brother, also could factor in at running back. Whitehall also returns one of the best offensive lines in the Valley, led by all conference tackle Jakob Hudak and three year starter Mike Smith. They have some road graders up front, and I would not be surprised to see a more run heavy offense in the early going as Purvel gets his feet wet. Outside of Boykin, they have no proven pass catchers, so the competition will be stiff at receiver in camp.

    The Defense: Whitehall was crushed by graduation on defense, losing their entire linebacking corps, and everybody in the secondary but Boykin, including All State safety Jackson Buskirk. What they do bring back are two monster defensive ends in Hudak and Ian Kulp. Kulp had a very strong year as a sophomore and could be one of the breakout guys in the Valley this fall. He’s huge (6’2 260) and is perfectly suited to play the end in Whitehall’s 3-4 or 3-3-5 defenses. Beyond that, there are all kinds of open spots on defense. How the young guys step up will determine how Whitehall’s season goes.

    Expectations: Whitehall is going to win the 5A championship in District 11 and should get a return match up with Archbishop Wood in state quarters (not that they necessarily want it). How they compete in the EPC South remains to be seen. Offensively, if the quarterback develops they could be explosive again, particularly with the returning pieces and size on the offensive line. If they can score enough points in the early going while their defense gets some experience, they could challenge the top four teams on this list.
     
  6. Aragorn

    Aragorn Well-Known Member
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    Outstanding write-up RoverNation! Fairclough's accomplishment at Emmaus is impressive...not to mention his state championships as a player and a coach at ACC!
     
  7. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    The rest of the division is coming tomorrow - ran out of time to finish editing the other ones.

    I'm not surprised Fairclough has Emmaus as a contender. I am surprised he has them as a contender so quickly. Emmaus is a huge school, only Parkland, Easton, Liberty, and Allen are bigger in D11, so depth isn't an issue. Frankly, they've been a sleeping giant for decades. But the total culture shift in year 1 was amazing. He's a great football coach. Was a great player too.
     
  8. Relayer

    Relayer Well-Known Member
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    Great job Rover! You have officially reminded everyone the season is close to being here.
     
  9. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    Excellent effort Rover! We are always appreciative of your hard work. Thanks. The dynamics for this season suggest competitive races pretty much across the board with s few BIG favorites sprinkled in but we all know how HS FB goes. Favorites don’t mean much at this level.
     
  10. PA2CAMoleskinner

    PA2CAMoleskinner Well-Known Member
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  11. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    6. Freedom

    Last Season: 8-5 (District 11 6A Runner-Up)
    Playoffs: Beat Stroudsburg 21-20; Beat Emmaus 42-12; Lost to Parkland 24-14 (District 11 Finals)

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Jared Jenkins: 8-13, 75 yards, 2 TDs rushing
    Rushing: Jalen Stewart: 11 carries, 21 yards
    Receiving: Alec Huertas: 52 catches, 706 yards, 8 TDs
    Defensive: Tristan Wheeler:

    Returning Starters Offense (3): *WR Alec Huertas (Sr. 6’1 175); OT Jaequan Swint (Sr. 6’3 250); *C Tijir Bleam (Sr. 6’1 260)

    Returning Starters Defense (7): DE Kaden Moore (So. 6’1 275); *DE Tijir Bleam (Sr. 6’1 260); LB Abdul Beasley (Sr. 5’10 185); LB Joseph Figueroa (Sr. 5’1 225); LB Tristan Wheeler (Jr. 6’1 215); *CB Alec Huertas (Sr. 6’1 175); CB Kyree Mashburn (Sr. 5’10 175)

    Freedom came into 2016 as the District 11 favorite, then stumbled out of the gates on the way to a 3-4 record. However, the Patriots rolled off five straight wins, including blowouts over Bethlehem Catholic, Liberty, and Emmaus before falling to Parkland in their first D11 title game since 2008. The Patriots lost quarterback Joe Young, 1,000 yard running back DeShaun Peterson, All State linebacker Brady Hornbaker, and three-fifths of their offensive line to graduation. Head coach Jason Roeder has had the Patriots on a roll in the last three seasons, and while the offense will be young in 2017, the defense brings back a lot of talent. Freedom also has one of the best sophomore classes in the area, and they will rely heavily on a number of underclassmen. It could be an uneven year in Bethlehem Township in 2017, but with dividends paying off heavily in the coming years.

    The Offense: Freedom took huge hits to graduation on the offensive side of the ball, but brings back two of the best players in the EPC. Wide receiver Alec Huertas was Young’s favorite target, putting up huge numbers on the perimeter. He’s a great athlete (he’s a Division I baseball talent who touches 90 mph on the mound) and will be the feature player in the offense. Tijir Bleam was the All EPC center last season and is a three year starter on the line. He’s joined by massive tackle Jaequan Swint and rising star sophomore Kaden Moore as the key pieces on the line. Moore is a monster who saw snaps on the offensive line as a freshman last year, and will be one of the best two-way linemen in the Valley before it’s all said and done. Taking over for young at quarterback will be sophomore Jared Jenkins (5’11 175). Jenkins is a dual threat, probably more advanced as a runner than a passer at this point. He has a little bit of a weird delivery, but throws a nice deep ball. A lot is expected out of him in the coming years. Ditto for sophomore running back Jalen Stewart (6’0 180). Stewart got a handful of carries as a freshman, and will be the feature back in Freedom’s spread this year. He’s got the makings of a solid line in front of him and could hit the ground running in his sophomore season.

    The Defense: Freedom brings back a ton of talent on defense, though has to replace three-year starter, former EPC Defensive Player of the Year, and All State pick Brady Hornbaker at linebacker. Taking the reins will be Tristan Wheeler, who was second behind Hornbaker in tackles as a sophomore in 2016. He’s less of a thumper, but has the sideline to sideline game needed with modern offensive schemes. He'll be joined by Abdul Beasley and Joseph Figueroa in the linebacking corps. Figueroa is a big run stopper, while Beasley is more of a walk-out backer who can play the strike position in the 3-3-5. The Defensive line should be solid again, with Moore and Bleam back at defensive end. Moore is an FBS talent on the defensive line. Both are ideal three man front ends in that they are huge (275 and 260) and can occupy blockers. They will need to find a replacement for all conference defensive tackle DeShawn Polk. In the back, Huertas enters his third year as a starter in the secondary, and should leave with the Freedom interception record. He and Kyree Mashburn should make one of the most formidable corner duos in the conference. Junior Rontay Dunbar (5’10 150) can absolutely fly, and is the likely starter at the nickel corner spot.

    Expectations: Freedom has a puncher’s chance because of the defense, which again should be very good. Offensively, they’re green, but with some talent. Roeder has definitely raised the bar for the Patriots in the last few years, and they will not be happy with this projected 6th place finish. That said, 3 through 8 in this conference is very fluid and if the kids mature more quickly than anticipated, it could be another strong year for Freedom.
     
  12. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    7. Nazareth
    Last Season: 5-6
    Playoffs: Lost to Parkland 38-7

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Anthony Harris: 3-7, 21 yards, 1 INT
    Rushing: Kyle Paccio: 18 carries, 42 yards
    Receiving: Zac Keifer: 37 catches, 663 yards, 9 TDs
    Receiving: Jahan Dotson (2015): 66 catches, 1,179 yards, 16 TDs (21 total TDs)

    Returning Offensive Starters (2): *WR Jahan Dotson (Sr. 6’0 175); WR Zac Keifer (Sr. 5’9 180)

    Returning Defensive Starters (5): LB Alex Houchin (Sr. 5’11 180); LB Mitchell Lutte (Sr. 6’0 215); *CB Jahan Dotson (Sr. 6’0 175); SS Zac Keifer (Jr. 5’9 180); FS Nathan Stefanik (So. 5’10 155)

    Nazareth snuck into the playoffs last season as the 6th seed, on the strength of the only regular season defeat of EPC champion Emmaus. That was one of the bigger upsets of the last few years in the EPC. Despite a 5-5 regular season, Nazareth had the EPC Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Travis Stefanik. After a 2,000/1,000 season as a junior, Stefanik threw for 2,045 yards and 21 TDs and ran for another 629 yards and 13 TDs. He was also an all conference safety and was the PIAA champion at 182 pounds last winter and ranked #2 nationally at the weight class. He’s taken his talents to Princeton this fall and will be huge to replace. Also gone is Villanova bound wide receiver/cornerback Julian Liaci and all of the offensive line and running backs. So what is back? After a year at the Peddie School, Jahan Dotson, Rivals #135 player in the country, is back at his home school. As a sophomore, Dotson made the All State team and set every single Nazareth season and career record. His recruiting is a three-way battle between Penn State, Alabama, and Ohio State, with the Nittney Lions being the presumed favorites. He also holds offers from Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Miami, Ole Miss, UNC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin. He is one of the most talented players in Pennsylvania and is immediately the best player in the EPC. They’ll need to fill in around him, but he is an absolute monster on offense, defense, and in the return game, and will single-handedly make Nazareth competitive.

    The Offense: The whole key will be getting Dotson the football. He’s an explosive athlete with some of the best hands in the nation. Teams will sell out to stop him, which should open things up for Zac Keifer. Keifer caught 37 passes as a sophomore, and is a solid option in the slot. He was also the hero of Nazareth’s state dual championship in wrestling, beating fellow stud receiver Tavion Banks of Bethlehem Catholic in the winner-take-all match at 170 in state finals. Getting them the football will be sophomore Anthony Harris (6’2 170). The lefty had a promising freshman campaign on the hardwood and has been one of the leading scorers in summer hoops in the Valley. He’s a great athlete, a tall, lanky lefty who can scramble and will be a perfect fit in Tom Falzone’s spread system. He’s young, so it will be uneven, but with Dotson in the fold, he’s got the best safety blanket in the state. Beyond that, questions abound on the line and at running back. They don’t have many guys on the roster over 200 pounds and only one player listed at 215 so far.

    The Defense: Nazareth brings back a pair of productive linebackers in Alex Houchin and Mitchell Lutte. The two seniors are three year starters and should bring stability to the heart of the defense. In the secondary, Dotson, Keifer, and sophomore safety Nathan Stefanik are all experienced starters. They lose everybody with experience on the defensive line, with sophomore Jake Wilson (6’4 205) next in line at defense end with competition at the other three spots. They’re not big at all, which will be tough given the size in the rest of the league. They’re going to need to win shootouts.

    Expectations: Nazareth will probably be picked 8th in the conference, but the presence of Dotson makes them dangerous. Football isn’t hoops, where one player can instantly make a team a contender, but they will be more formidable with the 4 star recruit in tow. Harris also has all the makings of a star quarterback, and Tom Falzone has done a great job developing QBs in all of his stops.
     
    12 RoverNation05, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  13. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    8. Liberty

    Last Season: 5-6
    Playoffs: Lost to Emmaus 23-13

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Tod Erney: 57-128, 795 yards, 5 TDs, 4 INTs
    Rushing: Nasir Legree: 101 carries, 465 yards, 3 TDs
    Receiving: Jayden Figueroa: 8 catches, 129 yards, 3 TDs

    Returning Starters Offense (7): QB Todd Erney (Jr. 5’11 175); RB Nasir Legree (Jr. 5’9 180); WR Javonte Hayes (Jr. 5’10 150); OL Shane McLaughlin (Sr. 6’2 260); OL Michael Warner (Jr. 5’10 220); OL Jack Fineanganofo (Sr. 6’2 260); OL Keaton Wesley (Jr. 6’0 265)

    Returning Starters Defense (8): DE Trevor Harris (Jr. 6’2 210); DT Shane McLaughlin (Sr. 6’2 260); DE Keaton Wesley (Jr. 5’11 245); LB Will Kandianis (Sr. 6’0 200); LB Jaden Vazquez (Sr. 6’1 180); CB Jaleal McGill (Sr. 5’10 160); SS Isaiah Scott (Jr. 6’0 185); CB Nasir Legree (Jr. 5’9 180)

    As has become a disturbing habit, Liberty got off to a hot start in 2016, starting 3-0 with a win over Parkland. But they finished the year 2-6, only with wins over Dieruff and Northampton and getting outscored 135-40 in a three game losing streak to end the season. A big part of the downturn was the loss of quarterback Todd Erney starting with week 6, who expects to be back in good standing and quarterbacking the Hurricanes this season. There are big shoes to fill though, with the graduation of All State defensive end and Rutgers recruit Jaohne Duggan, Pitt recruit Darian Street, and two-time 1,000 yard rusher Gunner Anglovich. Liberty has been marked by inconsistency for years and they’ve got a lot to replace in 2017.

    The Offense: Liberty brings back a big and experienced offensive line, led by center Shane McLaughlin. They started a pair of sophomores on the line last year in Michael Werner and Keaton Wesley, which is usually a recipe for disaster in high school football. But the experienced gained should help yield solid line play in 2017. They’ll be blocking for one of the most dynamic backs in the Lehigh Valley in junior Nasir Legree. Legree only rushed for 400 yards last year while fending off nagging leg injuries. As a freshman, Legree ran for 600 yards despite missing four games with an ankle injury. If Legree can stay healthy, he’s a 1,000 yard back. Todd Erney showed promise in succeeding his older brother Doug early in the season, but saw his season cut short by disciplinary issues. He won’t have Street to throw to, in fact, he’ll be breaking an almost entirely new receiving corps. But if he develops like his brother (now at East Stroudsburg) he should be a real threat.

    The Defense: Liberty brings back a ton of experience on defense, but will need to replace the unblockable Duggan, who totaled 25 sacks in the last two seasons. Wesley, McLaughlin, and junior Trevor Harris make up a promising defensive line. Linebacker Will Kandianis led the Hurricanes in tackles in 2016 and looks to have another productive season. Fellow returnee Jayden Vazquez is an early commit to Fordham and can run as well as any linebacker in the conference. That's a pair of potential all conference guys. The secondary should be the strength of the defense, with Legree, Jaleal Mcgill, and Isaiah Scott all back. Scott is one to watch, as he was a solid contributor as a sophomore and is a big, rangy safety who can really hit.

    Expectations: This team could be very good if they can stay out of their own way. Liberty faltered down the stretch the last few years, but they have some real talent here. Legree could be one of the real breakout stars in 2017 if his legs cooperate, and Erney is as talented a passer as they have in the league. Liberty has been a model of inconsistency, but if they can get clicking, they will make this preseason ranking look foolish.
     
    13 RoverNation05, Jul 20, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
  14. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    9. Northampton

    Last Season: 2-10

    Returning Leaders
    Passing: Josh Smith: 9-18, 78 yards, 1 TD
    Rushing: Chase Beruta: 59 carries, 237 yards, 1 TD
    Receiving: Tyrese Brandon: 8 catches, 59 yards
    Defense: Nate Hockman: 67 tackles

    Starters Returning Offense (2): OL Matt Wiest (Jr. 6’0 235); OL/TE Zach Liggitt (Sr. 6’4 235)

    Starters Returning Defense (6): DE Zack Liggitt (Sr. 6’4 235); DT James Jandris (Sr. 6’2 300); DE Jordan Siegfried (Sr. 6’2 225); LB Nate Hockman (Sr. 5’10 180); CB Tyrese Brandon (So. 6’0 160); CB Aiden Jones (So. 5’10 165)

    This decade, Northampton is 18-64 and have not beaten an EPC South opponent since a win over Bethlehem Catholic in 2012. The Konkrete Kids last finished over .500 in 2008 and last made the D11 playoffs in 2003 (one of two times they’ve reached the post season – the other being a finals appearance in 1989). Moral of the story is, this is a football program mired in the doldrums. Northampton’s last conference championship was a three-way split with Lehighton and Nazareth in the 1997 Mountain Valley Conference, their only conference title since winning the Lehigh Valley League 19 times between 1945 and 1970. Northampton’s only D11 finals appearance was an 8-6 loss in 1989 to Whitehall. This year, coming off of a winless regular season and the loss of a three year starter at quarterback, Northampton looks like a safe pick for 9th in the EPC South.

    The Offense: The K-Kids averaged 200 yards per game in 2016 and are replacing nine starters on offense. Senior Josh Smith should take over at quarterback after seeing time at safety during his junior season. He’ll have sophomore Tyrese Brandon to throw to, and it’s an open competition at running back with leading returning rushers Chase Beruta and Hunter Wacik combining for 300 yards last season. They also have to deal with the transfer of tight end Jeremy Sell to Parkland.

    The Defense: The K-Kids bring back most of their 2016 defense, but this is where the Sell transfer will be felt the most. At 6’5 265, Sell was a major mismatch on the defensive line and was the most adept run stopper on the Konkrete Kids defense. They’ll have size left, however, with 300 pound nose tackle James Jandris and big defensive ends Zack Liggitt and Jordan Siefgried tasked with stopping the run. Seigfried made 55 tackles from his defensive end spot a year ago. Leading tackler Nate Hockman also returns and will lead the linebacking corps, which will have to replace two starters. The secondary brings back both corners, with Tyrese Brandon having the most upside of any player on the roster.

    Expectations: The KKids open with East Stroudsburg North, probably their best bet to win a game in 2017, though they’ll have to contend with the triple-option. From there, they will likely take their lumps as a young, undersized team with limited skill guys in one of the tougher 6A leagues in Pennsylvania. On the bright side, their wrestling program is firing on all cylinders and should contend for a 3A state championship this winter.
     
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  15. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    Rover, you doing a D2/4 overview or detailed write-up? Great work on 11.
     
  16. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    Stalk - not gonna lie, now that D2/4 isn't in the D11 subregional anymore, I've paid far less attention. I can write abbreviated capsules for them. Williamsport should again be the class of 6A
     
  17. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    I was just curious. Chill some
    Yeah and unfortunately the area has gone to sleep over the years. If I ever find the time I was going to do a mini capsule approach of the state's 6A teams. We'll see. Ok thanks Rover.
     
  18. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    Didn't mean to sound like a dick, apologize if I did. Will just need to do a little research to know what's going on in that neck of the woods. I definitely tracked it for the decade they were in a subregional with D11, but it was kind of amazing how that fell off last season once they were shipped out west. I know Williamsport has Potts and Danneker back, who both were all state last year. Potts is amongst the best backs in the state if he's healthy and Danneker is a house (6'4 320). I think they have a couple more big dudes up front. Graduating Hankins and Reeves is a huge loss, part of the reason Potts was so successful is you couldn't stuff the box because of how dangerous the passing game was.

    Wyoming Valley West also has a bunch of size, anchored by UCLA commit Chris Bleich at tackle and 280 pound sophomore Sam Solomon at the other tackle spot and on the defensive line. They have a lot of skill guys to replace. Hazleton shouldn't be much of a factor, though running back Adrien Otero is interesting. Scranton hasn't been really good in a number of years, really since the McCarthy teams, and I don't really have a lot of evidence that they'll compete this year.

    Like D11 in 5A, all four of these teams will make the playoffs then duke it out for a round of 16 playoff game against the District 6 rep (State College always, or do they have to beat Altoona?). From there, they'll get blown out by the D7 champ, at least if I'm remembering my bracket correctly.
     
  19. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    Starting the EPC North

    1. Allentown Central Catholic

    Last Season: 9-2 (EPC North Champions)
    Playoffs: Lost to Bethlehem Catholic 39-33

    Returning Starters Offense (1): *OG Nick Cerimele (Sr. 6’2 310)
    Returning Starters Defense (5): DE Nick Cerimele (Sr. 6’2 310), DT Colin Frost (Sr. 5’10 280); LB Vincent Lynch (Sr. 5’10 205); DB Justin Pasquale (Jr. 5’8 160); DB Jack Yanders (Sr. 5’11 155)

    The 2016 Allentown Central Catholic Vikings were riding high after a 9-1 regular season and a 48-14 thrashing of archrival Bethlehem Catholic. All State running back and EPC North Offensive Player of the Year Darnell Ferrell ran for 305 yards and 5 touchdowns against the Golden Hawks as the Vikings imposed their will and looked like they were going to walk through the 4A bracket in District 11. However, one week later, they met Becahi in the first round of the playoffs, and the Hawks were able to completely flip the tables, winning a 39-33 revenge match, and eventually advancing to the Eastern Finals in 4A against Imhotep. That was a big miss by Central, as they’re replacing 10 starters on offense, including Ferrell, who ran for 1,792 yards and scored 42 total touchdowns last season. All conference quarterback Ethan Persa, all league linemen Ethan Beck, Damien Manscoso, and Chris Ocasio, two-way all league picks Tom Murphy, and all league defenders Jackson Eighmy, Joe Wolf, and Edward Manuela all graduate, leaving the Vikings with just one returning starter on offense and a handful of role players back on defense. It’ll be a full scale rebuild, but in the EPC North, the schedule is much more forgiving.

    The Offense: The lone returner is Nick Cerimele, son of former Penn State captain Mike Cerimele. He’s one of the premier linemen in 4A across the state, and at 6’2 310 pounds and freakishly strong like his old man, Cerimele is an FCS prospect on the line. Beyond that, it’ll be all fresh faces for the Vikings. I’d imagine Collin Frost will go-both ways after a strong junior year on the defensive line. Slotting him next to Cerimele gives them a pair of 280+ bodies on the line. Also expect snaps for 240 pound senior Jake Horoshko. Persa’s likely replacement is 6’3 200 pound junior Frank Rauscher. The offense loses coordinator Rob Melosky, who takes his talents to Pocono Mountain East as football coach and athletic director, but Central has a strong recent track record of QB development. Rauscher has the measurables to be a good one. There is open competition at running back and receiver, where every major contributor graduates. One to watch is 6’4 230 pound tight end Austin Yankowy, and Emmaus transfer with size and ball skills.

    The Defense: Here, the Vikings return a ton more, though will have to replace impact defenders Beck, Murphy, Ferrell, and Eighmy. Cerimele again is the highlight guy, he’s a huge defensive end with a great first step. He projects as a defender in college. Vincent Lynch had a productive season at middle linebacker last year and will slot into Murphy’s role as the defense’s quarterback. Frost is a space eater at nose tackle in their 3-3-5, and Yankowy makes for another explosive defensive end. The d-line should be the best in their half of the conferene and gives the back 7 some room for error as they develop.

    Expectations: In the EPC North, Central should be considered king until proven otherwise. They have a tough opener with EPC South contender Freedom, but then should roll through the rest of their schedule against the former Mountain Valley Conference schools and the two Allentown publics before a season ender with Bethlehem Catholic. They’ll have a rematch with Becahi in the 4A playoffs, with the winner going on to represent D11. Becahi is the clear favorite now, but Central has a lot of time for development and a schedule that lends itself to such.
     
  20. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    About Altoona; last year saw 2/4 battle it out in the top bracket (4 teams) while McDowell and State College got byes. State didn’t play Altoona in a playoff, ousting them on points I assume, bottom 8 being Wpial teams. Those 16 slots….2 being byes, played off while D3 went at it with the winners facing off in the West final.
     
  21. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    EPC North
    2. Pleasant Valley

    Last Season: 8-3
    Playoffs: Lost to Easton 27-12

    Offensive Starters Returning (3): QB Brandon Keyes (Sr. 6’3 185); RB/WR Mike Brown (Sr. 5’11 175); OL Zach Altemose (Sr. 5’7 205)

    Defensive Starters Returning (4) : DL Zach Altemose (Sr. 5’7 205); DL Christian DeReinzi (Sr. 5’9 230); LB Brent Beck (Sr. 5’9 185); DB Mikey Brown (Sr. 5’11 175)

    Pleasant Valley finished as the #2 seed in District 11 6A on the back of one of the most explosive offenses in the state, averaging 44.5 points per games in an 8-2 regular season. The Bears went over 50 points six times and over 60 twice. Quarterback Brandon Keyes masterfully distributed the ball, throwing for 2,365 yards and 33 TDs against just 5 interceptions. Gone are his two biggest playmakers, receiver Justin Richardson and running back Mike Mitchell. Richardson set PV records with 48 catches for 1,059 yards and 15 touchdowns and is also the PV career leader in all three categories. Mitchell averaged 10 yards per carry on his way to a 1,447 yard season with 19 rushing TDs – both single season records as well, plus caught 22 passes for 484 yards and 9 TDs – the 28 touchdowns being a school record. Mitchell also set the school record with 301 rushing yards against East Stroudsburg South. Unfortunately, the defense struggled to keep teams out of the end zone, particularly in stopping the run, and that reared its ugly head in the playoffs with an upset loss to the young Easton Red Rovers, who pounded out 345 yards on the ground in the win. PV’s high flying offense also stymied against teams that could exploit an advantage in the trenches, as ACC, Stroudsburg, and Easton were able to. The Bears averaged 53.6 points per game in wins, but only 20.3 points per game in their losses, including a season low 12 in the playoff loss to Easton, who sacked Keyes 7 times and held Mitchell 50 yards below his per game average.

    The Offense: Quarterback Brandon Keyes returns after leading District 11 in passing last season and setting school records for yards and touchdowns. Keyes is a savvy decision maker who gets the ball out quickly in the spread and can push it downfield with the best of them in the area. He had a bevy of track stars at his disposal last season in the receiving game, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts when he has to be more the star of the show. His top target should be Mikey Brown, a hybrid running back-receiver who runs a 4.5 40 and will be moved all over the field by the Bears coaching staff. Brown caught 33 passes last year for 475 yards and 6 TDs, those numbers should go up, but also expect him to be a factor in the running game. The rest of PV’s weapons will be an open competition. On the offensive line, guard Zach Altemose is back, but the Bears need to replace the other four spots on the line. How they fill these vacancies will be the key to their season.

    The Defense: Pleasant Valley struggled to keep their opponents out of the end zone last year, but had the firepower to win shootouts throughout the regular season. They’ll need to put up a ton of points again, as the defense loses most of their major contributors. Leading tackler Brent Beck returns at middle linebacker, and will need to be a stabilizing force. Brown returns at safety, where he’ll be amongst the league’s best. Finding a way to replace Mitchell and Richardson in the secondary will be key, as they were real playmakers in the back half of the defense. Up front, Altemose was an all league pick last year at defensive tackle.

    Expectations; Pleasant Valley has the most important position in football under control, with Keyes being one of the best quarterbacks in the area. The rest of the roster is full of question marks and inexperience. While Keyes is the toughest spot to fill, they are going to need a lot of first year starters to step up for this team to thrive. The good news is, the EPC North is a forgiving league, and they’ll have time to get their house in order with games with the two Allentown and Pocono Mountain schools. This could be a very different team in the back half of the year once they’ve gained some experience and Keyes can let it loose.
     
  22. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    3. Stroudsburg

    Last Season: 7-4
    Playoffs: Lost to Freedom 21-20

    Offensive Starters Returning (2): OL Warren Watson (Sr. 5’10 275); OL Jeremiah Gutierrez (Sr. 6’3 300)

    Defensive Starters Returning (4): DT Warren Watson (Sr. 5’10 275); DL Nick Whitewood (Sr. 6’3 240); LB Ben Stokes (Jr. 6’0 215); CB Benny Pembleton (Jr. 5’11 170)

    The Mounties finished as the #4 seed last season, and lost a heartbreaker in the D11 playoffs to eventual finalist Freedom. The Patriots scored with 8 minutes left after a Stroudsburg turnover gave them a short field. Then after forcing a 3 and out, the Patriots were able to salt away the last 5 minutes of the game. Stroudsburg graduated running back Jamaal Brome, who ran for 1,475 last season and 3,121 yards in his career. Replacing the diminutive speedster will be a huge priority for the Stroudsburg, who depend on a ground and pound attack from spread sets.

    The Offense: They return a pair of big linemen, with Jeremiah Gutierrez being one of the true 300 pounders in the conference and an FCS talent. They also have a handful of big bodies lined up to take over, including Colin Smith and Micah Hargrove. That eases the transfer of senior tackle Naz Higgins, who has been an All League performer. Junior Benny Pembleton has been a fixture on the 7-on-7 circuit with Jason Brader’s FASST squad, and should hit the ground running as a playmaker on the perimeter. Who gets him the ball will be a question, with junior Sherwin Stewart the leader in the clubhouse as we go into camp. He’s a real threat with the ball in his hands and will be used a lot in the read option – a wrinkle Stroudsburg hasn’t really had in the offense. How he develops as a passer will be crucial, but he’s definitely a weapon with his legs.

    The Defense: Stroudsburg has some options in the trenches, with a lot of their linemen being two-way threats. Defensive end Nick Whitewood is getting college looks and is a big body at defensive end with an explosive first step. Pembleton and Stewart both saw tons of reps last season in the secondary and should anchor that position group.

    Expectations: Stroudsburg has been hit particularly hard by the transfer bug, with three all league caliber talents in the district playing for other schools. Still, there is talent here in a program that has had remarkable consistency this decade. If Stewart develops, he could really be a nice weapon for the Mounties, who will be able to block for him if nothing else. They should be right there with Pleasant Valley and ACC for control of the EPC North.
     
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  23. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    Thanks again as always and good stuff. PS....by "chill some" in an earlier post I meant take a deserved break.
     
  24. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    Preseason All Conference Team
    QB: Javon Clements, Bethlehem Catholic
    RB: Sone Ntoh, Emmaus
    RB: Nasir Legree, Liberty
    RB: Harold Reynolds, Easton
    WR: Jahan Dotson, Nazareth
    WR: Dez Boykin, Whitehall
    WR: Jake Herres, Easton
    TE: Josh Artis, Emmaus
    OL: Kobe Thomas, Parkland
    OL: Tijir Bleam, Freedom
    OL: Mike Reeves, Emmaus
    OL: Jake Hudak, Whitehall
    OL: Elias Marte, Bethlehem Catholic
    O-ATH; Daizhun Rhodes, Bethlehem Catholic

    DL: Trevor Storm, Easton
    DL: Ian Kulp, Whitehall
    DL: Albert Gayle, Easton
    DL: Kaden Moore, Freedom
    LB: Jahan Worth, Parkland
    LB: Matt Bisko, Bethlehem Catholic
    LB: Noah Breidinger, Emmaus
    LB: Austin Bina, Easton
    DB: Lubens Myers, Emmaus
    DB: Alec Huertas, Freedom
    DB: Tavion Banks, Bethlehem Catholic
    DB: Katrell Thompson, Easton
    D-ATH: Jaden Vazquez, Liberty

    Offensive Player of the Year: Jahan Dotson, Nazareth
    Defensive Player of the Year: Jahan Worth, Parkland
     
  25. Stalker

    Stalker Well-Known Member
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    Rover, I gave this a thorough read (finally) rather than the cursory glance and have to say this is excellent with a lot more work and detail than I first realized. Instead of one power emerging it appears D11 will produce a number of exceptionally strong teams at 6A. Too bad we can’t sprinkle Emmaus, Parkland, Easton and Liberty around the state to weaker areas giving McDowell and State someone to play in the postseason!
     
  26. RoverNation05

    RoverNation05 Well-Known Member
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    Thanks Stalk, I think the league is pretty deep this year. Every team in contention has a couple big questions (Emmaus QB, Parkland replacing its entire defense, Easton coaching staff) but there is good talent across the board. The top half would really compete in a lot of the districts around the state. Not sure they have a team that can knock off St. Joe's or LaSalle, so they go anywhere in the state playoffs, but the league should be as good as it's been in a number of years.
     

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