WYOMING VALLEY WEST
2016: 8-2 in regular season to finish second of three teams in the WVC 6A-5A Division; 8-3 overall; Lost to Abington Heights, 24-7, in District 2-11 Class 5A Subregional semifinal.
Coach: Pat Keating, 9th season, 69-23
2017 Class: 5A
Returning starters: 8 offense, 7 defense
Returning WVC Big School all-stars: Chris Bleich, 1st-OL; Zach Davies, 1st-LB; Sean Mikovitch, 2nd-FB; Jake Gurtis, 2nd-K; Sammy Solomon, 2nd-DL; 2nd-LB; Mike Saracino, HM-OL; Cortes Adams, HM-DL; Darrian Tyson, HM-DB.
Offense: No-huddle, multiple
Wyoming Valley West returns a huge line, led by UCLA recruit Chris Bleich and 280-pound sophomore Sammy Solomon, who is already becoming a Division I prospect.
Dominic Alunni is an improving 6-foot-5, 330-pounder and Cortes Adams is an athletic 6-3, 270-pounder.
The Spartans have enough options up front that Adams is primarily a defensive lineman and Bleich, recruited for his offensive line play, does not have to be overworked on defense.
Zach Davies and Sean Mikovitch will be counted on for strong two-way play behind that line.
Mikovitch moves from fullback to linebacker as the Spartans look to revamp their skill positions.
The graduation of Aaron Austin and Sean Judge took away the team’s top two rushers as well as the top passer and receiver.
Davies will move into full-time action at fullback.
Rob Dwyer, a former tight end, is the new quarterback.
“We do have a new quarterback, so time will tell how that works out, but I think Robbie has the capability to be very good,” Spartans coach Pat Keating said.
Darrian Tyson returns at wide receiver where he will play with Derek Doreskewicz and Jake Blaski. Tyson was second on the team last year with 19 catches.
Dylan Jockel is the tight end.
Bleich, Brandon Steidinger, Connor Mikovitch, and Dom Alunni all return in the offensive line, which will also include Dave Wildey.
Solomon and Adams lead the defensive line that includes Bleich and Jockel.
Davies and Sean Mikovitch are a tough combination at linebacker. They were 1-2 on the team in tackles last season, the second straight year that Davies led the team.
“He’s a bit undersized, but he has a knack for getting to the ball,” Keating said.
Quaid Braddy and Carson Canavan join them.
Tyson returns to the seconday. He will be joined by Doreskewicz, Blaski and Dion Davis.
Jake Gurtis gives the team an established kicker.
“I think we have a good amount of experience back on both sides of the ball from a young team last year.”