OLYPHANT — It may still be early August, but high school football talk filled the air Tuesday afternoon during Lackawanna Football Conference Media Day at the Regal Room.
Comets eyeing comeback
Abington Heights will look to rebound after missing the District 2 playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2015.
Senior wide receiver/defensive back Tom Rothenberger believes the Comets may be poised to improve on last year’s 5-5 record.
“We had an up and down year, but we got a lot of experience,” Rothenberger said. “We’re looking to use that experience to our advantage and hopefully have a good year.
“I think we’re going to have a great defense with eight returning starters. I also think our (offensive) line is going to be improved and we’ll be able to run the ball.”
The graduation of Jordan Hollander opened up a starting spot at quarterback and Colin McCreary, a returning starter at wide receiver, has been impressed with the battle for the position during the preseason.
“There has been great competition,” McCreary said. “We have two younger kids trying to step up as well as some seniors. We’re competing every day and just trying to find the best player for the each spot to help improve our team.”
Lions look to districts
Lackawanna Trail won six games last season and advanced to the District 2 Class A championship game, but were defeated, 49-14, by Old Forge. With an experienced core returning, the Lions are eager to avenge the loss.
“We have our whole backfield returning this year, but we lost a couple lineman,” Lackawanna Trail senior wingback/linebacker Anthony Berrios said. “I think once we get the younger guys on the line up to speed we could have a pretty good year.
“Our core group of guys have been playing together for a long time and making it as far as we did last year was definitely a good experience. I think it will help us get to that point again, if not further. We want to start off strong and keep the momentum going for the whole season.”
Trail senior wide receiver/defensive back Matt Bergey credits head coach Steve Jervis for the team’s success.
“He helps us unite and makes us work as one unit,” Bergey said.
Cavaliers keep steady
Scranton Prep is the reigning District 2 Class 3A champion and despite the retirement of head coach Nick Donato, the Cavs are confident they will remain among the top teams in the Lackawanna League under Terry Gallagher.
“Coach Donato really turned the program around a couple years ago,” Scranton Prep senior wide receiver/defensive back Mario Giannone said. “Now, coach Terry (Gallagher) is here and we’re hoping to continue the success. We want to be just as good as we were last year, if not better.
Giannone is also excited about the return of senior quarterback Jake Ryan.
“Jake and I are really good friends and we’ve worked a lot on our chemistry in the offseason,” he said.
Lackawanna Trail will open its season at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26 at Mid Valley. Scranton Prep will host Abington Heights at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug, 27 at Scranton Memorial Stadium.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.