WEST PITTSTON – Wyoming Area returns a bigger line, which should make the Warriors better equipped for the rigors of the second season of their latest go-around as a Wyoming Valley Conference large school.
The Warriors struggled through a 3-7 season in 2013 when they moved back up from Class AA to Class AAA and picked up the WVC large schools on their schedule as a result.
Wyoming Area coach Randy Spencer said the team may have a strong enough line to execute the type of offense he prefers.
“Even when we’re in spread, we still apply power concepts,” Spencer said of the offense, which uses multiple formations. “… Our DNA will be to be the same type of team.
“But we’re pretty confident in our spread game and our intermediate passing game and hopefully we’ll be able to spread the field a bit.”
Seniors Michael Dructor, a 6-3, 285-pounder, and Frank Yurek, a 6-foot, 250-pounder, are both returning as two-way tackles.
Senior Justin Steinberger, a 6-2, 225-pounder, started on offense and has some experience on defense.
Juniors Dante DeLuca and Kyle Carr both have experience as tight ends and in the defensive line. DeLuca started both ways at end.
Dean Smith, a 6-3, 250-pound senior, has returned after time away from the program and could also help in the physical battles up front.
“When you look at Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1, you’re talking about very competitive,” Spencer said. “You better be able to go toe-to-toe, big, strong and physical and you better have some athletes who can run.”
Those athletes come in the form of the entire secondary returning as well as two of the three players who shared the quarterback job last season.
The secondary remains young. Junior Brian Miles and sophomores Marc Anthony Minichello and P.J. Angeli are back.
Angeli and junior Steve Homza are again working at quarterback.
“It’s a good competitive environment with them, pushing each other to get better every day,” Spencer said. “You have to have two ready to play, especially in our league.”
Minichello has some experience at receiver and could wind up there or at running back. Homza and Angeli are both capable of playing receiver as well depending which is at quarterback.
Miles and speedy sophomore Donovan O’Boyle are two more running backs.
Carr and Dylan Kostak are working at fullback. Kyler Higgins and Anthony Saitta are wide receivers. Blaise Erzar is another tight end.
Andrew Bartoli and John Rubino are two more potential starters in the offensive line.
Carr could move from the defensive line to linebacker Dylan Kostak will fill one spot.
“The guys who did get their feet wet last year are a little bit more mature, a little bit more experienced,” Spencer said. “I just like our size and skill set in the front seven.”
Berwick, Wyoming Valley West, defending champion Crestwood and Dallas all appear to have the potential to contend for the top spot among WVC teams.
Wyoming Area has a tough start to the season, playing at home against Wyoming Valley West Sept. 4 before traveling to Scranton Prep Sept. 12.
The rest of its schedule: Sept. 18, at North Pocono; Sept. 25, at Tunkhannock; Oct. 2, at home against Crestwood; Oct. 9, at home against Berwick; Oct. 16, at home against Dallas; Oct. 24, at Coughlin; Oct. 30, at Wallenpaupack; Nov. 6, at home against Pittston Area.