L-S Football: Section 3 Preview

 

WR Austin Stolzfus catching a pass in District 3 4A semifinals. (Patrick Blain LNP)

       High school football is back. With or without spectators, it's set to be yet another exciting season for L-S football and the rest of the L-L League. The sections have been re-aligned for the 2020 season with L-S dropping down to Section 3. Let's take a look at the competition. 

Donegal Indians

RB Garrett Blake runs the ball in a clash with Lancaster Catholic (Chris Knight LNP)

Previous Record: 6-4 (6-3)

Last Meeting: LS 46-Donegal 0 (2009)

          The Indians are coming off a solid season where they posted a winning record and almost qualified for the District 3 playoffs. Despite losing the playmaking duo of Connor Ruhl and Jake Shoemaker, who are both now playing for Wilkes University, the Indians are set for another strong season after retaining backfield duo Garrett Blake and Mason Ober, who ran for a combined 1,143 yards last year. 

Ephrata Mountaineers

QB Miracle Wratto runs ball vs Lancaster Catholic (Chris Knight LNP)

Previous Record: 6-4 (6-3)

Last Meeting: LS 61-Ephrata 6 (2017)

          Despite having compiled a record of 11-61 over the past 7 seasons, the Mountaineers are coming off a season where they ran their way to a winning record for the first time in over 15 years. Junior QB Miracle Wratto along with powerful defensive duo Andre Wiedman and Owen Morrongiello are ready to lead the Mounts to another good season. 

Garden Spot Spartans

QB Jesse Martin throws a pass in game vs Warwick (Mark Palczewski LNP)

Previous Record: 0-10 (0-6)

Last Meeting: LS 55-Garden Spot 10 (2019)

          The Spartans are a familiar foe, having dropped from Section 2 along with the Pioneers. They have faced off every year since 2014, and the Spartans haven't won since 2016. The Spartans are currently on a 24-game losing streak and will be looking to break the skid this season. One player to watch for on this team is Joel Martin (2022), who is a threat on both sides of the ball. He recorded 551 all-purpose yards on offense and 53 total tackles on defense last year. 

Lancaster Catholic Crusaders

#56 Devin Atkinson tackles opponent in PIAA 3A Playoffs (Mark Palczewski LNP)

Previous Record: 10-2 (8-1)

Last Meeting: LS 34-Lancaster Catholic 14 (2015)

          The Section 3 defending champion Crusaders are back for more in 2020, but face a tougher task this time around. Losing difference makers such as Alex Cruz, Andrew Miklos, and Todd Kaufman combined with new section opponent Lampeter-Strasburg, the Crusaders have an uphill battle to win what would be their 3rd straight Section 3 title. The Crusaders lost in the second round of the 3A playoffs last season to Middletown after defeating Bermudian Springs in the first round. 

Lebanon Cedars

QB Isaiah Rodriguez in match up against Donegal (Patrick Blain LNP)

Previous Record: 7-4 (6-3)

Last Meeting: LS 62-Lebanon 21 (2015)

          Things are looking up for Lebanon and new head coach Frank Isenberg. The Cedars won the 2019 5A/6A Eastern Conference championship after defeating Reading 36-14. They return a strong group of players including star receiver Alex Rufe, who will likely get looks from D1 schools as the season gets going. Frank Isenberg is no stranger to Lebanon, as he was the defensive coordinator at the school from 2007-2014. Look for Lebanon to continue throwing the ball at a high rate, and their veteran offensive line will give QB Isaiah Rodriguez plenty of time to throw. 

Lampeter-Strasburg Pioneers

WR Ian Herr records reception in PIAA 4A semifinal (Patrick Blain LNP)

Previous Record: 11-4 (4-2)

          The Pioneers are coming off one of the best years in school history, where they captured the 4A district championship as part of an amazing run that included a 20 point comeback in the district semifinal. Despite losing playmakers such as Jake Kopelman, Bryan McKim, and Michael del Grande, the Pioneers are widely regarded as Section 3 favorites. With key players returning such as (but not limited to) Alex Knapp, Austin Stolzfus, and Nick del Grande, the Pioneers are set for another deep playoff run. It is also worth noting that Sean McTaggart will be back in the pocket after suffering a torn ACL in last year's season opener against Penn Manor. 

By Logan Moyer, LS News reporter

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