Eagles’ volleyball could make push to top

BY SHANE HENNIGAN
Times Shamrock Writer

After consecutive seasons in which it finished second and third in the district, Western Wayne will have to find new players to step up if it wants to replicate that success this year.

Another traditional power, Abington Heights, will have to do the same in what is expected to be a very competitive Lackawanna League volleyball season.

Western Wayne, which went 14-0 during the regular season, will have a big hole to fill, losing two-time All-Region player of the year in Mike Trygar. The Wildcats also graduated four other seniors, including outside hitters Jonathan Hanna and Frank Juhasz, both of whom were voted second-team all-stars by league coaches.

“We’re kind of young this year,” Western Wayne coach Tim Snyder said. “We do have a couple players that have a lot of experience. But most of the guys who will be in the lineup are younger.”

Abington Heights, which went 12-2 during the regular season, will rely heavily on the leadership of Kevin Schumacher. The senior, a first-team all-star, will be counted on to gel a lineup that lost two All-Region and all-league selections in Jake Roba and Mike Pettinato.

Junior Jeremy Critchley, an honorable mention all-star who will play libero this season, middle hitters Mike Fitzpatrick and Griffin Joyce and outside hitter Joe Deitzer also return to the Comets’ starting lineup.

Mountain View will be a team that could make a push at the top. Coming off a 6-8 season, the Eagles return all seven starters, including outside hitter Chad Schmidt, a second-team all-star. Junior hitter Lucas LaRue will also be vital to the Eagles’ success.

Susquehanna, fresh off an 8-6 season, returns senior middle hitter Steven Frye, a second-team all-star, along with Nick Lloyd and Jonathan Felter. And Forest City returns four starters, including senior middle hitter Wayde Loomis, a second-team all-star, and striker Logan McHale, an honorable mention all-star.

Lackwanna Trail was also hit hard by graduation, but will return three starters, including Dylan Simon, a second-team all-star.

“I think that some of the teams that were not as strong in past years could be rising up to meet the upper-echelon teams,” Spangler said. “I think the traditionally top teams are still going to be right around the top. It’ll be interesting to see.”

Lackawanna League
Mountain View Eagles

Home court: Mountain View HS
Last season: 6-8
Head coach: David Breese
Returning starters: Chad Schmidt, Sr.; Austin Mack, Sr.; Jake Heller, Sr.; Chris Kraft, Sr.; Brandon Zentmeyer, Sr.; Lucas LaRue Jr.; Bryan Owens, Jr.
Other returnees: Mike Shevchuk, Sr.; Adam Lynn, So.
Newcomers: Joe Cerra, Jr.; Trystian Phillips, Jr.

Susquehanna Sabers
Home court: Susquehanna Community High School
Last season: 8-6
Head coach: Bill Albert
Returning starters: Steven Frye, Sr.; Nick Lloyd, Sr.; Jonathan Felter, Sr.
Other returnees: None.
Newcomers: Nathan Carpenter, Sr; Melvin Batson, Sr.; Brandon Rafferty, Sr.; Brandon Ferrante, So.; Jonathan Teribury, Fr.; Michael Hilkert, Fr.

Blue Ridge Raiders

Last season: 0-14
No additional information was provided.

Elk Lake Warriors
Home court: Elk Lake Jr/Sr HS
Last season: 4-10
Head coach: Mary Berg
Returning starters: None.
Other returnees: Christian Sprout, Sr.; Mark Zayleski, Sr.; Drew Nunemacher, Sr.; Brody Bushnell, Jr.; Adam Curry, Jr.; Logan Adams, Jr.; Jonas Fuller, So.; Kenny Brittingham, So.; Brandon Roman, Sr.

Forest City Foresters
Home court: Forest City HS
Last season: 4-10
Head coach: Dora Andrews
Returning starters: Logan McHale, Sr.; Ryan Long, Sr.; Wade Loomis, Sr.; Tyler Butler, Jr.
Other returnees: Matt Kackos, Sr.; Greg Kowalewski, Sr.; Sonny Albright, Jr.
Newcomers: Noah Fedak, Jr.; Matt Nevins, Jr.