CLINTON TWP. — The Lackawanna Trail football team returns a lot of experienced players and the group has some unfinished business.
After winning the District 1-2 Class A Subregional championship in 2016, the Lions fell to Old Forge in the District 2 title game last season.
“We have a very strong senior class coming back and very high expectations for this year,” senior Jordan Edwards said. “Winning a district championship is definitely the goal we’ve set for ourselves and losing last year fuels our fire.”
Nate Rolka returns as a four-year starter at quarterback and head coach Steve Jervis has the utmost confidence in the senior signal caller.
“He knows our offense as well as any kid I’ve ever coached,” Jervis said. “He makes good decisions and has a really strong arm. He has a lot of leadership qualities and is a very intelligent young man.”
Edwards and senior Cody Moyle are expected to contribute at the wingback position.
Junior Jeffrey Resto and senior Noah Coleman should see time at running back.
Sophomore Ray Melnikoff returns as the starter at fullback.
“We feel like Ray could be a very good player,” Jervis said. “The fullback position is very critical in the Wing-T offense. He has big shoes to full, but I think he can do it.”
Coleman, senior Zach Stec, and junior Miguel Ella should see time at wide receiver, however Ella is nursing an injury.
Senior Zac Cost and junior Kilar Wallace will contribute at tight end.
“Zac is a very talented football player,” Jervis said. “He’ll be a three-year starter both ways on offense and defense.”
Senior Jacob Brim returns at right guard, senior Robbie Davis is back at right tackle, junior Richard Rodenbach returns at center, senior Colin Mulhern will likely start at left guard, and juniors Mark Dunckle and Josh Semken along with sophomore Kyle Austin are competing for time at left tackle.
Edwards returns as a four-year starter at safety and Coleman, Berrios and Ella and working at cornerback.
Melnikoff, junior Josh Brown, Resto, Moyle and Stec are in the mix at linebacker.
Cost and Rolka will see time at defensive end while Dunckle, Rodenbach, Davis and Brim will be in a rotation at defensive tackle.
“Overall, we feel that we have a lot of team speed on defense,” Jervis said.
Rolka will handle the kicking duties and Cost will be the starting punter.
Lackawanna Trail will open its season by hosting Northwest Area at 7 p.m. Friday.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.