Bleich Closes His Recruitment, Commits to Florida

In keeping with the tradition of this website, once one of the Spartan senior football players makes a choice as to where they will be continuing their academic and/or athletic careers, we will bring you the announcement.

Now over the summer, Sr OL Chris Bleich committed to UCLA to continue his football career. However, due to changes on the coaching staff, Chris reopened his recruitment, and closed it just as quickly as he opened it. Throughout the year, even though he was fully, 100% committed to UCLA, Chris kept in contact with many schools and even visited a few of them. He recently had to cancel a trip to Mississippi State University because of the Spartans Quarterfinal matchup against Archbishop Wood. Once the UCLA board decided to make a change with their football coaching staff, Chris started talking more seriously with a few schools.

Chris then took a few days after his season ended, waited for a few of the major coaching decisions to be announced, talked with his family, and decided on his next step: The University of Florida Gators. "They waited on me since last summer even with committing to a different school. They still went for me. Also, my friend from IMG will be attending there which is another benefit," Bleich told us shortly after his announcement went public.

On his social media feeds, Chris is quoted as saying "I would like to thank the staff at UCL, especially Coach Mara, Farley and Bradley for their interest in me. Unfortunately, in light of current changes, I will be de-committing from UCLA. This was a hard decision but I was also blessed to multiple opportunities. I also want to thank all the coaches and staff over the last four years who have recruited me and offered me an opportunity to play for them. After considering all of my options, I have decided to close my recruitment and announce that I am committing to the University of Florida. #GoGators"

We are humbly proud of Chris and all of the accomplishments he has had with us over the past 4 years here. We cannot wait to see what he does at the next level. Keep checking back to see what the rest of our Spartan Seniors will be doing in the future!

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Spartans Run Ends with Loss to Archbishop Wood

In the state of Pennsylvania, only 6 teams end their season truly happy, celebrating a state championship. For the rest, they are left ending their season on a loss and trying to find positives in a disappointment. For the Wyoming Valley West Spartans, their season ended with a loss to Philadelphia powerhouse Archbishop Wood, so they are left to look for positives, and there were many.

In a game where many people expected the Spartans to be in a mercy rule situation by halftime, the Spartans held tough with the Vikings, trailing by a score of 14-0 for the majority of the second quarter and ultimately ended up heading into halftime 21-0. The Spartans would give up another 20 points in the second half, and enter into mercy rule timing before they put some points on the board themselves. Sr QB Rob Dwyer found the endzone on a 4th down scramble and later found Sr WR Jake Blaski on a 4th down crossing route that Blaski would take to the house.  In all, the Spartans would fall by a score of 41-14 and end their season with a record of 7-7.

Even though their season did not end with a state championship, this group of Spartans has nothing to hang their heads about. From where they started, with a 1-5 record through the first 6 games, to where they ended, playing in the PIAA 5A STATE QUARTERFINALS for the first time in Wyoming Valley West history is truly astounding. These young men stuck with the program, they trusted themselves, they trusted their coaches, and most importantly they trusted each other. They left everything out on that field every single time they stepped out there.

To play for 14 weeks including 4 playoff games, to hold 5 offenses under 10 points in the later part of the season after allowing 28+ points 6 times in the first 8 games, to go into a District 11 school and dominate them on their own (grass) field, and to play in a state quarterfinal game, these young men have a lot of positives to look back on. They may not be the most talented bunch and they may not have the winningest record, but the 2017 Wyoming Valley West Spartans will be remembered. Starting 1-5, then going on a 6-1 run to guarantee that they continued the streak, and playing in the state quarterfinals for the first time in WVW history, from all of us in #SpartanNation, we say THANK YOU to the 2017 Wyoming Valley West Football team.

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Spartans Overpower Whitehall, Win D2/11 Subregional Championship

In what seemed like a surprise to many, except those in the winning huddle at the end of the night, the Wyoming Valley West Spartans traveled down to Whitehall and dominated the home team to win the Districts 2/11 Subregional Championship by a score of 32-21. 

Starting with the first drive, the Spartans threw a wide variety of formations at Whitehall, formations that even the most veteran Spartan Faithful have not seen in quite sometime.  And all of those formations worked to perfection. The Spartans were able to move the ball at will and kept the high-powered Whitehall offense on the sidelines for the majority of the game. The Spartans ran a total of 69 offensive plays, outnumbering the plays that Whitehall ran by double digits.

With the win, the Spartans have earned the right to play after Thanksgiving for the second time in the past 3 years. It is also the first time in school history that the football team has made it to the State QuarterFinals.  One other note to come out of the game, and it is a note very near and dear to many of the players, coaches, and alumni, is that the Spartans have guaranteed that they will finish the season with a winning percentage of at least .500.  With that fact, the Spartans have kept the streak alive of .500+ winning seasons, with the streak dating back to 1994.
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Spartans Overcome Slow Start, Win Gold Medals!

On a wet and miserable Thursday night, an hour away from home, the Wyoming Valley West Spartans came out of the gates slow. On the first drive of the game, Wallenpaupack completed a 3rd down pass for a 39 yard touchdown. That play capped a 58 yard drive for Wallenpaupack, and many of the home fans in attendance thought it was a sign of things to come for the remainder of the game.  Little did they know that the yards picked up during that drive would account for 71% of their total yards for the ENTIRE GAME.
The Spartan offense started the game just as slowly as their defense did, beginning the game with 3 straight 3 and outs. But, once they got started, they were tough to stop. Senior QB Rob Dwyer ran for 3 touchdowns, threw for another, and Senior RB Zach Davies added another rushing touchdown. Senior K Jake Gurtis put all 5 of his PATs through the uprights to give the Spartans a 35-7 victory.
With the victory, the Spartans (6-6) captured the first District 2 5A Football Championship in school history. The Spartans will now face Whitehall in the District 2/11 Subregional Championship game. That game will be played at Whitehall on Friday November 17th at 7:00 PM.

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Spartans Rout Abington Heights, Advance to Face Wallenpaupack

In a rematch of a game played 4 weeks earlier, the results of the second game were even more one sided than the first meeting.  In October, the Spartans beat Abington Heights by a score of 38-7.  In the rematch, the Spartans man-handled Abington Heights by a score of 63-14.
Following a string of very well played games by the Spartans, they may have put together their best performance of the season on this night.  However, there were still mistakes that need to be corrected.  After taking an early 21-0 lead, the Spartans allowed Abington Heights to hang around and get the score as close as 28-14.  From there, the Spartans put on a clinic of how to win in all three phases of the game.
The score at halftime was 47-14 in favor of the Spartans, with them adding to their lead early in the second half to put the game into a mercy rule setting.
With their big win on Friday, the Spartans now move on to face Wallenpaupack in a rematch of another game that took place earlier this year. The Spartans will travel to Wallenpaupack on THURSDAY November 9th to face off against Wallenpaupack at 7:00 PM.
Again the District 2 Class 5A Championship game will take place on THURSDAY November 9th.

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