Welcome to the 2017 Season

Typically on Thursdays, we take a look back. But this week, we decided to look ahead.  We would like to introduce you to the 2017 Wyoming Valley West Spartans Varsity Football Team: 

Over the past few days, we have spent time compiling up the preview stories of our Spartans that were written by the local media.  Here they are:

Citizens Voice: Positional Breakdown  and 4 "Storylines" to Watch
NPF NEPAFootball.com: Preseason Rankings, Season Preview, and WVC 5A-6A Breakdown
Times Leader: Season Preview
WNEP: Super 16 Team Countdown and Coaches Corner Preview
WBRE: Top 10 Countdown

So please, take a look around the website, check out our roster for this upcoming season, over the weekend check out the photos from media day. And don't forget to check here during the game for our live scoring updates (We promise to do better this year) and our postgame wrap-ups usually posted during the early morning hours on Saturdays.

Spartan #TBT - WVW v Hazleton '16

In this week's version of Spartan #TBT we take a look at last year's matchup with Hazleton Area. We continue to spolight players that look to play big roles for the team during this coming season. In this week's video, we can see Seniors Cortes Adams, Chris Bleich, Zach Davies, Derek Doreskewicz, and Sean Mikovitch, as well as Juniors Quaid Braddy and Darrian Tyson, and Sophomore Sammy Solomon.

This year's matchup with Hazleton Area will take place on September 1, 2017 at Spartan Stadium. But before that game, the team led by Coach Keating will travel to Scranton on August 25th.

Also, don't forget that we are still taking donations for our telethon. The telethon runs until August 7th, so please get those donations in! Click here to donate!!

Spartan #TBT -- WVW v Hazleton '16 (Video)

WVW Football Telethon Opens!

Tonight, the Wyoming Valley West Football Team conducted their first ever telethon. The players on the varsity football team were asked to contact family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. to try to raise money for their team. The boys did a great job and had a great time while participating in this fundraiser and we still need help to reach our goal! We are always looking for donations and we need your help. All of the money raised from this fundraiser goes to help our team for this upcoming season. Please click on the link below and consider donating any amount of money that you can. Even if our goal is reached on the tracker, your donation is still needed. The fundraiser runs for 21 days and will close on August 7th. Please donate to help our players become the best that they can be!!

https://event.fan-pledge.com/69

The Return of Spartan #TBT!!!

After too long, the Spartan edition of Throwback Thursday has returned! During our absence we have been collecting many films from past seasons to help expand our database.  So stay tuned for some old time Spartan highlights in the coming weeks and months, including what may be (in our opinion) one of the biggest kicks in WVW and District 2 history!

With kickoff of the 2017 season just over a month away, we are going to take a look at some of the plays made by players you will be seeing on Friday nights this coming fall.  

While many of the skill positions have faced major turnover due to graduations, there are still many returning key players from last year's team. In the video below, you will see a big stop on 3rd down by many returning players including Senior DL Cortes Adams, Sophomore DL Sammy Solomon and Senior OL/DL Chris Bleich. Also Senior RB/LB Zach Davies comes up with a big interception. The last two plays focus on two of the main offensive weapons for this coming year.  First, Senior QB Rob Dwyer (who spelled Aaron Austin occasionally last season), picks up a big 1st down in the 4th quarter of the game, and Junior WR/DB Darrian Tyson comes up with a big time catch on a 2 point conversion to seal the victory.

We hope to see you at Scranton Memorial Stadium on August 25th supporting the Spartans as they take on the Scranton Knights at 7 o'clock!

Spartan #TBT -- Wyoming Valley West v Scranton '16

Bleich Commits to UCLA

After a little less than two months after reopening his recruitment, now Senior OT Chris Bleich has decided where he will be continuing his academic and athletic careers.  After non-stop coaches visits, letters, calls, etc... and taking a few unofficial visits, Chris has decided to attend the University of California Los Angeles, commonly known as UCLA.

In his initial post on twitter, Chris says "I told my dad I want to play football where no one ever did from this valley... and today I can say I kept my word to my dad." 

A short Q and A with Chris:
RP: You were committed to Penn State for over a year and a half.  What is the difference between PSU and UCLA?
CB: The biggest difference for me is the location.  With UCLA being on the West Coast it has a completely different atmosphere than PSU.  PSU is in a little section of the state by itself.  With UCLA, it is right in Los Angeles, playing home games in the Rose Bowl, and just the different life style that comes with it. 

RP: You were talking with a bunch of schools for the past few weeks/months.  What was the deciding factor that made you want to commit to UCLA?
CB: I was talking with a lot of schools, and I thank them for their interest in me. But the ultimate deciding factor was all of the opportunities that UCLA could offer me.  Again, being in LA, its a different lifestyle that I am interested in.

RP: Throughout your high school career, playing and being a key member of the varsity team since your freshman year, you have been involved in a number of big games/big moments for the team.  What is the moment/game that sticks out the most to you on a personal level?
CB: While I have been involved in many big moments/games, the one that sticks out to me on a personal level is the District 2 4A Championship game during my freshman year.  We were playing at Delaware Valley and I was lined upp against Connor Lutz, who went on to play at Delaware.  I felt that we had a great game against each other, going toe to toe for the entire game.  That game taught me what it meant to never give up and it made me appreciate every moment of football becuase the seaon was over after that game.  I realized that the player who took me under his wing was gone, I was never going to play football with him again.  And in all reality, I miss all of the players who were on that team, seniors on down to the other freshmen, everyone was genuinely nice and made each other better.  That team laid a great foundation for the next team, and we were then able to go undefeated during the regular season.

RP: Finally, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a younger teammate, or a younger player in general, who has the opportunity get recruited like you have been?
CB: I would tell them not to rush the process like I did.  Wait until you are going into your senior year to make your decision.  Take full advantage of the opportunities presented to you.  But when you do find the right school, you will know it in your gut.

Bleich Re-Opens his Recruiting

During a phone call Thurday evening, Junior Offensive Lineman Chris Bleich decommitted from Penn State University.  Bleich, rated a 3 or 4 star recruit depending on the recruiting service, originally committed to Penn State while he was enrolled at IMG Academy last spring.  In a note posted on his Twitter timeline, Bleich said "After many months of discussions with my family, I came to the conclusion it's in my best interest to Re-Open my recruitment ... This only happens once and I just want to make sure I explore all of my options."  

His decision comes a few days after returning from an unofficial visit at Nebraska.  He has also taken an unofficial visit at Mississippi State, with a few more planned for the coming weeks.  

We will have more information on Chris and our other stand-out athletes as it becomes available.  Keep checking back for updates.

Austin Signs with St. Vincent College

Recently, QB Aaron Austin signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his academic and athletic careers at St. Vincent College of Latrobe, Pa. 

Pictured: seated Donna Austin, mother; Aaron; Tom Austin, father; standing Sandy MacKay, Athletic Director; Pat Keating, Head Coach; Dave Novrocki, Principal.

Congrats to Aaron and his parents on a wonderful accomplishment.  We can't wait to see what you do at the next level!

Spartans Sign Their NLI

February 1st marks the first day that senior football players can make their commitments official, and two Spartans jumped on that opportunity.  RB Sean Judge and DL/LB Brydon Rukstalis signed their National Letters of Intent today to play at Shippensburg University and Susquehanna University respectively.  Their signing photos are posted below.

Brydon joins Jared and Jeremy Kozich (2015) and Kris Wolfe (2016) as Spartan Alumni currently playing at Suquehanna.



Seated (L to R): Pat Keating, Spartans Head Coach; Kim Judge, Mother; Sean; Sean Judge Sr., Father.  Standing: David Novrocki, Principal; Sandy MacKay, Athletic Director; Christopher Barnic, Assistant Principal; Tara Carey, Assistant Principal.



Seated (L to R): Pat Keating, Spartans Head Coach; Cindy Roberts, Mother; Brydon; Brock Rukstalis, Father.   Standing: David Novrocki, Principal; Sandy MacKay, Athletic Director; Christopher Barnic, Assistant Principal; Tara Carey, Assistant Principal.

We are extremely proud of Sean and Brydon, and we cannot wait to see what they do at the next level!

Spartans Named All-State

To start the new year off right, multiple Spartans found out that they were named to an All-State Team.  Jr. Chris Bleich was named to the PFN (Pennsylvania Football News) 5A All State First Team on the Offensive Line.  Sr. Sean Judge and Jr. Zach Davies were named to the PFN 5A All State Honorable Mentions as an Athlete and Linebacker, respectively.

Last week, Bleich was also named to the 2016 All-USA (USA Today) Pennsylvania Football Team Second Team as an Offensive Lineman.

We are humbly proud of Chris, Sean, and Zach and the entire 2016 Spartans!  We can't wait to see what the 2017 season has in store for us.

Spartans Honored (Updated 12/26)

As the calendar year draws to a close, local media outlets are beginning to release their All-Star Teams for the 2016 football season.  Keep checking back to see which Spartans were honored by which media outlets.

Times Leader Football All Stars:
First Team --  QB Aaron Austin, Sr.; OL Chris Bleich, Jr.; DB Sean Judge, Sr.; LB Zach Davies, Jr.; K Jake Gurtis, Jr.
Second Team -- DL Brydon Rukstalis, Sr.; LB Sean Mikovitch, Jr.

NPF Sports All-District Team:
OL
Chris Bleich, Jr.; LB Zach Davies, Jr.; DB Sean Judge, Sr.

NPF Sports 2016 WVC Big School All Stars (4A-6A): 
LB
Zach Davies, Jr. -- Big School Defensive Player of the Year

First Team Offense -- ATH Sean Judge, Sr.; OL Chris Bleich
First Team Defense -- DL Brydon Rukstalis, Sr.; LB Zach Davies, Jr.; DB Sean Judge, Sr.

Second Team Offense -- QB Aaron Austin, Sr.; FB Sean Mikovitch, Jr.; Jake Gurtis, Jr.
Second Team Defense -- DL Sammy Solomon, Fr.; LB Nick Mooney, Sr. Sean Mikovitch, Jr.; 
Honorable Mentions -- OL Brydon Rukstalis, Sr. Mike Saracino, Sr.; DL Cortes Adams, Jr.; DB Darrian Tyson, So.

Citizens Voice 2016 Football All Stars:
QB Aaron Austin, Sr.; RB/DB Sean Judge, Sr.; OL/DT Chris Bleich, Jr.; LB Zach Davies, Jr.

Season Stat Totals

Here are the final stat totals for the 2016 season.  The Spartans finished the year with an 8-3 record.
We would like to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and we would like to wish our seniors participating in next week's UNICO game good luck.

Spartans Season Ends at 8-3

"It just wasn't in the cards tonight" coach Keating told the players after the game.  It seemed like after the first drive everything was going to go the way of the Spartans.  But old habits returned, including numerous penalties, and the Spartans saw their season end at the hands of the Comets by a score of 24-7.  

Please keep checking back as we will be doing a season recap in the near future along with season totals for stats and of course our Spartan #TBT feature.

Rosters for the PIAA District 2 5A Championship Game

In case you decided to stay home and listen to the game, or did not receive a roster handout when entering the game, 

CLICK HERE

or

Go to Documents (under the About Us tab on the full site)
Click on PIAA District 2 5A Championship Game Rosters.

Spartan #TBT - WVW v Abington Heights

In this week's Spartan #TBT, we throw it back to a few weeks ago when the Spartans traveled to Clarks Summit to take on Abington Heights.  The Spartans won the game 23-20, thanks to some big special teams plays that are highlighted in the video below.  

In the first clip, senior Chris Melovitz comes around the edge to block the attempted kick by Abington Heights.  That play was the last play before halftime and made the last play of the game possible.  On that play, junior Jake Gurtis booted a 37 yard field goal to give the Spartans the win, which earned them the right to host the District 2 5A Championship game at Spartan Stadium on Friday November 11, 2016 at 7 pm.

Spartan #TBT - WVW v Abington Heights (Video)

Spartans to Host Abington Heights

On Friday November 11th, the Spartans will host Abington Heights for the Inaugural PIAA District 2 Class 5A chanpionship. The game is a rematch of their matchup on October 8th that saw the Spartans win on a Jake Gurtis field goal as time expired.

Spartans Dominate Coughlin, Earn #1 Seed

On Wednesday, we posted about the different scenarios that were possible for the Spartans.  And throughout the Valley this week, many residents expected that the Spartans would need some assistance to get the #1 seed in the PIAA District 2 5A tournament.  Well, I guess the help that they needed was named the Wyoming Valley West Spartans.  

In a dominating performance from start to finish, the Spartans gave Coughlin little hope on the night.  It all started when Coughlin went three and out on their first possession of the game and the Spartans scored a Touchdown on their first play from scrimmage on a pass from Aaron Austin to Sean Judge.  Reports earlier this week had Judge ruled out for the season, but they could not have been further from the truth, and he showed it on that first play and throughout the game.

The Spartans would go on to score on every possession, excluding the last drive by the Junior Varsity, including foreign exchange student Alessio Orlandini connecting on a PAT.

With the win, the Spartans earned a by for next week and will play in the District 2 5A Championship game at Spartan Stadium on Friday November 11 against the winner of the Abington Heights/Wallenpaupack game.

Articles:
Citizens Voice
Times Leader
WNEP

Stats:

Playoff Scenarios for the Spartans

In past years, playoff scenarios would take up the majority of this website because of the number of teams that were involved.  This year, due to the new classifications, it is a lot simpler.  So here are the different playoff scenarios that involve the Spartans:

IF the Spartans WIN:
Nov 4th - Bye
Nov 11th - Home vs the Winner of Abington Heights/Wallenpaupack

 

IF the Spartans lose, and Abington Heights loses:
Nov 4th - Bye
Nov 11th - Home vs the Winner of Abington Heights/Wallenpaupack

 
IF the Spartans lose and Abington Heights wins:
Nov 4th - Home vs Wallenpaupack
 
Those are the 3 different scenarios. We will update you after the games on Friday.

Spartans Roll Through Crestwood

On a wet evening, the Spartans showed signs of maturity that weren't there at the beginning of the year.  The offensive line gave the runners plenty of holes to run through and they provided the quarterbacks plenty of time to make the correct reads and throws.  The wide receivers made solid blocks that turned short runs into longer ones.  And the defense, as a whole, played their best game of the season, which included 4 turnovers. 

But the biggest improvement for the Spartans was that they were only called for 4 penalties, down significantly from past weeks (which is a very, very good sign of maturity).

Many players contributed to the offense to help get to that 47-0 score. Aaron Austin found Sean Judge on back to back passes for touchdowns.  And Judge, Austin, Chris Melovitz, Zach Davies, and Sean Mikovitch found the end zone on the ground.

Articles:
Times Leader
Citizens Voice

Stats:

Rosters for the Crestwood Game

Rain? Cooler weather? Bring it on, it's football weather.

In case you decided to stay home and listen to the game, or did not receive a roster handout when entering the game, 

CLICK HERE

or

Go to Documents (under the About Us tab on the full site)
Click on Week 8 Rosters.

We hope to see you at the stadium.

Spartans Rally to Win Big Over Rival Berwick

After an extremely slow and negative start to the game, something clicked.  And once it clicked, there was no looking back.  

After falling behind 14-0 thanks to a slew a penalties and a turnover, the Spartans started to roll.  The Spartans scored 28 points in the second quarter in a matter of only 8 and a half minutes to take the lead, and never give it back.  After the first quarter, the Spartans outscored Berwick 48-10.

During the scoring onslaught, Senior Sean Judge also surpassed 4,000 yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving) and 5,000 All-Purpose yards (rushing, receiving, kickoff returns, punt returns, interception returns, and fumble recovery returns).  He also scored the 63rd touchdown of his high school career. Junior Zach Davies also reached 250 career tackles during the game on Friday.  Big congrats to both Sean and Zach on their great accomplishments.

The win continues the winning streak in the annual rivalry game for the Spartans.  They have now won the last 3 games in the rivalry, 7 of the 8 games under Coach Keating, and 9 of the last 11.

Articles: 
Citizens Voice
Times Leader
WNEP
WBRE

Stats:

Rosters for the Game Against Berwick

In case you were unable to get a roster when coming into the stadium or would like one if you are listening/watching the game at home:

CLICK HERE 

or

Go to Documents (under the About Us tab on the full site)
Click on Week 7 Rosters 

Spartan #TBT - WVW v Berwick

Ladies and Gentlemen,

IT'S TIME.

The Spartans vs the bulldogs.
Wyoming Valley West vs Berwick.
The game that the entire Wyoming Valley waits for is finally here.  Thanks to the schedule changes brought on by the reclassification of schools by the PIAA, the traditional early season rivalry got pushed back this year to game 8.

That doesn't diminish the rivalry, it may actually increase it.  Both teams come into this game at 5-2 and needing a victory to help secure higher seeds in the District playoffs.

In honor of the renewal of this rivalry, we decided to take a look back at this rivalry through the Pat Keating era (2009-present day).  So take a look at the video posted below and then head to Spartan Stadium on Friday to watch the next chapter of this great rivalry!

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