Lenape Valley has a weight room with at least five bench/squat racks and four power clean platforms. They have dumbbells, kettle bells, two jammer presses, and endless other machines. And a weight room is the one place where you can’t hide from your shortcomings. This team knows how to face who they are – which means their opponents better worry about the Patriot off-season, and wonder what they’re bringing this year. Afterall, this is a program with seven state championships and nine conference championships. They know how to slide more plates on the bar.
Quarterback Rylan Pangborn. The senior is very mobile, and threw for over 1,000 yards last year. He can also run the hurry-up offense like nobody’s business. Also, RB/DE James Fluke (sr.) is a big returning starter who will need to replace Dominic Labell.
Other Key Contributors
OL/DL Quincy Samson (sr.)
OL/DL Hayden Samiljan (sr.)
OL/DL Richard Fritzky (jr.)
OL/DL Chris Thomas (sr.)
TE/DE Dan Mejorado (sr.)
TE/DE Nick Leonard (sr.)
RB/DB Frank Orlando (sr.)
RB/DB Pat Togno (sr.)
Chink in the Armor
Pangborn has great arm, but there are question marks as to who he will target. Fred Scharnikow was the QB’s go-to receiver last year but he’s gone to graduation.
What went wrong in 2013
Letting up the big play was a big problem in 2013. In the Jefferson game (loss 29-17), JR Reese sent two long balls down the field that led to touchdowns. In the Hanover Park game (loss 21-19), the Hornets scored two uncontested touchdowns on passes.
Thoughts on 2014
Newton is losing Ben Cramer. Jefferson loses Reese and Neuschatz. Kittatinny loses Armstrong and Wunder. Hanover Park loses Bassolino. Lenape Valley had a young team last year, with returning players filling the 2013 lineup. This is a team to watch this year.
Chances to Win States
The way this division is shaping up, it looks like this could be the perfect storm for the Pats. Their competition graduated a lot of key guys, the Patriots have a lot of veterans with experience and Coach Smolyn always bounces back in a big way when he has a sub .500 season. I see the only thing getting in the Patriots way is the Patriots themselves.
Last year, Newton beat Lenape Valley in regular season for the first time since 2000, and only the 5th time in school history. Then, Newton beat Lenape Valley again in the first round of the playoffs. There is no way this Patriot team will lose this year’s matchup against the Braves.