PLYMOUTH – Lake-Lehman extended its 2017 football season all the way to the District 2 Class 3A championship game, giving the Black Knights high hopes for this season.
“I’m super excited with what we have returning from last year,” Lake-Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said prior to Friday night’s opening 30-20 loss to Western Wayne, another playoff team from a year ago.
The list of returnees includes two-way starting linemen T.J. Meehan, Elmer Souder and Josh Durling, along with fullback Matt Kurtz and tailback Zach Kojadinovich, a pair of third-year starters who were two of the team’s top three rushers last season.
By the time Lake-Lehman’s season ended with a district championship game loss to Scranton Prep, injuries had forced enough alterations in the lineup that even more of this year’s holdovers got starting experience.
“The kids are much hungrier this year because of where they left off last year, making it to a district final,” Gilsky said.
Frank Kutz, another returning starter in the offensive line, is back for his third season as an inside linebacker.
Kurtz, the fullback, has experience at both linebacker and in the defensive line. Durling plays tight end on offense and joins the other veterans in the defensive front.
“We don’t have the biggest team up front,” Gilsky said. “I think we only average about 230 pounds up front, but we’re faster than we were last year.”
Casey Kaminski and Tyler Billotti have starting experience on defense and were part of the rotation of receivers on offense last season.
Outside linebacker Jarrett Cummings and defensive backs Floyd McRoy and Jake Ferguson are other returning starters.
Ferguson and Ethan Adams are working at quarterback, just about the only spot the Black Knights don’t have an experienced option.
Wyatt Lopasky and Logan Hoyt could be the new additions to the offensive line.
The Wyoming Valley Conference Class 3A/A group, in which Lake-Lehman is an annual contender, has added Wyoming Area this season. The Black Knights are among nine teams competing for eight berths in the District 2 Class 3A playoffs.
Lake-Lehman looks for its first win Friday night at Hanover Area.