EasternPAFootball.com Notebook: A tribute to a sports writer battling cancer, Dranchak nears school record, SCA’s impressive offensive start, Saturday showdownsWritten by: Josh Funk on Wednesday, October 10th, 2012
Before we get into some interesting football notes and tidbits in this week’s notebook, it is probably best to begin this week’s notebook by extending our thoughts, prayers and positive energy to a prep sports writer from York County.
Steve Navaroli, a veteran reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News, is undergoing treatments for cancer. He penned a column Oct. 7 on GameTimePA’s website noting he would be taking a break from day-to-day activities in a region he has covered extensively since 1991.
In his column, Mr. Navaroli noted he began treatments Sept. 24 and that they will continue through November.
I think that I can safely speak for the entire EasternPAFootball.com and WesternPAFootball.net family when I say that we all wish Mr. Navaroli nothing but success in his fight to overcome this disease. Cancer has personally affected my family, claiming the life of my grandfather in 1993. I was 7. I didn’t know what cancer was then, but I knew I didn’t like it. Then again, nobody likes it, no matter what age you are.
I’m sure many of us out there can think of a family member or relative who also has fought or is fighting life’s toughest fight.
Read Mr. Navaroli’s Sunday column for yourself if you have a chance (go to www.gametimepa.com) and you’ll understand the impact he’s had in his 20+ years of sports coverage for York County prep sport athletes, schools and programs across many sports, not only football.
Though Mr. Navaroli’s voice might be missing from the YDR’s sports pages for a brief time, it would be far worse for that voice to be lost from those sports pages forever.
Riverside quarterback Nick Dranchak became the Vikings’ third career 4,000-yard passer Friday night. Though the Wildcats hung around thanks to more than 200 yards rushing from Robbie Siclari, Dranchak threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns, moving him up to 4,197 yards and 43 touchdowns in his career.
The Riverside school record for career passing yardage is 4,253, set by Harry Armstrong, the former head coach of the Vikings, in a career spanning from 1995-97. Jay Velehoski threw for 4,210 yards from 2006-08, so Dranchak ranks third in school history. But at his current average of 255.3 yards per game, Dranchak should become the school’s career passing leader in the first quarter Friday night. He only needs 56 yards to tie Armstrong and 57 to pass.
In that Western Wayne game, Dranchak accounted for 538 yards of offense – he also rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown. He’s thrown for 1,532 yards in six games, the sixth-highest individual season passing total in the state this season. Among eastern teams (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 11 and 12), Dranchak’s passing total is fourth.
It doesn’t seem like too long ago I mentioned Brennan Scott surpassing 5,000 yards passing for his career. Well, just a few weeks later, Scott is on the verge of 6,000. Scott is unofficially 67 yards shy of that milestone, and his next touchdown pass of his career will be his 60th, meaning Manheim Township will be the sixth program in state history with two quarterbacks with 60+ career touchdown passes. The other programs are Wilson Area, La Salle, Pius X, Sto-Rox and Forest Hills.
Crestwood has posted a five-game winning streak, but the Comets’ five opponents defeated during said streak own a combined record of 6-24. The Comets have faced only one opponent with a record better than .500- that was Berwick in Week 1, and the Bulldogs claimed a 27-point victory.
Stroudsburg, a AAAA school in the Mountain Valley Conference, is off to a 5-1 overall start after defeating Wyoming Valley West Friday. The Mounties, who do boast a Rutgers recruit in DL Sebeastian Joseph, have largely been paced by a trio of sophomores, at least in terms of the offensive backfield.
Quarterback Mike Nikorak has thrown for 688 yards and seven touchdowns while running backs Altarique Mosley-Dew and Gerald Douglas have combined for 1,174 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
Stroudsburg went 9-3 overall in 2011, which was head coach Joe Bernard’s first season leading the program.
Southern Columbia has scored an impressive 43 offensive touchdowns through six games – 33 rushing, 10 passing. Despite losing so many seniors, the Tigers have merely reloaded. Already, six backs have surpassed 100 yards rushing for the season, including five (Adam Fuedale, Nate Hunter, Matt Lupold, Blake Marks and Brad Noll) who are over 200 yards rushing each.
And Taylor Young is proving to be pretty efficient as a passer, throwing a touchdown pass every 4.6 attempts while posting a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 10:1, the best TD-to-INT ratio in all of District 4.
As a junior, Downingtown East quarterback Kyle Lauletta threw 23 touchdown passes in 11 games. As a senior, Lauletta has already thrown 20 touchdown passes in only six games.
Lauletta, a Richmond recruit, threw for 1,971 yards in his junior season, and he’s closing in on that mark in six games. Lauletta has thrown for 1,645 yards, which unofficially ranks third in the state.
Is there a bigger game in the eastern half of the state this weekend than the Saturday night showdown in the Philadelphia Catholic League between St. Joseph’s Prep and La Salle College High School? The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School, and it pits a physical, unrelenting Prep team against LaSalle’s proficient offensive arsenal spearheaded by Chris Kane, Jared Hermann, Sean Coleman and Jimmy Herron, plus a very big offensive line.
There are a few other big Saturday games in other reaches of the state, too. In Clarks Summit, Scranton Prep takes to the road to face Abington Heights at The Pit. In the Mid-Penn Conference, Harrisburg rolls out the red carpet (figuratively, not literally) for defending PIAA AAAA champion Central Dauphin.
Follow Josh Funk on Twitter @Funk_pafb
Share This Post: