2015 Team Preview – Southern Lehigh (11)
Team Name: Southern Lehigh Spartans
2014 Record: 9-2 (Lost 1st round D11 3A, Saucon Valley 20-17)
Key Starters Lost: QB, Travis Edmond; TE/DE Cody Heffelfinger, HB/CB Austen Hughes, DB Brycen Holland, WR/S Matt Watkins, K Eli Watkins, OT/DT Matt Long, G/DE Kolbi Harding, T/DE Jacob Martin; OLB Nico Bonnie
Offensive Starters Returning: (5) Sr. G Josh Mohr, 5’9” 210; Jr. C Gary Popowicz, 5’8” 255 ; Sr. WR Ethan Price, 6-2, 205; Sr. FB Dylan Niedbalski; Jr. HB Tim Walter.
Defensive Starters Returning: (6) Sr. DE Josh Mohr, 5’9 215; Sr. DE Brian Clark; Sr. LB Dylan Niedbalski; Sr. LB Mike Riccio; Sr, 5’9” 195; FS Blake Levengood, 6’1” 190; Jr. CB Tim Walter, 5’7, 150.
Key Newcomers: Sr. HB/CB Steffan Lindsay; Jr. LB Zach Mohr; Jr. WR Logan Hantz; HB/LB Sasha Hart; G Ryan Probasco, 5’11” 210; Jr. HB/SS Ryland Holland, 6’1” 185; Sr. G/DE Trevor Silfies 5-8, 185; T/DT Zach Rudolph, 6-2, 225; So. HB/DB Luke Strauss 5’10, 170; Jr TE/LB Mike Moyer 5’11” 190.
D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects: Sr. WR Ethan Price, 6’2” 205
Key Stats: Tim Walter (545yds Rec, 519yds Rush, 13TD), Ethan Price (716yds Rec, 6TD, 24.7yds/catch), Dylan Niedbalski (400yds rushing; 10.5 TFL); Mike Riccio (14.5 TFL), 5 sacks; Blake Levengood 10 pass breakups, 4 Interceptions; 429 total points scored (School Record)
2015 Outlook: Southern Lehigh has earned shares of the Colonial League title the past two seasons. They havee to replace a number of quality starters including record setting, three-year starting quarterback in Travis Edmond who threw for 5,281yds and 55 TD in his career and also led the team in rushing in 2014. Senior signal caller Blake Levengood is poised to take over the reins of the offense that will have the top two receivers back in HB Tim Walter (40 rec) and WR Ethan Price (29) .
Dylan Niedbalski returns as a solid fullback and will anchor a defense that has strength in its linebacking corps. The defense does return a safety in Levengood and a corner in Walters, but there are holes to fill at the open positions and the Spartans are weak on depth and experience.
For special teams, the Spartans have to find replacements for punter (Edmond 35.2yds/punt) and kicker Eli Watkins (36XP, 2 FG). They do have both returners back. Lindsay (kick-off) and Walter (Punt) will be deep on specials.
The key to the season and chances of vying for a 3rd straight league title and returning to Districts could lie in the trenches. Their offensive line and tight end positions return just two starters with limited experience filling in the holes. The defensive line experiences the same problem with only Clark and Mohr returning. The season could tilt on how fast the lines on both lines put it together in both running the ball and stopping the run.
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