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40 teams in 40 days – Day 36: Wilkes-Barre GAR (2)

Written by: on Sunday, August 26th, 2012. Follow David Mika on Twitter.


2011 season

Wilkes-Barre GAR finished the season with an 11-2 record. They had big wins in the regular season against Old Forge, Wyoming Area and Northwest Area. They had playoff wins against Lakeland and Wyoming Area to win a District Two title. Their season ended against Pen Argyl.

Darrell Crawford had a monster year for GAR. He passed for 1,047 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 1,746 yards and 32 touchdowns.

They had a pair of 600-yard rushers. Lucas Benton rushed for 664 yards and Dwayne Wright rushed for 671 yards.

The leading receiver was Shaliek Powell. He caught 48 passes for 822 yards and nine touchdowns.



Q & A with Wilkes-Barre GAR head football coach Paul Wiedlich Jr

We sat down with Wiedlich Jr. and talked to him about his team for the 2012 season.

How is your camp going this summer?

Our practices have been going well and are real intense. The kids are fired up and ready to go. The kids worked real hard off-season.


Who do you have coming back on offense?

I’m going to start with our center on the offensive line. His name is Zac Faust (5-11, 225). He is a two-year starter and started all 13 games last season. He is only a sophomore. Shakir Soto (6-4, 255) is at tackle. The other tackle is Christian Skrepenak (6-7, 325). The guard position is up in the air right now. We have the one kid Joe Snipas (5-10, 190). I have two kids that will battle for the spot. They are Elijah Gresham (6-1, 230) and Saul Wilkins (5-9, 240). We are trying to find the right mix.

Corey Moore (6-0, 185) is going to be the starting quarterback. He played in a few games last season. He started the Lakeland game when Crawford was out due to an injury. He was 16 of 25 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. He has been such a leader during the off-season.

We aren’t going to change our offense and we may sling the ball a little more this season. We are still going to run our spread offense.

At running back we have Rick Sickler, Rayquan Watt and Korey Welkey. Those three guys will get the bulk of the carries.

We have Lucas Benton back at wide receiver. He was an all-purpose 1,000-yard kid last year. At times he may run at the tailback spot.


Who do you have coming back on defense?

We return six players on defense this year. We have Pittsburgh recruit Shakir Soto back at defensive end. We have Christian Skrepenak and Elijah Gresham back at the defensive tackle spot. Most likely the other defensive end spot will be Joe Snipas. Also Saul Wilkins will battle for playing time.

We return our two inside linebackers. They are Korey Welkey and Rich Sickler. They both started 13 games last season. Vinny Phan may play inside linebacker at times and we may move Welkey to outside linebacker.

The area we are hurting on defense is in the secondary. We have to replace three good kids. We have Lucas Benton at middle safety. The other safety is Jamaar Taylor and Rashaun Mathis. Our outsides are Rayquan Watt and either Korey Welkey or a ninth grader that I am bringing up. He is Glenn Soto.


Who do you have coming back on special teams?

Luke Height is our kicker. He is a three-year kid. My punter is Rashaun Mathis. My return guy is Lucas Benton, Rashaun Mathis and/or Jamaar Taylor.



I like to talk non-conference first. We open with Lakeland. This will be the fifth time in three years we played them. We played them twice last year. Than we travel to play the Dunmore Bucks. They are loaded. Than we have Carbondale Area. We have three good non-conference games.

Our league will be tough. We have teams like Northwest Area who plays us tough. Lake-Lehman is good. We got Wyoming Area too.

We have to take one week at a time.


To have a successful season you have to?

We need to control the ball. We have to play a full game. We need to stay healthy. Depth wise we are a little green.


Home Opener

Wilkes-Barre opens home against Lakeland on August 31st

40 teams in 40 days

Day 1 – Mount Carmel Area (4)            Day 11 – Scranton (2)

Day 2 – Manheim Central (3)                Day 12 – Pottsville (11)

Day 3 – Delaware Valley (2)                 Day 13 – Cardinal O’Hara (12)

Day 4 – Southern Columbia (4)             Day 14 – Shenandoah Valley (11)

Day 5 – Berwick Area (2)                      Day 15- Central Dauphin (3)

Day 6 – Easton Area (11)                       Day 16 – Scranton Prep (2)

Day 7 – LaSalle (12)                               Day 17 – Garnet Valley (1)

Day 8 – Downingtown East (1)              Day 18 – Spring-Ford (1)

Day 9 – Council Rock North (1)            Day 19 – Southern Lehigh (11)

Day 10 – Riverside (2)                           Day 20 – West Catholic (12)

Day 21 – Ridley (1)                               Day 31 – Roman Catholic (12)

Day 22 – Imhotep Charter (12)              Day 32 – William Penn Charter (Inter-Ac)

Day 23 – Pen Argyl (11)                        Day 33 – Minersville (11)

Day 24 – Pennridge (1)                          Day 34 – Lancaster Catholic (3)

Day 25 – Schuylkill Haven (11)            Day 35 –  Nazareth Area (11)

Day 26 –Bishop McDevitt (3)

Day 27 – Danville (4)

Day 28 – Whitehall (11)

Day 29 – Valley View (2)

Day 30 – Wyomissing Area (3)

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8 Responses to “40 teams in 40 days – Day 36: Wilkes-Barre GAR (2)”

  1. Rollie Ciffo says:

    We didn’t even have to wait til season’s end. Lakeland just knocked the stuffing out of GAR tonight, 34-7. Lackawanna teams are so far superior to WVC teams.

    Rob was right below…a #6 ranking is ridiculous. Look for Dunmore deliver another beating next week.

    I am very optimistic…about the Lackawanna teams.


    Debbie Downer

  2. Rollie Ciffo says:

    Kevin, you are right. The rankings at the END of the season are the ones that count…

  3. kevin says:

    my bad, are you 18? The team and coaches don’t set rankings. You’ve completely missed the point. There are many times rankings are not accurate and a player gets hyped up and times when notable players get looked over. Celebrate the game and kids who play it.

  4. Rollie Ciffo says:

    I’m rarely negative but…most of my tough comments are reserved for D2 which I probably shouldn’t do. But many of the D2 fans are very proud of their players to the point of distraction for me anyway.

    I compare the perception they have of their players to wives and their husbands. These wives have depth perception problems because they are constantly being told by their husbands that 5 inches is a foot.

  5. rob says:

    Kevin, Rollie is always a Debbie Downer but I agree with him here. GAR always bows out in the first round of states, generally getting manhandled by bigger teams. This year will proabably be much of the same. Not gonna do well against the Pen Argyls of the world when you have 5’8 160 pound linebackers and running backs of the same stature. D2 AA for whatever reason has been weak for the last 3 years.

    A number six ranking for this team is rediculous. Week 2 is not going to be good for GAR when they play Dunmore.

  6. Rollie Ciffo says:

    Sorry, you’re right Kevin. We should be celebrating Eastern football. But they keep garnering lofty ratings and I just can’t figure it out. My bad.

  7. Kevin says:

    Hey rollie why would you post that, whats the point. Is that the spirit of this website?

  8. Rollie Ciffo says:

    QUESTION: How does one get highly ranked?

    ANSWER: Get beat in the 1st round of the state playoffs by over 30 points by a D11 team in your last 3 playoff appearances…after losing your best player.

    Talk about a big fish in a small pond…

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