Pictured above: Parker Bolesta
By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
PLYMOUTH – Parker Bolesta leads a talented trio of two-way players that will both handle the football for the Dallas Mountaineers and play key roles in stopping opponents.
Bolesta earned first-team Wyoming Valley Conference Class 4A Division honors from NEPAFootball.com last season as both a running back and a defensive lineman.
“He’s tremendous in the weight room with the work ethic,” Mountaineers coach Rich Mannello said. “He carries on the Bolesta name true to its form. It’s just 1000 miles an hour, everything he does, every single day and it rubs off on everybody.”
Bolesta, who rushed for 1,147 yards and 20 touchdowns last season, will move from defensive end to linebacker.
“He’ll play all over the field on both sides of the ball,” Mannello said. “We’ve got to lean on him, lean on that experience.
“He was the first junior captain that we ever had.”
The Mountaineers are now part of the new Division 1 of the WVC where the challenge will be to try to get past last season’s WVC Class 6A/5A Division champion Hazleton Area.
Helping with that task is the return of two division all-star defensive backs, Zach Paczewski and Joe Peters, who were also the team’s second- and third-leading receivers. Paczewski, who was on the honorable mention list as a wide receiver, caught 31 passes for 525 yards and 4 touchdowns. Peters pulled in 29 for 413 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The presence of Bolesta, Paczewski, Peters and a veteran line should ease the transition from division Offensive Player of the Year Jackson Wydra to a sophomore at quarterback.
“We have to be able to count on all the experience around the young quarterback,” said Mannello, the 2021 Class 4A Division Coach of the Year. “Right now, Brady Zapoticky is the number one. He’s going to be a tremendous player.
“He’s great student of the game. He’s a tremendous weight-lifter for being at this stage of the game, but he’s still a 10th-grader and he hasn’t been out under those lights.”
Colby Klinetob leads the offensive line after being a first-team division all-star last season.
Klinetob, a tackle, and Aiden Fennell, a guard, are three-year starters.
Center John Scherer and guard Dan Sabulski also return. Lucas Shultz, a starter at tackle as a sophomore two years ago, missed last season with an injury.
Nick Farrell, the starting tight end last season, is more likely to join Paczewski and Peters in the receiving corps this season.
That would leave Pete Harpersberger or Archie Stephens at tight end.
Dylan Geskey returns at fullback with Ryan Cuba also getting some work there.
John Cummings provides depth in the offensive line.
Farrell and Shultz are experienced ends, with Shultz’s return paving the way for Bolesta’s position change.
Klinetob and Sabulski are back as the tackles in the 4-3 defense.
Cuba and Bolesta will be the inside linebackers with Mark Karcutskie as the strong-side linebacker. All are returning starters.
Peters and Paczewski return at safety. Ben Carpenter also started at safety prior to an injury.
Geskey returns at cornerback. Lucas Tirpak is expected to fill the other spot.
Jace Chopyak, an honorable mention kicker, is part of an experienced group of specialists also returning from the 8-3 team.