NEPA Sports Nation

Hazleton Area, Scranton Prep No. 1 to open football season

Hazleton Area and Scranton Prep open the season as the No. 1 football teams in the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings produced by our partner website,

The rankings are for all teams in the Lackawanna Football Conference and Wyoming Valley Conference.

Hazleton Area is the top team among Big Schools, the rankings for Class 6A, 5A and 4A teams.

Scranton Prep opens the season in the same spot where it ended 2021, as the top-ranked Small School.

The Small School rankings will immediately be put to the test.

The Friday 7 p.m. opening schedule includes Scranton Prep at No. 2 Lakeland in a meeting of teams that won Lackawanna Football Conference divisional titles a year ago.

The No. 3 Small School also faces a ranked opponent. Old Forge is home to play sixth-ranked Dunmore.

The Big School rankings include the same six teams as at the end of last season, but in a different order.

Hazleton Area is followed by Berwick, Valley View, Delaware Valley, North Pocono and Dallas.

After finishing as the No. 4 team last season when it reached the District 2 Class 6A championship game, Hazleton Area opens this season as the favorite in Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 and among the district’s Class 6A teams.

Valley View was the District 2 Class 4A champion and a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state quarterfinalist last season to finish as the No. 1 Big School in the Super Six.

Delaware Valley won the District 2 Class 6A title.

North Pocono reached the District 2 Class 4A final.

None of the teams in the Big School rankings go against each other, but two do face strong opponents from outside the area.

Berwick hosts Southern Columbia, the only team that has won more PIAA state titles than the Bulldogs.

Delaware Valley goes to Lynn Haven, Florida to face Mosley High School, a Class 6A school that went 11-2 a year ago.

In other openers: Hazleton Area is at Pittston Area, Valley View is at Crestwood, Wyoming Valley West is at North Pocono and Abington Heights is at Dallas.

Western Wayne and Lackawanna Trail are fourth and fifth to complete the Small School rankings.

Scranton Prep, now a member of Division 1 in the newly aligned LFC, won the Division 2 championship last season with a head-to-head victory over Big School No. 1 Valley View. The Cavaliers’ credentials also included a District 2 Class 3A championship, state quarterfinal appearance and district-best 12-1 record.

Lakeland won LFC Division 3.

Old Forge, the LFC Division 4 and District 2 Class A champion, was unbeaten into the state quarterfinals where it lost in overtime.

Western Wayne and Dunmore are the additions to the rankings since the end of last season.

Lackawanna Trail won the District 2 Class 2A title, beating Dunmore in the final.

Western Wayne opens at home with Lake-Lehman while Lackawanna Trail hosts Mid Valley.

Wyoming Area and Mid Valley are unranked after placing third and fifth in the final rankings a year ago. Wyoming Area has since moved up to Class 4A, making it a Big School.

The preseason rankings, with 2021 final records and final rankings:



Big Schools

RankSchool2021 Record2021 Rank
  1Hazleton Area  8-4  4
  2Berwick  7-5  6
  3Valley View12-2  1
  4Delaware Valley  9-4  2
  5North Pocono10-3  3
  6Dallas  8-3  5

Small Schools

RankSchool2021 Record2021 Rank
  1Scranton Prep12-1  1
  2Lakeland10-2  4
  3Old Forge11-2  2
  4Western Wayne  4-7NR
  5Lackawanna Trail  8-4  6
  6Dunmore  4-7NR

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