Pictured above: Payton Kepp
Nanticoke will try to carry momentum from the end of the 2021 into the 2022 football season.
The Trojans started out 1-5, with just a one-point victory while allowing 40 or more points 3 times. Nanticoke then went 4-1 the rest of the way, suffering just a five-point loss and scoring at least 36 points three times.
Nanticoke closed out the season with a 21-14 victory in the Eastern Conference Class 3A championship rather than accept a berth into the District 2 Class 3A playoffs.
Zach Fox was a big part of the turnaround, emerging as a 1,000-yard rusher and landing a spot as a first-team, all-star running back on the Wyoming Valley Conference Class 3A Division team selected by NEPAFootball.com.
Jaidyn Johnson also made the first team as a defensive lineman and four players return after receiving honorable mention.
“With a lot of experience returning from last season, the expectations are high,” Nanticoke coach Ron Bruza told NEPAFootball.com, our partner website. “Staying healthy will be a key.”
Tight end Seth Raymer, guard Ryan Wiaterowski, linebacker Alex Fine and safety Payton Keep are the players who received honorable mention last season.
Kepp is also back at quarterback from a team relied almost exclusively on its ground game a year ago.
Leading receiver Jaylin Collins may also spend some time at quarterback.
Ashton Brozusky and Fine are both back with experience at fullback.
Raymer also spent some time at quarterback last season, but is now settled at tight end.
John Pashinski moves from tight end to tackle.
Center Jeff Ultsh and guard Dylan Shires are also returning to start in the offensive line.
Michael Park is likely to join them as the new left tackle.
J.J. Kus returns to a receiver position.
Raymer, Johnson, Wiaterowski and Shires are back and will be part of the five-man defensive front.
Fine, Kus and Nakyi Williams all have experience at linebacker.
Kepp and Colins return to the secondary.