NEPA Sports Nation

Today in NEPA Sports Nation, 10/1

District 2 crowned its first champions of the school year Tuesday with the girls golf team championships.

The boys are up next, deciding their team golf championships in Class 3A and 2A Friday, starting at 9 a.m. at Elmhurst Country Club.

The 38-event, 7-sport schedule in District 2 also includes key matchups in football, girls soccer and girls volleyball.

At Elmhurst, defending Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association state champion Scranton Prep goes against Lake-Lehman in a meeting between unbeaten teams for the Class 2A title while Dallas plays North Pocono in Class 3A.

Teams will be playing in the state tournament format of using five golfers and taking the best four scores.

During the regular season, Wyoming Valley Conference teams used six players and counted four while Lackawanna League teams used six players and didn’t technically count strokes as they were competing in a series of match play competitions.

Both Class 2A teams have had occasions where they finished under-par as a team.

Scranton Prep appears to have the deeper team, but Tom Tryba Memorial Tournament champion Michael Lugiano and WVC qualifying leader Cael Ropietski from Lake-Lehman have both shown they can go low.

Lake-Lehman will be trying to remain unbeaten without one of the players who was part of those under-par performances. Junior Eli Ropietski, Cael’s brother, was ruled ineligible for the postseason by the PIAA because of its policies on transfer students.

Scranton Prep has won the last five District 2 Class 2A titles.

North Pocono will be trying to win a district title after finishing third in Lackawanna League Division 1 in the regular season. With defending district Class 3A individual champion Billy Pabst Jr. often posting scores in the 60s, the Trojans are dangerous in medal play. They won the Bob Simons Classic, featuring all Lackawanna League teams, including Scranton Prep, early in the season.

The Trojans have the added, potential advantage of playing on their home course.

Dallas is led by Logan Paczewski, the 2019 Class 3A individual champion and the leader of a 2018 district team championship when he shot 68 as a freshman.

Wyoming Area goes into its 7 p.m. football game at Lakeland with a 4-1 record that includes two wins over Class 6A teams, a 27-0 shutout of defending district Class 4A champion Crestwood last week and the only loss in the final minute against four-time defending state champion Southern Columbia, 37-30.

Blaise Sokach-Minnick has hit better than 56 percent of his passes while throwing for 665 yards and 10 touchdowns with just 1 interception for the Warriors.

Drew Mruk has been limited by injuries but has 252 yards and 3 touchdowns on his 31 carries. He joins Leo Haros as the leaders of a ground attack that has gotten at least 92 yards from 5 different runners.

Rocco Pizano averages 25.5 yards while turning 4 of his 11 catches into touchdowns.

Nick Elko, a 300-pound guard/defensive tackle, is one of the key blockers and the team’s leading tackler.

Dominico Spataro has had a big season as Lakeland quarterback. He is 63-for-93 (67.7 percent) for 959 yards, 12 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also leads the team in rushing, averaging 7.9 per carry while producing 339 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Like Wyoming Area, Lakeland has a variety of pass-catching options who are threats to make big plays.

Nick Mancuso, Jon Seamans, Lacota Dippre and Kevin Snyder all have between 11 and 17 catches and at least 2 touchdowns. Snyder has averaged 25.5 per reception, turning his 11 catches into 280 receiving yards to share the team lead in that category with Seamans.

The schedule also includes a potential preview of the District 2 Class 6A title game when Delaware Valley (2-3) goes to Hazleton Area (3-2). Delaware Valley has won two straight after an 0-3 start and Hazleton Area has won three straight after starting 0-2.

Honesdale is at Western Wayne in the 29th annual Wayne-Pike Shrine Bowl. Both teams are 2-3.

Wyoming Area (5-1 in the division, 6-3 overall) is at Holy Redeemer (5-1, 8-1) in a game between WVC Division 2 girls soccer teams who are tied for second place. Their first meeting went to overtime with Holy Redeemer winning, 4-3.

While they try to break the second-place tie, first-place Lake-Lehman (5-0, 7-4) is home against Wyoming Seminary (4-4).

The top two teams in Lackawanna League Division 2 girls volleyball meet when Blue Ridge (6-2) hosts Mountain View (5-4).

The schedule also includes events in boys soccer, girls tennis and field hockey.

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