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Tuesday, April 04, 2000     Page: 3C

Team: Berwick
    Coach: Bill Martz, sixth year
    1999 Record: 8-7, lost in playoff for district berth.
    Top Players: Jerry Waltman, Sr., P-1B; Joe Hardy, Sr., SS-P; Dustin Welch, Sr., CF; Mike Conner, Sr., OF; James DiFebo, Sr., C; Mike Reed, Jr., P-OF; Ben Culver, Jr., 2B; Eric Smith, Jr., 3B; Travis Brown, Sr., 3B; Tim Hinkle, Jr., P; Matt McCabe, Jr., P-OF; Mike Powlus, Sr., P-1B; Jason Warner, So., C; Marvin Eveland, So., P.
    Outlook: Solid pitching led to a 3-1 record during a recent trip to Ft. Pierce, Fla. Martz said a lot of his team is playing varsity for the first time, but he hopes their blue-collar work ethic will pay off.
    Team: Coughlin
    Coach: Moe Rodzinak, second year
    1999 Record: 4-11
    Top Players: Steve Leskiw, Sr., 2B; Kyle Costello, Jr., 1B; Don Langdon, Sr., P-OF; Adam Buckler, Sr., P; Matt Vinciarelli, Sr., P-OF; Joe Barger, Sr., OF-3B; Rob Watlock, So., P-SS; Brandon Salvatore, So., OF; Dan Himlin, So., OF; Adam Kachemba, So., C.
    Outlook: The Crusaders are led by Leskiw, a four-year starter and two-year all-star, and Costello, who hit .395 last season.
    ``We have a lot of lettermen back and if our seniors come through we could give Tunkhannock and Hazleton a battle,'' Rodzinak said. ``But our main goal is to make the (district) playoffs.''
    Team: Hazleton Area
    Coach: Jeff Antolick, second year
    1999 Record: 10-5, WVC Division 3A champions, district playoffs
    Top Players: Kevin Ross, Sr., OF; Joe O'Donnell, Sr., P-IF; Bobby Matrishion, Sr., IF; Jesse Grobelny, Sr., OF; Jude Platukis, Sr., P-IF; Tommy Brown, Sr., IF; Scott Bisco, So., P-IF; Billy Hauze, Jr., P-IF; Aaron Reznick, Jr., P-IF.
    Outlook: The Cougars will rely on a large group of seniors for leadership this season.~~~~~~ ``I think we're very inexperienced in certain positions,'' Antolick said. ``But I think we have the talent to be competitive in the league again.''
    Team: Pittston Area
    Coach: Paul Zaffuto, first year
    1999 Record: 8-7, district playoffs
    Top Players: Jim Salitis, Sr., P; Tony Bryk, Sr., P-LF; Jason Wysokinski, Sr., 3B; Steve Pisano, Sr., SS; Chris Barnic, So., 2B; Josh Turell, Jr., C, Steve Lamper, Sr., CF; Pat Roman, Sr., RF; Matt Pisano, Fr., DH-LF.
    Outlook: The Patriots are inexperienced, but Zaffuto hopes they will age quickly. ``Our goal is to be in every game till the end,'' he said. ``If we can do that, we should be right there when it counts.''
    Team: Tunkhannock
    Coach: Gary Slick, 12th year
    1999 Record: 9-6, district champions, reached state semifinal
    Top Players: Jeff Papi, Sr., P-3B, Ryan Crispell, Sr., P-SS; Kevin Avery, Sr., 1B-DH; John Danko, Jr., 1B; Brian Noreika, Jr., 2B; Billy Hampton, So., SS-3B; Ken Lillie, So., 3B-CF; Derrick Welch, Jr., CF; Corey DeLeo, Jr., LF; Doug Wilson, Jr., RF; Ken Janiszewski; Jr., C; Scott McCormick Jr., OF; Mike Burnside So., OF; Adam Jones, Sr., CF.
    Outlook: Pitching is tough with Papi and Crispell, but the Tigers lost seven starters from last year's state semifinal team. Slick is hoping his inexperienced players cut their teeth quickly.
    Team: Wyoming Valley West
    Coach: Jerry Storz, 21st year
    1999 Record: 6-8
    Top Players: Jerry Storz, Sr., IF; Jason Colbert, Sr., OF; Jude Koval, Sr., P-1B; Charlie Hampton, Jr., 1B; Mike Leedock, So., OF; Jason Miller, Sr., P-IF; John Resetar, Sr., P; Joe Bradley, Sr., IF; Corey Norton, So., OF; Nick Laurie, So., P-C; Mike Kluciatis So., IF; Jim O'Malia, So., P-IF; Joe Craig, Sr., OF.
    Outlook: Koval is the ace of the Valley West staff and finished with a 4-2 record last season. Storz said the Spartans can score runs and play defense, but besides Koval, the rest of the pitching staff is a concern.
    Class 2A Division
    Team: Crestwood
    Coach: John Macri, first year
    1999 Record: 4-10
    Top Players: Jim Dalessandro, Sr., SS; Dan Fetterman, Sr., P; Scott Gabriel, Sr., P; John Gonos, Sr., 3B; Chris Plaviak, Sr., C; Damien Jones, Jr., OF-SS; Greg Stanislow, Sr., OF; Frank Orloski, Jr., P; Ryan Kennedy So., P; Robby Morneck So., P.
    Outlook: The Comets hope to be competitive in what should be a tough division.
    Team: Dallas
    Coach: Steve Federici, first year
    1999 Record: 8-6
    Top Players: Randy Knappman, Sr., P-1B-C; Jeremy Harris, So., SS-P; A.J Harris So., C; Matt Wycallis, Sr., 2B; Danny Fauerbach, Sr., OF; Jason Race, Jr., CF; Darrell Evans, Jr., P-OF; Justin Bicking, Jr., 3B; J.T. Wisnieski Sr., 1B; Kyle Ehlis, Jr., 1B-OF-P; Al Pisaneschi, Sr., OF; Josh Katyl, Jr., IF.
    Outlook: The Mountaineers lost eight starters from last season.
    ``We're relatively young and we need to play error-free baseball and just be fundamentally sound,'' Federici said. ``But the kids have a great attitude and they play hard.''
    Team: GAR
    Coach: Simon Peter, 18th year
    1999 Record: 0-14
    Top Players: Ron Vanchure, Sr., P-C-IF, Nick Brozowski, Jr., 1B; Brian Burden, Jr., P-OF; Jonathan Wiencek, Fr., OF; Jacob Longfoot, Fr., 3B; Dino Galella, So., C-IF; Pat McCann, So., P-IF; Tom Dohman, So., P-OF; Ryan Gwynn, So., P-OF; Matt Shrader, Sr., IF; Rick Simon, Sr., 2B-OF.
    Outlook: The Grenadiers are young and inexperienced, but Peter said they are a hard-working and enthusiastic group. As the season progresses, look for GAR to be competitive.
    Team: Hanover Area
    Coach: Scott Francis, third year
    1999 Record: 11-3, division champs, district playoffs
    Top Players: Marty Rakaczewski, Sr., P-IF; Mark Knorr, Sr., C; Jason Papadoplos, Sr., CF; Dave Plisko, Sr., OF; Mike Zapotoski, Jr., P-3B; Joe Kawczenski, Jr., 1B.
    Outlook: Francis said graduation hurt his team, but he hopes team unity and big-game experience will keep the Hawkeyes in the division title hunt.
    Team: Lake-Lehman
    Coach: Scott Miner, second year
    1999 Record: 9-5, district playoffs
    Top Players: D.J. Kapson, Sr., SS-2B-3B; Greg Woronko, Sr., P-1B-3B; Rich Patton, Sr., C; Matt Loftus, Sr., CF; Matt Montgomery, Sr., P; John Sharkus, Jr., P-1B; Chris Navin, Jr., RF-C.
    Outlook: The Black Knights return seven starters and top three pitchers Montgomery, Sharkus and Woronko. ``We're hoping to get back into the playoffs and hopefully we can stay healthy and challenge for the league championship,'' Miner said.
    Team: Meyers
    Coach: Tony Modrovsky, 12th year
    1999 Record: 7-7
    Top Players: Dale Rapson, Sr., C; Jared Mudzik, Sr., P-OF; Jim McGavin Sr., SS; Mike Conahan, Sr., CF; Scott Zapotek, Sr., 2B; Wayne White, Sr., 3B-DH; Chris DeMatt Sr., 1B-DH; Jared Carlo Fr., 3B; Scott Mudzik, So., OF; Riad Attar Jr., OF; Joe Tarnalicki, Jr., P-1B; Scott Majikes, So., IF; Frank Antosh, So., IF.
    Outlook: Rapson, McGavin and Conahan are three-year starters and the nucleus of a talented senior-oriented team. ``I think we have a hard-working group of players, but we have inexperienced pitchers,'' Modrovsky said. ``They're going to need to gain a lot of experience quickly.''
    Team: Nanticoke
    Coach: Tom Kiewlak, sixth year
    1999 Record: 9-5, district champions and state quarterfinalists.
    Top Players: Jeremy Fowler, Sr., CF; Matt Titus, Sr., 3B; Sean Toole, Sr., C; Corey Makarczyk, Sr., C-DH; Abe Stone, Jr., P-RF; Derek Sheruda, Jr., P-SS; Kevin Wilkes, Jr., 1B; Neil Bavitz, Jr., 2B; Bob Oltra, Sr., OF; Eric Harwood, Jr., P; Kevin Buchinski, Jr., P-OF; Jeremy Robaczewski, Jr., P.
    Outlook: The Trojans graduated their top player, Adam Warchal, a four-year starter who is attending Penn State. Sheruda was the top pitcher in the division with a 6-1 record last year. Nanticoke is experienced, which should pay off in big games.
    Team: Wyoming Area
    Coach: Ron Musto, ninth year
    1999 Record: 8-6
    Top Players: John Giorgio, Sr., 3B; Dan Supey, Sr., P; Mike Gerney, Sr., P; Frank Falzone, Sr., LF; Rob Sabola, Sr., SS; Brian Wolcott, Jr., 2B; Matt Russo, Jr., DH; Blake Barbini, So., P-OF; Rich Overman, So., P-OF; Brian Coleman, So., C.
    Outlook: Giorgio is first-team All-Star for the Warriors, who graduated six starters. Still, Musto is optimistic and said anything short of a league title would be disappointing.
    Class A Division
    Team: Bishop Hafey
    Coach: Bruce Schreiber, third year
    1999 Record: 4-11
    Top Players: Pat Dolon, So., P-1B-OF; Chris Shewack, So., P-CF; Mike Alba, So., P-C-3B; Ethan Dolan, So., IF, Justin Sannie, Sr., LF; Bobby Gresh, Sr., P-3B; J.P. Petrilla, Jr., SS; Scott Attore, So., OF; Mario Patriano, So., P-1B; Ryan DeCosmo, Fr., OF; Mike DeCosmo, Jr., C-P.
    Outlook: Schreiber said the Vikings have a talented group of sophomore pitchers which should keep them in games. The Vikings might be a team of the future.
    Team: Bishop Hoban
    Coach: Ted Williams, seventh year
    1999 Record: 13-2, WVC Class A and District 2 champions, state playoffs
    Top Players: Scott Evans, Sr., P-1B; Ryan Miller, Jr., C-3B; Justin Kizina, Sr., P-1B-OF; Tony Kremski, Sr., OF; Chris Milz, Sr., P-OF; Giancarlo Sarullo, Sr., C-DH; Jason Volingavage, Sr., P-SS; Jon Chaya, Jr., C-2B; Pete Salierno, Jr., P-OF-IF.
    Outlook: The Argents lost seven starters from last year's squad, but return a large group of seniors. Miller is a returning all-star who led the division with a .521 batting average. Evans was a second-team all-star who hit .412.
    Team: Bishop O'Reilly
    Coach: Bill Smedley, 16th year
    1999 Record: 9-6
    Top Players: Jason Thompson, Sr., 3B; Mike Sabol, Sr., C; T.J. Nikoden, Sr., P-1B; Dan Barnes, Sr., 2B; Mike Regan, Sr., SS; Matt Meyer, Sr., CF; Charlie Bustin, Sr., RF-2B; Paul Ellsworth, Jr., P; Chris Clemente, Jr., P-LF; Pat Chandler, Sr., P-C-OF; Andrew Lohin, Jr., P-1B; Donny Embleton, Sr., OF.
    Outlook: The Queensmen boast a strong group of experienced seniors and should be in the mix for a division title. ``I'm very confident for a successful season this year,'' Smedley said.
    Team: Northwest Area
    Coach: Jim Hill, 18th year
    1999 Record: 11-4, district playoffs
    Top Players: Jason Nevel, Sr., P-OF; Jim Krushka, Sr., P-3B; Justin Sirak, Jr., P-IF; Wade Hoover, So., P-OF; Steve Ravert, Jr., P-3B; Scott Trumbower, Jr., C; Ryan Sirak, Sr., IF; Matt Miller, So., IF; Wilson Reakes, Jr., IF; John Stempien, Sr., OF; Ed Altemose, Jr., OF; Brandon Rospendowski, Jr., OF; Branden Goobic, Jr., DH.
    Outlook: The Rangers return their entire outfield and solid hitters in Trumbower and Nevel, who hit .394 and .333 respectively last season. Northwest's main concern is an inexperienced pitching staff.
    Team: Seton Catholic
    Coach: Chick Andrewscavage, first year
    1999 Record: 2-13
    Top Players: Tom Karbowski, Sr., SS; Mark DeStefano, Sr., P-2B; Justin Lambert, Jr., P-CF-1B; Steve Ramiza, Sr., RF; John Staub, Jr., CF-2B; Chris Selenski, Jr., 1B; Brian Pramick, So., C; Brian Chuzas, So., 3B; Ryan O'Haire, So., LF; Jay Herman, Sr., 3B.
    Outlook: Andrewscavage said his team's strength is pitching and he is hoping the Eagles' arms will lead to an improvement on last year's record. ``I believe we have some good kids who can play baseball and I think we'll do OK,'' he said.
    Team: Wyoming Seminary
    Coach: Corey Goff, first year
    1999 Record: 6-9
    Top Players: Stephan Bieber, Jr., P-SS; Damian Swirble, Jr., 2B-SS; Josh Karoly, Sr., C; Connor McCormick, Jr., LF; Paul Santarelli, Jr., CF; Josh Shraeder, Jr., RF; Pete Mermell, Jr., 3B; Dan Veneski, Fr., 1B; Hajime Numata, So., P-2B.
    Outlook: The Blue Knights are an inexperienced team that graduated top players Kyle Droppers, Zach Kozicki, Keith Milligan and Jared Scheirer. ``If our young pitching can hold up, we'll have a good shot at winning some games,'' Goff said.
    Compiled by Doug Pape
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