To conclude our 2013 football preview, the BIC Sports Team made predictions for the season. We will revisit these predictions in November.
Section 1 Champion
Hoff: Gov. Mifflin
The Mustangs will be tested in week 1 with their big game against Wilson. I expect Mifflin to take home the Section 1 crown and make a deep run into December.
Kerr: Conrad Weiser
Plenty of talent on the offense and defense, but their strength in the trenches compiled with Guilbe’s progression as a running back will catapult the Scouts to Section 1 champions.
Allen: Gov. Mifflin
I believe that this year’s Mifflin team simply has too much talent on both sides of the ball to not win Section 1. Their offense, led by Jan Johnson, as well as their offensive line, anchored by Connor Morehart, will be potent. On defense, the Mustangs will be solid as well. There is a reason they are currently listed as the best AAAA team in District 3.
Section 2 Champion
Hoff: Berks Catholic
The Saints have been hit with a bad case of the injury bug. However, they have still managed to crack the top ten preseason state rankings in Class AA. They should be able to cap the year off with a Section 2 crown.
Kerr: Berks Catholic
The Saints started off last season with nine straight wins before faltering to Wyomissing in week 10 and Schuylkill Valley in the first round of the district playoffs. With the Spartans and Panthers losing plenty of seniors from 2012, this section is Berks Catholic’s to lose.
Allen: Berks Catholic
Section 2 will likely come down to the last week of the regular season when Wyomissing and Berks Catholic square off. Based on the number of quality returning players for the Saints, I give them the slight edge. The defense will be the Saints strong point with seniors Pietro Gaspari, Chris Warren, and Cooper Kutz leading the way. The offensive attack will be sure to keep opponents up at night, regardless of whether Matt Kase or Patrick Causa is under center.
Team on the Rise
With a favorable schedule and a few interesting matchups, expect the Hawks to improve on last year’s 4-7 record.
Kerr: Daniel Boone
Head coach Bill Parks has a motto for the Daniel Boone program, “New Tradition, Same Toughness.” We’ll see it this year. This team is much better than the 2-8 squad we witnessed in 2012.
Allen: Reading High
I believe Reading has the talent to make the district playoffs this year. Given that most of their skill players are underclassmen, head coach Rob Flowers has a chance to make this program into a winner for years to come.
Offensive Player of the Year
Hoff: Xavier Smith (Daniel Boone)
Yes it’s a bold pick, but the fastest player in Berks County will look to put the Blazers on his back and carry them to Section 1 contenders.
Kerr: Jan Johnson (Gov. Mifflin)
Johnson was the league’s breakout player as the sophomore last season with 27 total touchdowns. Expect bigger numbers with Mick Vecchio’s mid-option attack and that massive offensive line protecting him.
Allen: Ben Ortiz, Muhlenberg
Last season, as a backup, Ortiz ran for over 1,100 yards and 15 touchdowns. Now that he’s the go to guy for the Muhls, especially given their questions at quarterback, I expect Ben to put up incredible numbers.
Defensive Player of the Year
Hoff: Nick Scheidt (Schuylkill Valley)
Playing middle linebacker for the Panthers, Scheidt hopes to be living in opponents’ backfields. Expect a heavy number of sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage from this senior standout.
Kerr: Pietro Gaspari (Berks Catholic)
The anchor of the Saints defensive line amassed double-digit sacks in his junior campaign. He’ll pressure the quarterback at will this season.
Allen: Dexter Jordan (Conrad Weiser)
Last fall, as a junior, Dexter Jordan picked off six passes! I expect him to do more of the same this year. Unless if no one tests him because of his already strong reputation.
Coach of the Year
Hoff: Rick Keeley (Berks Catholic)
This veteran head coach will look to accomplish three goals this season: a section, district and state championship. Two out of three would be just fine to the Saints faithful.
Kerr: Bob Wolfrum (Wyomissing)
The Spartans may have lost 20 starters from the state title team, but no coach better reloads a team than Wolfrum. Wyomissing will make a district playoff run.
Allen: Rob Flowers (Reading High)
Coach Rob Flowers has a ton of speed and talent at the skill positions. Flowers is probably the best motivator I have come across in my time covering Berks County. As a result, I expect him to get the most out of his players and give Reading a real chance to make the playoffs this year.
Hoff: Chase Yocum (Exeter)
This signal caller will have some big shoes to fill being the little brother of Division I player Kyle, but expect Yocum to lead plenty of scoring drives in Reiffton.
Kerr: Alex Guilbe (Conrad Weiser)
The Scouts had plenty of 1,000 yard backs under Alan Moyer. Guilbe’s the next.
Allen: Sean Greenawalt (Blue Mountain)
Sean Greenawalt had five interceptions as a sophomore last season. Yet, he still managed to fly under the radar. He’s a very dangerous return man and is expected to see a lot more time on offense this year.
Most Anticipated Matchup
Hoff: Wyomissing at Berks Catholic (Nov. 8)
This game came down to the wire last year and I can only expect the Saints to be chomping at the bit to knock off the defending state champs.
Kerr: Gov. Mifflin at Conrad Weiser (Nov. 8)
This week 10 showdown could decide the Section 1 title. What team will win the battle: The Mustangs offense or the Scouts defense?
Allen: Muhlenberg at Gov. Mifflin (Oct. 4)
In my opinion, these are the two best teams in Section 1. This game could go a long way in determining a league champion as well as seeding for district playoffs.
Storyline to Watch
Hoff: Not much time to celebrate for Wyomissing as they need to replace 20 starters from last year’s historic state championship run.
Kerr: Blue Mountain has a talented team, but are the Eagles good enough to win the Section 2 title in their last season of the Berks Football League?
Allen: After missing all of his junior season due to injury, Joey Cominsky will be back under center for Hamburg. He passed for over 1,400 yards as a sophomore and will look to improve on those numbers and get Hamburg back to their winning ways.
Hoff: The Gov. Mifflin defense allows 140 points or less this season. This Mustangs unit is good, especially the defensive line.
Kerr: There has only been one 2,000 yard rusher in the history of the Berks Football League. There will be two after this year. Ben Ortiz and Alex Guilbe have a legitimate shot at it.
Allen: Gov. Mifflin will play multiple games in Hershey Park Stadium. The Mustangs have exceptional size, talent and speed. I expect them to make a deep run and possibly contend for more than just a district title.