Coaches Association Hosts 10th Annual LFC Media Day

Honesdale is coming off an up and down year on the local high school gridiron scene.

The Hornets opened the 2018 campaign with a heartbreaking 6-0 loss at home versus Lakeland.

Coach Mike Jurkowski's squad showed a great deal of resilience, though, bouncing right back in Week Two to upset arch rival Wallenpaupack Area at the Shrine Bowl.

That win proved to be a big one since Paupack went on to capture the LFC Division I title. The Bucks also claimed the District 2 and subregional crowns en route to the state playoffs.

Sadly for local fans, that proved to be the high point of the season. The Red & Black went on to lose their next five games before rallying to win two of their last three.

This late surge enabled Honesdale to claim a spot in the District 2 tournament. Unfortunately, the Hornets saw their season come to an end with a 23-16 loss at the hands of Dallas.

With this setback, the local lads finished up the year with a record of 3-8.

Nevertheless, Honesdale players gained valuable experience that should pay tangible dividends as the 2019 season commences.

“The kids are pretty excited to get going,” said Coach Jurkowski. “I really like the energy I've been seeing and all the positive attitudes as well.”

Media Day

The District 2 Chapter of the PA Scholastic Football Coaches Association hosted its 10th Annual Media Day Luncheon last week.

This event serves as the official kick-off for the Lackawanna Football Conference season. It took place Wednesday at the Regal Room in Olyphant.

The luncheon attracted players and coaches from all over the region in anticipation of the 2019 campaign which kicks-off Friday, August 23.

“I wasn't able to attend this year, but we were glad to have Coach Gordy West there for us,” said Coach Mike Jurkowski.

“Gordy does a great job with our junior high program. He's a big reason that the kids come out for the team and eventually move up to the varsity.

“I wish we could bring more kids, but the event and the venue limit us to taking only two.”

Honesdale kicks off its slate with an exhibition game next Friday at Hanover Area. The Red & Black then open up the regular season on the road at Lakeland.

Leadership

Honesdale was well-represented at Media Day by a pair of talented, hard-working young men.

Quarterback Pete West and senior lineman Walker Carney accompanied Coach West to the luncheon, which attracted players from every LFC program.

West is a junior who figures to take over for Ethan Dunn, who was lost to graduation. He's a multi-sport standout who also excels on the wrestling mat.

Pete's shown a great deal of promise under center, a fact that bodes well for a young Honesdale team that features just nine seniors on the varsity roster.

West has been busy during the off-season. He attended the Runco Elite Quarterback Camp in Throop and is putting in long hours in the weight room.

“Pete's a great kid with a very solid work ethic,” said Coach Jurkowski. “He's a smart player with a short memory. Pete doesn't get flummoxed if he makes a mistake. He's calm, cool and collected on the field and in the huddle.”

Carney is a returning two-way starter who's expected to anchor both the offensive and defensive lines this fall. Walker is another multi-sport athlete who wrestles in the winter.

“Walker is a big, strong kid and a very hard worker,” Coach Jurkowski said. “He never takes a play off and is always hustling.

“He's the kind of kid who's 30 yards downfield trying to get the extra block that leads to a touchdown.”

Ready to Roll

Now that all the pre-season hoopla is over, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty of preparing for the 2019 season.

Honesdale players have worked hard during the annual heat acclimation period and are now ready for two-a-days.

Coach Jurkowski is very pleased with what he's seen thus far at workouts. He's equally happy with the program's varsity numbers which right now are hovering around 40.

“We've got a pretty good mix of younger kids and veterans,” Coach Jurkowski said. “The lockerroom environment is excellent and our chemistry is good.”

The Hornets are champing at the bit to get on the field … their sights set on this year's lone scrimmage at Hanover next Saturday at 10 a.m.

“I'm looking for execution and fluidity,” said Coach Jurkowski. “I want to see how the kids respond to another team doing all kinds of different things.

“That will be a good indicator in helping up get ready to start the regular season against Lakeland.”