Super 16 Team #4 The Hazleton Cougars.
Hazleton has lost more football games in the last two seasons than they've won, but 2018 could be the start of something special for Mike Brennan's team. Quarterback Ryan "Sparky" Wolk returns. He threw for 2,200 yards last year, and the receiving corp is solid with David Smith, Jacob Hunsinger and Nolan Schneider as good a trio as there is in the state.
"Mentally where is Ryan right now? Obviously he has the physical tools. He has all those reps in all those games and you put guys around him. Yes! If you think about it he has come a long way starting as a freshman and people questioned that decision. Last year he was an All-state performer and he is already our all-time leading passer. He's almost at 5,000 yards. Tremendous leader and tremendous competitor excellent quarterback and obviously the bell cow of our program," said Mike.
"Coach told me over the years it would just slow down and get easier on the field and he is definitely right with that and I'm developing and seeing the field clearer and clearer every game," said Ryan.
The only major skill guy that the Cougars lost offensively from last season was running back Adrian Otero he is now at Maine. Damon Horton will fill those shoes and keep the power game going for the Cougars.
"Talk about your skill set and what you bring to this ball team? I feel that I am a very powerful running back. I can run fast and I can catch the ball,so I feel that I have all the abilities to be a running back,"said Damon.
The five bus trips to away games and back home total 556 miles. That's over 12 hours on the road equivalent from going to Myrtle Beach South Carolina in a straight shot. Super 16 team #4 the Hazleton Area Cougars. Steve Lloyd reporting for Newswatch 16 sports from Luzerne County.