2023 Pioneer Athletic Conference Frontier Division Preview

Tagged under: Conference Previews, District 1, News

Willie McGonigle | August 21, 2023


Last season the Perkiomen Valley Vikings for the second consecutive year took home the Liberty Division Championship and defeated the Frontier Division Champions Pope John Paul II Golden Panthers in the Pioneer Athletic Championship Game. Both the Vikings and Golden Panthers appear poised to be playing in the PAC Conference championship for the third season in a row but both teams will have some tough competition to make that match-up happen. Spring-Ford, Owen J Roberts looks to challenge the Vikings in the Liberty Division. In the Frontier Division look for Pottsgrove, Upper Merion, and Phoenixville to challenge the Golden Panthers for the Division Championship.

Pope John Paul II Golden Panthers: PIAA Classification 4A Head Coach: Scott Reed

Last Season Review: The Golden Panthers went 10-2, losing to Interboro in the District 1 4A Championship 38-14

Key Games: 9-8 at Berks Catholic, 9-16 vs Father Judge, 9-30 vs Pottsgrove

2023 Outlook: Despite losing three starters from the offensive line from a year ago the Golden Panthers are expecting big things from their offense this season. Returning up front for the Golden Panthers are Aidan Sgarra and Chase Frantz both of whom were all league last season. Transfer Kevin Heywood (Wisconsin commit) Makel Parker, Owen Highlands, Hasan Clayton,Ignacio Escobar and Michael McNally are looking at seeing time along the line. Reigning Frontier Division MVP Boyd Skarbek returns at running back and he will be joined by Kiernan Myers. The receiving corps will be led by a pair of returning all-state players in Brent Mitala and Braden Reed. Jack Lockrey, Bradey Bass, Denny Owens, Brandon DeAngelo and Jacob Lucci will also see time at receiver. Dylan Skarbek will be a multi-position threat for the Golden Panthers. All-State and All League QB Luke Terlesky will be in leading the offense.

Defensively Sgarra, TJ Boccella,Frantz along with Heywood will anchor the line, while Escobar and Clayton will look to make an impact in the defensive line rotation. Boyd Skarbek, Ryan Lamson has inside linebackers while McNally and Owens will join them at LB. The secondary is where the Golden Panthers will have the most experience as Mitala, Reed, Dylan Skarbek all return, they are expected to be joined by DeAngelo and Jacob Lucci.

2023 Schedule

Pottsgrove Falcons: PIAA Classification 4A, Head Coach: Billy Hawthorne

Last Season Review: The Falcons went 6-4 and defeated Owen J Roberts 40-21 in their PAC Crossover game.

Key Games: 9-30 at Pope John Paul II, 10-6 at Phoenixville, 10-13 vs Upper Merion

2023 Outlook: Offensively the Falcons return QB Gabe Rinda. TE Riley Delp returns as Rinda’s top target. Last season Delp caught 22 passes for 309 yards. It will be a running back by committee for the Falcons this season. The offensive line will be anchored by Joey Quinter and Mason Kraichley.

Defensively the Falcons will lean on a strong front seven rotation to stop the opponent's rushing attack. Aiding in the effort will be rising Sophomore LB Isaiah Rivera and returning starter and all-league player Riley Delp. Tyler Birch returns as a starter on the perimeter and will be instrumental in the Falcon’s run and Pass defense. The secondary will be highlighted by strong cornerback play with DeVon Grinnage and Tre Cook manning the position.

2023 Schedule

Upper Merion Vikings: PIAA Classification 5A, Head Coach: Davis Chubb

Last Season Review: The Vikings went 4-7 and fell to Strath Haven 35-3 in the First Round of the District 1 5A Playoffs.

Key Games: 8-25 vs Plymouth Whitemarsh, 9-22 at Phoenixville, 10-13 at Pottsgrove

2023 Outlook: On offense, the Vikings will need to break in a new young and inexperienced QB with Jackson Solley taking over the starting job. The offensive line will also have several new faces on it as Elijah Davis returns. TE Mike Scavello and RB Justin Besz returns for the Vikings offense while Isaiah Robinson will look to an impact at RB and Zahaid Edwards-Bone will be impactful at WR. On the defensive side, the Vikings will need to play assignment football and they return four starters including three at linebacker where Scavello, Besz, and Magnus Knorr all return. Davis is the other returning starter at defensive line.  Cyrus Palladino is a four-year returning starter at kicker for the Vikings

2023 Schedule

Phoenixville Phantoms: PIAA Classification 5A, Head Coach: Anthony Ciarlello

Last Season Review: The Phantoms went 6-5 and lost to Springfield Delco 42-7 in the First Round of the District 1 5A Playoffs.

Key Games: 8-25 vs Great Valley, 9-9 at Chester, 10-21 at Pope John Paul II

2023 Outlook: The Phantoms are loaded with returning starters on the offensive side of the ball where they have a total of 9 guys back. Ty Romance and Talon Romance both of whom saw time at QB last season return. They are joined in the backfield by RB Sam Moore and FB Darius Watson. Hayden Tenbroeck and Trey Lear return at receiver. Up front Danny Aselton, Jamie Gray, and Andrew Kirk all return they are expected to be joined by Cameron English. And TE Jackson Ford. Patrick Carey and Bobby Gray are expected to make an impact at the receiver position.

Defensively the Phantoms return DEs Shane Callen and TJ Howard. SS Myles Tenbroeck and DB Kevin Kingsbury return to lead the secondary while Deacon Williams is the lone returning starter at Linebacker for the Phantoms. Chris Mull and Tre Wheeler are expected to join Williams at LB.

2023 Schedule


Upper Perkiomen Indians: PIAA Classification 4A, Head Coach: Dan Heinrichs

Last Season Review:  Last season the Indians went 3-7

Key Games: 8-25 vs Boyertown, 9-29 at Upper Merion 10-6 vs Pottstown

2023 Outlook: Dan Heinriches takes over as head coach of the Indians. Offensively Tice Hallman, John Strohl, and Matt Delzingaro all return to anchor the line. Zach Schwartz and Eric Romanowski return to the backfield. Defensively the Indians will be led by LB Brody Weiss, Jayden White, DT Maddux Diaz, DE Ethan Scharneck, DB Aiden Void, and DB Sam Carino.

2023 Schedule


Pottstown Trojans: PIAA Classification 4A, Head Coach: Levert Hughes

Last Season Review: Last season the Trojans went 1-9

Key Games: 9-8 vs Harriton 9-15 vs Norristown 10-6 at Upper Perkiomen

2023 Outlook: Last season the Trojans picked up their first win since 2019 when they defeated Harriton. This year the Trojans are looking to build off the momentum of that and with several members from the 2002 PAC Championship team on their coaching staff the Trojans appeared poise to take the next step.  Up front Kingston Allen will anchor the offensive line, while Nahzier Booker will lead a stable of running backs looking to support new QB Dillion Myers. Defensively I’samir Moreau and DiMark Lyons will be the leaders.

2023 Schedule

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