With the fall sports season just a few months away, the Gazette is looking at players to watch for this upcoming season from the Cowanesque Valley Indians and Williamson Warriors for the 2020-2021 fall sports season.
Tucker St. Peter
With the graduation of all-time great CV quarterback Seth Huyler, the Indians will look for Tucker St. Peter to lead the charge in a fast-paced offense that is extremely dependent on quarterback play.
St. Peter struggled against a stout defense in North Penn-Mansfield, but was phenomenal during the Indians victory against Columbia Montour Vo-Tech where he completed 60% of his passes for a cool 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also showed off his ability to run the football during the win and scored a third touchdown on the ground.
With a mostly aerial attack from the Indians last season, look for a drastic difference with St. Peter brings shiftiness and speed to the quarterback position in what will most likely be a power-run, option-offense this upcoming season.
The CV offense will be dependent on their quarterback reading defenses, so expect the CV offense to go as St. Peter does.
Sipps didn’t see the football field last season due to injury, but Sipps abilities on the defensive end of the football have the coaching staff looking for ways to make him into a swiss-army knife defender.
A player with good speed and strength, the Indians will need Sipps to be the anchor on the defense and let him roam positions in order to keep offenses guessing to disrupt opponents offense.
The Indians defense struggled last year, with Owen Fitzwater and Magnus Swimley doing most of the heavy lifting for the Indians. With both gone, the defense will need to find a new leader and Sipps will need to be that player. In his freshman season, Sipps was a difference-maker on defense and racked up 44 tackles in that season.
Senior Josh Hultz held things together for the Williamson Warriors last season, and put together a strong junior season where he allowed just over three goals per contest.
The Williamson soccer team loses five seniors this season, and Hultz will be one of the players looked to help lead a relatively young Warrior squad in the 2020-2021 season.
Last season junior captain Sam Cummings played a big role in Williamson making a run to the District Playoffs, and will look to continue to help fuel the Warriors next year.
From the midfield position, Cummings anchored the team throughout the season.
Chelsea Hungerford was one of the top-three scorers for the Williamson Lady Warriors soccer team in 2019, and was a big part of the turnaround season they put together.
Hungerford punched in nine goals to go along with eight assists and five steals as just a sophomore last season, and showed some strong flashes in multiple games. Against Sayre in their District-clinching win, she scored three goals to help lead her team.
With the top-two scorers for Williamson graduating this season, look for a large portion of the offensive load to fall on Hungerford’s shoulders as she enters her junior season.
As a first-year player, Abby Ackley made her presence known in the 2019 season. Ackley recorded 172 saves on the year and only allowed 54 goals during her first stretch as a goalie for Williamson, and improved dramatically from the first game until their last.
After allowing 10 goals to Troy midway through the season, Ackley started to put things together and only allowed 10 goals in her final seven games of the regular season to help anchor an end of season run that pushed them into the playoffs.
With the growth seen in just one season of play, expect Ackley to step up in a big way for the Lady Warriors in 2020 and be a force in the net this season.
Makayla Vargeson had a stellar junior year on the volleyball court in the 2019-2020 season where she recorded a team-high in kills (226), aces (560) and digs (264).
She also recorded five blocks on the season and helped her team make an appearance in the District Playoffs. With most of the roster still intact from last year, Vargeson will be looked to as not only a leader in production, but also a team-leader in the upcoming season.
Another player entering her senior year, Rylie Walker will look to build upon an impressive season in the 2019-2020 season.
Walker was part of a one-two punch with Makayla Vargeson and was right behind her in nearly every category recording 141 kills, 14 aces, 253 digs and a team high 19 blocks during the Lady Indians District Playoff season.
Look for Walker to continue to improve on those numbers with a solid-team that has had time to build strong chemistry over the years.
A part of the Cowanesque Valley Indians first ever District Championship team, Joel Heck returns for his senior season and will look to build on a productive junior year.
With the clear-cut best area golfer Austin Outman graduating, it will be up to senior Heck to lead his team in 2020 and will look to improve heading into the year.
Heck had a couple of outstanding outings on the green last season, shooting an average of 88 on the season, but had a few rounds that showcased how strong he could be this season.
Heck shot an 88 in their District Championship meet as well as an 86 during the Regional meet and will look to improve next season as CV will look to repeat after their first ever District Title.
With standout runner Jules Jones graduating, look for senior Lilli Hepfer to be the one on the Cowanesque Valley Indians cross country team to step up in 2020.
Hepfer put together a solid junior campaign and has two top twenty finishes as well as one of the strongest CV showings in the NTL coaches meet where she finished 26th. With a vacuum left from Jones, Hepfer is next in line to lead the CV roster in 2020.
Last season as a junior, Seth Neal was one of the top performers for the Cowanesque Valley Indians cross country team.
Neal came away with three top ten finishes including a sixth place finish at the NTL Coaches Meet.
During the PIAA District 4 meet, Neal had one of his best outings, coming up with an impressive top 20 finish for his team.
Look for Neal to improve on those numbers his senior year and anchor a strong CV cross country team.