With first day of real practice Monday, that means game action is around the corner for local high school football teams.
Saturday marks scrimmage day for high school football in Pennsylvania, and all 13 Valley teams will be in action.
The most interesting of the day might come at Lewisburg High School at 11 a.m. The Green Dragons will face the team that ended their season in 2018 in the District 4 Class 3A semifinals — Montoursville.
The Warriors return most of their significant players from last year’s District 4 Class 3A champions, including all-staters Jaxon Dalena at wide receiver and Cameron Wood at defensive end. Lewisburg’s young offensive line will get a quick test, and will see where it stands against the Warriors.
The only matchup between two local teams comes in Mifflinburg at 6 p.m. where the Wildcats will host two-time defending Class 2A champion Southern Columbia. Despite being the favorite once again, the Tigers do have some holes to fill up front and at quarterback due to graduation. Mifflinburg returns quarterback Gary DeGroat, Jr. and one of the area’s top two-way threats in Rylee Stahl at wide receiver and linebacker.
District 4 Class 3A finalist Danville might have the most holes to fill in the area. The Ironmen returns just five starters — three on offense and two on defense — but coach Jim Keiser has a big freshman class he’s excited to see in action. The Ironmen travel to North Schuylkill to face the Spartans, which once again are expected to be one of the top teams in District 11 Class 3A.
Quarterback Jaden Leiby returns along with Penn State commit Tyler Elsdon at linebacker for North Schuylkill. That scrimmage begins at 10 a.m.
Shikellamy begins its attempt to bounce back from a 1-9 season last year by hosting Bloomsburg at 10 a.m. in Sunbury. The Braves struggled offensively in 2018, but return a veteran offensive line to help get back to success. The Panthers return eight starters on offense and six starters on defense.
Selinsgrove has the longest trip for its scrimmage. The Seals head to Mansion Park to face Altoona High at 1 p.m.. Selinsgrove fell in the District 4 Class 4A title game a year ago to Jersey Shore. Sophomore Danny Shoch has another season under his belt at quarterback, while the Seals are looking from a big season at running back from junior Nate Schon. Altoona, a Class 6A school, finished 3-7 last season.
Midd-West kicks off its second season of football with a trip to Lebanon County to face Columbia at 11 a.m. The Mustangs return Trey Lauver at fullback — who had the school’s first-ever 100-yard rushing game in the opener last year against Marian Catholic — and junior defensive lineman Brayden Swineford, but must find replacements for Owen Zechman, now a freshman offensive lineman at Delaware and quarterback Marc Piccioni.