Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 Lycoming football season preview - A rich history of running backs

Courtesy of Lycoming College Sports Information 
The Lycoming College Warrior football team has a rich history of running backs. The latest standout running back was Blake Bowman '16, who ended the season in 2016 with 2056 total yards. That is good enough to rank 5th in Warrior all time rushers. It should be noted however that Blake only handled the ball 488 times.

Blake Bowman rushes to the corner again the Susquehanna River Hawks in 2016.
Compare that to Craig Needhammer '14 (741 carries), Josh Kleinfelter '10 (773 carries), Brian Thompson '98 (649 carries) and Tim Deasey '01 (561 carries). If we prorate Bowman's carries to Kleinfelter number of carries, Blake Bowman would have a total of 3,988 yards. Blake was eighth in rushing attempts, third in yards per rush, second in rushing touchdowns. So look at the list and you know that the Warriors have been blessed by great running backs. We are looking forward to seeing our next Kleinfelter, Needhammer, Deasey, Thompson or Bowman?

2018 Running Backs
Without the team’s top three rushers from 2017, the Warriors will draw into the well this season, looking to find new personnel to continue the legacy of storied Lycoming backs.

Junior Keith Batkowski (Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville) was an all-state performer at Montoursville Area High School and he averaged 4.1 yards on 22 carries in 2017 while also becoming a key special teams performer.

Junior Jacob Fimbres (La Habra, Calif./Sonora) comes back from a preseason injury suffered in 2017 and has impressed throughout camp with his explosiveness. Sophomores Len Wyda (Nescopeck, Pa./Berwick) and Tommy Cruz-Nieves (Garfield, N.J./Passaic County Tech) also return give the team additional experience weapons in the backfield.

Who Returns:  Keith Batkowski, Jr., Montoursville, Pa./Montoursville Area; Tommy Cruz-Nieves, So., Garfield, N.J./Passaic County Tech; Jacob Fimbres, Jr., La Habra, Calif./Sonora; Kyle Puza, Sr., Manville, N.J./Manville; Len Wyda, So., Nescopeck, Pa./Berwick Area.

Newcomers: Chase Cramer, Fr., Andover, N.J./Newton; Pacey Howard, Fr., Watsontown, Pa./Warrior Run; Justin Joseph, Fr., Exeter, Pa./Wyoming Area; Kalie Kuyateh, Fr., Prospect Park, Pa./Interboro; Seth Ver-Non, Fr., Peckville, Pa./Valley View.

Coach’s Take: “In terms of the returners, there are a couple guys who are juniors in school. Keith is so steady and dependable. He does everything the right way. He is pound-for-pound one of the strongest kids on our football team. We’re going to figure out if he can step up and take some of the load this year. Jacob is really the wild card. In camp last year, he may have been our best tailback. Coming back from the injury, he could add a unique dimension to our team. Tommy Cruz-Nieves is a physical presence. Lenny Wyda got here late last year. He missed preseason last year, so he is a guy we will have to evaluate this year.”

Tune in tomorrow for a look at the 2018 Wide Receivers.

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