WEST PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)– It’s been a wild ride for one local high school football team this season.
Tuesday night, they got an early Christmas present they’ve worked hard to earn — medals for their state championship victory.
“It starts with an experienced group of seniors and talented underclassmen that came in and their ability to play at a high level, compete and stay as healthy as we could,” said Wyoming Area Warriors head coach Randy Spencer.
Something that’s plagued the Warriors year in and year out. The injury bug made a common appearance in West Pittston but seniors like Dom Deluca saw the team rise to the challenge a week and a half ago.
“‘Next man up’ and the experience we had all year,” he said. “My junior year we had a lot of kids get hurt and ‘next man up’ helped a lot. They were all back my senior year and that helped us a ton.”
Sammy Solomon spend time on the injured list but was a major factor on the gridiron once healthy.
“It feels good,” he said. “It’s really an accomplishment to come back, become healthy, play with the team again and win a state championship.”
That state championship came with hard work, determination, and its fair share of licks. The only loss of the season coming against a fellow state champion, Southern Columbia, in Week 8.
“We needed that butt-kicking. It kept our head on our shoulders, made us keep our eyes forward and play harder that next game,” said Deluca.
“I think it helped us throughout the season to face a little adversity earlier on, be able to fight back and be able to claw our way back into it,” added Solomon.
And claw, they did, through seven more quality opponents en route to a Class AAA state championship.
“We’re certainly enjoying the moment,” said Spencer. “We’re so proud and we’re joined by our community, our school and so we’ll certainly enjoy the present for a bit — but, you’re always looking towards that future.”
The glow is still fresh after the state championship victory over Central Valley, the first in Wyoming Area football history. The Warriors had to erase a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter in Hershey to earn the title.