Senior Devontae Watson hopes to lead the Leopards to their first state title
By Taylor Cook
Siren Sports Reporter
It looks like another promising season for the Lincoln Park Leopards.
Last year, the Leopards finished with a 21-8 record, made it to the WPIAL finals and state championships, and ranked second in the state, behind MCS Charter School from Philadelphia, PA.
The Leopards started this year by hosting the Midland Tipoff Classic. They had a blowout win over New Brighton before falling in overtime to Samuel Fels of the Philadelphia Public League in the championship game.
The returning starters this year include seniors Trey Hosack, BJ Lipke, and Devontae Watson, as well as junior Jaylyn Cottrill.
Other team members include senior Tyal Prince, junior Aaron Summers, sophomores Marque Allen, Donovan Cobb, Kevin Kirkland, Dannison Lacey, Nathaniel Loedding, Ryan Skovranko, and Prince Tyler, and freshmen Antonio Kellam and Luke Ropon.
The Leopards head coach, Mark Javens, is returning for his third season this year.
Joining him on the bench will be Lincoln Park Athletic Director Mike Bariski, along with the other two assistant coaches, Bob Rizzo and Chris Enochs.
Mr. Bariski said that this season’s outlook is “very promising” and that the returning players “know what it takes to get to the championship game.”
The under-the-radar contenders to look out for this season, Mr. Bariski added, include OLSH, Cornell, North Catholic, Serra Catholic, Vincentian Catholic, and Clariton.
Trey Hosack, whom Coach Bariski describes as the “sneaky impact player,” is expected to have the biggest effect on the team, along with 6 foot 11 inch Devontae Watson, who is the school’s first Division I recruit. Watson has already signed a letter of intent to play at Temple University next year.
“We’re a big team,” Mr. Bariski says of the Leopards, who boast a front line where no one is shorter than 6 feet 6 inches. “We’re probably one of the bigger teams in Class A.”
He added, “You can teach a lot of intangibles, but you can’t teach size.”
It looks like the Leopards’ biggest advantage is size, and with Trey Hosack and Devontae Watson on the team, the Leopards might just be unstoppable.