Season Outlook: Upper Darby not satisfied with average performance

Coach: Rich Gentile (21st season)

2014 Record: 6-6 (4-5 Central League)

2014 In Two Sentences: The Royals endured a lot of growing pains last fall, so it’s a testament to the coaching staff that the team was able to post a .500 record despite working in several newcomers to varsity.  When it was going well, the Royals were one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the county (they played Springfield to a 34-33 loss), but lacked consistency on the defensive side of the ball.

Key Departures: Kevin White (DB), Madhat Fares (OL), Scott Rucci (OL), Vince Coll (WR).

Looking Ahead: The Royals will continue to run a fast-pace spread offense and should once again be one of Delco’s most feared offensive teams. They have averaged better than 30 points per game in each of the last two seasons. It’s no coincidence the Royals have been a high-octane offensive team since implementing the spread attack prior to the 2013 campaign.

The key will be whether the Royals can prevent points. There is an emphasis on defensive fundamentals and creating turnovers in camp while maintaining an uptempo style.

The Royals will be a senior-laden team with 10 starters returning from last year.

Players to Watch: Senior Christoff Minott is a dual threat at quarterback. He flourished in his rookie season under center, accounting for over 1,200 passing yards, 15 touchdowns and a 152.11 passer rating. Minott did all of that damage in just nine games as injuries stunted his season.

Senior Isaiah Bruce is a powerful running  back with speed. He returns off a season in which he rushed for nearly 900 yards with 11 touchdowns.

Shawn Page (Sr. OL-DL) is the Royals top two-way lineman. He brings athleticism and power to his positions and is garnering interest from FCS schools

Calvin Fielding (Sr. WR-SS) is a smart two-way player and captain of the defense.

Season Opener: Home vs. Bonner-Prendergast, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

The future of our football coverage

Four years ago, a group of staffers sat around the Daily Times office pondering a question. We had all this information in front of us, the stats and standings and all the little numerical odds and ends that were the cornerstone of the high school sports coverage in which we took so much pride. And we wondered, “what can we do with this?”

We had articles, game stories and notebooks like always, but there was so much more, so many pieces of data and little slivers of stories that didn’t always fit into those discreet forms or that we just didn’t have room for in the limited number of pages we produced every day. So, we wondered, how could we package and repurpose this info for our readers? Where could all these stats and standings and oblique points live besides our notebooks and spreadsheets?

The answer is what you see before you. We saw what our existing tools for coverage provided us and what they didn’t, and proceeded to fill the holes with this blog and delcohssports.com for our other sports. Since, we’ve populated this site with stats, standings, Super 7s, brackets and everything else that adds richness and depth to our print coverage.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we don’t have to do that anymore. Starting this fall, in concert with our 21st-Century Media sister papers throughout the Southeastern Pennsylvania area, we are adopting a new platform, papreplive.com.

In one site, PaPrepLive accomplishes what we’ve long sought to deliver using multiple sources, replacing out former home, GameTimePa. It’s a one-stop shop optimized for a digital audience, providing our readers all the high school content we generate. From our print articles to the digital features you’ve grown accustomed to to features like full boxscores and schedules that used to be confined to print, everything will be found together on this new site, integrated with videos, social media and all the amenities you’ve come to expect. With more layers to our data, we’re able to individualize information not just by sport but by league, school, team and even player (more on that as we roll out features in the next week).

The arrival of a new site brings the end of this one as a regularly updated content provider. The stats and stories we’ve covered here will remain as a record of the past, but from now on, PaPrepLive will be your source for all our latest coverage. We’ll continue to update sparingly to give you a feel of where things live on the new site, from team pages to sports to leagues, etc.

We hope it’s something that will be as exciting for you as it is for us.

Season Outlook: Bonner-Prendergast stock still rising after eight-win season

Coach: Greg “Bubba”  Bernhardt (Fourth season)

2014 Record: 8-2 (3-2 Catholic League AAA)

2014 In Two Sentences: What’s ironic is the Friars had  their best team in years — better than the teams that made it to three straight Catholic League finals from 2011-13. Alas, despite an 8-2 mark and a school record-breaking quarterback (Collin DiGalbo), the Friars fell to Archbishop Ryan in the Catholic semifinals,

Key Departures: Collin DiGalbo (QB), Christian DiGalbo (OL-DL), Aaron McCastle (ATH), Tyler Higgins (TE-DE), Tom Becker (LB-FB), Joe Oquendo (WR-DB).

Looking Ahead: Is it a rebuilding year for the Friars? Maybe not, but they do have several voids to fill.

It all starts on the offensive line with Lou Lombardo, a third-generation All-Delco, and fellow senior Tom Klingerman.

DiGalbo was such a huge part of the offense the last two years, it’ll take more than one player to make up for his lost production. A quarterback competition involving senior Shaun Douglas and varsity newcomers Evan Rayburn and Johnny Finelli, both juniors, was happening in camp.

The Friars are probably the best Catholic League team in Delco this year. Whether they can get to that level that they can never beat remains to be seen.

Players to Watch: The diminutive Joe Hartley-Vittoria (Jr. RB-DB) packs a big punch in his 5-7, 180-pound frame.  He was a nice complimentary player in the offense last year, and should see his workload increase along with Tom Millison (Jr. RB-LB).

Douglas, a senior, transferred from Interboro midseason and managed to get on the field right away at Bonner, so you know he’s good. He flourished primarily on defense at linebacker/defensive back once he strapped on the Bonner green.

The senior Lombardo (6-3, 295) is one of the top players at his position in the Catholic League and Delaware County. Klingerman (6-3, 285) and fellow senior Gay-Lorte Breeze (6-1, 270) give Bonner a lot of girth on the lines.

Ryan George (Sr. LB-TE) will help man the linebacker unit, which took a hit when senior Tom Becker transferred to Springfield. Sophomores Jordan Mosley (WR-LB) and Kerrin Jackson (WR-CB) are expected to play important roles as first-year starters.

Coach’s Corner: “I like our chances to go out there and compete with everyone on our schedule again,” Bernhardt said. ‘We should be solid up front on the lines and we have some talented skill kids, but we will have to replace our QB. We have three solid candidates who are battling it out, so we’ll see how it plays out.”

Season Opener: at Upper Darby, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

Season Outlook: Springfield eyes another Central League title

Coach: Chris Britton (Second season)

2014 Record:  12-1 (9-0 Central League)

2014 In Two Sentences:  The Cougars triumphed over all comers for 12 consecutive weeks and won the program’s first Central League title since 1994. They suffered their one and only loss of the year to Great Valley in the District One Class AAA championship game.

Key Departures: Adam Krauter (LB), Brian Layden (DL-OL), Brian Allen (QB), Lucas Spence (DB), Colin Bracconier (RB).

Looking Ahead:  The Cougars turn the page on an amazing season.  It’s won’t be easy

Second-year head coach Chris Britton has all the pieces to make another run at the Central League title.

Second-year Springfield head coach Chris Britton has all the pieces to make another run at the Central League title.

replacing the Adam Krauters and Brian Laydens of the world, but the Cougars remain in a good position to challenge for the Central League title. You’d have to like their chances for a repeat.

While the starting quarterback position remains a bit of a work in progress, the Cougars have the type of athletic talent that is conducive to their multiple spread offense.

On defense, it could be argued that Springfield has the best returning lineman (Dan Archibong) and linebacker (Ricky Sterling) in Delco. Throw in a 6-3, 290-pound two-way lineman (Matt Cella) and, well … look out.

Players to Watch: Archibong (Sr. TE-DE) is a 6-5, 245-pounder with beast potential (that’s a good thing). He’s committed to Temple for next year.

Sterling (Sr. FB-LB) is cut from the same cloth of other recent Springfield linebacker greats such as Krauter, Tyler Morrissey and Mike Dougherty.

Cella will anchor the offensive line. Brett Sheeran (Sr. WR-DB) is a big weapon at both skill positions. Sheeran has the potential to do a lot of damage out wide.

Joe Davis (Sr. RB-LB) gets the call up from varsity. Pat Smyth (Sr. WR-DB) played a big role on defense for last year’s squad.

Last, but not least, the Cougars welcome in Tom Becker (Sr. FB-LB), who was an All-Catholic League AAA linebacker at Bonner-Prendergast last fall. He should fit in just fine in the Cougars’ multiple 4-4 defensive front.

Season Opener: Away at Interboro, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

Season Outlook: Interboro has a lot to prove in Del Val League

Coach: Steve Lennox (23rd season)

2014 Record: 5-7 (3-2 Del Val League)

2014 In Two Sentences: Inconsistent is a word to best describe the Bucs’ 2014 season. Despite qualifying for the District One Class AAA playoffs, the Bucs lost to Springfield in the opening round and ended the year on a three-game losing streak.

Key Departures: Sean Menold (QB-LB), Mark Everton (WR), Mike O’Chuida (RB-LB).

Looking Ahead: The Bucs enter the year with plenty to prove, but the talent is there to win football games. It’s weird to consider them an underdog in the Del Val, but after back-to-back disappointing seasons, the Bucs will have to show they mean business in 2015.

Lennox is working in a new quarterback, senior Danny Mea, who played

Chris Thomas filled a void at running back for Interboro last fall and showed he has what it takes to be a big piece in the Bucs running game this year.

Chris Thomas filled a void at running back for Interboro last fall and showed he has what it takes to be a big piece in the Bucs running game this year.

linebacker/fullback last year. However, the Bucs have several returning starters at key positions. The skill positions are loaded with talent and both the offensive and defensive line units have a bunch of  “tough, hard-nosed kids,” according to Lennox.

Time will tell if the Bucs can put it together and get back to the top of the Del Val.

Players to Watch: Mea, Steve Royer (OL-DL) and Chase Pattinson (TE-DL) are the captains. Royer is coming off an injury-plagued 2014 season, while Pattinson showed immense potential last season as a pass-catching tight end.

Pattinson will be helped in the receiving game by juniors Matt DiSands, who is the nephew of former Interboro great Bobby DiSands, Connor Adams and Mike McMillen.

Lennox will lean on his depth at the running back position. Seniors Chris Hummel, Chris Thomas and Lamar Shaw received the bulk of the carries last fall. Shaw is a run-right-at-you freight train when he’s going well.

The offensive line will be a work in progress, with returning starter and senior tackle Brandon Tynes (6-3, 250) anchoring the unit.

Season Opener: Home vs. Springfield, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

Season Outlook: District champs Delco Christian looking for more

Coach: Drew Pearson (Third season).

2014 Record: 9-3 (6-1 Bicentennial League)

2014 In Two Sentences: The Knights season began with an unimpressive win over an inferior opponent, followed by two straight losses to put them at 1-2 after three weeks. From there, the Knights took off, winning eight in a row and the program’s first District 1/12 Class A title.

Key Departures: Zeph Ellis (FB), Sterling Williams (QB), Alex Linton (LB-FB), T.J. Lannetti (OL).

Looking Ahead: The Knights bring back several key members from last season’s district championship team. It’s easy to like their chances for a repeat. Pearson is a great motivator and molder of young men, and brings out the best in all of his players.

You always know what you’re getting when you play Delco Christian: Lots of Wishbone and four-running back sets, with complex fakes and very little passing. It’s worked like a charm over the years for DC.

Players to Watch: Senior running back Nazim Trammell-Wells was outstanding last

Nazim Trammell-Wells rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns for Delco Christian last fall.

Nazim Trammell-Wells rushed for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns for Delco Christian last fall.

fall, rushing for 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jake Allen and Dan Poirer, both juniors, are returning quarterbacks.

Amir Dorsey (Sr. RB) is a nice change of pace. Whereas Trammell-Wells is a pure burner, Dorsey is a powerful runner with speed to boot.

Kyle Winters (Sr.), Jake Gutowiski (Jr.) and Giho Park (Sr.) are returning members of an offensive line that paved the way for a ground attack that amassed over 7,500 yards rushing the last two seasons.

Senior Jack Grim (LB) is the leader on defense and senior Stephen Mitchell (DL) will be the top player on the D-line for the Knights.

Coach’s Corner: “From a mentality standpoint, if our players continue to place the success of the team above individual accomplishments, it could be a good year,” Pearson said. “Additionally, with limited depth, we need to stay healthy.”

Season Opener: Home vs. Kutztown, Saturday, Sept. 5, 7 p.m. (all home games at Marple Newtown H.S.)

Season Outlook: Marple Newtown looks to take next step under Gicking

Coach: Chris Gicking

2014 Record: 5-6 (4-5 Central League)

2014 In Two Sentences: Adrian Sapnas ran roughshod on the Central League and Abel Hoff set the county’s single-season record for most receptions. Despite their explosive efforts, the Tigers suffered a streak of four consecutive losses and fell short of a District One Class AAA playoff berth in Gicking’s first year running the program.

Key Departures: Adrian Sapnas (RB), Vince Civardelli (DL), Lucas Maas (WR-DB), Dom Talluto (OL).

Looking Ahead: As is the case every year, the Tigers’ depth will be challenged, but they have the pieces to make some noise in the Central League. There are 12 returning starters, which is cause for optimism.

Among those players back for a second season in Gicking’s system are Hoff and quarterback Marcus Weathers. The offensive line, wiith four returnees, should be a strength.

Players to Watch: Hoff is an explosive talent who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. In addition to his exploits as a receiver, Hoff (Sr.) is also a playmaker in the return game.

Weathers (Sr.) has the potential to be one of the top-flight quarterbacks in the county. While he endured his ups and downs as a junior, he posted solid numbers across the board (1,250 yards, 13 TDs, 136.6 QBR). The foundation on the offensive line is set with Kyle Kelly (Sr.), Pat Carr (Sr.), Ryan Rhoads (Sr.) and Luke Lozowicki (Jr.) back in the fold.

Elsewhere, Carmen Christiana (Jr.) and Tyler Kotsack (Sr.)  give the Tigers good experience in the defensive secondary. Noah Turner (Sr.) and Matt Trainor (Sr.) are the bookends on the D-line, while Gino DiCamillo (Sr.) and Matt Mckee (Sr.) give the Tigers a solid one-two punch at linebacker.

Coach’s Corner: “This is our second season, so the kids know the system more than they did last year,” Gicking said. “We have worked hard as a program this offseason. The key will be consistency on both sides of the ball.”

Season Opener: Away vs. Cardinal O’Hara, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

 

Season Outlook: Chester’s time is now

Remember to pick up the annual Daily Times High School  Football Preview in the Sept. 4 edition of the Daily Times. In it you’ll find full-page preview stories of all 22 teams in Delco, plus full schedules and other goodies.

Coach: Tony Beaty (second season)

2014 Record: 4-6 (3-2 Del Val League)

2014 In Two Sentences: It took some time for the Clippers to come together under first-year coach Beaty, but they were competitive in every game except for their season opener. A winning record in Del Val League competition (including a season-ending rout of Interboro in the pouring rain and mud) gave the Clippers a load of confidence going into the offseason.

Key Departures: Hasson Bush (WR-DB), Kquran Matthews (TE-DE).

Looking Ahead:

Chester QB Nahmir Ishmail

Is Chester expected to run the table and go undefeated? No, not many teams are. But are the Clippers talented  to point that they can win the Del Val League and become Delco football’s feel-good story of 2015? You better believe it.

Roughly 13 players from last fall are back on the roster. They have a monstrous Division I lineman who can flat-out dominate on both sides (D’Andre Dill), an athletic QB (Nahmir Ishmail) and a slew of  two-way skill competitors with big-play ability (Rashee Alexander, Ed Nelson Jr., Arlo Lee Jr.). So, let’s just say it: Chester has the chance to be very dangerous.

Players to Watch:  Dill (Sr. OL-DL), Ishmail (Sr. QB), Alexander (WR-FS), Nelson (SS-RB) and Lee (RB-LB) are crucial to the Clippers’ success in 2015, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Dill, is a four-year starter who committed to Temple in the spring. Nelson is garnering interest from FCS schools. Lee was the team leader in tackles last fall, and Alexander led the team in interceptions.

Like Alexander, Nasheed McCaskill is a skilled wide receiver and defensive back. Naim Little, Desmond Hardy and Keyshaun Ash provide plenty of thump in the trenches.

Season Opener: Away vs. W.C. Henderson, Friday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.