Summer Shorties: Central League

NOTE: We’ll be diving in full-time with our  Delco Football coverage in early-August. 

  • Ridley is  experimenting with a 3-4 defensive alignment, as its line was ravaged by graduation (Matt Sinex, Mark Pascetta, Tyler Shiber,Steve Plousis, Fran Cullen).If indeed the Green Raiders are switching alignments, they do have some up-and-coming stud LBs  (Lou Harrison, Ryan Dougherty, etc. ). I’ve heard QB Colin Wright, who set Ridley High’s single-game passing mark last fall, looks sharp.
  • The popular, super-early pick to win the league this year? Haverford High. And what’s not to like about the Fords? Sure they lost All-Delco QB Ed Durkin and All-Delco DB Marcus Sydnor, but the team has so much coming back (All-Delco RB Kevin Leyden, for instance, is a Player of the Year candidate). Jack Donaghy, the sophomore QB, garnered rave reviews as a freshman and could be in line for a breakout season. Coach Joe Gallagher spoke highly of what was coming back in 2013, well before the 2012 season ended.
  • Marple Newtown is getting a great assistant coach in veteran football man Sal Oropollo. The former head coach at Academy Park spent the last three seasons as an offensive/defensive line coach for Jason Vosheski Also joining Ray Gionta’s staff is Strath Haven and Purdue product Issac Jones, who spent the last several years as an assistant for Jim Favino at Delco Christian; Steve Reynolds, a Tigers Radio Network play-by-play man; and Sal’s son, Nate, who starred at Cardinal O’Hara before enjoying a successful career at Lycoming College (thanks to Marplenewtownfootball.com)..
  • Kevin Mohollen could be a huge difference-maker. If healthy,  the Strath Haven QB is a dual threat and, when giving the chance, can make some big plays in the passing game.
  • Garnet Valley is in the process of replacing All-Delco QB Ryan Corkery. I liked the fact that now-senior Christian Portale saw playing time in each of the last two years, though in Mike Ricci’s spread offense, athleticism is key from the quarterback position.

I’ll have some more stuff in the coming days/weeks to help kill the time. Remember, the first OFFICIAL day of practice is Monday, August 12. I’ll have a bunch of goodies from camps all around the county.

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About mattsmith

Matt Smith is an award-winning local sports writer for the Delaware County Times. A Delco native, Matt's covered local, pro and college sports at the Delco Times since 2006. In 2013, he won a Pennsylvania Keystone Press Award for Best Sports Coverage. He was runner up for a similar award in 2009 and also nominated 2011. Follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith

15 thoughts on “Summer Shorties: Central League

  1. Can not wait to see the summer shorties on the catholic league, that might be the league to watch this season?

  2. If I am not mistaken, I believe Ridley has always traditionally been an odd-front “5-2″ defense as their base alignment. I doubt there would be little, if anything, different schematically between a “3-4″ front and their usual “5-2.” They are, more or less, the same defense.

    • They’ve had small numbers for several years now. It doesn’t help that their best talent is going to place like EA, Malvern, O’Hara, but they’ve been fairly competitive during that span.

      • Parents are the problem at Marple. They think their kids can just show up on august 14 and be stars. They don’t work in the offseason like Ohara, Malvern and EA.
        The reason EA, Ohara(especially) and Malvern get the Marple kids is that they run serious programs that attract the kids that really want to further their game.
        You don’t see Haverford High or Springfield High have those issues.
        The problem with Marple is that they don’t care about their Middle School program nor do they they take an interest in the Marple Junior Tigers program that is very succesfull.
        They only have to blame themselves, not EA,Malvern and Ohara.

        I here one of Marple’s best players Mike White isn’t playing this year(he’ll regret), wants to play baseball……how do you play your entire life and quit in your Senior year, he’s at the wrong school for baseball needs to play at Bonner.

        Shame he’s a very good Football player.
        Ray Gionta is a very good coach..it’s a shame he can’t get kids that want to play

      • You might be right. You sound pretty knowledgeable about the topic, and I’m not one to judge the middle-school program. All I know is, MN is right in the middle of “recruiting country,” so to speak. O’Hara, Malvern, EA, Haverford School, etc.

        As for Mike White, it’s something we will discuss with Gionta, I’m sure. I know he had some injuries last year & missed time. That can cause a young man to focus his endeavors on other sports. I wouldn’t blame him if that’s (partially) the case.

  3. Kevin Mohollen tore his labrum and is out for the season. Big loss for the Panthers who have been stuck in the “Kevin Clancy Era”. Not only was Mohollen the best player on the field, he was the most under appreciated. Clancy was too bullheaded to change his offense to benefit his best player. Why not install an option? Or possibly throw the ball more considering his cannon of an arm? Strath Haven isn’t going to win more than 3 games this season, thus officially beginning the downfall of Kevin Clancy and one of the best there never was stories in Mohollen. Imagine if he had the oppurtunity to throw the ball like Durkin did. It opens up the whole field and they couldve been couldve been contenders potentially. Atleast he has baseball to fall back on where he is actually utilized for the skills he has and not wasted by big ego men like Clancy who believe they are bigger then the game itself.

    • Interesting take. I agree that Mohollen is a crippling loss for Strath Haven, but as you pointed out, the QB position is never a key role in a Kevin Clancy offense. I think they’ll be OK in that regard, provided they have some capable athletes on the offensive side of the ball. If I had to guess, though, I’d say Strath Haven is good for five or six wins. Perhaps I’m reaching a bit, but I won’t doubt a Clancy-coached team. Like him or not, he’s the winningest coach in the county for a reason.

      • Matt U might be right but some of these Coaches are too set in their old ways,if the QB can throw the ball then U as the coach need to use that tool to your advantage,gives you a better chance for a victory. The kid for Bonner threw for 1000yds last year and I think the kid from Ohara threw for similiar #’s makes the game more exciting for the fans who come and pay.
        I don’t wanna see 3rd and 20(6 times a game) trying to run the ball for a 1st down.
        A few years ago I went to the Connestoga vs Marple game every play Stoga lined up 3 or 4 recievers the QB could throw…it was a blow out. Very exciting game to watch.
        I could overhear the Marple parents moaning about their team not passing the ball and I’m sure Clancy is starting to hear it at SH.

        Oh well it should be a nice year for Football…looking forward to your coverage of the games

  4. SH is still living in the 1990′s. I watched them against Marple last year,it was a very boring game nobody throws the ball.
    I agree utilize the individuals talent. Thats a shame you never know how good a player can be if you don’t use him correctly makes a big impact on their future.
    Everybody should take a look at Archbishop Wood, last year they went with a Freshmen QB and look how far they went(state Championship). Too many of these long time coaches don’t think outside the box that’s why they have won nothing and have gone nowhere

      • He wins a ton yes but imagine if he utilized his weapons. You had a big time big play kind of quarterback who thrived under pressure (Haverford Haven game 4th and 20) and would have games where he would throw 3 times for 100+ yards. the kid could sling it and run it.The problem is now that Clancy’s offense is becoming predictable and the running backs just aren’t as good as they once were. His quarterback was his best player and now he doesn’t have that so even the occasional predictable pass on 3rd down won’t happen because they don’t have a backup

  5. PostScript: The Strath Haven Panthers won four and lost six games without Kevin Mohollen as their quarterback in 2013. The previous year, the Panthers won five games with Mohollen as the quarterback, and I agree with “shfan06″ that the Panthers would have been more successful if Coach Clancy had opened up his offense and allowed Kevin Mohollen to pass the ball more. In my opinion, the biggest threat to the future of Strath Haven football is not Coach Clancy’s unwillingness to change, but the fear of concussions. Many of the Wallingford/Swarthmore parents don’t want their sons exposed to the dangers of brain trauma associated with playing football. For the first time ever this year (2014), at Strath Haven High School, there were not enough boys to field a freshman football team. If the trend of fewer players coming out for the team continues, in a few years, there will be no team left for Clancy to coach.

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