Central League votes on new scheduling format

In response to last week’s vote by the PIAA Board of Directors to expand from four to six classifications, the Central League is making notable changes to its scheduling in 2016.

League officials voted Thursday to return to a nine-game schedule, with 10 overall games and one scrimmage. Teams now will have one open date (Week 1) before the Central League schedule gets under way Week 2. The league operated on an eight-game schedule this season after several years of playing nine games.

Furthermore, according to league president and Penncrest athletic director Chip Olinger, the league will be divided into two groups — big schools and small schools — for scheduling purposes. The league will remain unified in its current state and one champion will be crowned.

The “big school” group would include the four Class AAAAAA teams (Conestoga, Haverford, Ridley, Upper Darby) and two final teams that will be determined by league winning percentage over the last three years, including this season. Garnet Valley and Springfield are most likely to occupy those final two slots.

If that’s the case, the “small school” group would include Harriton, Lower Merion, Marple Newtown, Penncrest, Radnor and Strath Haven.

“We’re throwing enrollment out of the window for that last ‘big school’ team and instead we’re taking the last three years of winning percentage. I want to be clear that it’s winning percentage for league games only,” Olinger said. “We thought that was the best way to go. We needed to do what was fair for the league.”

The new scheduling format applies to football only. All other sports are unaffected by the changes.

Splitting the league into two groups — again, for scheduling reasons only — helps alleviate growing concerns about competitive fairness.  There’s also the issue of the PIAA power-point system hindering bigger schools in the Central League for “playing down” against smaller teams in their conference. The league is now giving each group the mandate to schedule games among themselves.

In addition to the classification expansion, the PIAA reduced the football season by one week.  As a result, Thanksgiving Day rivalries could be on life support. Interboro-Ridley and Haverford-Upper Darby could be forced to move their Thanksgiving meetings to another date. There already has been discussion about moving Interboro-Ridley to Week 1.

2014 All-Central League

Haverford High junior Jack Donaghy earned First Team honors after throwing for 19 TDs and leading the Fords to an 8-4 record.

Haverford High junior Jack Donaghy earned First Team honors after throwing 19 TDs and leading the Fords to an 8-4 record.

Here are the 2014 All-Central League First & Second Teams, as selected by the coaches. Please note that the Daily Times has nothing to do with the selection of all-league teams.



Jack Donaghy – Haverford QB

Scott Rucci – Upper Darby OL

Justin Fremont – Strath Haven OL

Jonah Jackson – Penncrest OL

Matt Cipollini – Ridley OL

Alex Anderson – Radnor C

Sam Schlichting – Harriton TE

Adrian Sapnas – Marple Newtown RB

Anthony Myers – Strath Haven RB

Parke Schweiter – Conestoga RB

Martin Dorsey – Conestoga WR

Nick Costello – Haverford WR


Brian Layden – Springfield DL

Joe Granahan – Garnet Valley DL

Sam Romanofsky – Haverford DL

Mike Cropper – Ridley DL

Diego Zubieta – Penncrest LB

Adam Krauter – Springfield LB

Ryan Dougherty – Ridley LB

Kevin Maloney – Haverford LB

Kevin White – Upper Darby DB

Jordan O’Donnell – Harriton DB

Jack Diggory – Garnet Valley DB

Lucas Spence – Springfield DB


Shane Breckenridge – Penncrest P

George Lambritsios Marple Newtown K

Evan Boyce – Haverford K



Brian Allen – Springfield QB

Matt Cella – Springfield OL

John DiPasquale – Garnet Valley OL

Luke Lozowicki – Marple Newtown OL

John Lord – Radnor OL

Madhat Fares – Upper Darby C

Tom Cleary – Garnet Valley TE

Malik Young – Ridley RB

Colin Braconnier – Springfield RB

Derrick West – Garnet Valley RB

Jack Wilson – Radnor WR

Abel Hoff – Marple Newtown WR

Zach Nelson – Garnet Valley WR


Daquan Perry – Conestoga DL

Justin Fremont – Strath Haven DL

Dan Archibong – Springfield DL

Jonah Jackson – Penncrest DL

Connor Faith – Garnet Valley LB

Eddie Jean – Conestoga LB

Dario Falcone – Radnor LB

Anthony Myers – Strath Haven LB

Paul Somaru – Strath Haven DB

Jon Sklar – Radnor DB

Riciado Jennings – Upper Darby DB

Carmen Christiana – Marple Newtown DB


Alex Bratsis – Strath Haven P

Ben Miller – Haverford P

A crazy night in the Central League

Springfield and quarterback Brian Allen keep the good times rolling with a 21-12 victory over (previously) undefeated Conestoga. Are the Cougars now the team to beat in the Central League?

What a night of football in Delco, specifically in the Central League.

Springfield won the battle of unbeatens against Conestoga, 21-12, to improve to 5-0, 4-0 on the season. Garnet Valley kept pace with a 62-20 trouncing of Harriton.

So, who’s the best team in the Central League? We’ll find out for sure next month, but for now, you can make an argument for both squads. The Cougars are the hottest team, but can they keep up the whole way with a GV offense that seems to be hitting its stride? Springfield owns the top defense in the county (I know the stats say otherwise) and has allowed eight points per game. Pound for pound, Springfield could be the most complete team in Delco. I’m sure Garnet Valley has something to say about that, though.

You just can’t say enough about the progress being made by the Cougars under first-year head coach Chris Britton. Offensively, the Cougars are going to be tested, but so long as their defense continues to excel, they have a great chance to run the table and win a Central League title.

Upper Darby is showing what it can do, too. The Royals won a thriller — to put it lightly — at Strath Haven, which has been competitive in every game but has one win to show for its efforts. The Panthers deserve to be in a better spot record-wise after five weeks. UD, though, is a team that’s trending upward. The ROyals have scored 99 points in their last two games.

Elsewhere in the Central League, Haverford bounced back from its loss to Springfield a week ago with an impressive 28-14 decision over Penncrest. Surprisingly, perhaps, is that the Lions, who had such high expectations following a seven-win campaign, are 1-4 in 2014.

Oh, lest we forget Ridley, which like Upper Darby also seems to have turned things around. After losing at Garnet Valley two weeks ago to fall to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in league play, coach Dennis Decker’s team has looked like the Ridley of old. The Green Raiders took care of business against Radnor, 27-3, for their second straight win.


Week 2 Game Article Links

Thursday, Sept. 4

Friday, Sept. 5

All-Central League

As presented by the coaches, here is the 2013 All-Central League football team.

Please note, All-Central League does not dictate the All-Delco selection process, or vice versa.



QB: Chris Rossiter, Upper Darby

RB: Vince Razzano, Garnet Valley

RB: Kevin Leyden, Haverford

RB: Cyrus Barlee, Upper Darby

TE: John George, Penncrest

TE: John McGrogan, Garnet Valley

WR: De Andre Pendergrass, Upper Darby

WR: Matt Borchert, Ridley

Center: Dom Marascio, Springfield

Offensive Line: Scott Hirshman, Conestoga

Offensive Line: David Bertone, Garnet Valley

Offensive Line: Chip Rossino, Haverford

Offensive Line: Jonah Jackson, Penncrest

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Weekend Notebook: Is the Central League up for grabs?

Two weeks does not a season make, but it appears my projections for Haverford High were a tad overblown.

In my opinion, the Fords entered the 2013 as one of the favorites to win the title.

Can the Fords rebound from a disappointing first two weeks and make noise in the Central? Absolutely. But they, like perennial favorite Ridley, have dug themselves a hole, while teams such as Penncrest (2-0), Conestoga (2-0), Garnet Valley (2-0) and Springfield (2-0) have emerged. Also, there’s Upper Darby, a real wild card that played Garnet Valley tough for four quarters.

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View from the desk, Week 4

Though I had the pleasure of heading out of the office to cover a game, Archbishop Carroll’s ill-fated outing against Archbishop Ryan, I had some time to check out the numbers for the other contests spread across the soggy Delco weekend. Allow me then to tease out some of the more impressive performances.

1: First downs allowed by Ridley in its 27-7 win over Marple Newtown. The Tigers only score came on an 88-yard kick return by Cimirrow Moat, who was limited to 60 yards on the ground.

2: Safeties by Episcopal Academy in the second half of its come-from-behind win over The Hill School, 11-8.

-2: The perplexing amount of yards for Cardinal O’Hara quarterback Dashawn Darden on 5-of-11 passing. Still trying to get my mind around that one.

2:47: Time in the fourth quarter it took for West Catholic to turn a 14-6 deficit into a 18-14 win over Haverford School. The decisive rushing touchdown by quarterback Jaleel Reed came with 26 seconds remaining in the game. Continue reading

Questions abound in second week of Central League play

At the risk of sounding like a misguided ESPN brand manager, Friday’s slate of Central League games promises to be an early filter in sorting out the leagues various echelons. All 12 teams enter with serious question marks and genuine opportunities to either allay those fears or have them realized. What we know about each of these teams will come into clearer focus by Saturday morning.

I’ll take you game-by-game with the burning question for each.

Is Marple Newtown for real?

Strath Haven quarterback Kevin Mohollen may be tested by Marple Newtown's defense. (Daily Times/Robert J Gurecki)

Scoring 83 points while allowing zero against anyone is impressive, but the Tigers have done so against a pair of teams in Penncrest and Sun Valley who look unlikely to win many more games than their point totals against MN. We know Cimirrow Moat is a force to be reckoned with on the ground, but this is the first test for the complementary components of that offense, like Jamie Ridinger and the passing game. Moat will also face a stiff challenge in a Strath Haven defense that despite massive retooling from a district championship squad a year ago has allowed a mere six points in two games. This could also be the first time the Panthers have to muster a threat in the passing game, with quarterback Kevin Mohollen needing just three completions combined to get his first two wins as a starter. By the end of the game at MN Friday, we should know whether the Panthers are again among the class of the Central or if the Tigers warrant mention in that category.

How good is Ridley? Continue reading