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All-Delco Football: Offense – Marple Newtown’s Paoletti fights through injuries to anchor First Team again

In addition to Daily Times Player of the Year Danny Guy of Garnet Valley, the rest of the All-Delco offense includes:

Anthony Paoletti, Marple Newtown: The two-time All-Delco and record-breaking quarterback battled through a litany of injuries this season. While his overall statistics suffered at times, Paoletti’s drive, determination and reputation as the best quarterback in Delco never waned. As one Central League rival coach bluntly stated: “Paoletti was the best quarterback, period.” Although he had competition from the likes of Penn Wood’s Desman Johnson Jr., Haverford High’s Jake Ruane and Springfield’s Jack Psenicska, all of whom garnered serious first team consideration, Paoletti showed on a weekly basis why he was — with sore knee, banged-up shoulder and all — the cream of the crop at his position. Paoletti shattered Marple Newtown coach Chris Gicking’s longstanding county record for most passing yards in a career, finishing with 6,944 yards. That record-breaking effort came one year after Paoletti became the single-season passing champion with 2,793 yards. In his senior year, Paoletti threw for a county-leading 2,263 yards to go with 21 touchdowns and a 54.2 completion percentage. His 308 passing attempts were, by far, the most in Delco. Paoletti, who earned Mini Maxwell Award honors for his excellence on the field and in the classroom, will continue his career at the University of Delaware.

Episcopal Academy’s DeeWil Barlee was a workhorse at running back and in the defensive secondary (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

DeeWil Barlee, Episcopal Academy: There might not have been a more fierce competitor in Delco than the junior running back. A serious contender for Player of the Year honors, Barlee was the driving force of Episcopal’s 2017 campaign. He accrued 1,268 yards and 20 touchdowns on the ground en route to leading the Churchmen to a 6-4 overall record. Barlee set the school record for most points in a season with 132, surpassing former NFL player Kyle Eckel’s previous mark of 120 points. He had a career day in September against Conwell-Egan when he ran for 259 yards and five touchdowns. In the season finale, a 35-21 victory over The Haverford School, Barlee amassed 200 yards and four touchdowns. In addition, Barlee never missed a play on the defensive side of the ball where he excelled as a safety. Coming into his senior campaign, Barlee figures to be one of the most highly recruited players in the area.

Marlon Weathers, Marple Newtown: Weathers triggered his inner beast-mode down the stretch, turning a so-so junior season into an excellent one. His performance late in the regular season and in the playoffs helped the Tigers return to the District 1 Class 5A semifinal round for the second year in a row. Weathers was the leading rusher in Delco with 1,544 yards and 21 touchdowns. He racked up 6.1 yards per carry and posted back-to-back efforts of 250-plus yards on the ground. In the Tigers’ first-round postseason victory over Oxford, Weathers carried the team with 258 yards and four touchdowns. In three playoffs contests, Weathers accrued 484 yards and six TDs.

Dash Dulgerian, Marple Newtown: For the second season in a row, Marple Newtown is the home of Delco’s leading receiver. Dulgerian finished 32 yards from tying the county’s single-season receiving record of 1,266 yards previously set in 2000 by Strath Haven great Josh Hannum. The senior did, however, become the county’s all-time record holder in catches in a single season with 82, breaking All-Delco and former teammate Abel Hoff’s record of 72 in 2015. It’s not a coincidence, of course, that arguably the best wide receivers in the county — Hoff, Dulgerian and 2016 All-Delco Cameron Mathes — all played alongside the top quarterback in the land, Anthony Paoletti. This season Dulgerian had 82 receptions for 1,234 yards and seven touchdowns. In the Tigers’ season-opening loss in Florida, Dulgerian became the first Delco receiver in five years to amass more than 200 yards in a game.

Kennedy Poles, Penn Wood: The junior wide receiver was an unstoppable force and star of one of the top passing attacks in the county. Poles posted 42 receptions for 1,181 yards and 14 touchdowns, the most of any receiver in Delco. His efforts, combined with the breakout performance of sophomore quarterback Desman Johnson Jr., propelled the Patriots to new heights in 2017. As a defensive back he broke up a play in the end zone to help seal Penn Wood’s 16-14 win over Interboro, which put the team on the path toward an unbeaten record in the Del Val League. In the Patriots’ first-round District 1 Class 6A playoff loss at Perkiomen Valley, he hauled in five catches for 193 yards and two TDs. Going into his senior campaign, Poles needs 1,112 yards to break the county record for most receiving yardage in a career, which has stood since 1999.

Lee Holbert, Strath Haven: Highly respected for his performance as a two-way lineman, the 6-3, 285-pound senior was a stalwart in the trenches for the Panthers, who posted a

Penn Wood wide receiver Kennedy Poles had the most touchdown catches of any player in Delaware County and finished second in yardage. (Digital First Media/Pete Bannan)

6-6 overall record and won a District 1 postseason contest for the first time since 2010. With Holbert showing the way, the Panthers had one of their best offensive seasons since their last district championship team, seven years ago. Holbert’s play at left tackle helped running back Zack Hussein become one of the top rushers in the county. In addition Holbert was a force at defensive tackle, racking up 61 tackles, 11 quarterback hurries and one sack.

Colin Hurlbrink, Haverford School: Although the Fords endured a trying one-win campaign, Hurlbrink was as good as they come in the Inter-Ac League as a lineman who dominates on both sides of the ball. The two-time All-Delco and all-league selection played in nine of the Fords’ 10 games, registering four tackles, including seven for a loss, five sacks and one fumble recovery. On the offensive line is where Hurlbrink did most of his damage throughout his four-year scholastic career. The Mini Maxwell Award winner is committed to Lafayette.

Adam Klein, Episcopal Academy: The senior lineman played a major role in helping Barlee have such a magnificent season running the ball. Barlee always offered credit to his offensive line, most notably Klein, who flourished at tackle. The 6-4, 270-pound tackle paved the way for a run offense that averaged 225.3 yards per game and nearly six yards per carry. Klein was also a menace as a defensive tackle. Klein, who is an All-Inter-Ac League selection and Mini Maxwell Award recipient, committed to Temple prior to  his senior campaign.

Tom Mahoney, Garnet Valley: Year after year, the Jaguars churn out quality offensive linemen and this season was no different. The 6-1, 230-pound senior was the center and anchor of the Garnet Valley O-line. With Mahoney directing traffic, the Jaguars broke the single-season team record for most rushing yards (4,302). Mahoney’s leadership upfront played a large, yet underrated part in helping the Jaguars advance to the District 1 Class 6A final for the second year in a row. Moreover, with Mahoney leading the way, running backs Danny Guy and Matt Lassik both eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. No other team in Delco boasted two 1,000-yard rushers.

Derek Strain, Springfield: Another outstanding two-way lineman, Strain was a difference maker for Delco’s No. 1 team. As an offensive guard, the athletic 5-11, 210-pound senior helped open running lanes for 1,000-yard rusher Ja’Den McKenzie and protect first-year starting quarterback Jack Psenicska, who passed for more 2,000 yards. Strain’s blocking enabled the Cougars to average 330 yards per game. As a defensive end Strain registered 51 tackles and a sack.

No player had more total yards from the line of scrimmage than Julz Kelly, Sun Valley’s junior all-purpose threat (Pete Bannan/Digital First Media)

Julz Kelly, Sun Valley: In terms of excitement value, maybe no player brought more bang to a buck than the Vanguards’ junior all-purpose standout. Out of the Wildcat formation, Kelly ran for nearly 1,000 yards (958) with 14 touchdowns. He was Sun Valley’s best wide receiver, too, catching 37 passes for 636 yards and three scores. Kelly amassed the most yards from the line of scrimmage in the county. Moreover, he is a top-shelf defensive back, returner and punter. Kelly tried punting on a whim midway through the season and proved to be a natural. Kelly had one of his best games on Thanksgiving morning when he scored three touchdowns (run, catch and fumble return) as the Vanguards closed their five-win season with a 32-30 decision over Chichester.

James Silvi, Episcopal Academy: The senior was the county’s top kicker in 2017. He drilled three field goals of 35 yards or longer, including a 43-yarder in his team’s 18-0 victory over Germantown Academy. Silvi finished the year with six successful field goal attempts. He went 5-for-5 on extra-point tries on three occasions and totaled 29 points on the year.

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