CONCORD >> Danny Guy is a quiet young man who’d rather not talk about his accomplishments on the football field. In other words, he is the prototypical Garnet Valley person and player.
Guy embodies hard work, character and selflessness, the three pillars of head coach Mike Ricci’s famous “Oneness” pyramid.
The Garnet Valley senior has followed the rules and worked tirelessly to make himself not only a better player, but most of all, a better person.
“We have a bunch of hard-working kids at Garnet Valley and Danny Guy works as hard as any of them,” Ricci said. “The thing that sets Dan apart, on the field, is his relentlessness. It’s his refusal to be tackled, his mentality of ‘Give me the ball because I’m going to give you everything I have when I carry it.’ Coupled with that is his complete selflessness and his sheer excitement and his celebration of success with his teammates.”
Guy was a top running back, alongside fellow classmate, Matt Lassik. Both enjoyed 1,000-yard rushing seasons, in a year where most teams in Delaware County didn’t have one rusher, let alone two, who hit that milestone.
But Guy never wants to speak about what he did to help Garnet Valley win football games — a lot of them — this fall. He, like so many of Ricci’s players, does not crave the spotlight. Guy is someone who “carried the team on his back” down the stretch, as Ricci has said, but you would never get Guy to admit to such a thing.
“Dan is very humble and never wants to take any credit,” Ricci said. “He just wants to go out there and do his job. And he does it without opening his mouth. During the course of the season … we have another great running back in Matt Lassik and Matt was a little banged up toward the end of the year. Danny just took over the team and did a tremendous job for us. His refusal to be tackled set the tone for the rest of the team. He upped the level of our overall effort.”
That effort took the Jaguars a long way.
While he might not care to admit it, Guy was extraordinary all season. It’s why he is 2017 Daily Times Player of the Year.
Joining Guy on the All-Delco offensive team are quarterback Anthony Paoletti (Marple Newtown), running backs DeeWil Barlee (Episcopal Academy) and Marlon Weathers (Marple Newtown), wide receivers Dash Dulgerian (Marple Newtown) and Kennedy Poles (Penn Wood), and linemen Lee Holbert (Strath Haven), Colin Hurlbrink (Haverford School), Adam Klein (Episcopal Academy), Tom Mahoney (Garnet Valley) and Derek Strain (Springfield).
Defensively, All-Delco selections were claimed by linemen Cade Brennan (Garnet Valley), Tyric Gould (Cardinal O’Hara), Derrick Korboi (Upper Darby) and Justin Shields (Springfield), linebackers Pat Clemens (Springfield), Milton Mamula (Episcopal Academy) and Ja’Den McKenzie (Springfield), and defensive backs Nasir Greer (Upper Darby), Kyle Long (Springfield), Jordan Mosley (Haverford) and Dahmir Ruffin (Archbishop Carroll).
Sun Valley’s Julz Kelly and Penn Wood’s Rahiem Bowens were selected for their all-purpose abilities, while Episcopal’s James Silvi is the kicker/specialist.
Guy is the first Garnet Valley player to earn Player of the Year honors since Justin Pyle — another great Garnet Valley running back — in 2011.
Guy fit the description of a Jaguar long before he arrived at Garnet Valley. His modesty and unselfish approach to athletics — and life in general — can be traced back to his childhood days.
“I learned that growing up,” said Guy, whose father, Dan Sr, was a standout player at Sun Valley. “Once I got here, it’s just something that stuck with this program even more. All the
coaches and the players and living up to the principles … it’s something that really sticks and it’s something you live by..”
Guy, who hopes to pursue a degree in sports management, recently was named a Mini Maxwell Award winner. Guy certainly fits the bill of the prestigious honor. Players were nominated by their coaches and evaluated based on a criteria that includes on-field performance, academics and community service. Guy is garnering recruiting interest from PSAC programs.
“He’s a model student and athlete,” Ricci said.
Guy showed flashes of his potential last fall in a running back rotation that included his classmate Lassik and Jacob Buttermore, who was an All-Delco in 2016. After Buttermore graduated, Guy and Lassik became the primary ball carriers for the Jags. They became the best one-two punch in the county.
“That was the best thing about this team, that we all stayed together as one and we pushed each other,” Guy said. “We were always there for one another.”
In the middle of the regular season, Guy put forth a pair of performances that put him on the map. He rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a blowout victory over Strath Haven, then ran for 220 yards and three scores to lead the Jags past Haverford in a meeting of Central League unbeatens. In the postseason, Guy was untouchable. Over four games, he amassed 565 yards and eight touchdowns. Ricci lauded Guy’s effort in the District 1 Class 6A final, when Garnet Valley lost an epic battle to Coatesville, 35-28. Guy ran for 201 yards and two scores. Two weeks prior, he played a big part in helping the Jaguars erase a 35-7 deficit against North Penn by running for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
With Guy leading the way, Garnet Valley finished 12-2 overall and advanced to the district championship game for a second straight year.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team,” he said. “We went out and gave it our all.”
It’s something he’ll never brag about but Guy, too, gave everything he had. And he did it the Garnet Valley way.
“The principles of our program are selflessness, hard work and character. The pinnacle of our pyramid is oneness,” Ricci said. “Danny Guy and this group of seniors embodied that throughout everything that they did. Our guys do it year-round and Danny is certainly one of the leaders.”