After slow start, Delco Christian is coming on strong

Delaware County Christian School is a Class A program that might not get the recognition playing in a county with a rich tradition of high school football powers.

The Knights will never be mentioned in the same breath as Strath Haven, Ridley and Garnet Valley. They are a little school with a big heart and a goal to succeed at their level.

In less than two years, Drew Pearson has guided the Knights to an impressive 15-5 record. DCCS is in its fifth season as a varsity program, but over that short time, the Knights have competed for Bicentennial League and District One championships every year except for one.

Pearson knew the 2014 season would be much different than last, when the Knights were built to do great things with a nucleus of talent that had been playing the sport for several years. It was conceivable to think the Knights would be take their lumps during a rebuilding year.

Not so fast.

Since a 1-2 start, the Knights have ripped off six consecutive wins and are the No. 1 seed in the District One/12 Sub-Region tournament. DCCS, which hosts Jenkintown Saturday night in the semifinal round, is in position to make its third district final appearance in five seasons.

“I feel like early on in the season we were not a mentally or physically tough team and I feel like now our kids are,’ Pearson said. “They want to play physically tough and they will; they’ll execute that part of the game. I see similarities from this year to last year as far as just getting better as the year goes on. Our kids this year, we lost a lot talent and production last year, so it’s a different group of kids and a different talent level. But I feel like, since they’ve been in our system for two years, they’re in a position where they can better execute on the field.’

Linebackers Alex Linton and Jack Grim have flourished as the leaders of the Knights defense. The Knights’ wishbone offense has done wonders for running back Nazim Trammell-Wells, one of the county’s leading rushers with more than 1,200 yards. Trammell-Wells rushed for 301 yards in last week’s 44-34 victory over Calvary Christian. The Knights could see Calvary again in the district championship game.

“The kids have come so far,’ Pearson said. “There are a lot of new faces, a lot of kids who are in just their second year playing football. We have a lot of those types of kids, so that has made it a challenge for us. To see them on the field and executing has been a lot of fun. ”

· · ·

The drama from the District One seeding meeting boiled over into Tuesday. As committee members worked on finalizing the playoff brackets, representatives from several schools protested their seeding.

At Sunday’s seeding meeting, District One’s steering committee announced that it had changed rules pertaining to bonus points gained for Week 10 Catholic League and Public League games. This announcement came as a surprise to many.

With the understanding the district was not applying these particular bonus points, Academy Park was told it had earned the No. 4 seed in the Class AAA tournament and a first-round home game with fifth-seeded Pottsgrove. However, after a closed-door meeting, the committee decided to use these bonus points, which resulted in Academy Park and Pottsgrove swapping seeds. The flip-flopping left several coaches questioning the motives of the District One steering committee.

Moreover, as of Tuesday afternoon, officials were not given their game assignments for the weekend as several pairings in Class AAAA, AAA and AA remained in question.

· · ·

Starting in 2015, fans will notice small, but rather significant wrinkles to the schedules of their favorite Central League football teams. Springfield-Ridley, for instance, will be a yearly occurrence. Upholding traditional Central League rivalries will be a big emphasis going forward. The two rivals did not meet in 2014.

One of the ongoing issues with the Central League is the growing disparity of Class AAA and AAAA schools. Penncrest returned to Class AAA this year after spending the last handful of years as a Class AAAA program.

Because the District One playoffs are based on an intricate power-point system that awards Class AAAA teams for playing and beating other Class AAAA schools, the aforementioned Central League Class AAAA teams are at a disadvantage. Of the 12 Central League teams, only seven are Class AAA programs.

Beginning in 2015, the Central League schedule will permit two nonleague games. The Class AAA schools, some of which made a push last year to have the league split into two divisions by PIAA classifications (AAAA and AAA), also have the ability to schedule one more out-of-league contest against a school of their size.

· · ·

When Tony Beaty was hired to be the head coach at Chester, he was hired to be the savior of a program in disarray. As recently as last year, the future of Chester football was uncertain.

When Beaty came on board, the outlook brightened.

“Starting with our superintendent, Greg Shannon, since the day he hired me, he’s been all-in. Anything we needed to do, whatever direction we needed to go, he supported us,’ Beaty said. “Right now, we’re working on a freshman team for next year. All of the youth organizations said they would cut their 14-and 15-year-old teams so we could have a freshman team. Everybody is in and they want to make this work.’

The Clippers ended the year at 4-6, including a 3-2 record in the Del Val League. Several top players, including quarterback Nahmir Ishmail, running back/linebacker Arlo Lee Jr. and two-way lineman D’Andre Dill, are back next season.

The facilities have also improved since Beaty took the helm. The field for at Chester Athletic Complex was in its best shape in years for the Clippers’ home finale two weeks ago.

“I’ve seen the progress that we’ve made, it’s just a matter now of putting in the work in the gym this offseason and get stronger and quicker,’ Beaty said. “I see big things for next year.’

· · ·

To contact Matt Smith, email or follow him on Twitter @DTMattSmith. For stats, standings and more high school football coverage, visit

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply