Storied Strath Haven program back on the rise

Remember to pick up the annual Daily Times High School  Football Preview in the Sept. 4 edition of the Daily Times. In it you’ll find full-page preview stories of all 22 teams in Delco, plus full schedules and other goodies.

Coach: Kevin Clancy (25th season)

2014 Record: 5-6 (3-6 Central League)

2014 In Two Sentences: Despite solid production from many of their best skill players, the Panthers couldn’t recover from a stretch of six consecutive losses against Central League foes. While a district playoff berth wasn’t in the cards, the Panthers ended the year with four consecutive victories, averaging 38.8 points over that span.

Key Departures: Justin Fremont (OL-DL), Paul Somaru (SE-DB), Nick Milone (RB-DB), Alex Bratsis (RB-DB), Anthony Myers (RB-DB).

Looking Ahead: With nine starters from last season back in the fold, this is as good a year as any for the Panthers to return to their winning ways. Clancy was happy with the team’s offseason and there is reason for optimism after a strong finish to 2014.

One of the Panthers’ biggest strengths will be their offensive line, anchored by tackles Pete Deeb and Sam Petrovitch, as well as guard Shane Mulhern, all of whom are seniors. The bloodline of any team is a solid foundation in the trenches and the Panthers certainly have that.

Of course, questions about depth have hovered over the program for years, and this season will be no different. Many of Clancy’s varsity players will go both ways.

Players to Watch: The aforementioned Deeb (OT-DE), Petrovitch (OT-DE) and Mulhern (OG-LB) all bring good experience and athleticism to their spots on the offensive line. Clancy believes that Petrovitch (6-5, 250) has the size and grades to compete at a Division I-AA level. Deeb is a three-year starter and Mulhern is lauded for his leadership and competitive streak.

Meanwhile, Elijah Crew (Sr. RB-LB) should receive the bulk of the carries out of the backfield. Crew showed potential while sharing the load with several RBs last fall.

Javon Springfield (Sr. QB-WR-DB) is an interesting talent with a dynamic toolset. He will compete for the starting QB in camp. Other returning starters include Oliver Williams (Sr. OG-DE), Matt Splain (Sr. TE-LB), Roy Chung (Sr. WR-DB) and Kyree Fuller (Sr. WR-OLB).

Coach’s Corner: “As a team, we have had a good offseason. We enter camp with enthusiasm and a competitive attitude,” Clancy said. “Because of our lack of depth, our success will be tied to our ability to stay healthy. Our offensive line returns almost entirely intact.”

Season Opener: Home vs. Prep Charter, Friday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m.

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