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Main Line squads ready to kick off 2015 football campaign

The Main Line high school football season should feature some strong teams this fall. Haverford School was undefeated in InterAc play last fall, and although the Fords lost 22 seniors to graduation last spring, they still have the All-InterAc Co-Player of the Year (2014) in Dox Aitken. Malvern Prep, playing at Soldier Field in Chicago Aug. 26, should be strong as always. Conestoga and Haverford High are coming off strong 2014 campaigns in the Central League.
Here’s a pre-season look at how the Main Line high school football teams shape up this fall:

Conestoga

Head coach: John Vogan, 15th year.

Last year’s record: 7-4 overall, 6-3 Central League.

Key returnees: senior wide receiver/linebacker Pete Jean (6-1, 195), senior quarterback Tim Miller (6-3, 195), senior tailback Corey Manning (6-1, 205), senior fullback/defensive tackle Daquan Perry (5-9, 220), senior tackle Zach Delecce (6-3, 285), senior wide receiver/free safety/quarterback Jon Locantore (6-1, 185), senior wide receiver/linebacker Robert Ackerman (6-4, 215), senior tackle/end/linebacker Will Gradisek (6-2, 220), senior wide receiver/cornerback Dondre Ross (6-0, 180), senior tackle Bill Pauster (6-2, 250), junior guard/defensive end Kade Lamarre (6-2, 220).

Others to watch: senior tackle Jack Mille (6-1, 245), senior wide receiver/strong safety Zach Kravitz (5-10, 170), senior wide receiver/free safety Dave Paolisso (5-10, 170), junior wide receiver/free safety Peyton Jones (6-0, 170), junior wide receiver/free safety Dante Gathers (6-3, 175), senior fullback/linebacker Evan Tannenbaum (5-11, 185), junior fullback/linebacker Ronan Carter (5-9, 210), sophomore center/linebacker Matt Dempsey (6-1, 190), senior wide receiver/cornerback Wes Alexander (5-8, 175).

Lost to graduation: wide receiver Martin Dorsey (playing for Holy Cross), fullback/linebacker Eddie Jean (playing for Dickinson), center Len Watson (playing for Misericordia University), tackle Andrew Frey (playing for Misericordia University), D’lyndon Coleman (playing for Valley Forge Military Junior College), Matt Prestipino, James Carter, Kieran Carter, Parke Schweiter.

Outlook: Vogan said, “We have a good number of lettermen returning who got a taste of the district playoffs, and want to go back. The key for us this season is to be able to find some depth from all of our new players, and to keep our focus on the game ahead of us.”

Episcopal Academy

Head coach: Todd Fairlie, fifth year.

Last year’s record: 5-6 overall, 1-4 Inter-Ac.

Key returnees: senior running back Dee Barlee (5-9, 190); senior defensive back/wide receiver Christian Feliziani (5-8, 165); junior quarterback/defensive back CJ McAnally (6-0, 185); junior quarterback/linebacker Jon’avin Freeman (6-1, 200); junior lineman/nose guard Dallas Taylor (6-0, 250), junior lineman Bob Gibson (5-10, 210). Feliziani, McAnally and Freeman are third-year starters.

Others to watch: sophomore lineman Adam Klein (6-3, 245); sophomore lineman James Bagnell (6-4, 300); junior wide reciver/defensive back Chris Rushton; junior wide receiver/defensive back Cole Johnson (5-11, 180).

Lost to graduation: lineman John Minicozzi (playing football at Dickinson); tight end/linebacker Jake Martilotti; quarterback Ryan Whayland; lineman Kahse Mandarino.

Outlook: Fairlie said, “We will have a lot of new players on the field who have a lot of potential to be good players – their development and our health will determine our success as a team in my opinion. Dee Barlee is looking good and ready for a big year. McAnally and Freeman are competing for the quarterback job, both are coming along nicely [in pre-season] and will probably find themselves on offense at quarterback or another position. We feel like we have depth at wide receiver and defensive back and might look to find ways to use that to our advantage.”

Harriton

Head coach: Justin Mellor, third year.

Last year’s record: 1-11 overall, 1-9 Central League.

Key returnees: senior quarterback Patrick Stewart (6-1, 180), senior offensive lineman/linebacker Gavin McKendrick (6-0, 185), senior tight end/outside linebacker Jake Smolenski (6-1, 185), senior offensive/defensive lineman Zach Zuzelo (6-1, 220), senior wide receiver/defensive back Taj Wright-Rooney (6-2, 170).

Others to watch: junior tight end/outside linebacker Will Thomas (6-2, 215), sophomore wide receiver/defensive back Drew Levin (6-0, 155), sophomore running back/defensive back Charlie Veasey (5-10, 160).

Lost to graduation: wide receiver/defensive back Jordan O’Donnell (playing for Del-Val College), tight end/linebacker Sam Schlichting (playing for Colgate University).

Outlook: The Rams return quarterback Patrick Stewart, who set a Central League single-season passing record last fall with 2,754 yards. According to Mellor, the ability to run the ball and stop the run will be the key to the Rams competing in their tough Central League schedule.

Haverford High

Head coach: Joe Gallagher, 23rd year

Last year’s record: 8-4 overall, 6-2 Central League.

Key returnees: senior quarterback Jack Donaghy (5-10, 175), senior defensive back Ethan Somel (5-10, 170), junior running back/linebacker Mike Romonofsky (5-11, 200), junior linebacker/tight end Jack Farrell (6-1, 195), senior linebacker Billy Farrell (6-0, 205), senior offensive/defensive lineman Dennis Spaventa (6-0, 215), junior defensive back/wide receiver Chris Trainor (6-0,  170), junior linebacker/running back Luke McCallion (5-9, 175).

Others to watch:  senior linebacker/wide receiver Bob McClure (5-10, 165), junior wide receiver/defensive back Matt Corbitt (5-9, 170), junior running back Kareem Bernard (6-0, 190), senior offensive lineman Adrien Keeney (5-10, 185).

Lost to graduation: Nick Costello ( Lycoming), John Kim ( Lycoming ), Sam Romonofsky ( Lycoming), Brian Ross ( West Chester .)

Outlook: Gallagher said, “We will rely on a very strong defense while the inexperienced offense gains maturity.”

Haverford School

Head coach: Michael Murphy, 11th year.

Last year’s record: 9-1 overall, 5-0 InterAc (champions).

Key returnees: senior quarterback Kevin Carter (5-11, 195); senior wide receiver/free safety Dox Aitken (6-3, 195); senior tackle Brian Denoncour (6-3, 270); senior guard/linebacker Frank Cresta (6-2, 230); senior wide receiver/defensive back Micah Sims (5-8, 160); senior linebacker Mickey Kober (6-1, 215); junior defensive back Eli Godfrey (5-10, 175).

Others to watch: junior running back/linebacker Mallik Twyman (5-10, 205); junior linebacker Chris Kober (5-10, 210); senior wide reciver/strong safety Keyveat Postell (6-2, 175); senior wide receiver/safety Forry Smith (6-3, 190); junior lineman Peter Solomon (6-3, 265); sophomore defensive lineman/offensive tackle Colin Hurlbrink (6-2, 220); junior defensive back/wide receiver Aron Hudson (5-7, 160).

Outlook: Losing 22 seniors is a challenge for any team in the Inter-Ac, and that is what the Fords will face this year. Those 22 seniors had a tremendous impact in all three areas of the football team, according to Murphy, and will be a big hurdle for the Fords this year.  Still, the Fords return Inter-Ac Co-Player of the Year, Dox Aitken as well as record-setting quarterback Kevin Carter. A number of other All Inter-Ac selections return and will be counted on to have another solid season and help bring along some inexperienced players who will need to fill the roles vacated by the graduating seniors. The Fords biggest strengths are experience at quarterback; explosiveness and size at skill positions that could present match-up problems for the Fords’ opponents; and experience in the defensive secondary. The Fords’ biggest concerns are lack of experience along both front lines, running backs without proven game experience, and no proven kicker (as of the pre-season).

Lower Merion

Head coach: Bryan Scopelliti, second year.

Last year’s record: 2-9 overall, 1-7 Central League.

Key returnees: senior quarterback Brandon Jones (5-10, 170), senior running back Isaac Iglesias (6-0, 195), senior wide receiver Brandon Jordan (5-9, 165), senior defensive lineman Ryan McConnell (6-3, 230), senior linebacker Mike Berg (6-0, 190), senior linebacker Tommy Tice (5-11, 205), senior defensive back Marquis Gee (6-0, 180).

Others to watch: senior defensive lineman Marcus Biddy  (5-11, 205), senior offensive lineman Tanner Eisenhard (6-0, 215), junior wide receiver Rashon Cooke (6-1, 175), junior defensive lineman Miko Allen (5-11, 220), junior offensive lineman Daniel Barcliff  (6-2, 245), sophomore wide receiver Deion Davis (6-2, 175).

Lost to graduation: wide receiver/defensive back Malik Ward, wide receiver/defensive back Jaylen Glasgow (playing for Shippensburg University), lineman Yuejay Reeves  (Bowdoin College).

Outlook: Scopelliti said, “We have a solid group of skill players.  The key to our success is the ability and willingness of our offensive and defensive lines to battle.  A lot of our big guys will be playing both ways.  They need to get their motors running for a large amount of snaps.”

Malvern Prep

Head coach: Aaron Brady, second year.

Last year’s record: 7-4 overall, 4-1 InterAc.

Key returnees: senior defensive end Riley Ammerman (6-3, 225); senior outside linebacker Ryan Murray (6-0, 170); senior linebacker Pat Finley (5-11, 180); senior quarterback/running back/wide receiver Rashon Lusane (6-0, 180), senior center David Lynch (6-0, 210); senior guard John Skrocki (6-3, 235); junior tackle Jake Glavin (6-3, 285), junior running back/defensive back Zac Fernandez (5-9, 175), junior defensive lineman Justin Titchenell (6-0, 250), senior tight end/punter Ian Murray (6-6, 215), senior defensive back Phil DiTrolio (5-9, 180), junior defensive back Danny Sullivan (6-0, 175).

Lost to graduation: quarterback Alex Hornibrook (University of Wisconsin), who passed for a school-record 2,156 yards last fall.

Outlook: Brady said, “The strength of our offense will be our offensive line this year.  They had a great offseason as a group in the weight room. We graduated some great players [to graduation], and we just need the next group of kids to step up and make plays. I’m excited to see the leadership of our senior class and our offensive line. We need to improve against the deep ball and be sound on our gaps. The [defense] will lead our team.  We have  a very tough schedule so we will find out just how good we are.  The game at Soldier Field [Aug. 26] will be great preparation for the season.”

 

Radnor

Head coach: Tom Ryan, ninth year.

Last year’s record: 4-7 overall, 2-7 Central League.

Key returnees: Senior wide receiver/running back/defensive back/kicker/punter Jack Wilson (5-10, 180), senior linebacker Dario Falcone (6-1, 200), senior wide receiver/defensive back Justin DiCarlo (6-2, 175), senior offensive lineman/linebacker Griffin Monaghan (6-2, 210), senior wide receiver/defensive back Alex Hino (6-1, 170), senior wide receiver/linebacker Josh Simpson (6-2, 190), senior offensive lineman Colin Bradley (6-6, 280), senior defensive lineman Alex Denolfo (6-5, 210), junior defensive lineman Isiah Coates (6-1, 190), junior offensive lineman Matt McCue (5-11, 205) and junior H back/wide receiver/linebacker Charlie Connolly (6-4, 205).

Others to watch: junior quarterback Pat McDermott (5-11, 175).

Lost to graduation: offensive/defensive lineman Alex Andersen (playing for University of Pennsylvania).

Outlook: Ryan said, “We have depth at the skill positions. We need to compete each week and stay healthy.”

 

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