Crusaders set for rebuild under new coach D’Addona
LANSDALE >> After more than 30 years as an assistant coach, Dom D’Addona felt the time was right to make a football program his own.
“I’ve always been wanting to do it,” he said. “I’m picky and choosy. I did apply for other jobs and I was offered other jobs. Kind of wishy-washy, I kind of satisfied where I was and just thought, ‘Well, this opportunity come along,’ and I said, ‘You know what, I’m more than ready for it, I think I know what I’m doing.”
What D’Addona has done is take over the head coaching job at Lansdale Catholic, looking to lead the Crusaders back to success and get the green and gold among the contenders in a competitive Philadelphia Catholic League Blue Division.
“It takes me back to my old days like at (Archbishop) Kennedy, Kennedy-Kenrick,” said D’Addona, who before taking the LC job was an assistant at La Salle since 2001. “We’re not dealing with 90 kids like La Salle was there. I takes me back to smaller teams, you’ve really got to build your own depth with the kids you got. Obviously, it’s a different atmosphere now than it was back then.”
The Crusaders had a tough end to 2018, losing their last four to finish 2-7, the program’s third-straight losing season and its lowest win total since the same 2-7 record in 2011.
“We’ve just got to keep the 2-7 season in the back of our minds and know that we’re better than a 2-7 team,” LC senior Evan Hannings said.
D’Addona has the Crusaders starting from scratch in 2019 with both sides of the ball set to have new looks — the offense switching to a spread system while the defense goes to a 3-4 scheme.
“I’m taking this as this is a blank page,” D’Addona said. “So everything needs to be improved upon.”
D’Addona and the Crusaders have a solid building block in that regard as both the offensive and defensive lines are experienced with returning seniors Kevin Gianoni, Nick Scheetz, Jack Kelly and Mike Evangelista.
“I think strengths are up front,” D’Addona said. “I think the offensive line, defensive line, It’s a shame it’s the same guys but you know you’d like to have a little bit more depth but we’ll make do. We’ll move some pieces around and we’ll be able to battle some teams that’s for sure.”
Lansdale Catholic also bring back its leader rushing in senior Danny Dutkiewicz, who earned All-PCL Blue first team honors after collecting 1,273 yards and 11 touchdowns on 230 carries. Dutkiewicz eclipsed 100 yards rushing five times in 2018, twice going over 200-yard mark.
“Definitely it’ll be a lot better,” said Dutkiewicz of the offense. “We’ll be able to pass and throw, spread to people out in the box, We won’t have 10 guys in the box this year. So I think it’s going to go well.”
The Crusader defense looks to improve on the 33.9 points per game it allowed last season. The linebacking corps is a strength while LC’s secondary has veterans in both Hannings and senior Pat Daly.
“This will be my third year starting at cornerback,” Hannings said. “And along with Pat Daly this will be his pretty sure his third year as well. We have the experience. This year we’re going more to a zone, last year we used to run like man, so it’ll be different but it’s going pretty well.”
Lansdale Catholic opened its last seven seasons in Ocean City, New Jersey on Labor Day weekend but this year with a 10-game regular-season schedule LC begins Aug. 24 hosting Father Judge.
“I like it better to be honest,” Dutkiewicz said. “I like having 10 games. It’s our senior year, I’d rather have more games.”
The Crusaders are still making the trek to the shore, facing Inter-Ac side Penn Charter Aug. 31 at Ocean City High School for a fifth consecutive year.
Lansdale Catholic 2019 Schedule
OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Danny Dutkiewicz, RB/LB >> One of the top rushers in the PCL Blue, Dutkiewicz is coming of a 1,273-yard, 11-touchdown campaign that including a pair of 200-yard performances — 227 against Conwell-Egan and 229 against Neumann-Goretti.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Evan Hannings, CB/WR >> The senior is a veteran leader of the Crusaders secondary having started at cornerback the past three seasons.
By Mike Cabrey, firstname.lastname@example.org