Central League Players to Watch in 2019
Radnor quarterback Sam DiLella tosses a pass during practice. (Pete Bannan - MediaNews Group)
Central League Players to Watch in 2019
Running Back | Conestoga
“Liam is an absolutely hard-nosed kid, the way he runs with the ball and catches the ball,” said Conestoga head coach Matt Diamond. “He’s very versatile – we also use him at wide receiver, as a kick returner and as a defensive back, at either cornerback or safety.”
Defensive End | Conestoga
"His motor never stops – he’s all over the field,” said Conestoga head coach Matt Diamond. “He’s got good size and quickness.” Smith was a second team All-Central defensive lineman last fall, making 13 tackles for losses. He also plays tight end for the Pioneers.
Offensive Line | Garnet Valley
Robert Morris, Fordham, Holy Cross and Bucknell are interested in the developing senior big man, who played some tackle for the Central League champions last year but will be used mostly at guard.
Outside Linebacker | Garnet Valley
A lacrosse All-American who committed to Penn State as a freshman, he can create pressure with his speed and athleticism. The senior will also earn some time at running back and provide the long-snapping.
Running Back | Harriton
The 5-10, 170-pound senior looks to be a versatile performer for the Rams this fall. Copley does double duty, also serving as an outside linebacker for Harriton.
Athlete | Haverford
The 5-11, 195-pounder could be the most dangerous and versatile player in Delco. The Fords can utilize Blair’s incredible skills in all kinds of ways, which should make Haverford a fun team to watch all year.
Free Safety | Haverford
Switching to free safety, where he will have the chance to roam and make more plays in the open field. He should have another productive season as a wide receiver, too. Next year Mosley will join brother, Jordan, on the Maryland football roster.
Quarterback | Lower Merion
Roberts, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior signal-caller, gives the Aces some offensive versatility. “Rodger is a very athletic quarterback with the ability to throw,” said LM coach Evan Breisblatt. “He will be a true dual threat quarterback. Rodger has done a nice job taking on a leadership role throughout the summer and in camp.”
Linebacker | Marple Newtown
A team having lost nine defensive starters to graduation, Marple Newtown is expecting big things from Reilly as a returning leader and hitter.
Offensive Line | Marple Newtown
Just a junior, the imposing 6-3, 270-pound two-way lineman turned heads in summer camps at Villanova, Penn, Bucknell, Fordham and Delaware.
Wide Receiver | Penncrest
A speedy receiver with good hands, the elder of the Cage brothers will be the primary target in the passing game. He also doubles as a linebacker and brings experience to both sides of the ball. He also plays basketball and baseball for the Lions.
Outside Linebacker | Penncrest
Kaut’s strength is his athleticism and his aggressive nature. He likes to hit, which fits in well with Smith’s aggressive approach on defense. He also is an outstanding lacrosse player.
Defensive Tackle | Radnor
Realizing his 6-3, 250-pound frame was better suited for football, he abandoned soccer, dazzled on both lines and quickly was elected by his teammates as a captain.
Quarterback | Radnor
Though new to a full-time starting role after being trapped behind successful Sean Mullarkey, DiLella excelled when he had his chance in a 9-3 season last year, throwing two touchdown passes against Harriton and preparing for his chance to start as a senior.
Running Back | Ridley
The 5-10, 180-pound senior has the most varsity experience at the skill positions and is Ridley’s biggest playmaker. Last year Staley ran for 562 yards and four touchdowns.
Lineman | Ridley
The junior was a standout at linebacker on a Ridley defense that made gradual improvement last season. Wood is expecting a big campaign from the 6-0, 215-pounder converted lineman.
Defensive End | Springfield(Delco)
With an ability to double at tight end, the big, two-way force has received interest from Army, Temple, Delaware and Villanova.
“He’s a great kid,” Cougars coach Chris Britton said. “He was hurt the second half of last season but he got honorable mention All-Central League both ways.”
Athlete | Strath Haven
Pio will perform yeoman’s work at halfback, free safety and kick/punt return. He ran for more than 600 yards as the No. 2 back last year and could very easy eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau this season.
Linebacker | Strath Haven
The senior is a three-year starter at linebacker. Prochniak will be the captain on a defense that could be one of the best in the Central League.
Quarterback | Upper Darby
He begins his second year as a starter. “My job is to make sure everything is OK out on the field, know the plays, and then go out there and execute,” he said. “I have to do whatever I can to make sure we get a touchdown.”
Defensive Back | Upper Darby
In his third year as a defensive starter. “It’s also my first season playing any offense,” he said. “I know defensively we want to always be aggressive and get to the ball. I didn’t have any interceptions last year, but I know once the first one comes this year, others will follow.”