[tps_title]Episcopal Academy Churchmen [/tps_title]
McDaniel, Churchmen look to continue building
NEWTOWN TWP >> It’s not a surprise that architecture is one of the fields Marcus McDaniel is thinking about studying in college. The senior quarterback/free safety from Episcopal Academy has been building things for as long as he can remember.
“I go around with my dad (Maurice) helping with houses,” McDaniel said. We would do roofs or put in dry wall. We do charity events. We help fix up churches or pave parking lot. My dad even went to Puerto Rico to fix up houses.”
Finance is another possible field of study, but that’s a decision he will make down the road. McDaniel’s main concern at the moment is constructing a third straight winning season as the starting quarterback for the Churchmen, hopefully one that will end in the team’s first Inter-Ac League title since 2012.
“We have a lot of guys who have experience,” said McDaniel, who lived in Morton before moving to King of Prussia prior to his junior year. “They’re going to be able to come out and do their jobs and we’re going to be able to execute off that.”
Running back/middle linebacker Matt Bush, offensive lineman Paul McLaughlin, two-way lineman Dom Minicozzi will be starting for the third year in a row. Defensive lineman Jake Phelan, Billy Adams and Malcolm Folk, a pair of running backs/defensive backs, and linebacker Dylan Dibeneditto are seasoned varsity players, too.
McDaniel, though, is the man who makes the offense go. He’s a dual threat, which keeps the offense on its toes.
The 6-0, 185-pound McDaniel has amassed nearly 2,800 yards of total offense and compiled a 13-7 record in his two years as a starter. He threw for 1,041 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for 694 yards and six TDs last season to guide the Churchmen to a 7-3 overall record and a 3-2 mark in the Inter-Ac League.
“I’m comfortable doing both,” McDaniel said. “I throw the ball well and I’m confident in my legs to get the job done, too.
“We’re excited about Marcus coming back,” said Todd Fairlie, who enters his ninth season as the head coach at EA. “… Having a three-year starter at quarterback is good. He has the ability to run for 1,000 yards and throw for 1,000 yards. We expect him to have a great year.”
Bush, Adams and Folk will try to fill the void left by the graduation of All-Delco DeeWil Barlee, the leading rusher in program history. That trio accounted for 535 yards and six touchdowns a year ago. Adams did the most damage. He carried the ball 53 times for 325 yards and five TDs as a sophomore.
Juniors Brandon Cox (linebacker), James Hoogstraten (tackle), Joe Graham (tight end) and Aiden Chavis (defensive back) are among the other players to watch.
“We have a lot of athletes,” Bush said. “We’re trying to get people the ball in space and do what they have to do. We’re all really excited about this year. We’re ready to get after it. We have good running backs. I feel we have good team chemistry. Everyone seems to get along with each other and I think our defense is going to be one of our strengths.”
Offensive Player to Watch
Malcolm Folk, Running Back/Defensive Back >> The junior already has an offer from Army and is skilled at running and catching the ball. He had 16 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore. His has good size (6-1, 180) for a safety and has been clocked in 11.21 seconds in the 100-meter dash.
Defensive Player to Watch
Matt Bush, Middle Linebacker/Running Back >> The 6-0, 200-pound senior has good size and speed. Bush led the team in tackles a year ago and earned second-team All Inter-Ac League honors. He is the anchor of a defense that strong at linebacker and in the secondary. Bush also a member of the track team.
By Terry Toohey, firstname.lastname@example.org