Patriots primed to build on last year’s District 1 playoff berth
The Central Bucks East Patriots are coming off a memorable 2018 season when they reached the PIAA District 1 playoffs and they will be looking to do more this year.
The Patriots, despite going 6-5 a year ago, reached the District 1 playoffs after winning four straight games to end the regular season.
Ultimately the Patriots lost to Coatesville 48-10 in the first round and Coatesville eventually lost to Harrisburg in the PIAA 6A State semifinals.
Without a doubt Central Bucks East has a lot to be excited about, including head coach John Donnelly.
Donnelly will be entering his 26th year as a head coach and is looking for his 100th career victory.
Donnelly enters the 2019 season with an overall record of 99-109 with a record of 44-49 with the Patriots.
Despite going for his 100th career victory, Donnelly is looking for much more than that.
“We had a great offseason of training,” said Donnelly. “We have a scrimmage against Freedom from Lehigh Valley and they won the District 11 title last year. So we are very anxious to find out what we are all about heading into that.
“We have the standard to keep going into the playoffs,” added Donnelly. “We have been there for 3 of the last 4 seasons and that’s where we want to live but that’s not easy in District 1; the goal is to get there and advance as far as we can.”
Central Bucks East has not beaten Quakertown since October 31, 2014 in a 35-21 victory at Doylestown.
The Patriots will look for a big win against a young Panther team this year to open the regular season on August 23.
After traveling to Hatboro-Horsham in week two, the Patriots will have a three-game home stand against Bensalem (Sept. 7), Pennsbury (Sept. 14), and District One power North Penn (Sept. 21).
The Patriots will also be looking to win its first Suburban One Continental championship since 2005 this season.
Donnelly explained how this team should be successful this upcoming season.
“We are very optimistic about this season,” said Donnelly. “The team has worked hard and is hungry to continue the success we have had in recent years including finishing second in the conference last season, but that is not an easy task in the always tough Suburban One League.”
“Offensively, our line is young but experienced,” said Donnelly. “We have depth at skill positions. Defensively, we have some schematic adjustments that will better fit our personnel.”
“Secondary and defensive line are experienced,” said Donnelly. “Linebacker corps needs to grow up fast. In terms of special teams, we have very talented returners and one of the better kickers in the area.”
Central Bucks East 2019 Schedule
OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Will Silverman, Wide Receiver >> Donnelly says that the one player to keep an eye on this season on offense is junior wide receiver Will Silverman.
“Silverman is a very dynamic tall tough player that can really open some eyes this season,” said Donnelly.
Silverman is expecting big things this season despite losing some key players on offense from graduation last season.
“I think we have a shot to make it a lot further this year than we did last year,” said Silverman. “I think we are a lot more motivated this year and we just have to come out and play our hardest and see how it goes.”
DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH
Mike Smigley, Defensive Back >> The player to stand out on defense, according to Donnelly, will be senior defensive back Mike Smigley.
“Smigley is also our kicker and punter and he was an all-league player for that last season,” said Donnelly. “He had a great training camp so far, so we expect a lot out of him this season.”
Smigley is excited for his defense this season and is hoping for a better turnout in the playoffs this year.
“We are looking very strong this year on defense,” said Smigley. “We have a tight core on defense and we had a strong special teams for the last several years. We expect nothing different from our special teams this season.”
By Ed Morlock; email@example.com