Radnor players and coaches are keeping their fingers crossed that they will play a home game this year.
The ongoing construction project on campus is a bit behind schedule. In July, the Radnor Board of School Directors approved over $650,000 to relocate a water main. That meant the renovated athletic complex, including Prevost Field, was unlikely to be ready by the end of September.
Radnor opened its 2021 season with three straight away games. Last week, the team played its first “home” game at Springfield. Friday’s showdown with undefeated Ridley is now at Phil Marion Field.
The travel hasn’t dampened players’ spirits. In fact, the team has adopted a road warrior mentality. Coach Tom Ryan said nobody has made a fuss about the situation.
“It’s probably affected me more than it’s affected the kids,” Ryan said, laughing. “My captains, they’ve all been great, they’ve kept everyone together. The kids haven’t complained about it at all. We’re just used to getting on a bus every week. There’s been zero complaints from the kids, which is sort of remarkable, but it also shows their maturity.”
Conestoga is allowing Radnor to use Teamer Field for its games against Marple Newtown (Oct. 1) and Strath Haven (Oct. 29). ‘Stoga and Radnor are crosstown rivals separated by just a few miles. Radnor will hold homecoming and senior night festivities during those games.
“Conestoga was very kind to offer us their field,” Ryan said. “It’s kind of what Strath Haven did with Springfield (in 2019) when they were renovating. I’ll always feel bad for the seniors, who just happen to be seniors when this great new facility is being built. It’s going to be an unbelievable facility when it’s finished, from the locker rooms on up. It’s just a bummer the seniors have to go through this right now.”
There is hope that Prevost Field could be ready in time for the 125th game between Radnor and Lower Merion Nov. 6.
As Radnor tries to bounce back from a 1-3 start, Ryan has been very pleased by the consistent effort of senior linebacker Damien Falcone and senior defensive lineman Quinn Ressler.
“Damien is a four-year starter. He has 62 tackles in four games,” Ryan said. “Quinn’s another kid who’s playing really well on defense.”
Ryan said that first-year starting quarterback Jude Wallin is “getting better every day.” Wallin passed for 162 yards and a touchdown in a 23-14 loss to Springfield.
“We just have to eliminate the turnovers,” Ryan said. “The guys are working hard every day and we’re getting better as a team.”
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Del Val League coaches named Chester’s Will Smith and Interboro’s Abu Kamara co-players of the week at their weekly meeting Monday.
Smith scored the winning touchdown when he hauled in a 26-yard pass from Isaiah Freeman as time expired in the fourth quarter. Smith finished with four catches for 84 yards.
Kamara did everything he could to help the Bucs (1-3) upset the unbeaten Clippers (4-0). The senior gained 132 yards on the ground and had a 38-yard touchdown catch.
Other weekly honors went to Chester’s Freeman (quarterback), Colin Ferrell (specialist), Jeremiah Gates (defensive line) and Noble Thompson (linebacker), as well as Penn Wood’s Osman Kamara (offensive line), Auron Stevens (defensive back) and Jayon Haley (athlete).
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Nobody will ever accuse Episcopal Academy of scheduling cupcakes. That’s never been the case as long as coach Todd Fairlie has been in charge, and the Churchmen’s 2021 nonleague slate is quite rough.
Unbeaten after three weeks, EA has wins against West Catholic and Roman Catholic of the Catholic League. Last week they dominated The Hill School.
Friday, the Churchmen host Governor Mifflin (4-0), which has outscored opponents, 202-33. Up next is a date with Blair Academy, one of the top private school programs in New Jersey.
EA’s offense boasts a slew of playmakers including wide outs Jack Hurda, Jake Jaszcz, TJ Lamb and TJ Cadden. Running back Andrew McMeekin has rushed for six touchdowns through the first three weeks. Senior quarterback Jake Fant has passed for 384 yards and four TDs.
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Speaking of unforgiving schedules, Penn Wood’s is right near the top. The Patriots, who are in the middle of a rebuilding phase after posting five straight non-losing campaigns, have totaled 22 points in three games with Avon Grove, William Penn (Del.) and Downingtown West.
Before the Patriots close the regular season with four straight Del Val League match ups, they will meet Bishop Shanahan (3-1) and Great Valley (2-2), from the vaunted Ches-Mont League. In 2019, the leagues agreed on a two-year agreement in an effort to help the 18 schools in the odd-numbered divisions across the leagues to fill voids in their football schedules.
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MOVING THE CHAINS >> Academy Park (3-0) will return to action Friday night at Sun Valley, the Knights’ first game two weeks. AP’s game against Chichester last week was postponed for safety reasons after Southeast Delco School District closed Friday due to a potential threat on school grounds. … Ridley’s special teams unit has produced three touchdowns in the last two weeks: a pair of 80-yard kick returns by Shaheem Powell and an 88-yard punt return by Tahir Mills… Senior linebacker Kenny Winters recorded seven tackles and caused two fumbles in Chester’s thrilling win over Interboro. … Bonner-Prendergast senior running back Mason Peterson averaged 15 yards per carry in a 240-yard performance against Conwell-Egan last week. Peterson has accrued 615 yards and six TDs through four games.