Glas­gow High aims for foot­ball play­offs

Newark Post - - Local News - By JON BUZBY jon­bubzy@hot­mail.com

Play­off as­pi­ra­tions are high for the Glas­gow foot­ball pro­gram as it enters its sec­ond sea­son play­ing in Divi­sion II.

Last sea­son, the Dragons fin­ished 5-5 with a young team that head coach Shan­non Riley knew would gain valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence that would pay off in the fu­ture. The fu­ture is now for the Dragons, as Riley wel­comes back seven starters on de­fense and 10 play­ers who have started at least five games on of­fense.

“I feel we have the po­ten­tial to be a tour­na­ment team,” Riley said prior to the start of pre­sea­son prac­tice. “We have ex­pe­ri­ence, speed and size. We have a very tal­ented team but have to con­tinue to build on the team con­cept.”

Riley’s feel­ing about his team re­mained the same af­ter see­ing them play live in a scrim­mage against Car­avel Academy on Satur­day night.

“We did pretty well,” said Riley, who begins his 11th year at the helm of the Dragons’ pro­gram. “I was re­ally im­pressed with our de­fense. Our of­fense needs work but had some good glimpses as well. I would say both teams have a great chance to go far.”

Ju­nior Isa­iah Wil­son re­turns un­der cen­ter for the Dragons. Wil­son, a twoyear starter, pro­vides the ex­pe­ri­ence every coach is look­ing for at the quar­ter­back po­si­tion.

“Isa­iah re­turn­ing as a third-year starter is big for us,” Riley said. “He un­der­stands the sys­tem and is con­fi­dent in his checks and reads. He also spent a lot of time in the weight room ad­ding size and strength. He is a ma­jor weapon this sea­son.”

One of Wil­son’s main tar­gets will be Ja’Saan Cun­ning­ham, who, ac­cord­ing to Riley, is one of the fastest wide re­ceivers in the state. Cun­ning­ham gained valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence this past summer when he played on the United States team at the Un­der-19 World Cham­pi­onships in China.

“I feel like we came out there and set the tone,” Cun­ning­ham said af­ter the scrim­mage. “We didn’t open our of­fense up, just the ba­sic plays. Five days of prac­tices, it’s hard to de­velop some plays, but we did well. We have a lot of younger guys in and first-year play­ers to get their feet wet. We’re go­ing to be a very good team.”

All-Con­fer­ence wide re­ceiver Michael Cre­dle is an­other tar­get and, ac­cord­ing to Riley, is the team’s pri­mary leader.

“Now be­ing one week in, we know what we have to work on to be­come bet­ter,” Cre­dle said. “But also we have seen how great we can be­come as well. We have to work a lot harder be­cause we didn’t show in the scrim­mage all the pieces that need to be there to be a state cham­pi­onship team.”

In ad­di­tion to an al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced re­turn­ing lineup, a pair of trans­fers will make an im­me­di­ate im­pact on both sides of the ball.

Ju­nior Keishawn Jones, a trans­fer from Jersey City, N.J., who is get­ting ma­jor col­lege in­ter­est, is ex­pected to start. In ad­di­tion, Tyrique Wood­land, who played at Glas­gow his fresh­man and sopho­more years be­fore trans­fer­ring to Eastern Chris­tian Academy (Elk­ton, Md.), re­turns to Glas­gow for his se­nior year.

“The ad­di­tion of Wood­land and Jones is huge for us,” Riley said. “They bring an added el­e­ment of speed, skill and ath­leti­cism.”

Glas­gow scrim­mages St. Mark’s at home tonight at 6:30 p.m. and hosts Del­cas­tle on Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. The Dragons’ opening game is Sept. 9 at Seaford in the sec­ond game of a home-and-home se­ries. The Dragons de­feated the Blue Jays 40-2 in last sea­son’s opener.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Glas­gow Ju­nior Isa­iah Wil­son re­turns for his third sea­son at quar­ter­back with hopes of lead­ing the Dragons to the state tour­na­ment.

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