Penn Char­ter preps for sea­son

The Review - - Front Page - By Rick Cawley For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

Pre­sea­son foot­ball fore­cast­ing must al­ways be tem­pered with the knowl­edge that high school coaches tend to use a “glass half-full” approach when siz­ing up their team’s chances in the up­com­ing sea­son. De­spite any loss of per­son­nel due to grad­u­a­tion from the pre­vi­ous year, coaches tend to be eter­nally op­ti­mistic that some­one will step up and fill any and all ros­ter holes. This is cer­tainly the case with the 2017 Penn Char­ter squad and it’s head coach, Tommy Coyle.

Coyle, en­ter­ing his fifth sea­son at the hel­mof theQuak­ers, has com­piled a 20-20 record over that span. PC is com­ing off a 6-3 sea­son; how­ever, the Quak­ers were only 2-3 in the highly com­pet­i­tive In­ter-Ac league. It should be noted that those three losses were by a com­bined 11 points, in­clud­ing a heart­break­ing 17-14 de­feat at Ger­man­town Academy on a last-sec­ond field goal in the sea­son­fi­nale. Abreak here or there in those games could have re­sulted in things go­ing in a more pos­i­tive di­rec­tion and pos­si­bly a 4-1 In­ter-Ac record.

The No. 1 ques­tion coach Coyle has to ad­dress as he read­ies his charges for its opener with Lans­dale Catholic on Sept. 2 in Ocean City is how to re­placeMike “Neeko” Hnatkowsky at the quar­ter­back po­si­tion. Hnatkowsky rewrote the record book on pass­ing at PC and set all-time In­terAc marks in com­ple­tions (394), pass­ing yards (6172) and TDs (60). That’ll be some big shoes to fill. Wait­ing in the wings for a shot as start­ing sig­nal-caller is a trio of hope­fuls, in­clud­ing Will Sa­muel, Jor­dan Wil­son, and Kyle Jones. Coyle says that the “com­pe­ti­tion is still wide-open”. Sa­muel and Wil­son each took snaps in 2016 and have ex­pe­ri­ence run­ning the of­fense. Jones al­so­hap­pens to­bea­main cog as a line­backer in Coyle’s de­fen­sive scheme.

Although PC lost some valu­able skill play­ers from 2016 in the likes of re­ceiver Chris Tucker and tight end Luke Stans­field, ju­nior run­ning back Ed­ward Saydee will re­turn to carry the bulk of the of­fen­sive load. Saydee, who trans­ferred to PC af­ter his fresh­man sea­son at Prep Char­ter and ac­cu­mu­lated over 900 yards rush­ing last year along with 16 TDs, will be a dual threat out of the back­field. Coyle sees the blos­som­ing of some other play­ers as hav­ing im­pact on the of­fen­sive game plan as well. They in­clude the multi-pur­pose John

Wash­ing­ton, along with run­ning backs Jalon Jones and Gavin Tygh. The re­ceiv­ing corps in­clude Bren­dan Thomas, Ryan Maloney, Tra­jan Wo­mack and Ter­ence Thomp­son, all with var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence and two-way play­ers.

Coyle sees his de­fen­sive se­condary as be­ing per­haps the team’s “great­est strength.” He is espe­cially high on the re­turn of safety Bren­dan Thomas, who he feels might be his best de­fen­sive player. Coyle noted the cov­er­age strengths of Saydee, Ter­ence Thomp­son, Jalon Jones and new­comer An­dre O’Neill.

Se­nior cen­ter Casey Ni­cas­tro will an­chor an Oline that will also in­clude key re­turnees like se­nior Luke Mat­tice, sopho­more Dean Cro­cetto and first year left tackle Ryan Reece. De­fen­sive end Ryan Maloney will use his speed and quick­ness to boost the de­fen­sive line and cre­ate havoc on op­po­nent’s of­fenses.

If last year’s un­der­class­men can step up and fill the va­can­cies brought on by grad­u­a­tion, as Coyle be­lieves they will, Penn Char­ter has the pieces to chal­lenge the In­ter-Ac hi­er­ar­chy. There’s no way to pre­dict the in­tan­gi­bles that come along as the re­al­i­ties of the sea­son get un­der­way, yet PC does have the tools to im­prove on 2016’s 2-3 league mark if things do in­deed fall into place.

Of­fen­sive Player to Watch

A three-sport ath­lete, Sa­muel has a pro­to­type QB body along with a short­stop’s can­non arm. Sa­muel has the skill set and work ethic to de­velop into an out­stand­ing quar­ter­back.

De­fen­sive Player to Watch

Saydee has emerged as one of the top of­fen­sive weapons in the In­ter-Ac and a solid de­fender in the de­fen­sive back­field. Look for Saydee to break 1,000 yards this sea­son as well as dou­ble digit TDs on of­fense while mak­ing an im­pact on de­fense.

RICK CAWLEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Penn Char­ter Quak­ers pre­pare for the up­com­ing foot­ball sea­son dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice.

RICK CAWLEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Penn Char­ter Quak­ers pre­pare for the up­com­ing foot­ball sea­son dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice.

RICK CAWLEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Penn Char­ter Quak­ers pre­pare for the up­com­ing foot­ball sea­son dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice.

RICK CAWLEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

The Penn Char­ter Quak­ers pre­pare for the up­com­ing foot­ball sea­son dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice.

Will Sa­muel

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