40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 23 – Episcopal Academy (Inter-Ac) – Small School Team # 9
At quarterback Ryan Whayland returns after a record setting junior year. He passed for 2,091 yards on 134 of 239 passes for 2,091 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“He has a very strong arm and throws a really good ball. He’s a good decision maker and has good feet in the pocket. He’s an athlete and can move around the pocket to avoid the rush and is comfortable throwing on the run. He’s a big guy and this year he’s going to run the ball a little more than last year and if he has to lower his shoulder to get the extra yards, he will.”
On the offensive line they return two starters from last year’s team. John Minicozzi (6-0, 260) played left tackle and this year they are moving him back to the center position.
“He started for us as a freshman on defense. His sophomore year he played center and nose guard. Last year he played left tackle and nose guard and was all-league. We’re going to move him back to center for his senior year.”
Austin Morgan returns at right guard where he started every game last year.
“He did a great job for us last year and has good experience at guard.”
They have five or six guys battling for the two tackle spots and the one guard position. They are Kahse Mandarino, Chris Redden, Bob Gibson, A.J. Cutrufello and Ben Burman.
“We won’t know until camp starts how these five guys will do. We are doing some good things in the summer workouts and they are working hard at it. Anytime you have to replace your line it’s a challenge. But we have depth and players that will compete.”
At running back the Churchmen return Dee Barlee from last year’s team. Dee rushed for almost 700 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
“He had hurt his hamstring and it affected his game most of the year last year. Before he got hurt he had four games over 100 yards. Dee is a tough physical runner with good size. We expect big things from him going into his junior year. He’s in the best shape of his life. He has good vision and is a tough kid.”
Jake Martilotti is the h-back in their spread offense.
“He’s a very good blocker and will be our lead blocker in the backfield at times. We will throw to him out of the backfield.”
Christian Feliziani is another guy that will get some carries this year.
“When he isn’t lined up at receiver he will get some carries in the backfield. He’s an athletic kid that can run the ball and catch it.”
Andrew Caviston will be in the mix.
“He’s a secondary runner who’s shifty and gives a different look than Dee.”
At wide receiver sophomore Christian Feliziani caught 20 passes last year and another guy to watch is CJ McAnally.
“CJ started seven games last year on defense. He will be one of the receivers this year. He’s very dynamic and is a very athletic kid. I think we’re going to find ways to get him the ball whether it’s in the run game or at receiver. This year we’re going to line up CJ and Christian in different spots.”
On the defensive line the Episcopal returns four-year starter John Minicozzi at nose guard.
“He has started every year as a nose guard. He’s very strong and athletic. Playing over the center he eats up a lot of double teams. He causes a lot of problems over the center. He plays every snap on defense.”
When camp opens up there will be a battle for the remaining two spots on the line.
“The same guys battling for the offensive line positions are battling for the two defensive line job.”
They are Kahse Mandarino, Chris Redden, Bob Gibson, Dallas Taylor, A.J. Cutrufello and Ben Burman. Also Brian Snow is another guy to watch.
“We like to rotate a lot of guys on the line and it’s going to depend on how camp goes and if they can compete. So we will find out when camp starts if this group of guys can perform.”
At linebacker one of the guys back is sophomore JonAvon Freeman.
“He started at corner for us and has grown a good amount. We want to get him close to the line of scrimmage. He’s more of a hybrid safety/linebacker. I want him to play some coverage and he’s athletic. He’s physical on the edge.”
Jake Martilotti returns as a starter from last year’s team.
“He’s our leader of the linebackers and he had a strong year for us last year. He was one of our better defensive players. He gets to the ball really well and is a strong tackler. He moves well and is good in open space.”
Austin Morgan is the third linebacker to watch.
“He was a backup last year and we feel he will do a good job for us this year. He will play the Mike linebacker. He’s a tough kid and smart.”
Dee Barlee may rotate in at times.
The strength on the defense might be in the secondary. They return three players from last year’s team.
They return both safeties from last year’s team.
Christian Feliziani is one of those guys.
“Christian started the entire year. Christian is a tough player and we ask him to do a lot in all three phases of the game. He can come down and play the run or he’s athletic enough to play over the top.
CJ McAnally is the other safety returning.
“CJ started eight games after we lost a senior last year. He’s more of a free safety who’s very athletic and excellent at playing over the top.”
Andrew Caviston started five games last year at corner.
“He has worked hard in the offseason and is a good athlete. He’s a senior coming back that we feel will do a good job back there this year.”
Zahir Caldwell was a backup last year and came in on third downs.
“He’s doing a nice job competing for the other corner spot. He will get on the field this year.”
Special Teams Preview:
Christian Feliziani, CJ McAnally and Andrew Caviston are the three guys that will return kicks and punts.
“We will probably also put Dee Barlee back there too. He’s a breakaway kid.”
Sophomore Connor Ringwalt is back doing the kicking duties.
“He did a good job his freshman season and he’s gotten stronger. I think he will have more range. He’s very consistent.”
Ryan Whayland or Nick Maras will do the punting this year.
They graduated their long snapper Evan Butts from last year. John Minicozzi and JonAvon Freeman are both battling for that position.
Head Coach: Todd Fairlie
2013 Record: 8-3
Key Starters Lost: Evan Butts, Cody Russell, Anthony Feliziani, Mike Watkins
Offensive Starters Returning: (5)
#53 John Minicozzi SR C
# 12 Ryan Whayland SR QB
# 4 Dee Barlee JR RB
# 52 Austin Morgan SR OG
#3 Christian Feliziani JR WR/RB
Defensive Starters Returning: (6)
#53 John Minicozzi SR NG
# 13 Jake Martilotti SR LB
# 3 Christian Feliziani JR S
# 10 CJ McAnally SO FS
# 9 JonAvon Freeman SO LB/SS
# 22 Andrew Caviston SR CB
D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects:
SR Jake Martilotti LB
SR Ryan Whayland QB
SR Kahse Manderino OL/DL
SR John Minicozzi DL
Key Stats: Ryan Whayland, 2013 passing yards – 2091 *single season inter-ac record. Also had 17 TDs
2014 Outlook: Return some key players from the last two seasons with valuable experience but will need to depend on many young players to step into major rolls.
An experienced quarterback who returns with a few familiar targets should be the strength of the team as well as what we believe to be a big time player developing in JR Dee Barlee.
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