40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 32 – Parkland (11) – Big School Team # 5
Junior quarterback Devante Cross is back after putting up nearly 2,000 total yards last year. Devante had 843 yards rushing on 121 attempts for 11 touchdowns. He threw for 1,055 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 picks and was 87 for 151.
“He has good speed, great vision and he’s explosive. He reads things very well. He’s an excellent runner. We like to roll him out and let him make plays at times. He has good field vision and sees the whole field. He has a lively arm. He throws the ball accurately, and he doesn’t force passes. He will either eat the football or try and make a play running. He can throw the ball short and long depending on what the defense gives us.”
Parkland graduated one of the top running backs in the Lehigh Valley. Kareem Williams rushed for almost 2,000 yards for the Trojans last year. Who will be the next to step up? It may be by committee this year.
“Loosing Kareem is a big lost. He was a 2,000-yard rusher. But we have good candidates for the job. The challenge is which kid is going to step up and say I’m taking this job.”
Erik DiGirolamo is one of those guys.
“Some of them have game experience. Erik is a bigger kid. He got some playing time and did a good job for us.”
Junior Unique Divine will get some reps this fall.
“He was mainly a JV player last year and he rushed for 1,000 yards.”
Preston Saylor is another candidate to keep an eye on. The two backup quarterbacks may get some carries this year. They are Ethan Persa and Nolan Ridgway.
You may see Jarey Elder in the backfield at times. Keep a eye on Rick Panella.
The Trojans return three offense linemen from last year’s team. They are senior center Omar Haddad, senior guard Tom Stenulis and senior guard Kyle Krisher.
“Omar is our leader and has the most experience. Last year when Tom went down Kyle started all the playoff games for us. This is the first time in five years that we have more than one guy returning.”
Noel Brouse and Patrick Ferry will be the tackles.
Andrew Bennett and Josh Dieter add depth to the line.
At wide receiver Parkland returns one of the top players in the Lehigh Valley. Jarey Elder Last year, Jarey had 261 yards receiving, 21 receptions and two touchdowns. He had 5 punt returns for 82 yards and 3 kickoff returns for 51 yards.
Note: Jarey missed 6 games and he played sparingly in the 7th. He was not full go until late in season.
“His main position is a slot receiver. His biggest asset is catching the ball and another is his route running. He understands what the defense is doing and is good at adjusting his route. We try and get him the ball with some bubble screens at times. He has outstanding hands and if he can get his hands on it he catches it. He has great concentration on the ball and good body control. When he has the ball he has very quick, good lateral movement, good hip and a good burst. When we run toward his side, he’s a very good blocker.”
Gabe Clark will get some playing time at receiver this fall along with Kenny Yeboah.
“Both these kids have nice height at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5. They are both athletic kids.”
Anthony Pagliaro and Nick Zambelli have some experience at receiver. Zach Bross and Justin Anderson may see time at spilt end.
Parkland’s defensive line returns two tackles and one defensive end from last year’s team. Omar Haddad has experience for two years at end.
Amir Wallace and Billy Danko are the two returning tackles.
“Amir is a very good football player. He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s strong and runs well. Billy played in every game last year and started in most of them.”
Noel Brouse and Andrew Bennett are candidates on the line.
“Both players will battle it out in camp.”
Preston Saylor is the only returning starter at strong side linebacker.
“He was one of our leading tacklers last year. He’s a guy that is always around the ball and makes plays. He has good speed and runs well.”
Stephen Ewald has experience at linebacker along with Erik DiGirolamo. Marios Delis saw action last year.
“All three of these kids played some last year.”
The strength of the defense is the secondary. They return three safeties and cornerback Jarey Elder.
“He’s the captain of our defense and he understands the concepts and has really outstanding football knowledge. He’s very physical out there and has great vision. He’s always in the right spot.”
Nick Zambelli and Anthony Pagiliaro are two returning safeties.
“Both kids are very intelligent. They know there way around the field and can be physical out there.”
Nolan Ridgeway will get some playing time in the secondary.
Josh Dieter is another safety to watch and Devante Cross may play some in the secondary as a corner.
“Devante is a tremendous corner. He’s an outstanding defensive back and is physical. He can come up and make tackles and is an outstanding cover corner. He’s going to play some this year.”
Zach Bross is another kid that can play safety or corner for the Trojans along with Justin Anderson.
Special Teams Preview:
One of the top kickers in Eastern PA returns for the Trojans. His name isJake Bissell.
“He’s the best kicker I ever had. Most of the time he either kicked the ball off out of the end zone or in the end zone. He’s a outstanding weapon.”
Jake is also the punter.
“He’s a outstanding punter and averages 35-40 yards a punt. He gets good hand time.”
Jarey Elder and Gabe Clark are the kick and punt returners. Nolan Ridgeway could be back there too.
Omar Haddad is the long snapper.
Head Coach: Jim Morgans
2013 Record: 12-2
Key Starters Lost: Kareem Williams; Eli Redmond; Naze Haddad; Legend Boyeson; Ryan Hunt; Josh Walmer; David Barber; Dom Rossetti
Offensive Starters Returning: (5)
Devante Cross (QB) Jr
Jarey Elder (Rec) Sr
Omar Haddad (C) Sr
Tom Stenulis (G) Sr
Kyle Krisher (G) Sr
Jake Bissel (K) Sr
Defensive Starters Returning: (8)
Devante Cross (S) Jr
Jarey Elder (C) Jr
Omar Haddad (DE) Sr
Preston Saylor (LB) Sr
Amir Wallace (DT) Sr
Nick Zambelli (S) Sr
Anthony Pagiliaro (S) Sr
Billy Danko (DT) Jr
Key Newcomers: Erik DiGirolamo (RB,LB) Jr; Nolan Ridgeway (ATH) Jr; Gabe Clark (WR) Sr; Kenny Yeboah (WR) Jr; Noel Brouse (DL,OL) Jr; Andrew Bennett (DL, OL) Jr.
D1 (FBS & FCS) Prospects: Jarey Elder Sr. (DB,WR); Tom Stenulis Sr. (OL,DL); Jake Bissell (K)
Key Stats: Defense gave up 11.2 points per game; Offense 32.6 points per game scored
2014 Outlook: With a lot of players returning and key newcomers, we expect to compete for the championship again this year but it will take hard work and commitment. This is something that has been passed down from class to class so we expect our underclassmen will perform based on the senior’s example that was set.
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