40 Teams in 40 Days – Day 8 – Downingtown West (1)
Downingtown West returns a quarterback with good experience from last year. Tyler McNulty platoon with the league’s MVP, Nick Pagel.
“Last summer at this time he wowwed everybody with his work ethic and his leadership as a quarterback. So much so that he forced us to platoon him with Nick last year.
Tyler played in every game last year including playoff games.
“Tyler’s number one strength is his desire to be great. He’s making the kids around him better by his presence. He demands that they show up and do extra work with him.”
Last year the Whippets had two different styles of quarterback. Even though they are a running team first, look for them to throw the ball more with Tyler this year.
“The difference between him and Pagel is Nick was more of an option quarterback and Tyler is more of a natural thrower. He understands about defenses and makes solid decisions. He has the arm strength to make all the throws.”
The Whippets return three offensive linemen from last year, two were sophomores and one was a junior.
John West returns at offensive tackle and Jackson Hale returns at guard. Same Drill is the other returning offensive guard.
Matt Geary is locked in at the center position. He’s a 6-foot-1, 235-pound kid.
“He was probably ready to play last year as a sophomore but we had a senior starter that played well last year for us.”
The other spot that is up for grabs is a battle between two kids. Mike Setlock and Howard Tyson.
“We were so undersized last year and this year we’re a little bigger. All three returning starters came back 15-20 pounds bigger than a year ago. Who ever wins the tackle spot will be big, because both those kids are big. So, we have experience and we’re a little bit bigger. These are our six top lineman this fall.”
The Whippets return experience from last year’s team. They have power and speed to throw at times this year.
“What makes us difficult to defend is our ability to spread the ball around.”
Returning at running back is Jake Barr. He has a lot of skill and can do it all. He can catch the ball. He can run with power and speed.
“Jake got a chance to start last year at the end of the year when a couple of our running backs went down. He stepped in the East game and was a key in our win that game and the next week.”
Another kid returning from last year is Jim DiSantis.
“Jimmy kind of bounced around last year and played some H-Back, running back and wing back. He’s a multi-talented kid. He will play wing back for us this year.”
Also returning from last year is their fullback, Braden Harper.
“He didn’t finish the year last year due to a injury. He’s a talented kid and more of a power runner.”
Sophomore Mike Riddick who played last year as a freshman, is going to see time.
“He’s a rising track star. He is going to be a good football player and keep an eye on this kid.”
At wide receiver we have Jim DiSantis who’s our wing back. They have two kids that started at split end from last year. Colin Domblesky is back and he started eight games last year.
Tom Mattioni is a tremendous athlete to keep an eye on. He’s going to share some time at receiver this year and split time as a quarterback.
“Tom is one of the most explosive talents we have. Tom plays X, he plays quarterback and he plays corner.”
Tight end is a huge question mark going into the season.
“There are four kids auditioning for the spot. We won’t know who it is until camp and maybe some scrimmages.”
Returning on the defensive line is defensive tackle Tom O’Brien. He will play some nose guard.
“We lost him week three to injury last year and he’s back a little stronger, faster and bigger. He’s 240-pounds and will bring size to our D-line. Last year we were undersized at 175-pounds a man.”
Mike Withka is the other tackle returning. This is his second year starting. Brandon Peterson is another tackle to watch. He started last year on offense in the beginning of the season and than they moved him to defense. So, he has some experience on the line.
“I feel that those three are a solid front line on defense. We’re searching for a fourth player this offseason. We aren’t real big on the line and I have some concerns going up against a bigger offensive line.”
The Whippets have two of the three starters returning at the linebacker position. Lucas McMahon is back and he’s a three-year starter. Brandon Myers is a two-year starter and he’s back.
“We feel that linebacker is a position of depth and we have some kids that we know can play and we have to find a way to get them on the field.”
Blake Smith is one of those guys. Colby Burke is another guy and he has a chance to play.
“So we have two incoming juniors that we feel pretty good about.”
In the secondary, Jason Borosky is back at free safety.
“He played 11 games for us last year and did a great job. He’s a ball hawk in the secondary.”
Also back in the secondary is Ryan Schmitt. He’s a three-year starter.
“Ryan is going to play either corner or strong safety.”
Tom Mattioni may share some time with Colin Domblesky in the secondary or both may start at corner.
“There is a lot of experience in our secondary.”
Special teams Preview:
They have their all-league kicker back from last year and he’s a three-year starter. His name is Brandon Bowler.
“Brandon is a hard worker and a outstanding kicker. He’s going to be bigger and stronger this year.”
Jake Barr, Tom Mattioni, Colin Domblesky and Jim Disantis will do some kick and punt returning this year.
Jake Sarmento has some playing time as a long snapper due to an injury week three last season.
“We lost our third game of the year in overtime to Plymouth-Whitemarsh. We had scored a touchdown late in the game and the PAT would have made it a nine-point game. Our long snapper last year, Gabe Hale, had broken his hand and we didn’t know about it. His snap rolled back and the kick was no good. They tied the game up late and won in overtime.”
The following week Jake started his first game as the long snapper.
“In his first game as a starter as a long snapper he got to make a long snap on a 37-yard field goal attempt with no time left on the game. We won the game. He did a great job last year.”
Head Coach: Michael Milano
2013 Record: 8-3
Key Starters Lost: QB Nick Pagel
Offensive Starters Returning: (8)
Sr Jim DiSantis-WB/WR
Jr John West-OT
Jr Jackson Hale-OG
Sr Sam Drill-OG
Jr Jake Barr-RB
Jr Tom Mattioni-WR
Jr Braden Harper-AB
Sr Tyler McNulty-QB
Defensive Starters Returning: (9)
Sr Tom O’Brien-DT
Sr Ryan Schmitt-CB
Jr Brandon Peterson-DT
Sr Mike Withka-DT
Jr Brandon Myers-LB
Sr Lucas McMahon-LB
Sr Jason Borosky-FS
Jr Tom Mattioni-CB
2013 saw us win the Ches-Mont National Title, even with seven sophomore starters. This year we have 16 starters returning and we are poised to improve upon last year’s success. Our quarterback saw significant action last year while platooning with the league’s MVP, Nick Pagel. The key for us will be to get off to a fast start with a tough non-league schedule including, Haverford, Neshaminy and Mifflin County High School.
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