It was an exciting 2014 for Delaware’s Catholic high school football teams as Salesianum, St. Mark’s and Archmere made the postseason, but the past is a distant memory. It’s a new year, which means new players, situations and challenges.
Salesianum enters this season as a team on a mission. The Sals enjoyed a 7-4 season in 2014, but it ended with a disappointing playoff loss at Sussex Tech, their only road loss. That has served as motivation for coach Bill DiNardo’s team, which returns nearly all of its skill-position starters, including Jeremy Ryan, Zach Jarome, Colby Reeder and Garrett Cannon.
“I guess our concern in the offseason is our offensive line,” DiNardo said. “We lost our whole offensive line. Last year, they were pretty good.”
The bigs up front will be protecting Cannon, who is entering his second season as the starting quarterback. The senior said Salesianum fans “are going to see a lot of skill, a lot of speed. I think we’re looking sharp this summer. We had some great workouts, some great seven-on-sevens.”
Defensively, Salesianum is “going to try and knock you in the mouth and dominate you from start to finish,” said Reeder, a two-way standout. There’s a lot of talent on the squad, he said, so fans may see the defense coming together as the season rolls on. Several young players will contribute, he said.
Cannon said he is feeling much more comfortable as the starting quarterback, which could be bad news for Salesianum’s opponents. The schedule includes seven Delaware Division I opponents, including all five of the other Division I playoff teams, with road trips to defending state champion William Penn and a rematch at Sussex Tech. The battle against archrival St. Mark’s, now in Division II, will be played Nov. 12 at Delaware Stadium.
“It’s the best in the state,” DiNardo said of the schedule. “There are no off weeks. You have the best in the state of Delaware.”
Reeder said the Sals have a chip on their shoulder this season and want to make a statement every time out. “We feel confident, and I think we can show Delaware we’re back on top this year.”
The Sals begin the season Saturday vs. Cardinal O’Hara (Pa.) at 7:30 p.m. at Baynard Stadium, the team’s home field. The rest of the schedule: Sept. 18, at Caesar Rodney, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 25, Smyrna, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 3, vs. Father Judge (Pa.), 7 p.m., at Northeast High School (Pa.); Oct. 9, Middletown, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 17, at Concord, 10:30 a.m.; Oct. 23, Dover, 7:30 p.m. (Senior Night); Oct. 31, at William Penn, 1 p.m.; Nov. 6, at Sussex Tech, 7 p.m.; and Nov. 12, vs. St. Mark’s, 7:30 p.m., at Delaware Stadium.