Sep 01, 2008 Phil Blackwell Uncategorized
Slowly, through the first two weeks of practice for the upcoming season, Dennis Schaczenski and the Jamesville-DeWitt football team’s coaching staff implemented the rudiments of a no-huddle offense that its senior quarterback, Joe Daddario, could run.
When it was tried out for the first time late last week, the results were chaotic — some deep passes caught for touchdowns, some good defensive plays. But everyone, players and coaches alike, had fun with it.
The Red Rams are due for some fun times on the football field. A 2-7 mark one season ago left J-D out of the Section III Class A playoffs after making a run to the semifinals in 2006, and it is bent on turning things around.
And much of the burden will fall on Daddario, entering his third season as J-D’s man under center. Schahczenski said that Daddario has focused his off-season work on improving his full body strength, as well as learning techniques from attending several quarterback camps.
As a point of comparison, said Schahczenski, Brad Heil, J-D’s last three-year starter at quarterback, also ran a no-huddle when he was a senior, so Daddario is just following an old formula — and might flourish. Joe Emmi serves as Daddario’s backup.
In a unique situation, J-D’s 36-man varsity roster includes 24 juniors (many of whom played on last year’s 5-3 JV squad), and it will be up to those juniors to help out Daddario and get J-D back up the standings.
Two of those juniors, Lamar Kearse and Jai’laan Kinsey, lead the Rams’ corps of wide receivers. Demetrius Mitchell, Jamie Shibley and Joe Shepard add even more depth, while Lonza Williams is positioned to start at running back.
They’ll be working in front of a new-look offensive line. Keenen Cannon (225 pounds) is the lone returning starter, at guard, while Matt Muller (231 pounds) and Cody Marsh (250 pounds) split time at the other guard spot.
In between, Ken Schunck (225 pounds) takes over at center, while Ryan Whipple (205 pounds) and Mac Feiner (225 pounds) start at tackle. Primarily, the line’s job will be protecting Daddario, allowing him time to look downfield and throw it.
Schahczenski continues to run a 5-2 defense at J-D, saying it gives his team the flexibility to deal with a running game or passing game, in the latter case going to three or four linebackers.
Nose guard Mike Paul, though at just 200 pounds, possesses plenty of the toughness required to man that position. Cannon and Marsh flank him at tackle, while Feiner, Shepard and Tim Bright all could see time at end.
Peter Anderson, who serves with Daddario as the team’s captains, returns for his senior season at linebacker. Though 5-11 and 180 pounds, Anderson has lots of strength, as shown by the fact that he bench-pressed 270 pounds in the team’s off-season strength and conditioning program.
Schunk is the Rams’ other full-time linebacker in the 5-2 set, while Williams and Kearse gives J-D a pair of experienced cornerbacks and Eric DeJohn starts at free safety.
The Red Rams’ prospects might be revealed by how it does in Friday night’s opener at Fulton, a perennial championship contender. Schahczenski said a win there might launch the Red Rams toward the playoffs — or something better.