by Aaron Glatter
Not too long ago, the Upper Dublin High School Football Team completed an unforgettable season. The Cardinals finished 11-2 (7-0 in conference), won their first ever playoff game, and won additionally in the second round of the playoffs until eventually being knocked out of the PIAA-AAAA bracket in a tough loss to Pennsbury. Another highlight of the season was the teams trip to Orlando where they won a close game against Florida powerhouse Coconut Creek High School.
Thank You Seniors:
Upper Dublin will have to wave goodbye to nine seniors from this past season. A few key loses for the Cardinals include Matt Thompson, John Lee, Thomas Henning, and Cole D’andrea. At wide receiver, Matt Thompson lead the team in receptions (57), receiving yards (819), and receiving touchdowns (10) this season. On the defensive end, Thompson finished the season with an interception and a fumble recovery, while being fourth on the team in tackles (62). At running back, John Lee was second on the team in rushes (143), rushing yards (918), and rushing touchdowns (9). John also ran for 100+ yards three times, and caught twelve passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Lee had 28 tackles, caused one fumble, and recovered a fumble for a touchdown while playing defense. Thomas Henning had 65 tackles, an interception, and two fumble recoveries with one of them going for a touchdown. At kicker, Cole D’andrea made an impressive 83 percent (42 of 51) of his extra point attempts, while also doing the kickoffs. Seniors Kevin Callaghan, Tamir Bailey, Zach Weglos, Tim Rasmussen, and Connor O’Gara also made enormous contributions to the team. Kevin Callaghan made contributions on both sides of the ball, always playing and practicing with great passion and a winning attitude. Tamir Bailey ended the season with an impressive 25 tackles. Zach Weglos had some key tackles throughout the season as well. Tim Rasmussen had over a dozen tackles and also played the offensive line extremely well. Connor O’Gara’s athleticism and good character made him a role model for the younger players to look up to. All nine of these seniors will be eagerly missed this upcoming season.
A Look Ahead to Next Season:
In many situations, if a high school football team has a much more successful season than usual, the following year the team returns to its normal state. This is largely because of the loss of senior talent and leadership. This however will not be the case with Upper Dublin. Expect the upcoming season to be just as victorious as this past one, mostly due to the talent of the current junior class. It all begins with quarterback Ryan Stover, who threw for 2187 yards and 21 touchdowns, rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns, while only throwing nine interceptions this past season. Kaleif Lee will be back on the field as well. Kaleif lead the Cardinals in rushes (154), rushing yards (1057), and rushing touchdowns (21). All but two of Upper Dublin’s top eight players by receiving yards and total receptions will be returning. This includes Gary Fields who caught 26 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. Also returning is tight end John Barrett, who caught 25 passes for 430 yards and a touchdown, and Michael Sowers, who caught 13 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, four out of Upper Dublin’s five players who had over 50 tackles on the season are returning. This includes Henry Winebrake who had 105 tackles and Stacey Gardner who had 91 tackles.
Next season, Michael Cottom will continue to see the most action among the players from the class of 2017. Also expect to see Justin Horn as the holder and getting a bit of experience at the quarterback position as well.
With all of these talented players returning this upcoming season, Upper Dublin will look to repeat as Suburban One-American Conference champions, and once again make a run in the playoffs.