(Statistical Information Courtesy of Professor Briggs' archives)
KENNEDY CATHOLIC GOLDEN EAGLES 2020 FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW
Head Coach: Joe Harvey, 1st year (0-0)
Last Year: Played at junior varsity level
For the first time in seven years, Kennedy Catholic High School will field a varsity football team. The school restarted football at the junior varsity level last season in anticipation of returning to varsity play in 2020.
Head coach Joe Harvey led the Golden Eagles through a competitive JV season in 2019 and will again lead Kennedy this fall. The New Castle native is excited about his 20-man squad, which features potential but lacks game experience.
"We have some pretty athletic kids on the team," Harvey said. "We don't have a lot of experience. We are still low on experience, not just in football, but varsity experience in sports in general."
Sophomore Nick Ondo (6-3, 180) has earned the starting nod at quarterback. "He's a very smart kid, a straight-A student," Harvey said. "He picks up things very well and he has a strong arm."
Ondo will look to take advantage of the physical gifts of three sizable targets at wide receiver. Senior Sky'Ler Thomas and junior Malachi Owens both measure 6-foot-5 and sophomore slotback Dajaun Young is listed at 6-3.
"We're going to count on them to be athletes," Harvey said of the receiving trio. "I think a big advantage is being able to spread teams out. We have guys who can turn a five-yard slant into a 25-yard gain."
Thomas and sophomore Sean Yeager will see time at running back.
Senior Aaron Turney will anchor the offensive line at center. Juniors Kole Tarary and Gunner Pennington will start at guard while freshmen Elias Lawson and Kameren Gwin are projected to start at tackle. Harvey cited the line's overall inexperience as one of his preseason concerns.
Owens and Tarary will start at defensive end. Several players are expected to see time at the tackle positions. The 250-pound Turnee will quarterback the defense from his middle linebacker position. Sophomore Elijah Smith joins Turney at linebacker. Thomas will likely see time at linebacker, as well as his natural safety position.
Sophomores Blaze Campbell and Jermaine Dunlap are the front-runners to start at cornerback. Young will be the free safety.
Thomas will handle kicking and punting duties.
Kennedy Catholic will play against Mercer, Reynolds and West Middlesex in region play this year. In the 1990s, Kennedy played Mercer and/or West Middlesex twice yearly from 1990 to 1995. Kennedy's first-ever football win came against Reynolds, a 13-0 win September 16, 1967.