Blogs > Gettin' Schooled

A boys basketball blog hosted by Daily Times reporter Christopher A. Vito

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The basketballs have been bouncing for two weeks now, since winter sports teams opened their practice schedule Nov. 17.

It's basketball season.

Most teams will christen their campaigns Friday, on opening night. That's also when the Daily Times' boys basketball preview will hit newsstands.

In the meantime, here's what you should know about the 2008-09 season:

***Chester, which lost all but one player (F Rahlir Jefferson) from their PIAA Class AAAA state-championship starting five, have a long way to go to get back. But you can never count out the Clippers (pictured).

***Penn Wood, which lost four meetings with Chester, looks to be the heir apparent to the Del Val League championship. The Patriots return their entire lineup - including All-Delco F Duane Johnson, So. PG Tyree Johnson, So. C Shawn Oakman and Sr. F Thomas White. They also have Roman Catholic transfer Aaron Brown, a 6-6 sophomore. Look out, District One.

***Ridley, co-Central League champion, is one of many teams vying for the title in a wide-open race. Conestoga and Lower Merion, the other co-champ, are early favorites. Penncrest, which doesn't have much of a hoops legacy, will surprise folks.

There's more to come on Friday. Stay tuned.

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Friday, November 28, 2008


The high school football season came to an end Thursday (at least in Delaware County, it did) with the final four games decided on Thanksgiving Day.

Here's a recap of all the action:
***Ridley 14, Interboro 7: Thanks to a Jake Cahill interception return for a touchdown, Ridley coach John Waller can retire a winner.

***Upper Darby 17, Haverford 10: QB Dale Blees and WR Chris Green connected four times, twice for TDs, in the Royals' win.

***Sun Valley 39, Chichester 20: RB Nick Morrell ran and ran and ran some more. The senior rushed for 209 yards and three TDs in the Vanguards' win.

***Penn Wood 21, William Penn 6: The Patriots needed all of Kvonne Nottingham's 88 yards rushing and two TDs to win for the fourth time in five games.


I ran into a New York Times reporter, Jere Longman, at the Upper Darby-Haverford game.

Longman, who lives in Havertown and whose daughter graduated from Haverford, sought a local game to use as the backdrop in writing about the bounty of high school football on this, a football-themed holiday.

This is Longman's entry on the New York Times: Thankful for the Grassroots of Football. Enjoy.

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Haverford pitcher/outfielder J.J. Sims and Garnet Valley first baseman Matt Hendrixson announced their commitments to play baseball at the University of Rhode Island.

Interestingly, Sims and Hendrixson played together during their middle-school days at the All-Star Baseball Academy in West Chester.

Sims, a swifty base-runner, swiped 17 of 18 bags last season for the Fords. Hendrixson, who boasts a sure hand at first base, also has power potential at the plate. He batted .300 for the Jaguars in 2008.

For more on their commitments, check out Saturday's edition of the Daily Times.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Wow, can you believe it? Football season is 24 hours away from completion. Thanksgiving Day brings an end to the season, and there are six games on the slate.

The biggest of them is the backyard brawl between Interboro and Ridley. After a so-so season, senior wideout Shawn Krautzel (pictured) and the Bucs are looking to go out with a bang. Of course, Ridley is playing for a win in coach John Waller's final game at the helm.

***Archbishop Carroll vs. Monsignor Bonner, 7:30 p.m., Radnor's Prevost Field: Carroll DT Chris Kennedy has taken to his captaincy.
***Chester vs. Simon Gratz, 6 p.m., Gratz's Marcus Foster Stadium: Clippers WR Aaron Jackson may not be the defensive focus, but he's got speed to burn.

***Ridley vs. Interboro, 10:30 a.m., South Avenue Complex: Lineman Ryan Grabias wants to avenge the Bucs' 2007 playoff loss to Ridley.
***Haverford vs. Upper Darby, 10:45 a.m., Upper Darby's Memorial Field: Senior Tim Brown wants to extend the Royals' lead (41-39-6) in Delco's oldest Turkey Day rivalry.
***Sun Valley vs. Chichester, 10:30 a.m., Apichella Memorial Field: Josh Lovelace and the Vanguards are looking for their 14th win in the last 17 Thanksgiving meetings with the Eagles.
***Penn Wood vs. William Penn, 10:30 a.m., Kerr Field: Eric Smith, the lone senior returnee from Penn Wood's '07 squad, wants a win in the first ever Thanksgiving game between these two.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008


Somehow, you get the feeling that Garnet Valley didn't want its football season to end under these terms.

Not when the Jaguars outgained Neshaminy in total yardage. Not when the Jags held a 14-0 first-quarter lead. Not on their home field in the District One Class AAAA semifinals.

The No. 2 Jags fell to the No. 3 Redskins, 21-14, Friday night amidst such high hopes after scoring two touchdowns in an eight-minute span.

The Daily Times triple-teamed the game in print coverage, with football writer Jon Campbell handling the game-story duties.

Despite losing in the semis, deputy sports editor John Lohn reports that the Jags have a bright future ahead of them. After all, did anyone expect the 2007-08 Class AAA state runners-up to run the table in the Central League and go 12-0 in Class AAAA?

Neshaminy, which boasts a number of talented running backs, questionably went to the air ... and had success against the Jags. 'Skins QB Brian Titus was awful efficient, at 9-of-14 for 87 yards, and made each of his completions count.

VIDEO FOOTAGE: The Daily Times also had photographer Bob Gurecki on hand to grab footage of the game. Check it out.

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Friday, November 21, 2008


We're nearing the end of All-Delco week.

The Haverford School's Jordan LeBlanc was this year's pick as Daily Times Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

It wasn't unanimous - in fact, very few are. But based on my assessment of LeBlanc's play and with such high praise from a number of Delaware County coaches (including a few in the Central League who used off days with their teams to see LeBlanc in action), it was pretty clear why he is the POY.

Read more about LeBlanc, an Old Dominion University commit, and the rest of the All-Delco Boys Soccer team at

The other All-Delco teams announced this week were:
Tennis (POY-Strath Haven's Tessa Lyons)
Volleyball (POY-Springfield's Sam Tulskie)
Girls Soccer (POY-Strath Haven's Maddy Edwards)

# # # # #

There's kind of a big game tonight. Only one Delco team is alive in the District One playoffs, and No. 2 Garnet Valley would like to keep it that way when it faces No. 3 Neshaminy in a Class AAAA semifinal.

Outsiders to the program thought it would be asking a lot of the Jaguars, the Class AAA state runners-up, to repeat their success at AAAA. But Jared Bonacquisti isn't surprised that the Jags are 2-0 in their first 4A foray. He's a huge reason why GV has been so successful.

But there's a giant adversary on the other sideline. And when I say "giant," I mean it. The Neshaminy O and D lines average at 265 pounds per player. That's a lot of girth to get through. And to think 'Skins coach Mark Schmidt turned 18 non-starters a year ago into his 11-1 team today.

Like I said, big game in Concord Twp. tonight. Make sure you're there.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

My apologies, readers

OK, here's where I suck up my pride and admit that I have been lackluster in the frequency with which I post about high school goings-on.

But I do have a couple updates to report:

1. All-Delco Week. Next week, the All-Delco teams for all of the fall sports (save football, which will run at season's conclusion) will appear next week in the Daily Times.

2. Winter Sports Previews. The week after we get All-Delco stuff out of the way, the Daily Times' staff will work diligently to put together everything you need to know about the winter sports teams. Keep an eye out.

3. How about Garnet Valley? It seems odd that Delco has but one football team still alive in the district- or state-playoff brackets. But nonetheless, the Jags are the sole survivors. Stay close to the Daily Times in the coming days for the most on their playoff bid.

And, I promise I'll post more often. Scouts honor.

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