Irish Jack’s upset football picks – Sals to win soccer title

By Jack Ireland
Irish Jack has a couple surpise choices and predicts that all four Division I and II state football tournament first round games will be very competitive. this week. All four could be decided by a TD or less.

Here’s a quick look at the four games.
Tonight in Division I
Salesianum(7-3) at Sussex Centra (7-3), 7:30. Whose will will break first.
Both teams like to run, run and run the football some more. Sallies coach Bill DiNardo needs to open up his passing game and has the player to do it with 6-foot-3 quarterback Troy Reeder. Sals can’t let Sussex put eight and nine in the box to stop the run. Reeder is a strong runner, but has a good arm. Sals underrated receivers include Jesse June and tight end Dave Lazear
Both teams coming off tough late season losses. Central lost 47-17 to arch-rival and unbeaten Indian River after leading 10-7 at half.
Sals let 17-7 lead get away in the final minutes in loss to arch-rival St. Mark’s last Friday at Baynard Stadium.
Sussex has quick, strong rnning game, featuring Mr. Everything Deshawn  Sals defense, led by end Brian O’Neill, and linebackers Sean Riley and Reeder cannot loose sight of him at any time.Sals have good offensive line and rushing attack with Jerome Stanley, Daulton Gregory and Pat Knox. Sals in a close one. Could be field goal or less.
Salesianum 24-Sussex 21.

Division II

Delmar (9-1) at Caravel (10-0), 7:30

I could play it safe and go with the unbeaten Bucs on their hom field, but I like veteran Delmar coach David Hearn and his kids in a big tournament game.

That means watch out for the likes of rushers Frank Braham, Javon Smiley and and Devene Spence. Caravel counters with a complete team on both sides of the ball.,The running attack usually means stopping Chris Wickes and Aaron Baunchalk. Aaron Hudson isn’t bad either.

Delmar’s defense, featuring linebacker Cory Mattox  will be severely tested. Delmar 34-31.

Saturday

Division I

William Penn (6-4) at Dover (7-3), 7:30

I like William Penn in the upset. Colonials opened 0-4 and now ride a six game win streak into the tourney. Included in those six wins was a stunning upset of then unbeaten Middletown on the road. Halfback Shareif Simpson is dangerous running from scrimmage and returning kicks.

Dover can score points in bunches and blow open the game with its speed and skill players on both sides of the ball. William Penn must try and slow down receiver Jordan Robinson and quarterback Nate Spadafino.

William Penn 26-21

Howard (9-1) at Archmere (9-1), 10:30 a.m. – Howard has speed and a dangerous offense, led by quarterback BJ Wright and running back Tyrone Burton.

However, the Auks are on a mission after reaching Division II final last year and getting blasted by St. Elizabeth.

Quarterback David McCaae is hot. He ran for two touchdowns and passed for three more in emotional 49-7 win over St. E in last week’s regular season finale. Center Charles Witsil and guard Brian Murphy head up a very underrated Auks offensive line.

Archmere 35-26

Tonight

State socer championship game

Salesianum (17-1-1) vs St. Mark’s (16-2) at Caravel, 7:30

Spartans are riding a crest of momentum after Jeffrey Richards’ gosl in overtime, beat Concord and sent the Spartans to their first title game in 10 years.

St. Mark’s is capable of winning it all, but Sallies has talent, speed, experience and determination. it won’t be easy, but coach Scpott Mosier’s club gets it done. Forward Moja Hale andAdam Wissner starred in 2-0 semifinal win over Archmere. Who knows which player or players steps up big in crunch time Saturday. Salesianum 3-2.

Kudos to McKenna and Sallies runners- recording 35th overall CC state title

Matt McKenna won the individual title, sparking Salesianum to its fourth straight Division I cross country championship on Nov. 12 at Killens Pond in Felton.

McKenna finished third in state meet as a sophomore and second last year. There was no stopping him this year as he won in15 minutes and 58 seconds. He got some big help from his teammates as Scott Davis was fourth, Matthias Arauco-Shapiro took sixth and Pat Halley (seventh). Sallies did all this without 2010 Division I champ Tommy Zabielski sidelined with an achilles injury.

Even more impressive, Salesianum won its 35th state cross country title in the last 43 years. That is by far the most dominant effort by one school in any Delaware sport. Just unbelievable. Only eight times in 43 years Salesianum failed to win the Division I state crown.

In Division II boys, Tatnall’s Sam Parsons smashed the Killens Pond state record with a winning time of 15:34.73. It was Tatnall’s third straight crown. Hats off to Charter (Division I champs) and Tatnall (Division II) in the girls divisions. Dominant effort all around by Tatnall in Division II.

 

 

 

 

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Irish Jack- here and there

By Jack Ireland
I would like to get in my late Friday afternoon picks on three key scholastic football games tonight and one on Saturday.
I didn’t get to my blog on Thursday, but I had something pretty special on my mind.
I was inducted into the Salesianum School Hall of Fame at a ceremony and reception at the school on Thursday.
I was joined by Harry Alexander (athletics), Brigadere Gen. Hugh Broomall, Rev. Richard DiLillio and the late Clyde Taggerty.Clyde’s son Joe Taggart. accepted the honor for his late father, from the Salesianum class of 1925.
Alexander is the only other person besides the late Dominic (Dim) Montero to start all four years in football at Salesianum. He went on to play three years at Notre Dame, including a major role at defensive tackle on the Irish 1966 national championship team.
I was chosen under the category of arts, culture and entertainement. That would come under my accomplishmentds in 40 plus years as a sportswriter. The first six were spent at the Seaford Leader weekly paper and the next 35 ;lus with the News Journal.
I retired in February of this year.
I was honored to receive this recognition and overcome with emotion Thursday night.
I graduated from Sallies in 1965. At times during my career I received criticism that I favored Salesianum in my writing. That comment offended me then and would bother me even more now. Sallies is a special place for me and my family. My dad was in the Sallies class of 1925.
However, I tried to always be fair when I was on the job, covering Sallies or any other teams.

Quickie picks for tonight’s big three scholastic football games.
Middletown (8-1) at Newark (9-0). 7 – I’m tempted to go with speddy Middletoewn here, but quarterback Taylor Reynolds shifts my thinking sliughtly in favor of the Yellowjackets. Should be an offensive track meet. Newark 34- 27
Salesianum (7-2) vs St. Mark’s (5-4) at Middletown. 7 – T Middletown and Newark is the game of the week and rightly so, but St Mark’s-Sallies is as intense and good a local rivalry as any in the state. Intense, emotional and hotly contested.

Sals ,must balance out their offense – running and passing. Senior Jerome Stanley is the most underrated running back in the state. If sophomore quarterback Troy Reeder plays with poise and shows off that strong arm at the right time, Salesianum can control the game to a degree. win. St. Mark’s has too many offensive weapons, around quraerback Jeff Ziemba and back T.J. Yeninis. to get into an offensive shootout with. Sallies 24-21
Dover (6-3) at Caesar Rodney (3-6), 7:30. Like Sallies- St. Mark’s, throw out the records here. Dover needs this game to insure a tournament spot. CR plays spoilers in my book. CR 27-26.
Saturday
St. Elizabeth (6-2) at Achmere (8-1). 10:30 a.m.
Eric and Andre Patton, along with all everything junior Adam Szczerba might be just a tad too much for Archmere. Rematch of last year’s Division II finals, so look for the Auks to be going all out to revenge that lopsided loss in 2010.
. Szczerba’s foot the difference? St. Elizabeth 23-21.

ND scholars- SEC schools -‘ just win baby.’

By (Irish) JACK IRELAND
On Saturday night football fans throughout the country will be glued to their television sets or pouring into their favorite sports bar all around the country to watch the showdown between NO. 1 Louisiana State and second ranked Alabama. Hey, the winner will have a leg up toward one of the two berths for the BCS national championship game in January. After al, an SEC school, usually LSU or Alabama, has been winning the national stitle in Division I football for the last several years.
What could be better than that. It’s just about winning and winning big for power schools in the SEC., Big Ten, Pac-10 and Big 12.
I’m pretty sure it will be a classic college football game. Two tremendous football teams going head to head. But, I question the motives behind big-time college sports today, classic game or not.
It’s about the future for schools moving all around to different conferences to get that best national exposure and big money deals. All we hear is college football is heading for three or four Super Conferences and forget about everybody else.

I doubt you will find any fans, or even administrators and faculty a tLSU and Alabama thinking about academics and will their big-name or even backup p;layers go on to earn a college degree some day in the future. Most fans of schools like that could care less. it’s just “win baby, win.”
Well at schools like Notre Dame, Boston College, Duke, Stanford, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest and the Naval Acvadem to name a few , graduation is first and foremost when it comes to student athletes.
The NCAA released it’s most updated graduation rates earlier this week. It’s not a surprise that the University of Notre Dame ranked No. 1 among the 120 schools playimng in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I) for the fifth straight year. This is the overall graduation rate in all Division I sports (male and female).
It’s graduation rate is 99 percent. Boston College and Duke tied for second at 97 percent. So it shows that major Division I schools can have good athletic programs and high graduation rattings for its stuent-athletes.
When you look at these GRS ratings, the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 10, except for Stanford, are nowhere to be found. Gee, that
s a big surprise.
The theme at those schools, especially in the big money making sports like football and basketball, is again” win baby win. and win big.”.
I know, the ND critics remind us all he time that the Irish are oi longer a football power. All that great tradition is something from the past.
Two weeks ago, while driving home from my own college reunion, I was listening to a sports talk show on XM radio.It was the same night Notre Dame had self destructed in the second half and lost to Southern Cal on national television.
The host of the show mentioned he was kind of surprised that ND lost to the Trojans. This astute fan, who had called infirst of all to talk about Stanford’s Andrew Luck, called Notre Dame’s fotball program garbage in response to the announcer’s comment.
Trust me pal, there is nothing garbage about ND. I can’t say the same for some of these so-called great football programs in the country.
Don’t be so sure the Irish won’t win again. However, they will have to do it with coach Brian Kelly recruting student-athletes who can play at a high level. He has several players there right now who fit that bill. ND may never win another national title because the Division I p;laying field is no longer even, but only time will tell if Kelly can bring the Irish back to consistenly being a nationally ranked program.
School with ratings of 90 and above were ND, Boston College, Duke, Northwestern, Rice and the Naval Academy.
For the third straight year Notre Dame is first in five GRS categories, all students (99 percent), males (98), female (100), black student-athletes (98) and football student athletes at 97 percent, up one point from 2010.
The federal numbers have the Irish first for all athletes, male and female students.
Plus, ND has been shining for years in sports like women’s basketball and soccer, ice hockey, baseball and now the men’s lacrosse squad is one of the best in the nation.
Last March the women’s basketball team reached the NCAA championship game before losing to Baylor. The Irish women are No. 2 in the preseason poll released this week.
And Coach Mike Brey has done an outstanding job producing solid teams each year in the rugged Big East Conference. Last year the Irish rose as high as No. 5 nationally in the final regular season poll.

Now, most of our college sports fans of today, young and not so young, don’t think any of that matters. Again it’s that. “just win baby. just win”.
Some fans and media alike think these athletes, at the big Division I level schools, should be paid some kind of of a stipend because of all the revenue they bring into the university, especially in football and basketball. That’s crazy.
The argument is many come from low income backgrounds and have no spending money like other students do. Agsin, that’s crazy.
Did anyone mention these athletes (male and female) are on a full scholarship.They are treated like kings and queens. A chance of a lifeime for a free college education. Unfortunately, many of these athletes are there to play sports with academics way in the background.
Now, lets ;lso be fair here. We know there are many good student-athletes playing football for teams like LSU, Alabama, Arkansas anf Auburn.
Another unfortunate thing that often happens is these athletes (male) find ways to hit the bars, get into fights, suspended (but usually return in time for the big games) and even have prostitutes avalable at certain schools.
I really get my ire up jhen we mentions schools like Ohio State (what a disgrace), Miami( don’t get me started), Southern Palifornia (Coach Pete Carroll escaped just in time to the NFL), and oh yes, the Cam Newton story at Auburn. It’s hard to say there was a converup of any major wrongdoings because the NCAA steered clear of that since Newton was on his way to winning the 2010 Heisman Trophy.
So many college presidents turn the other way in the recruting of certain athletes. They are willing to pay NFL type salariesto their coaches for a chance at the BCS bowls, winning a national title and oh yes, bringing in the big revenue.

Again, those ,memorable words ring out. “Just win baby, win.”
My responses is schools like Notre Dame, Boston College and Duke excel is so many Division I sports (male and female) the right way. At Notre Dame the goal of the administration and faculty is to give students (athletes and non athletes) the best education possible. And most of all, give each student-athlete a great, great chance to earn a college degree. and graduate.
How refreshing that sounds in the world we live in today.