The Catonsville High football team begins its abbreviated fall season today against Perry Hall at home (4 p.m.) with a goal of getting the seniors some exposure and the younger players experience.
The season was supposed to begin on March 5, but it was delayed because of COVID-19 restrictions.
With five regular season games scheduled and no postseason, coach Jaren Maybin has made some adjustments during training camp which was hampered by bad weather conditions early on.
“You’ve got to get stuff installed and you’ve got to get them in condition, but those are things we talked about before we started on the 13th,” Maybin said. “We just had to be efficient with our time and that’s the main thing that I have been trying to get over to them. Outside of safety being the number one priority for everybody, we know that we have to get these guys into condition because if you are not in condition and you are out there tired, that’s when you start to make those mistakes.”
The last time the Comets played was 2019 when they won their first four games and finished 5-4.
That came on the heels of 2018 season when they won one game.
Jacob Diluca returns at quarterback for his senior season along with classmates Paul Skidmore (WR, DB), Adrian Cummings (OL, LB), Eldred Boria (WR, DB) and 6-foot-4, 280-pound Jaiden Sullivan (OL, DL).
Diluca, Skidmore and Cummings are returning starters from the 2019 squad.
Junior safety Joshua Williams also started in 2019 and he returns along with 6-2, 310-pound Selby Solomon (OL, DL), James Azbill (S), Eli Beyers (OL) and Jack Krug (P, K).
Azbill, a junior, has committed to play lacrosse for Towson University and Krug was named to the All-County team in 2019.
Sophomore twins Christian (RB, WR) and Daniel Heffern (WR, RB) have already made a strong impression.
“We are really excited about those two, they are basically our skill position guys,” Maybin said. “Christian was the JV MVP in 2019 when he played wide receiver, running back and defensive back. He is a big-time player and his twin brother is equally as athletic and we are really excited about them, they’ve gained some weight and were going through 7 on 7s throughout this whole time while we have been dealing with this coronavirus pandemic. They’ve made tremendous strides since their freshman year.”
The Comets will not have a JV this season and their varsity roster stands at 50.
The other seniors who will be getting one last chance include James Turner (WR), Mountaha Ndiaye (FB), Ryan Bruno (WR), Cameron Burch (WR), Keith McNair (WR), Drew Abendschoen (OL), Abdelgalil Abdelgalil (OL) and Andre Griffin (OL).
While the Comets have held some outside practices on alternate fields and the tennis courts, Maybin admitted the Comets did get some value from the virtual practices in the fall.
“Honestly, what we’ve learned from our virtual practices was really good,” Maybin said. “We had time to sit down with the quarterbacks and show them what they should be looking for, we got to sit down with the offensive linemen and show them where they should step and how they should step. We were showing them the correct way to do it, where in the past we were just kind of saying it to them, now we can utilize the virtual setting to show them on film. We just utilized that virtual time kind of the way that colleges do.”