Calvert Hall football coach Donald Davis always has a number of decisions to make this time of year. A key one this year is the starting quarterback for the Cardinals.
Kenji Bahar. who guided the team to a 7-4 record last year and had a stellar game in a victory over archrival Loyola Blakefield in the Turkey Bowl, is at Monmouth College. Stepping into the starting position will either be junior Ben Brooks (6 feet 1, 180 pounds) or sophmore Omari Deberry (6-2, 170).
Brooks backed up Bahar last year, and Deberry started on the junior varsity as a freshman.
“I expect both are going to play,” Davis said. “I feel both have tremendous potential. They have different skill sets. Ben is more of a traditional pocket passer. Omari is a dual-threat.”
Davis sees depth, quality and versatility at quarterback and just about everywhere else.
“This is as deep a team we’ve had on both sides of the ball since my first year (2007) at Calvert Hall,” said Davis, whose team plays in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.
Davis calls his offensive line of senior tackle Ben Hoffer (6-4, 285), junior left guard Craig Wood (6-4, 265), senior center Joe Sudano (6-1, 265), junior right guard Malik Montague (6-1, 305) and right tackle Alphonso Cornish (6-6, 375) solid and dependable. “I really feel good about this group,” he said.
Running back appears to be another position of strength with juniors Ben Watson (5-9, 185) and Tim Smith (6-0, 220) and seniors TJ Massey (5-8, 190) and Ben Oliver (6-0, 220).
Senior Morgan Scroggins (6-0, 200) is a potential game-breaker at wide receiver, replacinig star wideout Lawrence Cager, who is now playing for the University of Miami.
"I really want to take over the main role in our passing game," Scrogins said. "Calvert Hall has always been known to have a strong running game. I want to change things up and be known as a team that passes the ball."
Scroggins, a Towson University signee, looks to build on his 2014 totals of 65 catches for 576 yards and five touchdowns. “He is a great route runner and has tremendous ball skills,” Davis said. “His hand-eye coordination is as good as anyone I have coached.”
Senior Jimmy Crowley (6-1, 190) and junior Kameron Brooks (5-11, 180) are the other receiving threats in the multiple offense.
Junior tackles Luke Hickey (6-2, 235) and Derrick Harris (6-0, 250), senior tackle Nick Franzoni (6-2, 245) and senior ends David Biggers (6-1, 265), Crowley and Kendall Johnson (6-1, 185) form a talented group that will be the strength of a 4-4 defense. “We will probably play eight guys on the line,” Davis said.
He'll be crowding that line with senior linebackers Nick Booker (5-11, 210), Tyler Burton (6-0, 215) and Brandon Wade (6-0, 170).
Graduation stripped the secondary of standout cornerbacks Bryan Marine (Bucknell) and Dionte Austin (Wake Forest). Senior Nijuel Hill (5-11, 185), a University of Delaware recruit, will be take on secondary quarterback duties.
"He is the leader of our defense," Scroggins said. "He is very vocal and physical. That's what we need on our defense."
Senior Anthony Shields (6-1, 170) and sophomore Isaiah Watson (5-11, 165) will fill key secondary roles.
Senior placekicker Peter Ferrara (5-9, 170) made six of seven fields last year and booted the game-winning field goal in the Turkey Bowl triumph over Loyola.
“We have the same three goals every year,” Davis said. “We want to beat Loyola, put the kids in the position to win every single game and put ourselves in the hunt for the league championship.”