August 22nd, 2019

DeSales Football Preview

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


DeSales Football Preview
DeSales football preview/ photo by Ed Peak

There are no secret formulas. No gimmicks. DeSales football has positioned its program as one of the strongest and most consistent in the state of Kentucky.

 

While the Colts haven't won a state championship since back to back titles in 2013 and 2014 in Class 2-A they've been a contender. This season is no different.

 

"I don't know where it comes from, our system seems to work very well, said coach Harold Davis in his eighth season. "For all of us we want to compete in every game. Win every game. We want to get there at the end (state championship).”

 

DeSales moves to Class 3-A this season. It's district includes Western Hills, Mercer County, Henry County and rival Christian Academy. The Centurions have ended the Colts season in each of the last three years.

 

"I would put it on the coaches making sure to hold us accountable for everything," said senior offensive and defensive end Demetrius Scott. "They hold us accountable for everything and it helps us become men fast.

"I just want to become better. Yes, a state championship would be nice," said Scott.

 

Throw in early season games with St. Xavier, Butler, at Lexington Catholic. Cooper, at Paducah Tilghman and Meade County and the Colts have their usual tough schedule.

The Colts will be tested early.

 

DeSales returns seven starters on defense and nine on offense. It's defense is a strength according to Davis. Led by Scott, Cassius Britt, Darren Hollenkamp, Mekhi Lewis and DeJuan Watkins.

 

"This year it seems like the team...it feels like we are all together," said Watkins a senior offensive and defensive lineman. "We're all on the same page, got the same goals. All four lineman have started for two years now. Our strength should be in the offensive and defensive lines. In the trenches period."

 

Watkins thinks the key to the Colts success is hard work and discipline. "Everybody puts it in their mind, have the same goal. Come out and work every day. Give it all you got even if your not feeling it."

 

In the secondary Lance Weiter, who had five interceptions a year ago, Derek Hollenkamp, Antonie Johnson should be starters. Trevor McAnally, Jayden Scroggins and DeMarcus Avery are vying for a corner spot.

 

The offense returns several players that played key roles last season. The biggest spot to replace is quarterback, where Aaron Pfaadt who started for three seasons.

 

Avery, a senior and Scroggins are battling for the starting quarterback position. Both played receiver last season. Which ever one doesn't win the quarterback job will probably be a receiver.

 

Johnson, who has nursed an injury during preseason camp, ran for 693 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He also caught three touchdown passes and had 295 receiving yards. Darren Hollenkamp rushed for a touchdown and had 304 yards. Junior James Johnson was a backup last season will get some carries as will as junior Chase O'Neal.

 

"We will have to decide pretty soon who the starter is," said Davis of the quarterback position. "With the quarterback spot, depends on who is going to make our offense better. Coach (Ty) Scroggins and I have talked about it. If one is playing it we lose something somewhere else. If Jayden is playing it we lose an excellent receiver.”

 

"They are different. One may be better at this and the other is better at that which is usual when ever you have competition."

The Offensive line should be a strength. Britt, Colby Stratman, Cameron Beechem were starters a year ago. Michael Powell is back as is Zach O'Shea will help on the line. 

 

The ends will be Lewis and Scott. "Mekhi has matured a lot since last season. He understands what his position is. He's been excellent for me as a leader. Demetri has been solid the whole time," said Davis. Scott was the teams leading receiver with 29 catches for 480 yards and five touchdowns last year. 

On defense he had five and a half sacks.

Alex Gates and Watkins will help the offensive line as well.

 

DeSales has always had good special teams play. This season is no exception. Senior Blake Givens, a soccer player, is solid with extra points (41 of 44 last season) and field goals. He will also punt this season.

 

"Blake, he's been to a lot of camps," said Davis. "He works very hard at it. He should be very solid. He probably needs a little work punting. But he should be very solid."

Davis says this season is no different than any other for DeSales football. Expect to win.

 

"I don't know if I've been here any year where we sit in the office during the off season and talk about our kids and we're not expecting big things," said Davis. "Every year we expect big things. That's what we should be doing."

 

 

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Davis begins his eight season as a head coach and is 81-16. Last year he became DeSales all time winningest coach. Since Davis has been the head coach the Colts have never failed to advance to at least the quarterfinals of the playoffs,

Of DeSales six losses over the past three seasons, five are to Christian Academy.

 

DeSales has only four home games this season. On its preseason roster the Colts list 65 players including freshman. There are 17 seniors.

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DeSales opens its season Friday night at rival St. Xavier a team the Colts upset 19-16 last season.

 

"We beat them last year and I know they are going to be coming for us," said Watkins. "We're looking not to lose. Just come out fast and strong and win the game."

 

"It's good for the school, said Davis. "They just reload. They have an excellent team. They have a lot of players. But I like the competition of it. I think it lets us know where we are, where we stand. It's a big game."


 

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