Kennett Square >> Things didn’t go the way Kennett envisioned last season. They finished with a 1-9 record, and went winless in the Ches-Mont League American Division. However the winds of change blew through their program last spring. They wiped the slate clean and hired a new coach, Doug Langley.
Before taking over the Blue Demons program, Langley was the head coach at Avon Grove and served as an assistant at both the high school and college ranks.
“I’m excited to work with this team,” Langley said. “They are a really tight group, they want to learn and be successful. They work extremely hard and you can see it on the field that they want to turn things around.”
Langley has experience coaching both offense and defense but his real specialty is on the defensive side of the ball. If they can develop a stout front seven and dominate the line of scrimage, it would complement the way they want play ball-control on offense, revolving around junior running back Myles Robinson.
“I got some varsity experience last year,” Robinson said. “That really helped me a lot. We’ve had really good camp and really good offseason. Our conditioning has been good and we can already see the results. I think it’s definitely going to help us this year.”
The 5-foot-10 halfback’s greatest qualities are his quickness and his ability to change directions in a blink of an eye. He uses his height to advantage shifting through gaps and challenging defenders to spot him behind his offensive line.
“I want to contribute more to the offense this season,” Robinson said. “I want to handle more touches, get more yards and try and score as much as I can for our team. Whatever I can do to help our team win, that’s what’s important.”
Sophomore Jake Dilcher is the expected starting quarterback. Due to its strong running attack, the underclassmen will not have as much pressure to air the ball out. However when they do need to pass, the top weapon will be junior Kerry Tomasetti. The 6-2, 253-pound tight end has the making to be a nightmare for opposing team’s linebackers.
“With our new offense I feel like we are stretching the field more and creating mismatches,” Tomasetti said. “It’s all about each one of us doing our jobs and not trying to do too much. We’re all focused on being in the right spots so we can make plays to help us win.”
The biggest question for almost any first-year coach is how their team will adapt to a new style of play. Right now things appear to be rather seamless. The energy is up, the team is optimistic and they are trying to move past their woeful record in 2014.
“We worked really hard all summer and we are picking things up quickly,” Tomasetti said. “We know a lot of teams are already penciling in Kennett as a win but we want to change that. We’ve put the work in and we want to hand some losses to teams who think we’re an automatic win.”
Kennett opens up the season at home against Avon Grove. The Red Devils were the only team the Blue Demons defeated (28-13) last year, but Avon Grove will be improved in 2015. After the way things went for both teams in 2014, each squad desperately needs to kick off the year on a positive note.
“We feel like we’re going to be a lot better,” Robinson said. “We obviously want our record to be better and we’ve really pulled together as a team and are ready to fight. We can’t wait to start the season and show everyone what we’re about.”
BLUE DEMONS AT A GLANCEHead Coach: Doug Langley (1st season)
2014 record: 1-9 (7th in Ches-Mont American)
Returning Starters:Key Players: Myles Robinson, Jr., RB, Alec Sheehan, Jr., T/DE, Jake Dilcher, So., QB.
Outlook: There are always growing pains for a team when they are learning a new system. The good news for Kennett is the Ches-Mont American looks to be down compared to years past. Several teams in their division lost excellent talent on both sides of the ball so they too will have new faces that are learning the ropes. Their tougher opponents are scattered throughout their 2015 schedule. If they can piece together some victories and get the wind in their sails, they could startle a few programs.