Sussex County Delaware

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Sussex Central Golden Knights

2001 Preview ...

Despite Losses, Knights
Expecting a Golden Year

Photo: Split end Andrew Weatherly (top), defensive end Orlando Farrow (middle) and head coach John Wells (below).

Sussex Central split end Andrew WeatherlyThe Sussex Central High School football team moved into the state's elite programs last fall with the school's first state tournament appearance and its first berth in the Division I state championship game.

Looking at a roster that lost a number of key players from that team, including five players signed by colleges, another signed by a college baseball program, and a total of 7 first team all-conference performers, it would be tempting to think that the Golden Knights are in rebuilding mode this season.

But enough key returnees with big-game experience give head coach John Wells reason to believe his club will be right in the thick of the battle for the Henlopen Conference's Northern Division title after sharing the crown with Caesar Rodney and Dover last year.

The Knights, for instance, return game-breaking receiver Andrew Weatherly and havoc wreaking defensive end Orlando Farrow, both first team all-conference selections in 2000.

Sussex Central defensive end Orlando FarrowTight end Jesse Makowski returns for his senior season after earning second team all-conference honors last year.

The hardest position to fill will be quarterback, where Blake Hershelman started for three years before signing a baseball scholarship at St. John's (N.Y.) University.

David Pusey returns at that position after backing up Hershelman last year, but he saw very limited action until thrust into the job during the state championship loss to Newark when Hershelman injured his ankle.

Following is a capsule preview of the Golden Knights' 2001 football season.

Head Coach: John Wells (6th year, 35-17)

2000 Record: 10-2 overall, 4-1 Henlopen North, lost to Newark in Division I state championship game

Sussex Central head coach John WellsKey Returning Players: Jesse Makowski (TE-LB), Ricky Pierre (SS), George Jenkins (C), Jon Ricketts (RB), Terry Williams (DT), Colby Steele (T), Orlando Farrow (DE-FB), Layton Wright (DE), Justin Battaglino (K), Kyle Ricker (G), A.J. Rovillard (T), David Pusey (QB), Stephen Whitley (DT), Joe Wilkerson (SE), Clay Sermon (SE), Sekou Oney (LB), Drew Weatherly (SE)

Key Players Lost: Blake Hershelman (St. John's, Baseball), Matt Lawrence (Wisconsin), Jack Roach (Wesley), Jake Booth (Franklin & Marshall), George Davis (Cheyney), Mike Lopez (Cheyney), Teddy Thompson, Yoree Washington

Key Newcomers: Raheim Brunskill (DL), Tony Milam (RB), Candido Felix-Reynolds (DE), Lewis Day (LB), Justin King (T), John Riddle (QB), Mark Hernandez (S), Josh Ward (DE), Wilbert James (RB), Spencer Booth (DL), Terran Hall (RB), Keon Hampton (LB), Jeremy Baker (SE)

Coach Wells' Comments: "We return several key players with big game experience, which should be an asset. We look to have very good team speed on defense and in most of our offensive skill positions. We are goal oriented and the team has set some lofty goals, which is a plus. The development of depth in key positions has gone well in the preseason, but more depth wold be a great improvement."

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