Take Next Step
Photos: From top to bottom, running back Kevin Maull, lineman Eddie Vicks, quarterback Marcus Morris, Delmar transfer Brandon Hudson, and head coach Bill Collick.
After a difficult first season in 2000, Sussex Tech High School football fans began to see in 2001 why Jerry Kobasa coaxed Bill Collick out of retirement.
The former Delaware State coach worked his magic last year to guide the Ravens to a 7-3 record following a 1-9 record in his first season and an 0-10 mark the year before that.
This season, Collick hopes to build on that progress.
"We'd like to continue to improve," said Collick. "We know it will be a tough row to hoe. We're certainly happy with where we've come from and hope to continue to be able to go forward."
The most interesting aspect of the Ravens in the early going will be how they mix the acquisiton of school choice transfer Brandon Hudson, who led Delmar to the Division II state championship as a quarterback last year, with returning starter Marcus Morris.
Morris scored several touchdowns rushing and threw several passing TDs last year, while Hudson ignited in the post-season to guide Delmar to its second straight state championship.
Just a freshman last year, Hudson scored on a 37-yard run in the semifinal win over Hodgson and a 56-yard run in the state title win over Middletown. He finished the Middletown game with 110 yards rushing and a 56-yard touchdown pass.
Collick said he will use both at quarterback and at halfback during the season.
"They give us some of the same things but Brandon has a great presence and Marcus won seven games last year," said Collick. "Both have some ability and we're excited about them. Whether they're playing quarterback or halfback, we'll ultimately try to put them in the game at the same time."
They will join returning all-conference fullback Kevin Maull in the backfield. Maull led Tech in rushing and scoring last year and proved capable of breaking big plays with an 80-yard touchdown romp against Caesar Rodney, a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Woodbridge, and a 52-yard TD run against Cape Henlopen. He rushed for 147 yards in a win over Indian River and 131in a loss to CR.
"We'd like to be able to run the football," said Collick. "I hope that will be our strength. I think we need to do better passing the ball."
The Ravens do have some holes to fill this year with the graduation of first team all-Henlopen Conference defensive end Jamel Trott and two-way second team performer David Witt, the team's heart and soul at linebacker and offensive tackle. They'll also need to replace second team defensive back Morgan Schirmer.
But with first team all-conference lineman Tommy Shortridge and returning lineman Eddie Vicks paving the way for Maull, Morris and Hudson, the Ravens do have some firepower on offense..
Defensively, Tech returns Vicks, a second team all-conference defensive tackle last season, and defensive end T.J. Dukes, who returned a fumble for a touchdown last season.
The Ravens will need to find replacements, though, for starting linebackers David Witt, Morgan Schirmer and Jamie Tinley. "Our linebacking is probably a question mark," said Collick.
The kicking game will again rest on the feet of Shawn Melvin. Last year, Melvin came through in the clutch with the winning extra point in a 28-27 double-overtime victory over Woodbridge and a field goal in a 3-0 season-ending win over Polytech.
Following is a capsule preview of the Ravens' 2002 campaign.
Head Coach: Bill Collick (second year, 8-12)
2001 Record: 7-3 overall, 1-4 Henlopen North
Key Returning Players: Anthony Baron (TE-LB), T.J. Dukes (TE-DE), Sean Evans (FB-LB), Scott Hague (OL-DL), Andre Johnson (WR-CB), Matt Lewis (OL), Kevin Maull (FB-FS), Shawn Melvin (K), Marcus Morris (QB-HB-CB), Jason Root (OL), Tommy Shortridge (G-DL), Eddie Vicks (DL-OL).
Key Players Lost: Morgan Schirmer (HB-LB), David Witt (T-LB), Jamel Trott (TE-DE, Delaware State), Zack Coffmann (C-DT), Jamie Tinley (HB-LB), Bryant Thomas (T), Richie Kearney (P).
Key Newcomers: Brandon Hudson (QB-CB, transfer from Delmar), Prentiss Perry (LB), Billy Collick (OL-DL), Monte Sturgis (FB-LB).
Coach Collick's Comments: "We won't be able to sneak up on anybody. We know it will be tougher week in and week out. The Henlopen Conference is a pretty tough deal there."
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