BE's Chris Dengler dazzles on football field
Chris Dengler has a pair of state championship rings as a member of the Bishop England baseball team. He also has a scholarship from Old Dominion because of his skills on the diamond.
But for now, Dengler is focused on the gridiron. He’s beginning his senior season at BE as the Bishops’ top returning football playmaker now that Leo Albano, Christian Greavu and Will Bastian have graduated.
Dengler is a wide receiver for Coach John Cantey’s team. He caught 17 passes last fall for 262 yards and three touchdowns. While most baseball players of his caliber play baseball in the fall, he plays football.
His football career at BE almost didn’t happen.
Lack of interest.
“Baseball’s been my whole life,” said Dengler, whose family moved from New Jersey to the Lowcountry in time for him to begin the seventh grade. I played football as a youth, and just didn’t enjoy it. Then I just felt it was time to come back when I got a couple of years of high school under my belt.”
Dengler is coached on the baseball diamond by Mike Darnell. Darnell works with the wide receivers, so Dengler doesn’t get a break from the affable coach. Dengler has had a big role in the Bishops’ two state titles and will be a main cog on the 2019 team.
Dengler, who plays shortstop, also plays for the Evoshield Canes in the summer. It’s an elite travel team and keeps Dengler busy as he crosses the country to play in tournaments.
Old Dominion offered Dengler a baseball scholarship without watching him play. The coaching staff did come to Daniel Island to recruit him and offered him a scholarship after watching him play football.
Dengler went to camp at Old Diminion and fell in love with the campus, which is located in Norfolk, Virginia.
“I like the campus,”Dengler said. “It’s on the water and I like to fish and be outside, so it was the place for me.”
Dengler caught three of Albano’s passes for 63 yards in last year’s football season finale, a playoff loss to Dillon. One of his catches went for a 45-yard TD. This year, the Bishops are breaking in a new quarterback, Will Daniel, who attempted only one pass last fall.
“It looks like we can run the ball decent,” Dengler said. “We have a lot of threats on the outside as well. We lost a lot of players from last year’s team, so this team will be different.”
After the football season concludes, Dengler will turn his attention to baseball. He says the two state titles rank No. 2 and 3 respectively on his list of sports achievements.
No. 1 on the list is the state championship team he played on as an 8-year-old when he lived in New Jersey.
“That was a huge deal, probably because I was 8,” he said. “The parents were going crazy and it was just a fun time. It’s something I will always remember.”