Bishops look to younger players to boost team this football season
You just have to check the Bishop England High School football roster and depth chart to realize 2018 could be a season when the theme might be “Youth is served.”
There are only 10 seniors on this year’s team and only three starters are back from last year’s squad, which posted a 7-4 record and reached the playoffs. Twenty-one players graduated, and the most notable were running back/receiver Christian Greavu and quarterback Leo Albano. Greavu had a combined 1,290 yards rushing and receiving while Albano tallied 2,876 yards running and passing. Combined, the two were responsible for 4,156 yards. The Bishops finished the season with 4,259 yards in total offense.
“We’re going to take our lumps early,” said coach John Cantey, whose team opens the season this Friday in a battle against SCISA power First Baptist at Jack Cantey Stadium on Daniel Island. “The kids have good work habits, but it might not be instant success. We have a lot of young guys, and we’ve been doing a lot of coaching.”
The returning starters include defensive back/wide receiver Sullivan Clair, lineman James Busche and wide receiver Chris Dengler.
Just how young are the Bishops? The offensive backfield is nothing but sophomores. Will Daniel won the quarterback position with a strong spring. The running backs will be classmates Ed Marinaro and Michael Long.
Daniel comes from a football family. His father, Jim, served as head coach at Bishop England before taking the head coach at Palmetto Christian. He’s back at BE as an assistant. The younger Daniel completed his only pass attempt last fall for 34 yards and carried 16 times for 82 yards.
“He has a lot of poise for a sophomore,” Cantey said of Daniel. “He has to be a more physical runner, but that will come. All he needs is a little more confidence. He has a good arm.”
Marinaro’s father, Ed, played at Cornell and finished second in the Heisman voting in 1971 after he set numerous NCAA records.
Junior Sawyer Thompson saw plenty of action last fall at wide receiver and in the secondary.
“Both of our running backs are creating their own personalities,” Cantey said. “They have started to develop.”
The secondary should be well stocked as well as linebacker positions, so the Bishops should be strong against the pass and on plays that spread the field.
The starting linebackers include senior Creston Taws, junior Drew Owens and sophomore Sammy Gress.
James O’Connor, Nolan Hickey and Busche are the keys to the line.
Cantey is entering his 11th year as coach of the Battling Bishops. He led the 2011 and 2012 teams to state championships, the only teams in the school’s proud history to reach the promised land.
The 2011 team had 14 seniors and the 2012 team had 20. This year, there are only 10 seniors.
“I don’t remember a team this young,” Cantey said. “I don’t think this has happened before. We just have to be disciplined and get some experience. It’s going to be interesting.”