Delaware Valley should be right in the thick of the championship chase

Defending their District 2 title was something Delaware Valley was not expected to do in 2018.

The Warriors had lost a lot of seniors and aside from a few then-junior veterans, not much was known about the cast DV was rolling out. As last season progressed, the Warriors did as well.

With only a dozen seniors on the roster, younger players eagerly emerged and not only met, but surpassed everyone’s expectations by winning a second straight championship.

Returning now with 21 seniors and a handful of experienced underclassmen as well, it’s pretty clear what the endgame is here for DelVal.

Peak Performers

“We have a veteran group returning with a lot of experience from last year,” said Head Coach Keith Olsommer. “I’m excited to see what this group can do.”

Unquestionably the player that will grab the most attention is senior tailback, Josh Balcarcel.

He gained substantial experience as a sophomore and then exploded last fall. He led the Warriors with 13 touchdowns and tallied 1248 yards on 222 carries.

At just 5’6” Balcarcel might not seem intimidating but his scrappy size and tenacious attitude make him hard to hit and difficult to hold. The zip and zing he is known for in the spring playing lacrosse easily translates to the gridiron.

Factor in his demeanor and leadership ability and he’s easily one of DV’s most vital ingredients.

“I think some people might still see us as underdogs,” Balcarcel said. “But, the ones that played us last year realize what we can do and know we’re no joke.”

A very important cog in the DV machine is kicker Noah Sorrell. Last fall he went 6-for-9 on field goal attempts and sent 104-of-114 point-after tries through the uprights.

A solid kicker is crucial to any team. To put things into perspective just how much of role Sorrell has played in the Warriors’ success over the past two years, Balcarcel has scored 17 touchdowns over the past two years.

That’s 102 points. In just PATs alone, Sorrel has amassed 104 during his two years as the Warriors kicker. Factor in the field goals and Sorrell is the top career scorer currently on the squad with 122 points.

Zach Scillia entered last season relatively untested as a quarterback.

Although he sustained a dozen interceptions, he made 100-of-189 completions for 1397 yards and 16 TDs. He rushed for another quartet of TDs himself and playing defense, picked off enemy quarterbacks four times.

As another senior occupying a key position, he too will be looked to for leadership and improved skill.

Key Factors

Senior Jawon Foushee will be a likely target for Scillia’s arm.

Last year he caught 38 passes for 539 yards and scored three touchdowns.

Also making it into the endzone three times was classmate Hunter Klein who had 13 receptions and took the ball for 180 yards.

Klein cut his teeth as a rusher during his sophomore season, so expect that Warriors might change things up a bit and utilize him in both rolls.

“We are extremely focused,” Klein said.

“We’ve been lifting Monday through Friday all summer and just staying on top of everything from conditioning to studying our plays.”

Defensively speaking, DV is in great shape. Back is junior Jason Henderson. Last fall he had 58 solo tackles and 82 assists, among those, seven sacks.

He’s an offensive tool too having picked up 400 yards on 50 rushes towards eight touchdowns. Defensive back, senior Matt Studsrud had ten deflections and three picks.

‘I like the leadership this group shows,” Olsommer said proudly, “We have good leaders across the board. These guys have been in the fight and down in the trenches before, so they have the work ethic to be successful.”

Nothing, however, is set in stone, Olsommer admonished his players that no one has a fixed position as of yet following Tuesday’s practice.

He cited an example of how a past player asked to come out of a practice and how his replacement stepped up and continued to play more often than the veteran.

Expectations

“I think the target is always on us given out run of successes,” Olsommer said, “The schedule is challenging. We start with Pennridge Week 1 and each week face a tough opponent.”

The Warriors scrimmage Bethlehem Liberty at home Saturday, 8/17 at 11 a.m. The regular season kicks off at home too on 8/23 when they host Pennridge.

On 8/30 DV travels to Scranton Memorial Stadium to face West Scranton then is back home on 9/6 to welcome Wallenpaupack.

DelVal is back on the road at Wilkes-Barre Area on 9/13 and then has North Pocono on Saturday, 9/21 for a 4 p.m. Homecoming matinee.

On 9/27 they are away at Hazleton Area, home on 10/4 when Abington Heights arrives, then away for two weeks, first at Williamsport on 10/11 and then at Wyoming Valley West on 10/18.

The regular season wraps at home with Scranton visiting on senior night 10/25. All games start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

In a matter-of-fact manner, Olsommer stated:

“We’re doing things similar to what we always do. We have to tweak some things, but we are who we are, and we do what we do. That’s just Delaware Valley football.”