Delavan-Darien Comets’ offense will test scoreboards

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By Tim Wester, Special to The Gazette
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Delavan-Darien High first-year football coach Bret St. Arnauld can’t wait to try out his new offensive weapons this season.

Who can blame him, after he inherited an experienced and athletic offense that is led by senior quarterback and reigning Southern Lakes Conference player of the year Jesse Collins?

Arnauld expects Collins to be even better this year through his talent and leadership.

“Collins has made some big strides and is bigger and stronger,” St. Arnauld said. “He’s not only improved his throwing ability but also has improved from a leadership standpoint. He’s taken on a leadership role with a lot of passion and has become an extra coach on the field.”

Collins will run a similar wide-open offense to last year’s scheme under former head coach Steve Tenhagen, now at SLC rival Burlington.

“The offense will be a similar style, with tweaks to it,” St. Arnauld said. “We want to play to our strength to get our athletes and Collins in space. You want your good athletes in space, and Jesse moves well in space to run or pass.”

St. Arnauld will certainly have plenty of athletes at his disposal.

The Comets’ first-year coach expects his running back duo of Quincy Perry and Fabias Shipman to have strong seasons to complement Collins’ running ability.

And Collins will also have at his disposal in the passing game receivers Sam Alder and Max Grover, along with tight end Ethan Cesarz.

On top of the Comets’ athleticism at the skill positions is an experienced offensive line that features five returning starters from last season’s team that finished 3-4 in the Southern Lakes.

“The offensive line is looking good,” St. Arnauld said. “They are getting better every day and are starting to understand how important communication is amongst them.”

St. Arnauld is also excited about the quickness and athleticism of his defense.

“We are going to play to our strength of speed and quickness on defense,” St. Arnauld said. “We may be undersized in spots on defense this year, but you can cover some of that up with good athleticism.”

The Comets’ defense is looking to improve from last season in which it gave up 34 points per game.

Senior Ricardo Cruz will anchor the Comets’ line with Perry and Jacob Scheff.

Linebacker Cesarz will lead Delavan-Darien in the middle.

Cornerback Caleb Scott, along with safeties Adam Wojciechowski and Jake Benzing, will play a big role in the secondary.

“I’m expecting big things from our defense this year,” St. Arnauld said. “We will be a bit more physical and look to force more turnovers.

 “I’m excited about the season,” added the 26-year-old head coach. “It didn’t take long for the team to understand I have their best interests in hand and get on the same page.”

The only question remains is whether the improved Comets can move up the ranks in the always tough Southern Lakes Conference.

Last updated: 9:58 am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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