By Joseph Santoliquito, Marple Newtown Patch
August 23, 2011
August 23, 2011
NEWTOWN SQUARE–Ray Gionta will take his time again, as Marple Newtown's head football coach always seems to do in September. He'll look at who is producing and who isn't, who is improving and who isn't, and who can make an impact.
The Tigers enter the 2011 as an enigma, a great unknown that could look strong one game and look like they still have a lot of learn the next. Gionta is going to be patient with a team that could gradually improve.
"I like the team leadership and attitude," Gionta said. "This team will come to play and play hard. We have a solid kicking game, but we do have some inexperience on both sides of ball. That's our biggest concern, that, and injuries."
Gionta shared his concerns about facing some of the bigger teams in the league.
"Depth is always a concern," said Gionta. "We'll be young and inexperienced, but eager to learn and compete in an always tough Central League. The traditional Central League powers will be a challenge for us–we have Strath Haven and Ridley, and we play them in back-to-back weeks. But I like how this team works and look for us to improve and develop as the season progresses."
The offense will be centered on senior 5-foot-10, 175-pound tailback Cimirrow Moat, a two-way starter last year who had 599 yards on 90 carries with three touchdowns. More importantly, Moat could be explosive with the ball in his hands. He rushed for an average of 6.7 yards a carry. Defensively, Moat had 47 tackles and a fumble recovery for a touchdown last season.
Anchoring the offensive line and defense is 6-foot, 190-pound senior Sean Ridinger, a two-year starter at guard who had 32 tackles his junior year.
Another key factor on the offensive line is senior Chris Kurkian, a tough 5-foot-7, 180-pound offensive guard who will do double duty at defensive tackle. His quickness and determination led to 6.5 sacks last year.
Senior kicker Anthony Nicolardi gives the Tigers that added weapon to pin teams with touchbacks, and senior set-end, defensive back Joey Pham is a pick-off machine. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound senior led the Tigers with three interceptions last year and had 24 tackles.
Senior Jamie Ridinger returns as the quarterback for the Tigers, after starting five games last year and tossing three touchdowns.
Watch for senior Ryan Furst, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound outside linebacker and star of the basketball team, seniors Ken Smith (OT/DT) and Tom Antista (RB/DB) and junior Joe Vegso (QB/DB) to also contribute.
Marple Newtown Fact Box
Coach: Ray Gionta.
Last year: 4-6; 3-6 (Central League)
Key players: Cimirrow Moat (Sr., 5-foot-10, 175, RB/DB), Sean Ridinger (Sr. 6-foot, 190, OG/LB), Chris Kurkian (Sr. 5-foot-7, 180, OG/DT), Joey Pham (Sr. 5-foot-10, 160, SE/DB), Jamie Ridinger (Sr. 6-foot, 185 QB), Ryan Schollenberger (Sr., 6-foot, 180, TE/LB).
Games to watch: Strath Haven 9/16; At Ridley 9/23; At Conestoga 10/14; Haverford High School 10/21.
Marple Newtown Schedule
Sept. 2 Sun Valley 7:00 pm
Sept. 9 at Penncrest 7:00 pm
Sept. 16 Strath Haven 7:00 pm
Sept. 23 at Ridley 7:00 pm
Sept. 30 Lower Merion 7:00 pm
Oct. 6 at Harriton 7:00 pm
Oct. 14 at Conestoga 7:00 pm
Oct. 21 Haverford 7:00 pm
Oct. 28 Radnor 7:00 pm
Nov. 4 at Springfield 7:00 pm
Nov. 11 at Academy Park 7:00 pm