Unionville is expected to contend in the head coach’s 19th and final season – Daily Local

EAST MARLBOROUGH >> Expectations never change in Unionville under longtime head football coach Pat Clark.

The Longhorns will have to replace a long list of retirees this fall. But the main goals of defeating arch-rival Kennett, winning the Ches-Mont title and becoming a district champion remain front and center, as usual.

“We have a pretty young lineup, but that’s normal,” Clark said. “We still have high expectations.

“We probably have 8-10 younger brothers or cousins ​​of kids who played here. They know what our program is about and they know what is expected of us.”

The defending American champions went 10-2 a year ago, and there is strong motivation to keep Unionville in the upper echelon. And in 2022, there will be another major incentive: it will be Clark’s 19th and final season at the helm.

“I was appointed assistant principal (UHS) in the middle of last season,” he explained. “I have this season to wrap it up.”

It may take some time, but the Horns believe they have the makings of another stout defense with standout players at all three levels: lineman Nathan D’Angelo (6-foot-3, 230), linebacker Quinton Boyle (6-0, 195), and safety Tucker Opdahl. Not surprisingly, all three are hereditary.

D’Angelo is a three-year starter, his father, Dan, is on the coaching staff and his brother played for Clark. Boyle is the fourth brother to play at Unionville, while Opdahl was a first-team all-league selection a year ago.

“(D’Angelo) has been watching football in Unionville since the second grade,” Clark said. “He’s got size and he’s athletic. Nate should be an impact player on both sides of the ball.

“Go to Coatesville or Downingtowns, where they’ve been playing football for a long time, and you’ll see a lot of kids whose parents or brothers played there. It matters. Would you want to answer in front of your brother if you failed?

Outside linebacker Matt D’Amico (5-11, 200) is also back and is the third Boyle brother to play for Clark. There is good size up front with returnees such as senior Owen Prysock (6-5, 250), junior Jack Hyman (5-11, 235) and senior Christian Deming (6-3, 191).

In addition to Opdahl, the secondary is anchored at one cornerback spot by senior speedster Joe King. Junior Oliver Tarr, seniors Spera Ferentinas and Ryan Gilday are expected to fill the other two spots.

“As seniors, we’re going to do what we can to bring in the young guys and see where that takes us,” D’Angelo said.

Offensively, King replaces Ethan Benik as the Longhorns’ starting quarterback. He is experienced, elusive and instinctive. This is an important role, but also a great opportunity.

“I think I’m ready. I feel like our offense is going to be what everybody expects from Unionville,” King said.

“We always seem to have a tail that can carry the load,” Clark added.

“Joe was a wonderful compliment to (Bennink) last year. We will build around Joe. He’s having a blast and he cares. He’s a quiet leader, but the kids voted him one of our captains.”

At quarterback, it’s a battle between Gilday (6-3, 205) and junior Levi Brawley (6-2, 185). Both are good athletes, and Clarke vows that both will see the field, whether at quarterback or anywhere else.

“But I don’t know if we’re at the point where we’re splitting the quarterback reps,” Clark noted.

“Levi can run and throw it well. Gilday’s arm is great,” added Opdahl, who is expected to be a favorite target.

D’Anglo will anchor the offensive front, with others such as Prysok, Hyman and Deming included in the lineup.

“We have some pieces,” Clark said. “We’ll do some things by committee along the offensive and defensive lines early on. We will be better in September than now. And in October we will be better than in September.

“Offensively, we’re unknown on the perimeter, but there are a lot of young guys to choose from.”

The overall message is clear: a few returnees may have to stick together at the beginning while the newbies get the hang of it. But by midseason, Unionville will likely look like it always has: competitive and tough.

“We want to go out with a bang, but our preparation is the same,” Boyle said. “There’s been a level of consistency since Coach Clark got here, so we’re trying to play at that same level.”

Opdahl added: “The standard is here and it’s not going to drop for anyone or any team.

“Nineteen seasons happen for a reason. Before (Clarke) came here, football was pretty bad for a long time. He raised the bar and we’ve been a playoff contender ever since.”

And according to Clark, the future is bright.

“We’ve got some young kids that we think are going to be really good,” he said. “Whoever takes over for me, the program will be full.”


Friday, August 26 — vs. Academy Park, 7 p.m

Friday, September 2 — in Sun Valley, 7 p.m

Friday, Sept. 9 — vs. Oxford, 7 p.m

Friday, September 16 – vs. West Chester East, 7 p.m

Friday, Sept. 23 — at Coatesville, 7 p.m

Friday, September 30 — v Chichester, 7 p.m

Friday, October 7 – at Kennett, 7:00 p.m

Friday, Oct. 14 – vs. Great Valley, 7 p.m

Friday, Oct. 21 — at West Chester Henderson, 7 p.m

Friday, Oct. 28 — at West Chester Rustin, 7 p.m

Head Coach: Pat Clark

2021 record: 7-0 Ches-Mont American, 10-2 overall

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