Spotlight on: Garnet Valley Jaguars
Hometown: Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
Group: District 1 -- AAAA Central League
By Jimmy Oliver
The Pennsylvania Central League has a long-standing tradition of being one of the most competitive leagues in the entire state with perennially formidable squads like Strath Haven, Ridley and Upper Darby included.
But this year, there is a new kid on the block who hopes to rank among the elite teams for years to come.
The Garnet Valley Jaguars initiated the 2008 season by joining a new, more talented league (previously they were a part of the Southern Chester County League) and have not changed their style one bit, as evidenced by the team taking the Central League crown this year.
Not only did they win the league title in their first season, but they also went undefeated with a regular season record of 10-0. And they now have their sights set on repeating as District 1 champions returning to the state championship game.
Last season, the Jags went 13-2 with losses to Unionville (which they made up for in the playoffs with a win) and a championship loss against Thomas Jefferson. The goal now is to get back to the finals and finish what they started last year.
Offensively, this team is at its best when grinding it out on the ground. The Jags have two running backs with over 800 yards apiece this season. Tim Keyser and Jared Bonacquisti make up the sure-handed tandem that frequently controls the time of possession.
Although they do not strike through the air as often as some others, when they do, Mark McHugh is capable of rising to the occasion. The talented signal-caller has only three interceptions on the season while throwing for 806 yards and eight touchdowns.
With a ball control offense, the opposition has little chance to score on Garnet Valley. The Jags are letting up an average of 11 points per game – good for just 113 total points allowed on the season. It’s evident that this team is primed for a deep run through the playoffs.
And while they are new to the Central league this season, they are not foreign to being at the top of the District 1 standings. In both ‘06 and ‘07, they were the district representative for AAAA and this year should be no different. Garnet Valley is no longer the unknown in the Central League.
In fact, they are already the elite of the pack and the new kid has the ball.
Next up. November 14 vs. Pennsbury (State PR: 76.50, Rank: 24).
Look for Jimmy's spotlights each week right here at FootballPower.tv. Got any ideas for future spotlight teams? E-mail editor Adam C. Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.