Kings of the Hill; Cascia Football Rules the Gridiron
By Joe Medina
Cascia Hall Head Football Coach
CASCIA HALL 2009 STATE CHAMPION FOOTBALL TEAM
Photo Courtesy Cascia Hall Athletic Department
The three-time defending state champions seek to make it a four-peat in 2010.The tradition rich Cascia Hall football program has been to the state playoffs for 23 consecutive seasons, winning 5 state titles (1989, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009), and finishing as runners-up in 1990, 2001, and 2005.
The Commandos posted a perfect 13-0 record last season clinching the state title with a 21-0 victory over Berryhill and hold the state’s longest winning streak at 41 games.
With victories in their first two games, Cascia could break the eleven man all-time consecutive winning streak of 42 held by Ada (1993-96).The team returns 4 starters on offense and 4 starters on defense.Head coach Joe Medina (184-54-2, 19 seasons overall) returns for his twelfth season at Cascia Hall and has posted a 127-15 record since returning to his alma mater in 1999.
Cascia Hall prides itself on its “Blue Swarm” defense, which employs an aggressive 3-4 scheme.In 2009 the defense gave up an average of 8 points per game.Leading the defense this season will be juniors Conner Sherwood (6-3, 220 lbs, ILB) and Hunter Hart (5-9, 200 lbs, DL).
Both have started since their freshman year and are impact players.Sherwood, a division one college prospect, logged 83 tackles, 4 QB sacks, 13 tackles for losses, and one interception last season.Hart, the most explosive defensive linemen in Medina’s tenure at Cascia, posted 66 tackles and 8 quarterback sacks in 2009.
In addition to Hart, the defensive line has plenty of experience and is bolstered by seniors Parker Sinko (6-3, 230 lbs), Joseph Haydock (6-2, 220lbs), Tyler Rhoades (6-0, 220 lbs), and Blake Raley (6-1, 225).Sophomore Wess Bowman (6-4, 200 lbs) and junior Parker Butterworth (6-0, 180 lbs) look to crack the line-up and provide good depth.
Sherwood leads a very talented and physical linebacker corps.On the inside junior Danny Brennan (6-2, 200 lbs) and sophomore Abrm McQuarters (6-0, 180) are quick, intelligent, and capable players.On the outside look for Timmy Elias (6-3, 220 lbs) to make an immediate impact for the Commando.His physical play had the coaching staff excited after spring practice.Morgan Martin (6-1, 190 lbs), Jacob Haydock (6-0, 180), and Jake Stump (6-0, 200 lbs) will compete for the other starting spot.
The defensive backfield returns two exceptional junior starters in free-safety Luke Moellers (6-3, 180 lbs) and cornerback Patrick Bass (5-9, 180 lbs).Both players are extremely talented and made key interceptions in the play-offs and state championship game last season.Seniors Drew Boone (5-11, 170 lbs) and Connor Sokolosky (5-8, 170 lbs) and juniors Baylor Boone (6-0, 170 lbs) and Phillip Choquette (5-8, 165 lbs) will all compete for the other starting positions in the secondary.Sophomore Kyle Driscoll (6-0, 180 lbs) will also be in the mix for playing time.
On offense the Commandos have a race for the starting quarterback spot.Senior Timmy Curthoys (6-1, 180 lbs) has a strong arm and is very athletic.He emerged from University of Tulsa team camp slightly ahead of the other quarterback candidates which include juniors Patrick Bass, Thomas Rouse (6-1, 180) and sophomore Tate Swab (5-8, 170 lbs).All four players are very talented but must convince Coach Medina that they can be the leader of the offense in order to win the job for the season.
If Bass doesn’t win the quarterback job he will compete for the starting tailback job with Tim Elias and junior Malcom Mason (6-0, 175 lbs).All three have exceptional speed and toughness and are capable of posting 1000 yard seasons.Hunter Hart will start at the fullback position and will have good back-ups in junior Miles Cohen and sophomore Broc Smith.Returning from season-ending knee surgery will be junior Jake Stump who logged quality game time last season before getting hurt.
The tight end position should be another area of strength for Cascia as there are several quality players that will play in that spot.Leading the way will be Conner Sherwood and Danny Brennan.They will be pushed by juniors Danny Price (6-2 190 lbs), Doug Plunk (6-1, 195 lbs), and senior Paul Thetford (6-5, 195 lbs).All are great blockers and can catch the football.
The offensive line will return two starters in tackles Parker Sinko and Joseph Haydock. The front line will be blessed with good size and exceptional depth.Senior Eric Sedlacek (6-2, 250 lbs) looks to be the leading candidate at center.Guards include underclassmen Travis Zenthoeffer (5-8, 230), Rocco Driscoll (5-9, 175 lbs), and senior Tyler Rhoades.The depth will be provided by a sophomore class that is bigger than the traditional Cascia lineman.Turner Chesbro (6-3, 255 lbs), Ryan Nigh (6-2, 240 lbs), and Brett Asher (5-9 240 lbs) all will be counted on to contribute this season and have a bright future for the Commandos.
The wide receivers will be led by Luke Moellers, Connor Sokolosky, Baylor Boone, and senior Conner Turner.All have exceptional hands and capable of making big plays at any time.
Special teams will be one of the strongest areas for the Commandos in 2010.Returning are punter Patrick Bass, kicker Eric Testa, and snappers Thomas Rouse and Paul Thetford.All four players starter every game last season for the Cascia and made several key plays, especially during the playoffs.The return game will have to find players that can consistently catch the ball but Cascia has talented running backs and receivers to fill the void.
Overall, the Commandos have enough talent and depth at key positions to defend their title in Class 3A.The defense should again be rock-solid and be the staple of the program.If a leader emerges at the quarterback position the Commandos will again have a very potent offense.Special teams will be counted on every game to tip the balance in a highly competitive district and non-district schedule.Experience and tradition will again be on the Commandos side as they look to extend their consecutive game winning streak and make a run for a fourth straight state championship.
CASCIA HALL COMMANDOS By the Numbers:
State Champs 1989, 1999, 2007, 2008, 2009
State Finalist 1990, 2001, 2005
18 District Titles
Varsity Football Schedule
Fri. Sep. 3 Holland Hall
Fri. Sept. 24 Blackwell (Homecoming))
Fri.Oct. 1Locust Grove
Fri. Oct. 15 Kellyville
Fri. Nov. 5 Dewey
all games at 7:30 pm
BOLD Games, Home
Fun Commando Facts:
The Commandos always wear their school blazers when they travel.
5 members of the football team were on the state championship soccer team, 1 on the state championship tennis team.
Sophomore Luc Daffern is a nationally-ranked skeet shooter for his age.
Senior Tim Elias is one of the state’s top baseball prospects.
The Commando Football Show can be seen each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8:30 pm on Tulsa Cox Cable Channel 3.All Cascia football games can be heard over the internet by accessing the Cascia website, www.casciahall.org
Coach Medina’s predictions for District 3A-4 (not ranking Cascia)
Coach’s Medina’s Prediction for Class 3A (not ranking Cascia)