A healthy Kane ready to lead Sussex Tech

Ricky Kane. Delaware State News file photo

GEORGETOWN — This time last year, Ricky Kane was preparing for what he hoped would be his breakout season as Sussex Tech High’s full-time starting quarterback.

A few weeks later, in the Ravens’ Week 1 match-up against Milford High, Kane went down with a season-ending injury.

While the Ravens won the season-opener, 30-13, over the Bucs, a torn meniscus ended Kane’s junior season before it even really got started.

“When it happened, I was just shocked. I was on the sidelines in shock, ready to just get back on the field,” Kane explained. “Working hard all summer just to get hurt in the first game, I was really disappointed.”

He had started a handful of games in 2017 as a sophomore, behind then-senior Tyzhir Morris, but the 2018 season was his first shot at being the No. 1 full-time starting QB.

Though he couldn’t be out on the field with his teammates, Tech coach Mark Quillin says he took the adversity in stride and continued to support his teammates from the sideline during the recovery process.

“He was very inspirational. You can tell that it really hurts a kid who’s been out like that,” said Quillin. “He was very supportive of everyone. He was really a leader off the field having to sit out. He did a great job.”

The Ravens finished the season 6-4, missing the DIAA Division I playoffs for the third straight year.

Now, entering his senior season, Kane is back in pads leading the offense under center as the Ravens look forward to its Week 1 road matchup.

The Ravens are set to open the new season with three consecutive road games at Northern High in Maryland Sept. 6; Coolidge High in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 13; and at William Penn High Sept. 21.

Back at full health, Kane feels good about the players he has around him and hopes the Ravens can make an impact in the Henlopen Conference Northern Division this season.

“I feel like this team has a chip on its shoulder,” he said. “In the rankings, they have us with a losing record and far back in the conference, so I feel like we should just take it one game at a time and hopefully we can go to the state championship. That’s always the goal.”

As a multi-sport star, Kane recovered from his injury in time to return to the basketball court about halfway through the season.

“He needed surgery, it was about an eight-week situation,” said Quillin. “He came back for basketball about midseason, and he came back in basketball and did very well. He was a great player and motivator for us in the spring and summer.”

He helped the Ravens’ basketball squad to a 14-6 record and a DIAA playoff appearance in the winter, dropping 15 points in a first-round win over – of course – Milford.

He scored six points in Tech’s second-round loss to Salesianum just two days later, putting him in full off-season mode for football.

Kane displayed his leadership and work ethic with the football team during the offseason.

“He didn’t miss much this summer. I feel like I’ve seen more of him than I’ve seen my own kids,” Quillin joked. “We see him all the time, he’s texting me and calling me, ‘hey coach, what are you doing today?’ He gets together with coach [Ethan] Long in the summer at different times, just to throw it around and get loose.

“This summer he did a lot of 7-on-7 stuff as both a receiver and a quarterback, so he did a little bit of both. He came out this year in great shape. He looks good, he really does.”

Kane’s older brother, Kani Kane, joined the Ravens’ coaching staff as an assistant this season.

Kani, a Sussex Tech graduate himself, was a First Team All-State running back for the Ravens, rushing for over 2,000 yards as a senior in 2014. After two years at Lackawanna College, Kani transferred to University of Delaware and spent the last two seasons running the ball for the Blue Hens.

“He’s been on me, of course,” Ricky joked. “He’s been on everyone, though. He just pushes us to be the best we can be. He knows what to expect out of me, so I just play my role.”

Ricky has his sights set on out-performing what his brother did under coach Quillin.

“It’s been nice having him,” said Quillin, of Kani. “He’s been a good motivator for his brother, because I think his brother, deep down inside, wants to be better than ol’ big brother.

“It’s been a nice addition, I have to say, because Kani kind of takes care of it,” he added. “Brotherly love is good, but it can be rough sometimes too. It’s been a good situation.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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