Cape’s Maull returns to lead his alma mater to victory


The Vikings would like to turn last year’s 3-7 season around under new head coach J.D. Maull. (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

LEWES — J.D. Maull has come back home for the 2018 high school football season.

The new year marks Maull’s debut season as head coach for his alma mater Cape Henlopen High.

Maull was hired in early March to replace legendary coach Bill Collick, another Cape Henlopen alum. Collick retired at the end of the 2017 season after a 42-year career in coaching.

Maull played quarterback for the Vikings from 1994-1996. He has spent the last 12 years at St. Georges after he was hired as the first head coach in school history in 2006.

He went 75-37 at St. Georges and is looking to turn around a Cape Henlopen team who went 3-7 last year, the only losing season under Collick since he took over in time for the 2010 season.

Of course even for a Cape alum, there’s still an adjustment period during the preseason.

“Everyone is new,” Maull said. “We are learning about each other every day.”

The Vikings return seven players who were starters for the entire 2017 season.

The Vikings return seven players who were starters for the entire 2017 season led by
senior Patrick Tkach (tight end/defensive line). (Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

They’re led by a senior class which includes Patrick Tkach (tight end/defensive line), Tanner Virden (offensive and defense lines) and Curtis Purnell (running back/defensive back). Juniors Joe Kirby (running back/defensive back) and Cruz Harmon (offensive and defensive lines) are also back.

Sam Jones started at quarterback last year as a true freshman. He’s the starter again as a sophomore and could also play linebacker on the defensive side of the ball.

A large group of seniors are expected to slot in as full-time starters this year including Billy Ott (offensive and defensive lines), Jack Dennis (tight end and defensive back), Ben Weathersby (tight end and defensive back), Kenny Witherspoon (defensive back), Roy Jones (running back and linebacker), Austin Mendez (offensive line) and Eduardo Saez (defensive back).

Jaden Davis is slated to see a lot of time at running back as a sophomore.

While there’s a large senior class, Maull said the one concern is a possible lack of depth and numbers. There are only six juniors on the roster.

“We want to compete in the classroom and play 100 percent all four quarters,” Maull said. “We want to build some toughness within the program.”

The Vikings open the season with a trip to defending Division II champions Delmar High on Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

They play three consecutive road games to start the year. Cape Henlopen plays back-to-back games in Maryland during the second and third weeks of the season. Suitland High is first up in Week Two (7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14) and Northeast High is in Week Three (6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21).

Cape’s home opener is a Henlopen Conference Northern Division clash against defending Division I champion Smyrna High on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m.

 

Cape Henlopen
2018 Schedule
SEPTEMBER
7-At Delmar 7:30 p.m.
14-At Suitland, Md. 7 p.m.
21-At Northeast, Md. 6:30 p.m.
28-SMYRNA* 7 p.m.
OCTOBER
5-At Polytech* 7 p.m.
12-At Caesar Rodney* 7 p.m.
19-MILFORD* (HC) 7 p.m.
26-SUSSEX CENTRAL* 7 p.m.
NOVEMBER
2-At Dover* 7 p.m.
9-SUSSEX TECH* 7 p.m.
* Henlopen North games
2017 Results
1-5 Henlopen North, 3-7 overall
W-Lower Cape May, N.J. 36-6
L-Suitland, Md. 0-40
W-Northeast, Md. 28-22
L-Smyrna 21-54
L-Polytech 10-13
L-Caesar Rodney 6-27
L-Milford 27-28
L-Sussex Central 6-27
W-Dover 50-36
L-Sussex Tech 5-18

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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