College Notebook: Wesley spring football valuable time for Drass

Mike Drass

There was a time when NCAA Division III football coaches had to wait eight or nine months to have all their off-season questions answered.

But Wesley College football coach Mike Drass definitely likes getting some of those issues sorted out in the spring.

The NCAA started permitting small colleges to have non-contact spring practice a few years ago.

Drass said it makes a difference.

The Wolverines will wrap up spring ball with a limited scrimmage on Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Even though it’s non-contact, fundamentally we get a chance to see our guys develop a little bit,” said Drass. “Like we’ve been talking about the secondary. That was kind of a question mark at the end of last season. Well, we’ve been been able to answer a lot of those questions.”

Drass also likes what he’s seen at quarterback.

Senior-to-be Nick Falkenberg only emerged as the full-time starter toward the end of last season, helping Wesley win the New Jersey Athletic Conference title and reach the second round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Drass has been encouraged by the play of backup quarterbacks Khaaliq Burroughs and Ben Campbell this spring, as well.

“The quarterback situation looks really good,” said Drass. “Nick really finished up strong last year but, just being out there throwing footballs four days a week gives him an opportunity to have some guidance as he goes into the summer to continue with his development.”

Drass also said that senior offensive tackle Matt Gono continues to impress the NFL scouts that have seen him while Smyrna High grad Terren Carter is playing like a starter at guard.

One of the key players who missed spring practice was receiver Alex Kemp. The Caesar Rodney High grad had knee surgery in January for an old injury and could only watch from the sidelines the last few weeks.

Overall, however, Drass has liked what he’s seen from the Wolverines.

“These kids have had a great attitude,” he said. “I’m excited about that.”

Getting acquainted

In Newark, first-year coach Danny Rocco said spring practice is the best time to get to know his Delaware football squad.

Right now the Blue Hens aren’t caught up in the weekly, regular-season grind of trying to win a game.

“It allows us to get back to really being hands on,” said Rocco, “back to doing what we really love to do — and that’s interact with the student-athlete and coach football.

“You’re finally getting to know them,” he said about his players. “Knowing someone and developing a relationship with someone are two different things. A lot of our relationship-building time is this time. … They’re in the building a lot more often. You get to know who they are. That’s a big part of building trust.”

Notes

• With 33 stolen bases this season, Wesley College’s Trey Mears leads NCAA Division III baseball in the category. The Sussex Central High grad also has 95 career stolen bases, leaving him just eight shy of the school record.

The fifth-year senior outfielder has been caught only five times in 38 attempts.

• Dover High grad Kendall Small leads the Wilmington University baseball team with 22 RBI and seven doubles.

• Another former Senator, Tevin Thomas, tops Goldey-Beacom with a .329 batting average.

• A couple more Polytech High athletes have decided their college destinations. Field hockey player Cam Dennis is headed for Salisbury while girls’ lacrosse player Grace Stang is going to Bridgewater.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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