Local college notebook: Marrocco emerges as solid quarterback candidate for Wesley

DOVER — Around the Wesley College football program, comparing a quarterback to Joe Callahan is about as a big a compliment as there is.

David Marrocco

Wolverine coach Chip Knapp isn’t saying that David Marrocco is the second-coming of Callahan, who’s now with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Bucs.
But Knapp said there is something about Marrocco’s demeanor that reminds him of Callahan.

“He has a little bit of the Joe Callahan poise — I see a lot of that aspect in Dave,” said Knapp. “It’s a good thing.”

It’s also one of the reasons Marrocco came out of spring practice No. 1 on the depth chart at QB for the Wolverines.

Wesley will be largely untested at the position after graduating starter Khaaliq Burroughs. Marrocco, a junior, is battling for the starting job with senior Jon Mullin and sophomore Jared Wagenhoffer, the Caesar Rodney High grad.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Marrocco completed 9-of-16 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown while appearing in four games last season.

“He’s deceivingly athletic and strong,” said Knapp. “He’s good in the weight room. And he’s a great decision-maker. He got to show that this spring, which was great to see.”

Of course, there’s still a lot of time between now and the Wolverines’ season opener at Franklin Pierce (N.H.) on Sept. 7. Knapp said Mullin has been in the picture at quarterback before but has just never quite broken through.

“They’re still going to be competing in the fall,” said Knapp.

Wesley handed out a few major awards when spring ball ended last Sunday. That listed included: Most Outstanding Spring Offensive Players-sophomore offensive tackle Brandon Bradford and sophomore wide receiver Mike Credle and Most Improved Defensive Players-Junior safety Marcus Gaspard and sophomore linebacker Jay Holmes.

Knapp also named 12 players to a team leadership council. Captains will be selected in preseason camp.

So far, Knapp said he likes the leadership he’s seen from this group.

“It was difficult to narrow it down to 12,” he said. “There were plenty of candidates.”

After the NJAC lost Frostburg State when it moved up to NCAA Division II, the Wolverines are currently lining up a 10th game for next year’s schedule. Franklin Pierce and Delaware Valley are Wesley’s two non-conference games so far.

UD spring game today

Delaware Stadium, with its home stands currently half torn down, seems like the perfect backdrop for today’s Delaware Blue-White spring football game.

The Blue Hens are very much a team under construction after losing a large and talented senior class. The scrimmage is set for 3:30 p.m. in the stadium.

UD fans will get their first glimpse of the Blue Hens’ offense under new offensive coordinator Jared Ambrose, the former Towson OC who was hired after the season. Head coach Danny Rocco has also brought in former Delaware player — not to mention Illinois head coach Bill Cubit — as assistant head coach and runnings back coach.

While starting quarterback Pat Kehoe returns, the Blue-White game should be a chance for QBs Nolan Henderson (Smyrna) and Anthony Paoletti to prove themselves, as well.

With Delaware’s men’s lacrosse team also hosting Towson in a big game at noon, UD will open a ‘Fan Zone’ at 11:30 a.m. today as part of its ‘Fandemonium.’ There will be music and children’s activities around the stadium.

UD Downstate Day at S. Tech

UD is also hosting its seventh annual Downstate Day on May 4 at Sussex Tech High.

Starting at 1:30 p.m., children ages 5-12 can sign up to participate in skills in football, soccer, field hockey, basketball or cheer with Delaware players and coaches. The free event runs from 2-3:45 p.m. with players and coaches also available for autographs.

Go to BlueHens.com/DownstateDay for more information and a registration form.

Notes

• Former Smyrna High football star Will Knight, now a redshirt freshman running back at Old Dominion, was recently featured on the Monarchs’ website. Among other things, he was asked how he liked seeing action in a few games as a true freshman last fall.

“It was great because it allowed me to better understand the speed of the game and the transition of the level of competition at the Division I level in comparison to high school,” Knight was quoted. “As a result of playing a couple games last year I believe I will be much more prepared to play in games this upcoming fall.”

• Kendall Small, a Dover High baseball product, drove in the 144th run of his career last week to become the all-time leader at Wilmington University. Small already broke the career hit record at Wilmington a week earlier.

• Sean MacLeish (Caesar Rodney High) netted a hat-trick for the Bridgewater University men’s lacrosse team on Wednesday in a win over Hampden-Sydney. Jake Pangle, another Caesar Rodney grad, had one goal in the game for Bridgewater. It was the first win in program history for Bridgewater over a to-four ODAC team.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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